The media have reported many stories in the past week that confirm my suspicions, and lead to only one conclusion: There really has been no recession.
In spite of ample supplies of crude oil and reserves, gasoline prices at the pump are climbing to record highs. In spite of record gasoline prices, people buy and drive few hybrids, even fewer CNG vehicles and practically zero electrics. In spite of record gasoline prices, I personally witness what appears to be record numbers of people on all our freeways, driving at what would appear to be record speeds (dying in auto crashes) — in pretty record-sized SUVs and pickups. Of course, Big Oil continues to make billions in profits.
In spite of ridiculously high prices for cigarettes, record numbers of children and young people start and continue smoking. Who in their right mind would pay $7 for a pack of cigarettes? Although lots of adults have quit, LOTS of adults continue to smoke as well.
Restaurants, as well as lots of other small businesses, seem to come and go, but wherever I go, restaurants seem to be busy. And snowbirds seem to be here in full force this winter, spending lots of money.
And now I see on tonight’s Channel 12 news that our illustrious legislators want to take the temporary “emergency” (can you say ‘recession’) 1-cent sales tax increase and make it permanent! Can’t live without it. Because of their failure to govern and tackle the serious issues (overhaul the whole state revenue generating process), their solution is raise taxes.
Recession? Maybe in some sectors, in some areas. I don’t see it. If it was that bad, people would slow down, people would drive less, drive fewer SUVs, buy less gas, behave differently. You certainly wouldn’t see teenagers paying $7 for a pack of cigarettes. I suspect beer sales are pretty normal, too.
This all goes to show that all the anxiety-driven, panic rhetoric put out by the politicians and media had one purpose: to scare citizens and convince us that whatever they propose, and did, was warranted and “just the right thing.” Could the Great Recession have been, continue to be, just an extreme dip, an adjustment, in what is a normal economic “cycle” even here in Arizona? Sometimes it’s too bad that we believe everything we’re told.