Will Sandy Boost the Building Industry: Maybe, But She’s the Imperfect Storm!
While hurricane Sandy was battering the East Coast, I was busy making sales calls in the safer part of the country. But even before the storm died down, I wasn’t surprised to hear comments that I normally hear in times like this, such as, “Well it will be great for the building industry!” and “Great -just think how many windows will need to be replaced in the months ahead!
The fact of the matter is that long term, natural disasters cannot be good for the building industry. Sure, there will be a short term boost in sales of doors and windows as well as all types of construction materials. However, where does the money come from?
A big part of the money will come from insurance companies. The result is that premiums will go up, which reduces disposable income of the insured. Insurance company profits will also decline, which means insurance companies will have to downsize or at least reduce expansion plans. Some will go bankrupt. The result is that jobs in the insurance sector will be lost.
Billions of dollars will be provided by the government. President Obama immediately jumped off the campaign trail in order to focus on providing relief efforts to those affected. Many are praising him as acting “Presidential.” He has declared many of the areas involved disaster areas, which means they are eligible for government relief. But where does this relief money come from? Not from our government’s savings account, since everybody knows we have no such thing. It adds to the already crippling national debt! It is easy to act Presidential by whipping out our nation’s credit card! But what we really need is for a leader to put this country in position where we have actually saved for a rainy day!
The third place that the money will come from is out of the pockets of those involved. Insurance companies and federal relief only pay for a part of the loss. The balance comes out of the pockets of those directly affected by the storms wrath. The result is that long term, they will have less money to spend on future home improvements. Many of them may even lose their jobs as businesses hit by the storm suffer losses and are forced to close doors.
So the net result of such a devastating storm may be a short term boost in business to our industry. But similar to the stimulus plan that also gave us an artificial boost several years ago, it is not the long term solution to our nation’s stagnant economy! The long term solution is to put a President in place with bipartisan leadership skills, one who can put our country back on the track to economic prosperity not with artificial stimuli but with programs that will stimulate real growth especially among small and medium sized businesses, which will create jobs. This will result in more disposable income among consumers, more tax revenue for the nation, a balanced national budget and a reduction in our national debt.
So get out there and vote next Tuesday. Your vote could be the answer to a real sustainable recovery as opposed to relying on Sandy, the Imperfect Storm!