New Frontier

Here at Atlas Indicators we often remind folks who receive our morning missive that the consumer is the backbone of Gross Domestic Product and economic well-being in our nation.  What we buy ultimately drives over 70% of the growth our country experiences every quarter, year in and year out.  Thus it pains us when we see that foundation challenged by various conditions which have been developing of late.  Unemployment is a biggie since folks tend to cut back on their purchases when they run out of money.  A diminishing lack of available credit is putting a damper on the spending habits of those who wish to persist despite being broke.  Globally, there are also obstacles we must confront.  Europe’s debt woes mirror our own to some extent, giving lenders additional heebie-jeebies that make them reluctant to lend.  Now China says they’re going to let their currency appreciate against the dollar which will tend to crimp the supply of bargains we have seen flowing across the Pacific into our local Wal-Mart and Target stores.  Finally, the baby boomers are starting to save for their retirement, a factor that removes demand from the system just when it is most needed.  What we must do is find a new market for our goods.  We need to discover a new continent full of amiable natives who will want rafts of stuff they never have heard of before.  Rather than wasting all the stimulus money on temporary prods to housing or small business loans, the Obama administration should channel it toward an all out effort to find such a new market.  Columbus did it with a handful of little boats and a sextant.  No one would argue that today we have advanced technology well beyond that level, what with satellites and GPS thingies.  How hard could it really be to develop a huge new market of consumers?