Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The recession is over.

No, I'm not attempting to analyze the Dow which is currently above 10,300. Remember when it first broke 10,000? 1999. And we were all rich and pooping into solid gold toilets.

And to add more perspective, in 1999 gold was $280. Oil dropped under $20, but was normally around $30, and gas was probably $1.20 a gallon.

But we've since learned that the stock market, gold and oil prices, mean nothing for the economy. Rich people don't hire workers when they're making money; they hire workers when it's cheap to hire them. But the cost of health insurance and the threat of the various employee lawsuits from unfair labor practices or sexual harassment or whatever has made running a business very expensive. So there can be no correlation drawn between all the money that rich people are making and the current level of unemployment. Because rich people suck.

So we need another indicator to measure the strength of the economy.

The Laramie County Library System, WY, reports that circulation of print materials for adults is down 3.4%. And one reason for this might be ebooks, the library says. Why they don't count ebooks as part of their circulation statistics is a mystery, but whatever.

Library use is dropping so the economy must be getting better.

Remember how everyone was saying that library use is up because people don't have money to buy books or computers or dvds? So people now have money for ebooks. And ebook readers. Netflix stock has almost doubled this year. Apple is up about 100. What else is everyone wasting their money on? Oh, yeah, lottery tickets. And I still see commercials on tv for boner pills and pills for women who wet themselves when they laugh too hard, so we all seem to be having a good time.

And yet, in America, we don't have good jobs for everyone. And we want to cut taxes to punish our local, state and federal governments, the largest employers in the country. And since the rich aren't hiring, we're gonna be totally screwed after the November elections.

But since adults in one county in Wyoming have been checking out fewer books, we should take that as a a sign of economic recovery. I think library circulation should become the new standard for financial stability. As library use goes up, the economy is failing; as it goes down, our financial strength grows.

You may not like it since it puts a positive spin on lower book circulation. But it will guarantee jobs. Libraries will remain open. Book circulation stats will be shorted like pork bellies as Wall Street bets on whether Friday afternoon check-outs for The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner will be up or down.

Or maybe everyone will just use the stats from Laramie County, WY, and they will get to keep their library jobs, but all the rest of us will be screwed.