My apologies for disappearing from the blogosphere for a while. I am in the process of closing a business, a retail store in Austin which did quite decent until this year. Since our lease is up at the end of December, I have been trying to clear all our inventory. The discounts are steep and I am probably losing money, but since most of it's massive handmade furniture, storing it will be more expensive. I think we will still have an online presence. It's fairly easy for me to call my manufacturers and have them ship something out, so if you are interested in distressed hacienda style furniture, visit the online catalog.
Anyway, I will write more about my experience on the front lines of this dreadful economy once I close and have a chance to clear my head. Suffice it to say, Austin did not experience a housing bubble or bust like the rest of the country. We are seeing population growth (as people move here from California or Michigan) and the recession in Texas has been described as fairly mild in regards to layoffs. But I can tell you from my perspective that President Obama has created a climate of economic uncertainty with consumers - they are afraid to spend while government messes with rules and regulations. Meanwhile, Democratic allies or leftist causes receive the bulk of our tax dollars in the form of porkulus money. This is anything but a stimulus.
When consumer spending is 70% of the economy and all that's in the news is more government intervention, regulation, and taxes, that's not going to encourage consumers to part from their hard-earned money. They are hanging onto it like squirrels gathering acorns for the winter. Without massive tax cuts, I fail to see how or why consumers will feel relief from this recession. I have written before that the worst of the banking and housing crisis is over, but Obama's policies are killing economic recovery in the womb.
That's one of the reasons that I am closing my store, a small business that has brought in and helped circulate over $1,000,000 to other small businesses and local craftsmen over the past five years, not to mention all the tax revenue that the government has collected off my success. Should enough small businesses like mine fail, you can see how that trickles down (yes, even poverty can trickle) and has a devastating effect on the economy. No spending or government interference coming out of Washington is going to prevent that. It can only make it worse.