I’ve been very skeptical of pressers talking about the economic recovery; at least in my own backyard, things look pretty bleak, unemployment continues to climb, housing values continue to decline, companies continue to shutter their doors.
But I have just returned from one of my quarterly two week drives around the country, this trip covering California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and I must say, I see signs of life beyond blooming tulips.
My last trip, in Nov/Dec, was very depressing to me, while cruising through small towns, and seeing the number of closed car dealers, movie theaters, chain restaurants, and even motels along the interstates.
While this trip included noting some of those same situations, there seems to be a slight uptick, but one of the most encouraging signs I saw was the number of semis and flatbeds long haul truckers on the roads, carrying luxury goods: swimming pools, boats, cars. Some industries obviously are seeing signs, and are encouraged to ramp up production and distribution.
If you listen to right wing media, one would continue to think that economic Armageddon is at hand. That’s their job, I guess, to politicize current events to their own advantage. Whatever. Yawn.
To me, a pile of fiberglass swimming pools on the back of a truck rolling westward from factories in the SE, is far more demonstrable evidence of a change. Someone had to go back to work, to make those pools, outfit those boats, manufacture cars in Mississippi and Alabama.
Even New Orleans, nearly five years after Katrina, seemed to be a hub of activity.
I know I’ll do my part for the economic stimulus. I will continue to spend money as fast as I make it. It’s my patriotic duty.