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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Economic Instability

Scene from Planet of the Apes 1968

 Something is definitely wrong with our economy, when multi-million dollar corporations are going out of business almost as fast as they are coming in.  I remember the time when a man’s word was his bond.  Back in the good old days when you frequented a business it never crossed your mind to wonder if they would be in business the next year.  I often mention in my posts that our store of choice growing up was Western Auto Store and it remained in place for as long as I remember.  Other businesses in my small town were also pillars of the community, like the barber shop the corner drug store, the optometrist, the Men’s’ shop.  You could grow up and go away, yet when you returned for a visit, the people looked a little older, but the same smiling faces greeted you.

Back in the 90’s I was caught in the closing of a chain of stores.  One of the more successful electronic stores in our area closed their chain over night with no warning.  I had taken my television in for warranty work, and all of sudden my television and I were kept apart without any apparent recourse.

I had not thought about it before, but here is what I just figured out (the light bulb going on over my head).  The electronic store was Future Shop, and the location in my town was very busy and obviously successful.  Elsewhere, however, they were struggling financially, and when the decision was made to go out of business, they couldn’t pick and choose, and so all the locations were closed.  Here is where the light bulb went on over my head.

Doesn’t this ring of the Global Economy?  The kinds of money investors are pouring into corporate business can be just as lucrative if they succeed or write off a loss.  That should never be the reason to go into business.  The driver should always be success, quality products, and ultimately excellent customer service.  I hate to be fatalistic but I am afraid the train has already left the station with that kind of commitment.

Politicians talk about reversing the trend of sending our jobs and industries off-shore.  With all the time that has gone by since the existing trend started hurting our economy I am beginning to doubt it will ever be reversed.

Here is a very short list of businesses that have gone out of business in recent years; Al’s Auto Parts, Schucks Auto Supply, Jay Jacobs, Kinney Shoes, Payless Drugs, Woolworth, Computer City, Circuit City, Levitz Furniture, Thriftway Grocery Stores, Standard Brands Paint, Coast to Coast Hardware, Eagles Hardware, Home Base, Pay ’N Pak, Blockbuster Music, Borders Books, Sam Goody, Tower Records, Wherehouse Music, Mr. Steak, KB Toys the list is way too large for this posting.  The next time that someone offers you a lifetime membership, ask if it’s your life or theirs.

A quote from a movie released in 1968 comes to mind to describe the direction that we are headed; From Planet of the Apes. YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP! OH, DAMN YOU! GODDAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!

Didn’t want you to think that I am always laid-back, I do have a flare for the dramatic. I still do believe that the best is yet to come….

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