RUSH: Joe in Phoenix, you’re next. Great to have you with us, sir.
CALLER: Thank you, sir. I’m just calling because, well, basically I opened a small business in Phoenix, Arizona, about seven years ago, and I was doing great. We predicted it would take two years to get to even. We were even at one year. Predicted I’d be doing okay by the end of three. We were doing great. We’ve been building and building, but when you say you don’t see a recession or anything serious going on, at least here in Phoenix, I see it and the other people I talk to, small businessmen, you know, my business, last January when we go into a growth period for our business —
RUSH: Wait a second, what is your business? Maybe we can save it here.
CALLER: Well, I’d rather not say just because I don’t want people to know what my situation is at the moment.
CALLER: Because I don’t want the customers to know.
RUSH: Now we got a catch-22. I understand you’ve just described your business is in trouble and so you don’t want to identify it because that will depress it even further, and yet by identifying it on this program we could save it.
CALLER: Okay, I understand what you’re saying, but —
RUSH: I understand what you’re saying. If you want to keep it quiet, keep it quiet.
CALLER: I understand, and I appreciate that. My whole thing is, I’ve talked to a lot of places, there’s a sandwich shop guy right next door to me, and he’s been seeing the same thing. For the last year we just keep seeing business going down and going down. I spent a fortune last year on the increased advertising because it was the time of year when our growth is biggest, and I thought if we really pushed it, we’d help to increase it, and it still decreased. It may have decreased less because of that, but we were still on a decrease. And now we’re really getting to, you know, really hard times, and we’re just kind of, you know, we’re getting by, but we’re just barely doing it and if it keeps getting worse, I don’t know how much longer we will.
RUSH: Is your business seasonal?
CALLER: Yeah. Well, basically it’s strong for about eight months out of the 12.
RUSH: What are the four weak months?
CALLER: Well, it breaks down, part of it is in the summer, and the other part is this time of year, during the holidays. It mostly is discretionary income, but it’s not retail.
RUSH: I see. Oh, it’s not retail? Okay.
RUSH: Well, you know, if you go to Michigan, you’ll hear the same thing. You’ll hear talk of recession, depression, economic depression, this sort of thing, and Michigan is in trouble for a host of reasons, mostly because of the way state and local governments have run the show up there. Even in the best of times in the country, there are pockets that don’t do well. I remember back in the eighties, it might have been the seventies, the oil price plummeted to ten bucks a barrel, great for the consumer, great for everybody that had to buy anything that had to do with oil, except for the domestic producers. It was below what they could sell it for and would turn a profit on. They had to cap wells in Louisiana and Texas, and it put some people out of business. So it was a dichotomy. So in your particular business, in your particular part of Phoenix or Arizona, you might be experiencing a downturn and a recession, whether it represents something of a trend nationally remains to be seen.
What’s fueling the national trend and speculation on a recession is the credit crunch and all the mortgages falling apart and the banks having to charge off these huge write-downs for bad loans and so forth. We may be well headed to recession, I don’t know. The thing that bothers me about all this is, if you watch television, any business program, this stuff is designed for bad news. Do you know that people who sell financial newsletters will hype crisis after crisis to increase their subscriptions? People respond to crisis and how to deal with it from experts. So you have to be careful about the media bubble here and be a little bit independent from it, because it’s powerful in affecting your attitude.
CALLER: I’ve been hoping for a long time that it’s just hype and that it’s, you know, this was just a momentary thing, and I still hope that, you know, come the first of the year, that it turns around again. I’m just telling you, you may be right, it may just be a pocket here that’s going on. I can’t answer for the rest of the country. I just wanted to make sure you understood that, you know, I agree, the Republicans are who I want to see in office, I want more conservatives, I want us to continue along that line, and certainly don’t want to see Hillary. But at the same time, I wanted to let you know, you know, don’t say just outright there isn’t going to be a recession because there just may be. I’m not saying it’s the Republicans’ fault, in fact, I blame it on the Democrats for sure, but at the same time it may really exist.
RUSH: Well, look, this is what I mean by the media bubble. In the last four years, four or five years, the focus in the media has been Iraq and Bush lied and Bush is incompetent, that Bush is a reprobate and Bush is Hitler and Bush is all this — Iraq was unnecessary. Now all of a sudden that’s turning around. So for the last seven years, the economy, which has been good — we came out of 9/11, we came out of a recession, we created gazillions of new jobs, wealth gap, every quintile is showing increases in wages, the real economic news is good. People in surveys say their personal economic situation is good, but they’re worried about their neighbor. Next year, Iraq, as an election issue, going to be off the table and the Democrats and the media, who have been ignoring a good economy for the last seven years, all of a sudden are going to start focusing on the bad economy because they are going to realize if they can convince enough people that the future is grim and bleak because of Bush’s tax cuts, or because of Bush’s policies, anything they can do to get Hillary or a Democrat elected.
So all I’m saying to you is that the news next year about the depressed — look at the Stack of Stuff I led with today. Thanksgiving and the greatest country on Earth, and you would not believe, I had a half-inch worth of paper on all the doom and gloom and the misery and the pessimism people feel. I resent the hell out of it because it’s unnecessary. Not saying yours isn’t. You’re in a business, and you’re in a downtime right now, but I’m just trying to warn you, it’s going to get worse in terms of your customers are going to be told all next year, boy, the country sucks right now, the economy is looking bad, recession, oil prices and so forth, and the more they’re told it’s bad, the more they’re going to think it’s bad, and the more they think their neighbors are hurting, the more they’re going to think it’s bad. So whether it’s real or not they’re going to try to make it real. And I feel for you.
CALLER: I agree with that, and like I say I’m not trying to be pessimistic, I’m going to keep going.
RUSH: I know, you’re running a business. You have to be realistic and especially honest about your projections. I wish you the best. Thanks for the call.