2009: A retrospective in miniature.

OK, we all know 2009 was tough sledding... but here is something interesting... despite the economic morass we were in last year, the little port of Tacoma, WA managed to pull in quite a few cars. Auto units: 117,357. That's $3.01 billion worth of vehicles, to be specific. (Source)

Port employees earned wages working at the port. Businesses and drivers earned money unloading, loading and transporting those cars. Some sales people down the road somewhere made some money selling those cars. Other people earned money fueling them up, washing them, providing service, etc.

What's the moral of the story?

I think it is good to keep things in perspective. Business was way off last year in a lot of different industries, but there was still business, even during the financial gridlock that was late '08 early '09. The governments and the businesses of this world cobbled together an exit from the financial and economic quagmire. We are still walking that path. It's not over yet. In a world as interdependent and complex as ours is now, could it EVER be over, really? But we have no choice but to keep moving forward, just like our grandparents had to do in the Great Depression and during World War Two. They survived by working hard and thinking creatively. We will do the same. Because we must. Comparing the two eras, I think you'll agree that what we went through was nothing like what they experienced. The governments of the world may have not come up with the best solutions for the economic crises, but they avoided a catastrophic breakdown of the financial system and a total locking up of liquidity.

Last year a little port in Tacoma, Washington moved 117,357 cars. And things are already picking up. I'd say we're on the mend. For now.