In the past couple of months I have been to several parts of the United States on both business and pleasure. Here is what I have witnessed. Sold out hotels, restaurants with long waits, packed entertainment venues, vast amounts of tourists, packed malls and thriving businesses.
I know there is a difference in micro and macro-economics. I personally know many people that have been dramatically affected by the credit crunch. I have seen previously very successful businesses who have had their operating credit lines yanked from them overnight through no fault of their own. The only thing they were guilty of was being too loyal to their funding sources and being unprepared for disaster scenarios. I know people who have been laid off from their jobs. I understand all of that. All of that being said, if most people closed their ears and eyes to the news, they would not know there is a recession.
Like many people I have lost a fortune in the stock market and retirement funds. I also know that what comes up, goes down, always has and always will. Recessions come and go and nothing lasts forever. Lessons can be learned from this mess. However, the economy has many bright spots. People are getting up everyday and going about their business. People are becoming numb to the doom and gloom scernarios.
Last week in Washington DC, I noticed sold out hotels, sold out tours, record numbers of tourists for the Cherry Blossom Festival and activities. There were tourist from all over the world spending lots of money and going about their business. Sand Diego, CA, Charleston, SC, Morgantown, WV, same story. The Frozen Four Collegiate Hockey finals packed. People were coming in and out of DC on trains from all over in droves.
The average age of a vehicle in the US is older than ever. This is great news for repair shops, many of which have personally told me they are having record profits. Dealerships will experience a boom by next year when many of these old car owners decide to bite the bullet and buy a new vehicle. Banks will finance the vehicles and warranties and aftermarket items will be sold. Commercial real estate Investors will stop being antsy and will gain financing for their investments while picking the bones of people who could not hold on.
We can all argue the macro-economic question of whether hyper-inflation and higher taxes are inevitable. However, I do know that none of us can change that outcome either way. I do know that most economics are personal and local. To paraphrase the Serenity Prayer, “Worry about what you can change and not about what you can’t and have the wisdom to know the difference.”