Economic Recovery?

I’ve been skeptical of reports that the recession is bottoming out, because until recently my data did not support it. For some time, the Inkstain Cheap Shit From China Index (CSFCI) has been stuck at zero. But on Tuesday, I noted on my morning bike ride the first shipping container out behind the Uber Walmart near my house. (They use them to store merchandise that won’t fit into the store, and the number of containers goes up during peak shopping season.)

Cheap Shit From China

Cheap Shit From China

The CSFCI now stands at 1, a glimmer of economic recovery.


  1. The Wal-Mart at Ellison and Coors By-pass has at least a half-dozen of those where in summer they store pavers and potting soil. If it’s important for your statistics, I’ll actually count them next time I pass by. It’s beginning to look a lot like X-ma$.

  2. I’m not the most PC myself (I hope!) but I can’t help but wince a little when I see such an erudite and eloquent person as yourself come out with “cheap shit from China”. I also can’t help but wonder if it is actually any shittier than similarly cheap products from anywhere else.

  3. For my indicator, I use a pallet factory on Broadway between Gibson and Rio Bravo. Last spring through this summer, the saws were mostly silent and the stack of pallets were low. Now the saws are buzzing and there are plenty of pallets stacked. I believe we are on the way out.

  4. Re James’ comment, I’m not entirely sure, in fact, that the merchandise is from China. Could be Canada, which is the other great source of U.S. imports. If so, at least the acronym still works.

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