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2019-08-15 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 142 references Ignore this thread
But You Can't Get....
[Comments enabled]

.... a recession when the stock market is at all-time highs and the con-suuuuumer is strong.

Uh huh.

How'd that work out in 2007?  The stock market was at all-time highs.  The consumer was extraordinarily strong.


Further, is the con-suuuuumer actually "really strong"?  How's that student debt doing?  Speaking of which, how is credit card debt doing?

Nothing wrong here, right?  That's not at all time highs, yes?  Oh wait....

How's that compared to median income?  Has median income gone up by a factor of four since 2000, as has credit card and other revolving debt?  No?  Well?

Have "zero interest rates" made for lower credit card interest rates?  No?  Well?

How about the percentage of workers who live paycheck-to-paycheck?  That's 8 out of 10.  Worse, 10% of those with salaries over $100,000 are in the same boat!

Gee, you think the con-suuuuuuuumer is strong eh?  Well maybe you can tell me about that in the above context.... exactly how strong?  You mean the credit card hasn't been cut off yet?  The average American owes over $6,000 on his or her credit card!  Worse, 55% of Americans cannot pay their card bill off at the end of the month; they roll it over.

Much worse those who are in the 35-54 age bracket have an average credit card debt of more than $8,000!

Why does someone with over $150,000 in income carry over $10,000 in credit card debt -- the highest interest-rate debt there is?  They still aren't living within their $150,000 salary!

Worse, however, are those people making less than $25k carrying $3,000 or more in same.

Or is it?

Well, not really.  Think about it; on a percentage basis it's not that different, is it?  What's different is the alleged discretionary income of the $25,000 income person is much lower than the person making $150,000.

At least that's what you're told.

What if it isn't true -- because it certainly appears it isn't true from these statistics.

There is exactly zero reason to pay that sort of interest with $150,000 worth of income unless you have to.

This data certainly implies that you have to.

Remember folks -- it does not matter how much you make in dollars; what matters is what percentage of what you make you get to keep after all mandatory expenses.

No, the con-suuuuumer is not strong.

In fact the average US con-suuuumer is broke.  He or she is broke because our government has made them broke.  Our government has spent the last 20 years making them broke with robbery in the medical scams and monopolies, to offshoring all the lower-paying jobs to slave laborers in China and elsewhere, to importing effective slave labor via H1bs and other schemes to destroy the higher-paying job wages by half or more while at the time time blowing a huge bubble in both real estate (and thus real estate taxes) and the stock market (which you cannot use to overrun it since you lack the earnings surplus to do so.)

It's not an accident -- it's intentional, it's malicious, it's neither DemonScat or ReThuglican (it's both) and both Barry and Donald not only were and are a part of it Trump is continuing it right now, on purpose.  And just as in 2000 when the scam through the late 1990s blew up (and nobody went to jail for the scams) and in 2008 when it all blew up (and nobody went to jail for the scams through 2007) nobody has gone to jail this time either, nor will they, nor will the people demand that they do -- right here and now, today -- with an "or else" behind said demand.

May I remind you that no government ever does the right thing without an "or else."  Why should they?  Ripping people off makes you rich!  If nobody ever threatens an "or else" why would you voluntarily stop?

Has the knee point been reached on this "cycle"?  Hell, I don't know.

But if you think it isn't going to happen.... you're nuts, given these facts and figures.

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Posts: 140
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As I talked about before, his 'jokes' about a third term that the left gets all up in arms about may be a test run.

I don't want to give the man credit because sometimes he comes off as a complete idiot, but he also is a successful businessman that managed to get elected President (though maybe that is more of a critisim of We the People but I digress...)

Maybe more than the love and adoration he craves, he has it in the back of his mind that he doesn't care if it all blows up because he will just pull a Chairman Winnie the Pooh and make himself the Supreme Chancellor for Life?

I don't want to give more credit to the Left and their insanity than is due, but some days the insanity I see played out in this Casino he is working on Bankrupting makes me wonder.

The House is supposed to always win, yet we in our Infinite Wisdom picked the guy to bankrupt the biggest casino of them all.

I know, it's nuts, but I still swear it seems like some days, he just doesn't care and is preparing for 'failure'
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For nearly two years I've been sitting the stock market out. I even missed the BIG move in US bonds. The only bet I have had for a while now is in gold and silver plays. I've also been adding to physical gold and silver. It's been kinda nice just sitting on the bench and being entertained by the crazy-ass markets.

Argentina is the new Greece. Hell even Germany sucks ass. Their numbers look like hell. Euroland is one big mess. In fact, all of Western Civilization is at risk...

Got preps? Because the crazy Doomsday Preppers are looking more and more crazy like a fox...
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Who can afford to go on a vacation?
I check the web cams at the resorts.
From what I observe, I estimate, +50% vacancies.
Posts: 1210
Incept: 2008-02-23

Canton, GA
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As I recall there was a study which revealed that nearly one-half of Americans couldn't come up with a paltry $400 cash to cover an emergency expense. They would instead have to add to their credit card debt. We are so screwed.
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South of Canada
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Yep, it's all smoke and mirrors. I commented the other day that things look good when I go out. Done a fair bit of traveling and everything on the surface looks good. Lots and lots of tower cranes in the big cities, restaurants are packed full, interstates are full of RV's and SUV's loaded up for the Griswold vacation....all at 18.9%.

The last downturn was 10-11 years ago. There are people in their 30's now that were not in the workforce to experience that. I have plenty of co-workers that only know a world of annual raises & bonuses. I can assume they aren't saving due to student debt load and the fact that our CFO claims the 401k has limited uptake. The first hiccup to hit the working class is going to be epic.
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Incept: 2019-05-17

tampa bay area
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It appears that the only patriotic slice in America consists of post WWII veterans from the Korean and Vietnam eras. Consisting of multimillion military trained candidates at or past retirement age. We remember a country where government mostly worked in the peoples interest as we entered adulthood. The past 50 or so years have seen a decay in prospects as leadership strayed into an effort to be the big "bully boy" worldwide! Spending by government exploded to satisfy EVERY sector and debt rose spectacularly!

People who govern us seem to have little fear of discontent. They take orders from controllers both domestic and foreign. What they forget is history is deeply seeded with arrogance by the governing class before their reign ended. And it was led by the fed up patriots in every instance. There is no district in our country which doesn't have a cluster of us. No member of government is isolated from them. Pressure on them and their families is a time honored tactic througout history. Persuasive tactics convincing them will reveal the "controllers & handlers" that dictate ALL of our future. Bring them into the limelight for investigation and then proper atonement for their arrogance of us, the people! Is this calling for a revolution? Damn looks like one to this hombre born when HOOVER was president!!

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A True American Patriot!
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I have been traveling a LOT this year and I can tell you that the roads are full, the hotels are playing pricing games, and the various venues have people crawling all over them.


Catch the hotel midweek in some of these places and suddenly the $120 place is $55. With six cars in the parking lot at 10:00 PM. While the touristy places may be full what they're not full of is open wallets. The people milling around are fatter than ever, moving slower than I've ever seen them, and looking a lot and spending less. Not spending zero, mind you, but less.

And as for that fatter than ever, my God, it's full of stars. That's gotten flat-out RIDICULOUS. We're talking walking places where 3/4 or more of the people CAN'T manage a mile walk through some part of urban reality. It's gotten wildly disgusting in that regard and it certainly appears to this guy that people are using extreme overeating as a drug.

The shuttered places where you'd not expect to see them are sprouting. Watching R/E markets in a few areas I'm seeing a curiously high percentage of deals blowing up. Normally an accepted bid, once a place goes pending, closes; it's RARE to see it detonate, which is why most Realtors intentionally excluding anything marked pending or contingent when you ask them to look up properties for you; the odds that transaction doesn't close is so small with EVERYONE requiring pre-approval on loans or proof of funds for a cash transaction that once you have a signed offer it's maybe a 1-2% risk that it breaks escrow. I'm seeing anywhere from 5-10 TIMES that rate of breaks right now, which is stunningly high. I've NEVER seen that in my ~30 years of paying attention to real estate. Don't know WHY they're blowing up but I'll bet it's either financing or appraisals; once in a while a deal blows up over an inspection issue but that's an "almost never" because if an inspection finds something the seller HAS TO either fix it or give an appropriate price concession because now they MUST disclose it to any future buyer under the law (it's criminal fraud to conceal a defect you factually know about) so there's no escaping whatever that cost winds up being. These deals aren't breaking and the house being taken off the market either (e.g. some *catastrophic* inspection problem like a foundation fault that's not reasonably correctable) they're instantly showing up as "active" once again.

Things are not what they appear to be and IMHO you've got a lot of people putting lipstick on a very ugly pig right now, trying to "rah-rah" people into doing even more stupid, uneconomic things.

Winding it down.

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Now in Texas
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I have been out around the malls and other retail places and I think there is an inverse relationship to weight and IQ. The slowest fattest people that I see sometimes are straight-up open mouth breathers. Every time I go to a Costco or the occasional trip to WalMart I feel the need to take a shower afterwards. The places are just dirty and depressing.

Winding it down
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South of Canada
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Catch the hotel midweek in some of these places and suddenly the $120 place is $55.

I wish. Have to be in ****cago in a few weeks for a family event. Downtown hotels were running $500/night + 17% tax + parking. I'll stay out at O'Hare and get myself a limo service into the city for that rate.

As for real estate, we are literally awash in commercial space. Everything from warehouse, retail to Class A office. Yet free money means more is coming online all the time.
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A bit off topic, but Karl, that's one downside of eastern TN: the people here are *fat*. Not just fat, but *****ing* fat--hundreds of pounds overweight. Smoking is also popular here--not vaping, but old-fashioned death-stick smoking. Folks' dispositions are kind but there aren't many "woke" people here and I suspect IQs might average, well, *below average*. The thing is, there's nowhere to go to avoid this! To be around "smarter" people I'd have to move back to a city--a city undoubtedly infested by leftists, both militant and otherwise, and everything that comes with them.

There are only "least bad" choices, no "good" ones.
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"Smoke and mirrors.....Done a fair bit of traveling and everything on the surface looks good. Lots and lots of tower cranes in the big cities, restaurants are packed full, interstates are full of RV's and SUV's loaded up for the Griswold vacation....all at 18.9%. "

Same here. And where I live in Houston it's still booming. Moreover, there are a lot of individuals relocating here from high-tax states. Add to that a literal flood of immigrants (both legal and illegal) and what do you got? Substantial growth.

Growth is what juices the economy. That's why most modern economic models focus on growth. Growth here in Houston means a higher money volocity. People are buying and selling and eating and drinking marrying and making merry.

On a larger economic scale the Federal Reserve and The Finanical And Government Powers That Be are going to focus on juicing the economy. They want growth. It's all about growth. This means, for example, that the Dow Jones is either going to go up and surpass 35,000 or The Powers That Be fail to "grow the economy" which results is an epic crash as Western Civilization collapses.

Timing is everything. I don't mind the boom here in Houston. And I may catch a ride on the Dow when it heads for 35,000 --- but I won't be sticking around Houston when "this sucker is going down"....
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DeKalb, Illinois
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Having worked for three municipal governments of rust belt rural cities, all of which had their employment base destroyed by a combination of automation and/or NAFTA, if these statistics were really accurate, these starving municipalities would be booming, and they obviously are not.

The same goes for state governments, who are mostly insolvent at this point in time.

Then, there is the federal government which is going to hit the fiscal wall on or before 2024, no matter which party is in power. The states and municipalities are all hoping for a federal bailout which is not going to be forthcoming because the feds are also insolvent. If these lies about the economy were true, the federal government would be swimming in revenues.

I am going to close on the purchase of a nice house in the rural part of northeastern Iowa at the end of this month. When I got the house inspector's report it ran for 75 pages. The guy was really thorough. I am still going through with the purchase, although the house has obviously not been properly maintained for at least 8 to 10 years. The first item to be replaced is the roof, and the local Amish have a lock on steel roofs in that area. I am letting the current owners live in the house over the winter with only a modest rent, just to cover my cost of insuring the house, as they did not get their house in Minnesota finished in time. I will be moving out there in early April next year.

One of my friends who has been looking at houses in several markets across the country also discovered that essential maintenance had not been performed, and what little remodeling had been done, was of greatly inferior quality. He blamed it on owner negligence, but I have a different viewpoint. Anybody who does not have close ties to Wall Street or Silicon Valley, doesn't have a lot of disposable income. Main Street is suffering in most places, especially in rural areas where the farmers are in some real trouble.
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There's a credit union where I work and they're advertising vacation loans. WTF? Maybe I just missed this before but I've never heard of such a thing. People are borrowing money to go on vacation? Yeah, real strong.
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Vancouver WA
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You know Karl, these are things I have difficulty reconciling in my head and life.

The average American owes over $6,000 on his or her credit card!

We know it is worse than that, as you have written many article on those subjects

Yet, we also know this to be true

It's not an accident -- it's intentional, it's malicious,

I learned long ago not to feel pity for people who put themselves in harms way. An extreme example would be a woman who goes out drinking, flirting with all the guys, gets picked up by some random dude, her friends try to get her not to go with him, but she does and the next day she claims she was raped.

Was she? In the technical sense probably, but I feel no sorrow for her.

People are lining up to take mini-vacations (You note such in above post) but if they cannot afford it, well they are idiots and get no sympathy from me. I don't go out drinking at gay bars and going home with strange men, nor do I take unnecessary mini-vacations, so why should I be expected to feel badly for those that knowingly put themselves in harms way.

yet we also know factually - As you and others here have put numbers to these things that "It's not an accident -- it's intentional, it's malicious" People are sending their young ones off to college for useless degrees *That will NEVER be discharged* and it is not happening by accident. People are plumping up like hippos and being given Rx's as their "CURE" and that is intentional. People are being tricked, wheedled and scammed into believing they deserve a certain lifestyle and the fact that the laws are built to keep these lies going is malicious.

So it's not that a feel badly for people who choose to CONTINUOUSLY make poor choices, it is the fact that we have a system that A)Encourages behave that can lead to******and B) Protects the rapist predator from prosecution and C) Blames the victim for being dumb in the first place.....................But then takes their hands and leads them straight back to A).

And that is where I find difficulty. These (Most) people have chosen to live in debt and should be forced to pay it back on the other hand why should the rapists be rewarded.
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Mangymutt wrote..
. . . why should the rapists be rewarded.
As Karl has often written: "The difference between sex and******is consent."

Yes, the "system" propandizes and "tricks, wheedles, and scams" people into doing stupid things, e.g., going into debt to buy live in a lifestyle they can't really afford, etc., etc. However, even stupid people need to be held responsible for their decisions. When all is said and done, people consent to their indebtedness, etc., so it is NOT rape.

Those who you consider to be rapists need to be held legally responsible for fraud, etc., etc. but IMO are not guilty of violating the stupids without their consent (except for things like the shenanigans that Wells Fargo did without the knowledge/consent of customers, but that's a completely different matter).

". . . the Constitution has died, the economy welters in irreversible decline, we have perpetual war, all power lies in the hands of the executive, the police are supreme, and a surveillance beyond Orwells imaginings falls into place." - Fred Reed
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Canton, GA
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2 weeks ago I drove with my sister to see my nephew graduate from LSU. We spent our Sunday in New Orleans and went on a 3 hour bus tour. Aside from St. Charles St. where all the big mansions are located it was a pretty depressing tour. It looked run down, dirty, graffiti all over the buildings, etc. The restaurants near the French Quarter looked busy, but it was a weekend day.

On our drive back to Georgia we took the southern route through Biloxi, Pascagoula and Mobile. What struck me was the number of mobile home/RV dealers located along I-10. There were at least 5 chock full of inventory between Baton Rouge and Mobile, maybe more. I can't imagine there's that much demand for RV's. Literally $millions just sitting there collecting dust.
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Ponzi world 3rd rock from the sun
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But You Can't Get......

STT what say you?


Don't be a bag holder-Me

What goes up Must come Down- Alan Parsons Project
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South of Canada
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@Click - I lived in Houston through the 1980's. When it crashes there, it crashes hard. Granted it was almost 100% oil & gas town back then. Much more diverse now but I'm not so sure it has improved as a place to live. Having been down there recently I'll attest to the growth. Also saw a tent city off I-10 near downtown so it may not be all that it seems.

I also went down to Galveston as I hadn't been since I was a kid. That was a little depressing. A vacation town so close to the 4th largest metro in the country shouldn't have blocks of vacant buildings a stones throw from a cruise ship port and "entertainment district." Didn't see any significant development growth since I was last there in 1989. Can't blame it all on hurricanes. Do people just go to more glamorous beaches now??

Now Austin...that's a city that is booming.
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Vancouver WA
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Peretm99 - you are oh so correct and it is not that I feel sorry or overly badly for the con-suummmer. But when people grow up being victimized they know nothing else. There are countless examples of such. One would be the freed slaves after the civil war. Sitting here today we would think "what would we do with such new found freedom" well my contention is we would squander it just as the southern blacks did.

So debt forgiveness, which even with all the wishful thinking will NEVER happen. You don't build a system that enslaved people into debt and just forgive it because they demand it. There will be token forgiveness here and there to make people believe it can happen for them too, but in mass....never. Also debt forgiveness without strong consequences for the forgiven only leads to them returning to the plantation, like souther blacks. And that is not freedom.

And I guess that is where it makes my head hurt. What is the right answer? We continue on this path and people like you who are working and striving to not live within the lies become victims to the system, they still get raped. But the number of people that understand it are few and far between. Honestly what power do you or I have to stop the abuse?

People are being made victims from birth. They grow up and live in a system that feeds their victim hood. They wait for someone, anyone to save them. Yet the vast majority can't help but be victims and in short order be right back where they started.....only worse.

But the longer we allow the victimization to continue the more caught up in it we become.

Yes the stupids are consenting to being anally probed, but the prober is also guilty but not being held accountable. What to do?
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New Hampshire
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Went to a Red Sox game last Sunday afternoon. Couldn't believe the empty seats. But when a half decent seat costs $120 bucks and a cup of Sam costs $10.75, it's understandable. Got to sit next to a guy who weighed 3 bills. Not only was he spilling into my seat and the other seat next to him, but he had trouble removing himself out the seat made when humans weighed a respectable weight.
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"Lots and lots of tower cranes in the big cities, restaurants are packed full, interstates are full of RV's and SUV's loaded up for the Griswold vacation....all at 18.9%."

Eating out is cheap entertainment. Don't confuse that with prosperity. Cars are mostly leased now. Most buy their iphones on monthly payments. None of these displays of wealth mean anything.

The cranes are also a tale of 2 cities. The health care industry is booming, with lots of people thinking they have secure jobs. For how much longer... who knows? Same for high tech. They do great right up until the recession starts. Then ad revenue plunges and they have layoffs.

Most of the people you see living large are actually running on a treadmill. The treadmill never gets tired, but as we age we cannot keep up with the long work hours. It's a miserable life being at a tech company where you commute with a million stressed-out drivers, are expected to work 50 hours, then answer calls/email nights and weekends. If they are so prosperous, then why aren't these people retiring at 50 like I did?
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The storm hit trucking in 2007.
The rest of the economy saw it in 2008.

When you start seeing trucking companies with a few hundred trucks going bankrupt it isn't far away.
Right now it is the smaller than 100 truck fleets geting it.
Some of that is related to t7he driver shortage combined with buying trucks on credit.
Say you buy 20 trucks that are costing you $3000 each per month payment. Your State just legalized pot and now you can only hire ten drivers because of drugs and your debt won't allow you to pay more than 50 cents per mile to attract the drug free drivers at big companies paying over 60 cents per mile.
You can't serve your accounts that you are locked into a negotiated price for a full year.
You lose the accounts.
You go out of business.

Fuel and truck prices have been stable enough for those costs to be factored in.
Now is when the big fish will start eating the little ones, only if the small fish is profitable.
Buying an unprofitable company to get the customers is a bad move.
Those customers aren't paying enough if the trucks have drivers in every seat and the freight is moving, or the company has too much debt to service and a purchaser would be stupid to assume that debt in a buyout.

The place I work at is debt free and is privately held. Same family for 88 years. In the top 5 freight companies based on revenue.
My codriver and I are both early 50's and know this is our last chance to make bank before we retire. Hopefully it will be by choice at an older age rather than economics or technology getting us.

He is looking to sell his home and downsize.

My personal goal is to be debt free within 3 years, including the mortgage.

Only have a car payment and mortgage within 12 months.
I may sell some of my stuff to make sure it happens.
I have some older musical instruments that have risen to ridiculous prices that I got over ten years ago cheaply.
Vintage synthesizers amd drum machines mostly.
Might sell some older milsurp funs also.
If I haven't pulled the trigger on it within the past year, I need to sell it.

The big fish that are at the most risk in trucking is YRC for freight companies,and maybe Swift for the truckload OTR companies.
Anyone doing a lot of work for Amazon might lose it when Amazon buys their own trailers and hires independent owner operators on contract.
I am expecting Amazon to start doing Uber style financing deals on trucks for people that are naive enough to take them and jump into a line of work that they have no experience in.

They are horrible deals and have been around this industry for a couple of decades before Uber started it with cars.

Overall, freight has been slowing this year.
That is why I am running as a team driver rather than taking a shorter solo run at the last yearly job bid.
The number of long runs was cut and I got squeezed out of a $92k slot down to either a $75k slot or taking an unassigned extra slot that is a gamble.
Luckily this ATL to California slot came open and I had enough seniority to get it.
The company is phasing out using outside contractors for the coast to coast runs due to equipment sitting idle and the contractors not making service shedules.

Evryone I know in trucking is bracing for the next recession.

Companies are getting tougher on drivers also.
Old Dominion, Fed Ex, Saia, AAA Cooper and others have started putting cameras in the trucks facing the drivers, no CB radio, obviously no cell phone, and firing for minor incidents.

In 5 years, if the house is paid off, it has a new roof and all renovations done, I will take a shorter 400 mile a day schedule.
I may just go into management or drive a forklift for $25 per hour and take some CNC machinist classes at the local vo tech.
My wife retires in 5 years also.
She works for GA DOL mainly in Child Labor.
Oh, Governor Kemp has ordered all GA State agencies to institute a 4% budget cut for the last half of 2019 and a 6% cut for fiscal year 2020.

The State is prepping for a recession also.

That took a while to type on my phone bouncing around the bunk going through Birmingham,Alabama.
Heading to Amarillo first.
We will change drivers in Little Rock.

Later guys.

Preparing to go Hunting.
Posts: 534
Incept: 2017-06-26

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@Aquapura: next time you're in town try the Post Oak Hotel and surrounding area where it's really booming... just be sure and bring a wallet full of money.

Greater Houston is the forth largest City (probably the third if you count all of the illegals) and it's a real checkerboard of "tent cities" race, culture and income. There are plenty of filthy rice here, too.

The first time I spent the winter here in Houston/Galveston was back in the 60s with my biological Dad. It was a WhiteMan's world and a lot better for it.

Currently Texas and Florida are in a race to become the New California, i.e., a demographically ruined state with plenty of "tent cities" compared to when it was "The Land of Golden Opportunity"...

Most White People should be fleeing Houston (and any big city where they are a minority) the first chance they get, because when "this sucker goes down" and the lights go out and the plastic EBT card goes back to its intrinsic value then the Whites who are near TheTribe are going to get Mau Mau..

WhiteFlight. Timing is everything...

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Noblesville, IN
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I look around where I live just outside Indianapolis at the boom in development, and wonder how long this will last. Comparatively speaking it's a very affordable place to live comfortably, and still have the amenities (and problems) of a major city nearby. But it is non-stop sprawl, and everyone acts like the cash cow will keep flowing, and that nothing happened 10 years ago.

But, if you want to see boom and thriving areas... Head to the DC area and start your trip in Alexandria/Fairfax area, drive out to Loudon County, then into Maryland through Montgomery and Howard Counties. 5 of the 6 richest counties in this country are in the DC suburbs/exurbs and that should make everyone scream. Their malls are mostly fine, and there's plenty of new housing available, starting over $500k for a townhouse. With most of that being funded by our tax dollars for those that work in government, or those that work to skim from in via lobbying and consulting.
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