Dr. Richard Carson, head of the UCSD Economics Department, has shown the airport authority’s economic analysis to be bogus. But it’s not necessary to go into all the flaws that Dr. Carson has pointed out.

One assumption drives 80 percent of the airport authority’s argument. The “air cargo assumption” says that businesses will shut their doors and move out, rather than use an air freight terminal other than Lindbergh Field. This is clearly ludicrous. Here is what the airport authority consultants have to say about their own air cargo analysis (emphasis added):

The analysis of the economic impacts of air cargo shipments is part of a developing area of economic research that is still limited by two key factors: (1) the lack of a complete and workable theory of the role of air cargo in economic development; and (2) the lack of data describing the quantity and value of exported goods at any level of specificity.

The remaining 20 percent economic impact? The airport authority analysis neglects to address the inconvenient fact that the very real economic cost of kicking the Marines out of Miramar may easily eclipse the hypothetical impact on tourists and airport jobs in ten or twenty years.


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