Ted C. Jones, Ph.D., Senior VP & Chief Economist, Stewart Title Guaranty Company (Feb/Mar 10)
Has the stimulus bill helped?
the most unstimulating stimulus we have ever seen as a country in my
lifetime. American taxpayers have had enough and want to see some
different kinds of spending. I'm forecasting in the next 60 to 90 days,
Congress will go in and pass another stimulus bill. They will spend
another $200 billion, and we will finally see incentives for small
business, which create 70 to 90 percent of all jobs. Jobs are
absolutely everything to our economy, and all of our spending up to now
has not been focused on job creation.
What impact will rising oil prices have on the economy?
oil were produced in the U.S. by U.S workers, then we would be
employing a whole lot of people. Unfortunately, we are importing not
quite 70 percent of our oil. The largest tax that the taxpayer pays is
for overseas oil because it's a net bleed of cash out of our system.
Other than perhaps Canada and Mexico, most of the countries that we buy
oil from don't buy a whole lot from us, so it's a net leakage out of
our system. If we want to put this country back to work, we would start
to take a serious look at alternative forms of energy that are
economically viable. In the long run, we're going to see some of this,
but right now the economics are not there.
What should businesses do now to weather this storm?
is a time to go back and rethink your business model. This is a time
that you minimize your expenses and vigorously appeal your property
taxes. This is the time to be a survivor, and being a survivor doesn't
necessarily mean being a nice guy. This is the time to understand that
your customers' expectations are different than they were 24 months
ago. Your customer wants it faster, quicker, now. If you don't respond
to your customer, someone else will, so this is a time that you go back
and be in touch with your customers. When we come out the other side,
the survivors are going to be kings of their kingdom. They are going to
have accumulated, maintained, and grown their wealth.