Based on the Stone World editorial staff's extensive travels in the field and continuous dialogue with industry principals, "Industry Insight" offers an in-depth look at various stone industry issues and solutions.
Walking through downtown Nashville last week, I heard a country singer lamenting that he lost his girlfriend, his pickup truck and his construction business. OK, that last one was actually his hound dog, but it won’t be long before we hear songs about the heartbreak of losing construction work.
I’m amazed at how fast the decline of the U.S. economy has impacted our lifestyles. We are buying far fewer goods and services that we now consider luxuries, and we are slowing the pace of our lives in the process.
I live and work in the rather sickly Detroit metropolitan market. Every time I drive by a flooring store, granite shop, plumbing showroom or contractor’s truck, I wonder how they are doing. What steps have they taken to cut costs? How long can they keep going if conditions don’t improve?
I had heard that Las
Vegas construction was in huge trouble. According to
the reports, the financial meltdown had broken the city’s back. The cranes were
idle, the jackhammers silent and the workers sent packing. Put a fork in all
those huge building projects--they're dead.
Regardless of where you fall in the political spectrum, you
are likely looking forward to a change in Washington. If you are a business
owner or manager, you are especially excited by the prospects of a new cadre of
leaders generating optimism among consumers.
For the last few years, anything green has received
incredible attention. The high price of oil, the threat of global warming, and
a strong economy have caused us to view the world through green-tinted glasses.
I don’t know about you, but I sometimes feel like I am drowning in a sea of
The construction market stinks. The stock market brings
constant pain. The financial bailouts grow more insane by the day.
Manufacturers are struggling. Nonprofits are laying off staff. Retailers are
filing for bankruptcy.