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Old 04-26-2014, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Texas
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I drove a few hundred miles on a few days this week. I was on the interstate which had more big trucks than I have ever seen. So I get to thinking, "If all this product is being shipped around the country why is not our economy booming?" I mean, shipping all this around is only because people are buying it right? I think we might have an economy that is to large to expand.
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Old 04-26-2014, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowdog View Post
I drove a few hundred miles on a few days this week. I was on the interstate which had more big trucks than I have ever seen. So I get to thinking, "If all this product is being shipped around the country why is not our economy booming?" I mean, shipping all this around is only because people are buying it right? I think we might have an economy that is to large to expand.
Who said the economy was doing poorly? I think you are confusing the labor market with the economy. Sure, the labor market sucks, but we are producing, moving and selling product. One way or another, people are buying. Another strong gauge of the economy is manufacturing PMI, which has been accelerating for about 22 out of the past 24 months. Depending on how you define the economy, things are moving along very nicely. Where things get murky are the causes for this, which I will leave for another debate.

To be sure, the rest of the globe is not doing so hot. Emerging markets and Europe are not shining bright at the moment. In many ways, I think the U.S. is learning how to be more self sufficient, which is terrible new for the emerging markets...
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andywire View Post
Who said the economy was doing poorly? I think you are confusing the labor market with the economy. Sure, the labor market sucks, but we are producing, moving and selling product. One way or another, people are buying. Another strong gauge of the economy is manufacturing PMI, which has been accelerating for about 22 out of the past 24 months. Depending on how you define the economy, things are moving along very nicely. Where things get murky are the causes for this, which I will leave for another debate.

To be sure, the rest of the globe is not doing so hot. Emerging markets and Europe are not shining bright at the moment. In many ways, I think the U.S. is learning how to be more self sufficient, which is terrible new for the emerging markets...
What do you mean by "where things get murky are the causes for this" ?
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
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Originally Posted by Costaexpress View Post
What do you mean by "where things get murky are the causes for this" ?
The driving forces behind the U.S. economy today. It certainly isn't just an act of the free market. There is an awful lot of manipulation and economic lubrication going on behind the scenes...
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by andywire View Post
The driving forces behind the U.S. economy today. It certainly isn't just an act of the free market. There is an awful lot of manipulation and economic lubrication going on behind the scenes...
Some regions are doing well with lots of good jobs. Some have lots of crappy jobs. Some have few jobs. Some have a lot of rich people. The story behind these trucks are complex and mixed.
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:54 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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Yes, in general many areas are booming now, like here where high tech and aviation are keeping the new $800k homes selling along with luxury cars. The problem is that those trucks are carrying a lot of products made in China that have come into the west coast ports, and get trucked to retailer warehouses in western states or by rail east and then trucked to the central and eastern states. While that's good for the longshoremen, truckers, and those able to buy less expensive items at the stores and online, it's not good for those that used to work in manufacturing in the U.S. and have no other job skills.
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:08 AM
 
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Whenever I go downtown it seems like everyone is outside jogging. I never see that many people jogging in the suburbs.

Now the mistake is to think the people downtown are more in to jogging, when in reality there are just so many more people that live downtown so it appears like a higher percentage is working out, but it's actually the same.

Similar with trucking. We have 300+ million people in America, and nearly everything we have is disposable, so of course you see a lot of trucks.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andywire View Post
The driving forces behind the U.S. economy today. It certainly isn't just an act of the free market. There is an awful lot of manipulation and economic lubrication going on behind the scenes...
Are you sure it is lubrication? I recall that most unemployed people were getting a distinct lack of lubrication during the job search process.

Really though, I agree with you, the published numbers have been manipulated to the point of being BS. Core CPI not using food and fuel is a great way to eliminate the vast majority of the inflation by overloading on technology upgrades. If only we could eat Ipads.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:33 AM
 
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You're right about trucking being a good indicator of how the economy is doing. During the recession, trucking companies were moving less products. There were layoffs. Things have picked up considerably and the trucking industry is busy again. The more trucks on the road, the better the economy. Maybe your specific town isn't doing great, but the overall country is definitely improving. That's why you're seeing more trucks on the interstates.
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:25 AM
 
8,878 posts, read 3,929,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
You're right about trucking being a good indicator of how the economy is doing. During the recession, trucking companies were moving less products. There were layoffs. Things have picked up considerably and the trucking industry is busy again. The more trucks on the road, the better the economy. Maybe your specific town isn't doing great, but the overall country is definitely improving. That's why you're seeing more trucks on the interstates.
There is a rail index somewhere which is one economic indicator.

Rail Traffic Continuing Sluggish 2014 Trend | PRAGMATIC CAPITALISM

I have my own truck index.

We have made the same AZ-CA ski trip maybe 4-6X a year since '88, and there is definitely a connection between the truck traffic volume we experience and our general economy. Mostly seen on I-40.
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