Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Shipping Is Stalled

Here is a very astute look at an obscure but vital economic sign: shipping.  When the economy cycles properly, ships spend a lot of time in transit carrying raw materials and finished goods.  When the economy drops, demand falls, and shipping falls with it.  Now the demand is so low that ships sit in harbor because sending them out would lose money.  This is a bad sign.  It is, however, quite predictable that if people have not got enough to live on, they stop buying things.

It's not that there is no money in the economy.  It's that so much of it is held by so few people, there isn't enough left to sustain the motion.  The cycle grinds to a halt.  The whole point of having money is to move goods and services more efficiently than barter.  This only works if the money is spread around enough for people to use it.  If they can't get it, then it might as well not exist.  People have to fall back on other methods of meeting their needs, and the big engines of commerce just run out of gas.
Tags: economics, news
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