YUEI: Bright Spots

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Uncommon Economic Indicators project continues with a look at some of the "Bright Spots" you've reported on. Tyler Cowen, economics professor at George Mason University and blogger at Marginal Revolution, discusses what does well during a downturn. Then, Jane Kennedy, director of the Maplewood Public Library in New Jersey, talks about how library traffic is booming. And, Colin Young, who owns a ski house that he rents in upstate, on how his rentals are up as more people choose to ski closer to home.


Tyler Cowen, Jane Kennedy and Colin Young

Comments [13]

so there ya go

truly a stretch

Feb. 04 2009 04:52 PM
Jennifer Grimes from Claryville, NY, The Catskills

Your caller (and commenter) Colin Young cited a brisk vacation rental business, and I can confirm this. My company, Red Cottage Inc. ( ) rents houses in The Catskills, and business is better than ever. The interesting element is all the new houses I'm being asked to manage, because their owners, who largely live in NYC, are looking for help covering their taxes and mortgage. In one instance I am renting a house that is a couple's primary residence, which they really can no longer afford, and this is literally keeping them from having to sell. The good new is, the house is gorgeous, with 50 mi views and a hot tub, and it's booked all the time. The bad news is that their friends may tire of their visits!

Feb. 04 2009 03:51 PM
Sheila from South Orange, NJ

While the upswing in library use may seem depressing to some, imagine if the lbrary were not available [as almost happen in Philadelphia].

I was horrified to hear your "expert" declare that its ok to use library services because it "doesn't cost any extra." Is this man living on Mars, hasn't his utility bill become prohivitive? Imagine what has happened to utility bills for public libraries that stay open on average 10-12 hrs a day [yes that is correct]! Books still cost money. Perhaps he should run his theory by the staff of his university library.

Feb. 04 2009 01:37 PM
Colin Young from NYC & Fleischmanns, NY

Thanks so much for having me on this morning. If anyone is interested, our website for the ski house is

Feb. 04 2009 12:58 PM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

It's great that libraries are more in use. They're a wonderful resource in good time and not so good times. So what's going to happen when cash-strapped cities and towns have to cut their budgets to save money.

Feb. 04 2009 11:34 AM

As a longtime Catskills lover (Phoenicia and Chichester) I must say I am a litte irritated with all the economic Johnny Come Latelys that are crowding up all my favorite house rentals and haunts! Get thee back to Aspen!

Feb. 04 2009 11:34 AM
MichaelB from UWS Manhattan

Fathers are at libraries with their kids on weekedays because they are probably newly unemployed. This is a bright spot???

Feb. 04 2009 11:34 AM
brianne from Harlem

Three Buck Chuck (Charles Shaw vino) from Trader Joes must be doing well because I will not give up wine all together so I buy 10 bottles there for the price of two somewhere else!

Feb. 04 2009 11:33 AM
W T from Manhattan

Discounters may be doing well, but what are we to do with the credit card issuers who downgrade credit accounts when they see this behavior and interpret it as a sing one may be becoming less able to pay ones bills?

Feb. 04 2009 11:33 AM
Monica from Stony Point, NY

You just mentioned that someone reported their tips going up. I have increased the tips I give, say to the delivery person, and know some others who have. I think it's because of an understanding that everyone's costs have gone up. So the usual couple of bucks just doesn't mean the same anymore, and doesn't go as far. I can spare an extra buck to give the delivery guy a tip that comes close to covering the costs of coming out to bring me dinner. Maybe it seems counterintuitive, but it feels like the right thing to do.

Feb. 04 2009 11:33 AM
MichaelB from UWS Manhattan

No, people "turned to" rabbits to raise them for food, not for company and comfort as pets!


Feb. 04 2009 11:32 AM
hjs from 11211

any one know what happened to burritoville. gone over night. was it hedgefund owned?

Feb. 04 2009 10:38 AM
BL Show from Varick St. Studios

[[Remember to post your Uncommon Economic Indicators stories to the main project page, linked above, not in this comments thread. That way it will appear on the map and in the main story archive. Thanks!
-BL Show-]]

Feb. 04 2009 08:34 AM

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