Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's The Economy, Stupid

Vero Beach
27 39.51 N 080 22.27 W

It was 1992 when Bill Clinton said, "It's the economy stupid."  I think it needs saying again.
The anchorage here in Vero Beach seems to have only half as many boats in it as previous years.  Their annual peak is Thankgiving week, which is right about now.   Why fewer boats?  Many speculations are plausible, but I think it's the economy.  
Fewer people are cruising, probably because they can't afford the extra expense.  Of course, most cruisers still maintain homes, cars and other fast land assets, so that for them cruising is an added expense.   Cruisers like Libby and I have shed our fast land assets so our cruising expenses are instead of traditional expenses.  We can't afford to stop cruising.
I took a bike ride around the area yesterday.  (The new bike is very nice to ride thank you.)   The residential neighborhoods on the beach side in Vero are just as beautiful as they ever were.   I noticed however almost zero "for sale" signs were visible.   Given the scale of the housing crisis here in Florida, that's remarkable.  I conclude that the really affluent retired people (who dominate in these neighborhoods) aren't as affected by the recession as others.
I also visited the "Friends Of The Library" 2nd hand book store in Vero yesterday.  In the past, we found that to be a treasure trove where all the hottest new titles could be found for pennies on a dollar compared to list price.   I figured that a hot title like The Davinci Code would result in several dozen copies being donated to the Vero Library within a couple of weeks.   The library would stock 3-4 copies, then get rid of the excess in the 2nd hand store.  
Yesterday, I found that the 2nd hand storeh has been very well picked over.   Almost all popular, and all recent titles aren't available there.   That suggests that library patrons haven't been donating so generously as in the past.  That too must be the economy stupid.  At least it testifies as to the psychology of the recession.  Even though the affluent people remain affluent in habits and in assets, they don't feel as affluent as they did before.  They're probably buying 2nd hand books themselves instead of new ones.

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