aerial view of a bridge

L.A. County’s GDP is ahead of 43 Different U.S. States

As of Quarter 4 of 2020, while accounting for only three percent (4,753 square miles) of California’s land mass (155,959 square miles), L.A. County’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or value of economic output was at least $659 billion, larger than that of 43 different U.S. States and Washington D.C. in the same year.

StateGDP
Vermont$34 billion
Wyoming$37 billion
Alaska$51 billion
Montana$53 billion
North Dakota$55 billion
South Dakota$57 billion
Rhode Island$63 billion
Maine$72 billion
Delaware$77 billion
West Virginia$80 billion
Hawaii$83 billion
Idaho$88 billion
New Hampshire$92 billion
New Mexico$101 billion
Mississippi$118 billion
Arkansas$135 billion
Nebraska$140 billion
Washington, D.C.$147 billion
Nevada$176 billion
Kansas$181 billion
Oklahoma$192 billion
Iowa$202 billion
Utah$207 billion
Kentucky$220 billion
Alabama$234 billion
Louisiana$238 billion
Oregon$250 billion
South Carolina$254 billion
Connecticut$283 billion
Missouri$340 billion
Wisconsin$348 billion
Minnesota$383 billion
Tennessee$384 billion
Arizona$389 billion
Indiana$389 billion
Colorado$391 billion
Maryland$417 billion
Michigan$532 billion
Virginia$565 billion
Massachusetts$599 billion
North Carolina$608 billion
Washington$620 billion
New Jersey$632 billion
Georgia$637 billion
Los Angeles County$659 billion
Ohio$698 billion
Pennsylvania$793 billion
Illinois$877 billion
Florida$1.1 trillion
New York$1.7 trillion
Texas$1.8 trillion
California$3.1 trillion

The only states with a larger GDP than L.A. County’s in 2020 were Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, New York state, Texas, and California. If L.A. County were its own nation-state, California’s Quarter 4 GDP would shrink from $3.1 trillion to $2.3 trillion, retaining its number one position in the U.S. economy, but lying just $500 billion dollars away in output from second-place Texas. And as of 2020, L.A. County contained at least 10 million residents; the 43 states behind in terms of GDP, and D.C., on the other hand, contained just under 183 million people, or 55% of the U.S. population.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, March 2022

J.T.

EPISODE 26 – STATE OF THE GENTRIFINATION

In our twenty-sixth episode, we coin the term “gentrifination” for listeners, describing a gentrified “state of the union” due to the last four years of policy under the Trump administration, and consider how communities should prepare for the political season ahead with the presidential election just 42 days away on the cusp of the Fall season. If you live in California, the deadline to register to vote is October 19th, and you can both check your registration and arrange to vote by mail at the following link: https://registertovote.ca.gov/.

J.T.

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War Against the Panthers: A Study of Repression in America (1980)

In the days since an ebullient Back 2 School 2 Party, I’ve had the privilege to rest and restore myself from the frenzy of so much organizing. One of the key activities in this “decompressing” process has been getting back to los beloved libros. In an effort to spread the joy of reading, then, here is another brief book review, this time on a little-known story by a major organizer in American history: Huey P. Newton’s War Against the Panthers: A Study of Repression in America (1980).

I can only imagine how demoralizing it was for Mr. Newton to describe the harrowing experience that led to the publication of this work, which describes how in less than ten (10) years his entire life was uprooted, distorted and destroyed by a branch of government whose authority was never approved by Congressional Hearing (see FBI), but which would nevertheless work “behind the scenes” to eradicate the Black Panther Party’s (BPP) efforts to free Black and other minorities from the second-class citizenship over a hundred (100) years after the Reconstruction period that followed the US Civil War (1861-1865). As Mr. Newton points out in the opening pages of his analysis:

“By 1966, the United States had experienced a recent series of disruptions in several of its major urban Black population centers—Harlem, Watts, Chicago and Detroit. Numerous organizations and leaders representing groups of Black people—e.g., SCLC (Martin Luther King, Jr.), the Black Muslims (Elijah Muhammed and Malcolm X), CORE (James Farmer), NAACP (Roy Wilkins)—had repeatedly articulated the causes of these riots or urban rebellions: high unemployment, bad housing, police brutality, poor health care, and inferior educational opportunities.”

That same year, the Party would be founded in Oakland, California. It wouldn’t last more than 14 years. But during its lifespan, the BPP served as a “vanguard,” to borrow one of Newton’s terms, which would not only extend the spirit of Black Liberation Theory passed down from the blood and ashes of Malcolm X and MLK Jr., but which would “evolve” that spirit to meet the needs of a new “postmodern” world dawning after the “radical sixties” era in the United States. A world which would nearly leave the Black community and other minorities completely behind, if not for the revolutionary spirit and action of thinkers like Mr. Newton, Bobby Seale, Fred Hampton, Angela Davis, and other major intellectual and social figures of the times.

To be sure, War Against the Panthers is not a “tell-all” expose of the BPP and its legacy, but it’s a close and fact-based look at the methods of infiltration used by institutions such as the FBI, CIA and even the IRS and others, which set out to destroy the party’s Breakfast and other ‘Survival’ programs in Oakland, Chicago, New York and many more major cities across the U.S. For this same reason the dissertation is a very brief read containing a handful of facts, figures, and memorandums obtained through litigation by attorneys for the Panthers in cases against the FBI and its counterparts for violating the Panthers’ rights to privacy, freedom of speech, and other political freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

In 2019, “privacy” and the right to privacy is a word and phrase I read mostly when articles are referring to the internet, and more specifically, when they’re referring to which companies are spying on Americans’s phones and web browsers (virtually all of them, though one might ask: does it still count as spying if we clicked “yes” in the disclosure agreement?).

Yet Newton’s dissertation is an example of just what kind of actions can be taken against any American when the major power players deem them a “threat to national security,” or even just expendable or collateral damage. The analysis is therefore also instructive in the matter about why ‘[the] people’s’ rights are still worth defending; the issues of privacy and the right to organize oneself privately, politically or otherwise are not just legislative or “abstract” issues, but truly personal ones affecting every American today. As Mr. Newton points out, if even just one power player can deploy their leverage against any one group or person to destroy the rights of their citizenship, then it follows that all power players are given permission to misuse their leverage against all [the] people:

“…governmental efforts at destruction of the Party, successful in varying degrees, were only thwarted or held in abeyance when they reached their logical consequence: destruction of the right of dissent for all groups, a right indispensable to the functioning of a democratic society.”

I salute Mr. Newton and his comrades for their invaluable bravery in living, breathing, and exposing this parable. At least for JIMBO TIMES, the people will know: these are legends not far at all removed from our time. The text is free online for any one to read, and has full approval from The L.A. Storyteller.

J.T.