Glimmers of recovery 
in wavering economy

Coloradans, including folks here on the Western Slope, are in a mood to buy vehicles, it seems. New car and truck sales have jumped 20 percent statewide this year, compared with last year, according to the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association.

Similar numbers appear to hold true for auto dealers in the Grand Valley. Nationwide, car sales have increased about 11.5 percent.

It’s one indication that our economy — nationally and in Colorado — may be poised for economic recovery. But it is hardly cause for irrational enthusiasm, to borrow a phrase from former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan. A more appropriate reaction may be crossed fingers and cautious expectations, because for every bit of positive economic news there seem to be equal and opposite economic reports. For example:

✔ Consumer confidence fell in August, according to information released Tuesday. Experts had expected the consumer-confidence index to rise slightly in August, as it did in July.

✔ Also on Tuesday, another report indicated that home values in 20 U.S. cities rose in June of this year for the first time since 2010. Low interest rates and the fact that inventories of foreclosed homes are finally being sold off may be combining to push prices up, experts said.

✔  The weekly jobs reports and unemployment rate continue to linger below what some economists had forecast earlier in the year. The official unemployment rate nationally was at 8.3 percent in July, but that doesn’t include those who have stopped looking for work or people who are underemployed.

✔ U.S. stock markets have remained relatively steady and have maintained gains they accrued earlier in the summer.

✔  There was more discouraging news this week from abroad — from Spain to Japan, France to Hungary.

Obviously, all of the signs are not pointing in the same direction. There’s not even a clear explanation as to why people this year are buying more new cars and trucks than they have in recent years. Pent-up demand is one reasonable explanation, but why is it higher in Colorado than the rest of the nation? Furthermore, many economists had predicted that consumers who have money on hand would hold off on major purchases until after the November election, no matter what their political leanings.

All of this suggests that if you are a betting man or woman you may have a better chance wagering on horses than forecasting what will occur next with the economy. But, of course, everyone is betting on the economy to some extent.

We’re just glad that some people are starting to spend money on items like cars and that home prices are beginning to rise. And we join millions of Americans in hoping that the latest news is a harbinger of a real recovery on the horizon, not another false uptick.

COMMENTS

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After Barry Goldwater lost the 1964 Presidential election in LBJ’s landslide, he asked Michigan Governor George Romney (his primary Republican opponent and Mitt’s father) why Romney hadn’t endorsed and/or supported him.

While Romney hadn’t really “marched with Martin Luther King” in 1963 (another Mitt falsehood), he rejected the John Birch Society (the Tea Partiers of their time) and sought to amend the Republican Party platform to endorse the Civil Rights Act and disavow extremism—all of which Goldwater and his supporters had opposed and/or defeated.

Responding to Goldwater’s inquiry, Romney wrote:

Dogmatic ideological parties tend to splinter the political and social fabric of a nation, lead to governmental crises and deadlocks, and stymie the compromises so often necessary to preserve freedom and achieve progress.

While Mitt disingenuously accuses President Obama of “dividing the Nation”, his father prophetically predicted the consequences of Mitt’s unprincipled alliance with extremists.

That Mitt is running strongest among “non-college-educated white males” speaks volumes about his well-funded, lie-based “appeal”, as did Denny Herzog’s Sentinel column – “Science is anathema to the far right wing of the GOP” (January 8, 2012).  Republicans too-often spout “sanctimonious nonsense”, while disdaining history, economics, facts, and common sense.

Without diminishing the many positive contributions of religion to the advancement of human civilization and U.S. political culture (racism, sexism, blood-letting, homophobia, and the Ninth Commandment aside)—just as Christians believe in the divinity of Jesus, Catholics also believe in biological improbabilities, and Evangelicals insist that the Old Testament trumps Christ’s teachings—Mormons believe they are descended from Lost Tribes of Israel (contrary to DNA evidence), that Joseph Smith saw God and/or Jesus in 1820 and discovered Golden Plates in 1823 (which – like Mitt’s tax returns – remain hidden), miraculously translated them, and thus became another post-Biblical Prophet!

“Voters (especially, women), pick your prophets.”








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