Wednesday Roundup: Maine’s State Dessert

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The Maine legislature is considering designating the Whoopie Pie as the state dessert. 

But not so fast. Opponents say the whoopies are nothing more than “frosting delivery vehicles” that send the wrong message, reports the Kennebec Journal.

“At a time when 31.3 percent of Maine’s children are considered overweight or obese, do we want to glorify a dessert that lists lard as its primary ingredient?” asked Rep. Donald Pilon, D-Saco. 

The head of the Maine Whoopie Pie Association (yes, there is one) says that sales of the cake have soared since the beginning of the recession. Amos Orcutt says that’s because the frosting sandwiched by rounded chocolate cakes is “pure, edible nostalgia.”

The Journal reports that the Labadie’s Bakery in Lewiston has been baking whoopies since 1925, longer than any other bakery in the country. We see on the web site that you can buy a 16-inch diameter whoopie at Labadie’s. 

• On the maps we produce in the Daily Yonder showing jobs and unemployment, California always stands out — and not in a good way. There is a lot of unemployment there, especially in and around the Imperial Valley.

Michael Fletcher with the Washington Post finds a strange phenomenon in Fresno: There are both high rates of unemployment and a large number of unfilled jobs. People are losing jobs they know how to do, but the jobs that are open lack qualified candidates. 

Labadie’s Bakery in Lewiston, which has been making whoopie pies since the ’20s.
• For the second time in a month, somebody has shot out the windows of the Bemidji Pioneer newspaper in Bemidji, Minnesota.

Nobody seems to know why the local paper makes such good target practice. 

• Tyler Cowen has written a very short book titled “The Great Stagnation.” One of his points is that society has plucked most of the easy innovations that came with the industrial revolution. As a result, our rate of growth has declined. 

The Internet, unfortunately, doesn’t produce many jobs nor has it led to an increase in median incomes. Cowen writes:

Will the Internet usher in a new economic growth explosion? Quite possibly, but it hasn’t delivered very good macroeconomic performance over the last decade. Many of the Internet’s gains are fun — games, chat rooms, Twitter streams — rather than vast sources of revenue, and when there have been measurable monetary gains, they often have been concentrated among a small number of company founders, as with, say, Facebook. As for users, the Internet has benefited the well-educated and the curious to a disproportionate degree, but apparently not enough to bolster median income.

• Recall that the nation’s cattle herd numbers about what it did in 1958.

DTN’s John Harrington reminds us that the average cattle carcass weighed 575 pounds back then, but 773 pounds last year. We have fewer cattle, but they weigh 200 pounds more.

And beef appetite has been declining for the past 35 years — replaced largely by, yes, chicken. 

• Lots of stories about the potential for widespread post office closings. Here’s one from North Dakota. 

 

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