Monday, July 19, 2010

Local Economy Leaves Mall Half Empty

This is a picture from our local outlet mall over the weekend.  Two years ago if you didn't get to the mall by 11:00 AM you would have to walk half a mile from your parking spot to get to the stores.  The picture was taken shortly after noon.  As you can see, the mall parking lot is half empty.  President Obama can say all he wants about how the trillions of dollars spent by the government over the last two years has "saved and created" millions of jobs.  This image graphically belies the authenticity of that statement.  Frankly I was shocked how poor the mall traffic was, especially on a bright sunny weekend.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  The Southern California economy is in the dumps.  The state budget is overdue and is projected to have a deficit of $19 billion.  The local unemployment rate is 12.3% with the U-6 unemployment and underemployment rate of over 20%.  Housing prices are still falling after a mild pickup from a now expired federal bailout (so tired of that word).  Taxes are set to rise dramatically in a few months, especially on the people who are most likely to hire the millions of unemployed.  Is it any wonder the country is in an uncharacteristic doldrums right now?

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