So I open up my mail yesterday, only to see good old Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger staring out at me on the cover of the new California Jobs Report, put out by the California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth (and hopefully not funded by those poor taxpayers). The first thing I notice is Ahnold’s enormous biceps poking out of a T-shirt with the California State Flag on it. The second thing I notice is that the face on top of the T-shirt–and the biceps, too, come to think of it–look a lot more like the Ahnold of, say, Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) than the Governor of the present day.
OK, so Arnold, like the rest of us aging movie stars. likes people to remember his best days. But I guess he’d rather people think about how he used to look than read any real statistics about what is happening in California’s economy. On every page of this glossy 10 page booklet, there is either a quote of his (complete with accent emphasis), a picture of him, or, in most cases, both. Here he is in Tokyo: at The Taste of California Cook-off; on the side of a truck. Talk about a cult of personality: Is this California or Syria?
If this is meant to be campaign propaganda. I’d have to say it’s pretty well done. But a job report? Try again. There’s virtually no information presented in usable form: A chart on biotech spending and employment, for example, lists no dates. To be fair, Ahnold’s got the marketing down: this is the first time I actually opened and looked at a California Jobs Report. On the other hand, I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of receiving one in the mail, since I live in New York City. Way to terminate that deficit!