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The Real Signs of Economic Strength

John Turnbull

Posted on September 2, 2018 18:43

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An easy way to see how our economy is doing.

Charts, theories, stock tickers, ranting CNN clones, fact-spinning politicians, all claim to show us how the economy is doing. Statistics that can be manipulated easier than a teenager offered the newest iPhone are recently hinting that our economy is getting stronger... or not. It depends which channel you're watching. So whom or what do you believe? Surely there must be some accurate indicators out there? And there are; at the grocery store parking lot.

The first indicator? It's how many shopping carts are left strewn around the lot and not returned to their docking stations. Most stores have shopping carts that cost money to unlock, a returnable fund when you link your cart's plastic key into another cart's slot. This is so people don't leave them all over the parking lot. When the economy is good, nobody cares about the chump change and carts are all over the place. Lately the docking stations are overflowing with carts. Hmm...

Next, the vehicles themselves in the parking lot. During the last real economic boom in my area you rarely saw a vehicle with a dent, a scratch along the door or a crack on the windshield. People didn't mind paying the deductible on their insurance and had very extensive coverage. Now, at least half of the vehicles have some sort of damage, even the high end rides. You can't convince me it's because people are less materialistic. They can't afford the repairs, either by paying cash or through insurance.

So next time you go shopping, take a look around the parking lot. It will let you know where the economy is at. Of course, if you're shopping at No Frills or Walmart, that might be an indication, too. But those stores' stocks will be up, so maybe the economy is better....

John Turnbull

Posted on September 2, 2018 18:43

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Source: NPR

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