The Corner

Postcard From Omaha

A Nebraska friend sends this coal for

America’s holiday stocking:

I’m not completely sure, but I think Nebraska’s economy just disappeared.

It seems that the beef export industry just collapsed, with every country

that matters banning American beef over the Washington state mad-cow scare.

(When Mexico — MEXICO! Home of food-borne illnesses! — bans your food

products, it’s over.)

And if the beef industry collapses (which is a sizable chunk of the Nebraska

economy all by itself), it just might finish off farming, being that most of

the corn crop goes for feed.

And the sugar industry (up here, that means sugar beets in western Nebraska)

will be gone shortly with the latest free-trade fiasco.

On the bright side, the population of illegal immigrants should go way down

when all the beef-processing plants start to shut down.

On the gloomy side, if the economy tanks here to its full potential for

tanking, many of the rest of us might be forced to follow them south.

Furthermore, the state budget picture — already catastrophic — is about to

get a lot more so.

Merry Christmas, huh?