Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Choo Choo Index

I was watching CNBC while I ate lunch, and saw something that gave me a boost. Years ago, I moved within half a mile of a double, double RR crossing. Every train that crosses both crossings in either direction blows its horn 4 times for each crossing. Suffice it to say, I have an ear on the economy. I can gauge how well we're doing economically, just by what my ears tell me.

Now, I've never been afraid to spill my "secret" economic tell to friends in casual conversation, but that news report told me bona fide economists pay attention to similar things, albeit a bit more scientifically and accurately. They watch the number of truck drivers actually working on the road and the number of vehicle miles travelled to gauge how the economy is doing. BTW, it's quiet around here, and the economy is not doing well!

The long and short of all this: from now on, I won't be so quick to doubt my perception of how the economy is going. I might not be able to count on the Bureau of Economic Analysis to give me the straight poop, but I have an ace in the hole in the infallible Choo Choo Index!