The economy is recovering.
There I go again, sticking my neck out. Of course, every single statistic imaginable shows this to be true, but who am I?
Now I’ve written a few times over the last several months on a note of optimism. I’ve been encouraging you, my fellow business owners. First of all, DO NOT buy into the gloom and doom being peddled by the media and others with a vested interest in talking down the economy.
It’s time to visit this again, because I continue to hear dire predictions that simply don’t agree with reality.
LOOK AROUND YOU
There’s a lot of baloney being peddled out there. Actually, there is always a lot of baloney being peddled.
Maybe the malarkey is that the economy is recovering, and we will be fine. Maybe that’s the truth and the malarkey is that the economy is going to remain depressed and we are in for a long tough time to come.
What’s the truth? What’s the best way to find out what the truth is?
Personally, I am by nature inclined to disbelieve pessimistic predictions. But maybe I look at the world through rose colored glasses. So how about we use our powers of observation to shed light on the situation?
I live 20 miles from my office, so I’ve got a pretty good daily commute. For a few months, traffic was light. It has been gradually getting heavier and heavier. It is now at a point not much less than normal (before pandemic). I am actually finding myself in traffic jams much like I used to, going to and from work.
That is despite the fact that many people are more-or-less permanently working from home (so not commuting) and schools remain out-of-session as of this date.
What does that tell you? Does all this traffic consist of people randomly driving across the Courtney Campbell Causeway for the heck of it?
Or is it the economy in action? Even if these people are just driving across the Bridge to go to Nordstrom’s, it is still commerce in action.
In my business we operate on statistics. When the lockdowns started, we took a big hit on income, and a lesser hit on sales and new business. At this point in time, sales and income are doing very well and new business is slowly returning to normal.
I notice I’m far from the only one. Other clients are telling me the same story.
While a lot of people are still out of work, healthy numbers are returning to work every month. New unemployment claims, while still high, have been dropping week after week after week for months.
“Yeah but…”, I can hear some of you thinking. The economy is going to hit a wall when the unemployment checks stop, is one line.
And it is a line, because parts of the economy are continuing to open back up. Every one of them means jobs and income.
We now have all major sports going on again. You see a lot of people taking vacations. Much more by driving than flying, and it remains U.S. only – but it is still tourism and travel in action.
There are lots of adjustments and that will continue. I think one of our problems is that we got so used to things going along steadily that we forgot that major disruptions are a normal part of life. After 4000 days in a row of sunny weather, a storm comes as a rude shock.
I recall gasoline shortages in the 1970s. Gas prices went out the roof and you could only buy gas on alternate days (very annoying). People cut down on their driving and put locking gas caps on their cars.
You know the biggest long-term effect? Japanese cars started selling in the U.S. in a big way, because they got better gas mileage. I well remember the early Honda’s with their 600cc (basically motorcycle) engines, putting out a big 45 HP).
Then the U.S. auto manufacturer’s retooled and started making cars that got better mileage and they came back from lots of lost jobs and lost business.
That’s the normal course of events. The disruptions we’re experiencing currently are nothing compared to what we went through in the Great Depression or in World War II.
So quit whining, if you have been, buckle down and figure out how to make lemonade out of lemons.
There are many fantastic opportunities for many businesses right now.
Lots of other people are taking advantage of them.
Why not join that crowd? It’s more fun.