San Francisco's 9.1 percent unemployment rate places it as one of just 11 of the state's 59 counties that doesn't feature double-digit jobless rates. Marin's rate of 7.5 percent is the state's lowest; Imperial County is by far the worst at 26.8 percent.
It appears job numbers have grown sufficiently bleak to the point where it's acceptable to mention the Joad family, the migrant protagonists of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Those familiar only with John Ford's 1940 cinematic classic might remember an upbeat ending, in which Ma Joad says "We'll go on forever, Pa, 'cause we're the people" after Tom Joad delivers his poignant signature speech:
Wherever there's a fight, so hungry people can eat, I'll be there.To put it mildly, Steinbeck's tome concludes on a less positive note. Rose of Sharon's baby is delivered stillborn, and Pa Joad places it in a flooded ditch to serve as a harbinger of the brutality of life to luckier folks downstream. The teenager then offers her lactating breast to a starving stranger; you could call this a positive conclusion if forced to do so at bayonet point, but the more accurate description might be that this, too, was an indicator of life's burgeoning desperation.
Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the
way guys yell when they're mad. I'll be in the way kids laugh when
they're hungry and they know supper's ready, and when the people are
eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they build - I'll
be there, too.