Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rock and Roll Stew


Or perhaps lack thereof. I have been able to cruise into and home from work for the last few months. I really noticed it last week during school vacation week. There were very few cars on the road.

I wonder how much of it is because 10% of my fellow Rhode Islanders are out of work. A friend of mine was let go from a newspaper yesterday after 30 years of service. We have laid off a few people in our FL facility and in Asia. EP is laying off 55 teachers.

Things reportedly are pretty bad.

Despite the empty roads I see plenty of full parking lots at the shops. Rt 6, Seekonk’s retail miracle mile, is jammed. I went by the Warwick Mall last week at 3:30 on a Thursday and the parking lot was packed.

Is retail really in that bad shape? Have you been cutting back? We are not big spenders, except on cat toys lately, but we are still dining out a lot buying new bikes and computers as needed. We also pay cash for just about everything. I wonder how much of this mess is panic. People are desperate for credit. I hear as soon as the banks start lending we will start to see a turnaround. Wasn’t this what did us in?

Corporations wanted to see growth, a Starbucks on every corner. Well we’re still buying coffee. Maybe the model of exponential growth is broken. Keeping stockholders happy at the expense of good sense seems to have screwed us.

Honestly though, I’m not missing the traffic on I 95.

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