Friday, March 06, 2009

What do you see?

Ok, I'm sure my readers are tired of hearing and seeing about my weekend and as luck would have it, I was planning on getting all philosophical on your asses today anyway. Well, only mildly philosophical. At least it will make you think, maybe.

We all know that we're in a recession....hell, borderline depression from an equities market standpoint at least. We see our 401(k) statements cut in half. We see the Dow dropping every day. We hear about tens of thousands of people losing their jobs every week and 8.1% unemployment. We hear about the number of foreclosures setting all sorts of records.

Over the winter I was in Vegas and it didn't look like a recession. Lots of gamblers. Lots of people on the strip. The hotel wasn't dirt cheap. Lots of people at the airport.

I also went to Key West for a wedding. Certainly lots of travelers at the airport again.

Just got back from Phoenix. Hotels weren't cheap. Car rental wasn't cheap. Airport was packed at 5:00 on a Wednesday with people LEAVING.

There's still a line at Starbucks in the morning.

If I didn't see my financial statements and didn't listen to financial news, would I even know that we were in such trying economic times? Would you? There are basically no foreclosures in the Chicago area to speak of (certainly not significantly higher than any statistical norms). Even if I knew someone who lost their job DUE TO THE RECESSION, it wouldn't be out of the ordinary for me to know someone who is unemployed anyway. Hell, lots of my friends have been unemployed for various periods of time.

So if you didn't hear about the stock market or see your 401(k) statements, how would you know we're in such dire economic straits? Would you know?


el supremo de nm said...

It seems to be very erratic. I know tons of financial and legal folks in LA who are out of work. I have clients who have seen their business drop by over 50%. I know people in Michigan that are telling me it's bad.

But on the other hand, I make the same observations as you about the number of people I see in stores or restaurants. And I know plenty of businesses that are doing just fine.

One thing to think about. If unemployment is at 8.1% it means that 91.9% of people are working.

terri said...

Could you get on the nightly news and share this bit of wisdom with the world? I think the "depression" you refer to is becoming more of a mental state than an economic state for most of us.

Seriously though, you're right. People don't seem to be changing their ways.

Lakeview Coffee Joe said...

It makes me wonder if there is much worse things to come or if there are some areas that will just stay relatively immune.

Desiree said...

I'm so with youthe 8, Joe. I read about the 8.1 percent unemployment, but so far, I've had only friends laid off (thankfully). I went in to get a new Blackberry on Saturday (my old one is 2.5 years old) and the line in the store was out the door, and everyone was buying new souped-up devices.

stef said...

I've been feeling it because of the industry I'm in. We had layoffs here and i know a number of people that have been laid off due to the recession. If you want to see foreclosures take a look at Albany park. We just had a house sell a block over from us at short sale for $89,000. We are trying to re-fi and can't get any lenders to return our phone calls even though we have good credit.