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LA Times: Freight trains carry 20% less cargo in 2009 than in the previous year

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posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 08:27 PM
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www.latimes.com...

Freight trains carry 20% less cargo in 2009 than in the previous year

The drop is a dramatic reminder of the brutality with which the recession cut demand for coal, lumber and other goods that make up the backbone of the economy.

By Ronald D. White
January 14, 2010

The nation's railroads had their worst year in decades in 2009, a dramatic reminder of the brutality with which the recession damped demand for coal, lumber and other goods that make up the backbone of the economy.

Freight trains carried 20% less cargo last year than in 2008, according to a report by the Assn. of American Railroads, and the industry shed nearly 21,000 jobs.

The 12-month period was the slowest since the association began keeping records in 1988.

Among the most dramatic declines was a 33% drop in lumber and wood products carried by train, a key indicator of demand for new construction. Trains carried 34% fewer motor vehicle parts and 8% less coal.

"Last year saw declines, most of them quite steep, in every major category of rail carload traffic," said John Gray, senior vice president of policy and economics for the rail association. "Railroads are happy to have 2009 behind them."

The drops in the movement of coal, lumber, retail goods and other products carried by train mirrored the devastation in the U.S. economy wrought by the housing and mortgage industry meltdowns. As demand crashed for houses, cars and the commodities used in manufacturing, so did the need to haul goods and materials.

Taken over a two-year period that included all of 2008 and 2009, the declines were even more dramatic, according to the report: a 48% drop in the transportation of motor vehicle parts; a 49% drop in metallic ore and metals; and a 47% drop in lumber and wood products.
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...More at link




posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 08:29 PM
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This pretty much correlates with the 20% drop in Income Tax revenues seen by the Federal (-20-25%) and State and local governments (-16.5%).

Just that the GDP Personal Consumption number don't correlate with this.



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 08:50 PM
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The drop in containers thru Port of Los Angeles was 18% in 2009. Interesting that the reports are saying nearly the same percentage.



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 08:55 PM
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I think the GDP numbers you mention have been totally fabricated. How can we have a 10% unemployment rate(what they admit) with 20% down turn in shipping, banks not loaning, and yet have a GDP that went up last quarter.

Our economy is totally made up right now.

The fix is in, cannot let us know exactly how bad it is. Perception is reality to the sheeple. This is what I think the government manipulations have been mainly for. To prevent panic and fear about the economy, now fear about terrorists is fine, they like that.

But entropy is having an effect, you can only maintain the illusion for so long. 50% unemployment in Detroit. That city will start to become a ghost town soon.

Our economy is gone and no one even knows it yet. Maybe not gone, but down to about early 1990 levels. Maybe even further back.



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 09:06 PM
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Originally posted by endisnighe
I think the GDP numbers you mention have been totally fabricated. How can we have a 10% unemployment rate(what they admit) with 20% down turn in shipping, banks not loaning, and yet have a GDP that went up last quarter.

Our economy is totally made up right now.

The fix is in, cannot let us know exactly how bad it is. Perception is reality to the sheeple. This is what I think the government manipulations have been mainly for. To prevent panic and fear about the economy, now fear about terrorists is fine, they like that.

But entropy is having an effect, you can only maintain the illusion for so long. 50% unemployment in Detroit. That city will start to become a ghost town soon.

Our economy is gone and no one even knows it yet. Maybe not gone, but down to about early 1990 levels. Maybe even further back.


Agreed, also of note:

For the year, consumer sales fell 6.2 percent, and that is the biggest decline on government records that go back to 1992.
The only other year that annual sales fell was in 2008, when they slipped by 0.5 percent.

OK, that is 12 times worse than our worst year on record.

This confidence game can not last much longer.

No jobs, no money, no spending, no demand, fewer jobs.
The cycle is in full motion; No solutions offered yet.

We need a New Deal!



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by Dbriefed
This pretty much correlates with the 20% drop in Income Tax revenues seen by the Federal (-20-25%) and State and local governments (-16.5%).

Just that the GDP Personal Consumption number don't correlate with this.


Yes it does, when you add in all those individuals that have fallen off the unemployment list. It's very close to the true unemployment numbers projected at or near 18% now.

Each month going forward now, we will have well over 100,000 families losing their unemployment checks from being out of work too long.

Take the average saving balance for a US family and expect to see the bankruptcy numbers to continue to rise. We outsourced all our manufacturing jobs, leaving services mostly. As people have less to spend, and more time they tend to “do it themselves", here in the states. This in turn will lower demand further.

I will say on the consumption not matching there are people, like me, that are still employed and have actually been spending much more than usual. I also decided to spend half of our savings over the last 3 months. The reason was two fold, firstly to help others by stimulating the local economy, and secondly with inflation fears we wanted to get the biggest bang for our buck before inflation sets in.

One must wonder why Warren B. just spent all that money on trains of all things.



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 09:36 PM
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Originally posted by Absum!

Originally posted by endisnighe
I think the GDP numbers you mention have been totally fabricated. How can we have a 10% unemployment rate(what they admit) with 20% down turn in shipping, banks not loaning, and yet have a GDP that went up last quarter.

Our economy is totally made up right now.

The fix is in, cannot let us know exactly how bad it is. Perception is reality to the sheeple. This is what I think the government manipulations have been mainly for. To prevent panic and fear about the economy, now fear about terrorists is fine, they like that.

But entropy is having an effect, you can only maintain the illusion for so long. 50% unemployment in Detroit. That city will start to become a ghost town soon.

Our economy is gone and no one even knows it yet. Maybe not gone, but down to about early 1990 levels. Maybe even further back.


Agreed, also of note:

For the year, consumer sales fell 6.2 percent, and that is the biggest decline on government records that go back to 1992.
The only other year that annual sales fell was in 2008, when they slipped by 0.5 percent.

OK, that is 12 times worse than our worst year on record.

This confidence game can not last much longer.

No jobs, no money, no spending, no demand, fewer jobs.
The cycle is in full motion; No solutions offered yet.

We need a New Deal!


This game is going to end and it's going to hurt big time. We will eventually have to take our fiscal medicine. The govt. can't afford the now and future liabilities that are coming due today. They can't tax because even if they tax workers check a full 100 percent, it still wouldn't cover the liabilities. Did any of you pick up on news this week that they are trying to make law that will make us put part of our IRA's and 401k's into annuities (and guess what the annuities will probably be invested in, take a guess, US treasuries and bonds). They are trying to find money to fund and there isn't any out there. Also today on CNBC I was shocked to hear Rick Santelli at the Chicago board and trade make this comment stating that everybody in the bond market knows that the govt. is buying the majority of the Treasuries it has issued. In a sense it's like the snake eating it's tail, this is called printing money. We are in big trouble and they are trying to hide the truth from us because they have no answers and they are afraid of what would happen when the dollar is less than the peso and the US is in a bought of hyperinflation.

People will go crazy.



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 10:15 PM
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reply to post by hoghead cheeselso today on CNBC I was shocked to hear Rick Santelli at the Chicago board and trade make this comment stating that everybody in the bond market knows that the govt. is buying the majority of the Treasuries it has issued.
 


Yes, I caught that too. Akin to paying a credit card with another credit card.
Then they tell the masses that "china and other investors still trust buying our debt."
The real question is when do you jump ship. The age old answer is,
"when you see the rats leaving." in this case rats=bankers.
When they pull out of the markets watch out!



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 10:58 PM
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Originally posted by Absum!
reply to post by hoghead cheeselso today on CNBC I was shocked to hear Rick Santelli at the Chicago board and trade make this comment stating that everybody in the bond market knows that the govt. is buying the majority of the Treasuries it has issued.
 


Yes, I caught that too. Akin to paying a credit card with another credit card.
Then they tell the masses that "china and other investors still trust buying our debt."
The real question is when do you jump ship. The age old answer is,
"when you see the rats leaving." in this case rats=bankers.
When they pull out of the markets watch out!


Spot on, I was shocked when I heard him say that and it blew my mind. Also if you go to CNBC and look for Rick Santellis videos, you won't see that clip from today of him saying that (the have done this before), but I did find it on youtube. Other people noticed exactly what he said and are worried.

www.youtube.com...




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