It Wasn’t All BAD!
When Presidents Bush and Obama bailed out the auto industry, they were soundly criticized for perpetrating a “government takeover.” But the industry recovered, and the so-called takeover came to an end in December when the government sold its final shares of stock in General Motors.
- Today the “takeover” is credited with saving between 1 and 1.5 million jobs and ultimately resulting in strong American car sales: Auto sales hit nearly 16 million vehicles in 2013, a 50% gain over 2009 car sales.
- In 2013 alone, GM’s sales grew more than 7%, and Ford sales grew 11%.
- While it is true that the bailout cost the U.S. $13.7 billion, it is important to note that the U.S. avoided about $105.3 billion in unemployment payments to those who would have lost their jobs and in the subsequent loss in taxes.
The Stock Market—Cheering at the top
- The Dow rose above 16,500 for the first time. That’s up 26.5% for the year.
- The S&P 500, not to be outdone, is up almost 30% for 2013.
- Even newspapers had a good year. After a few horrific years, the industry made a come back with investors “cheering up about industry’s prospects,” says Rick Edmonds of Poynter.org.
Homes—rebuilding the dream
- New home sales are up nearly 17% from one year ago. The median price for a new home in November is also up, to approximately $270,000—back to where it was in 2007.
- Existing home sales are up; 5 million existing homes were sold in 2013. The most in 7 years.
Safety in flying
- “The chance of being killed in an airplane accident 2013 was about 1 in 15,000,000 [that’s million], says Arnie Barnett, MIT statistics professor who studies aviation safety. That means,” says Barnett, “At that rate, you could go approximately 40,000 years, [that’s thousand] taking a flight every single day, before you would, on average, succumb to a fatal crash.”
Not to be overlooked by any means!
- Gracias a Dios! In 2013, the number of American military killed was the lowest since 2001.
- In 2013, we reduced the federal deficit to $680 billion. Down from $1.2 trillion—a drop of more than 40%! Yes, I know. It’s still a deficit, but 4.1% of the GNP not 10% as it was in 2009.
Just thought you should know.®
Sources: “Auto Bailout Saved 1.5 Million U.S. Jobs,” Rueters, rueters.com, 12/9/13. Ben Rooney, “8 Things to Know about the 2013 Bull Market,” CNN, money.cnn.com, 11/19/13. Celeste Headlee, “2013 A Good Year for Housing and Auto Industries,” NPR, npr.org, 12/27/13. Gregory Fink, “Ford is Making a Concept Car with Solar Panels for a Roof,” Huffington Post, huffingtonpost.com, 1/3/14. Jerry Hirsch, “2013 A Good Year for Auto Sales,” Business & Technology, The Seattle Times, seattletimes.com, 1/4/14. Millard Grimes, “2013 Was Good Year for United States,” Athens Banner Herald, onlineathens.com, 1/3/14. Phil LeBeau, CNBC “Ford Develops Solar Powered Car for Everyday Use, NBC, nbcnews.com, 1/2/14. Rick Evans, “For Newspaper Stocks, 2013 Was a Surprisingly Good Year,” Poynter, poynter.org, 1/1/14. Ryan Vlastelica, Wall St. Ends Best Year Since 1990s with Moderate Gains,” Reuters, reuters.com, 12/31/14, Uri Berliner, “Tired of Doom and Gloom? Here’s the Best Good News of 2013,” NPR, npr.org, 12/24/14.