Never mind about the Wall Street Journal, or the report about the most recent meeting of the Open Markets Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank, there is now a simpler set of economic indicia which point to the trouble in our economy. Brad Tuttle, a financial columnist for Time magazine, and other well-known periodicals, has come up with a list of non-traditional economic indicators. When things get tough, then these five things, (part of a longer list), point to the difficult conditions.
1. Appalachian Trail Hikers. When the going gets tough, the tough take a hike. There’s been a spike in the number of hikers making the long trek—meaning plenty of people have plenty of free time on their hands. 2. Immigrants in the U.S. After rising for decades, the number of foreign-born residents has stalled. Apparently, immigrants just aren’t as attracted to this country as they once were. 3. Pro Football Games Blacked-Out on TV. As the NFL season opened last year many teams had not sold out their home games, and with blackout rules that means that viewers at home might not be able to watch those games on TV. They blackout games to encourage people to buy tickets, but fewer folks today are eager to drop big bucks on something that (normally) they can enjoy for free from home. 4. The Toughness of Marine Ads. The Marines have met all of their recruitment goals, as typically occurs when the job market is bad. And so ads on TV are showing the toughest side of being a Marine, with barbed wire and even some dry heaving. Why? Because now they can be picky, and they want to attract the toughest, most highly motivated recruits. 5. Coupon Redemption. The numbers are already up again this year, demonstrating that people are eager to save money. And you know who is more likely to be clipping those coupons? Folks who are well-to-do.
What’s your contribution to the list?
***This article was written by one of our contributing writers: Malcolm Noden