Freight Transportation Adjusts to a Resetting World Economy
The year 2011 was another momentous one that was shaped by events on all continents of the world. Uprisings in the Middle East and the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Gadhafi, the European debt crisis, the Occupy Wall Street Movement, the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton, and the premature passing of Steve Jobs were just a few of the signature events of another action-packed year.
Closer to home, the three countries in North America all faced significant challenges. The powerful drug cartels in Mexico are threatening its very existence as a democracy as the country gears up for elections in 2012. The untimely death of Jack Layton, the very popular leader of the New Democratic party and the demise of Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal Party have given Steven Harper a majority government and a free hand at steering the Canadian economy over the next four years. The U.S. situation is exactly the opposite as Democrats and Republicans cannot reach agreement on almost anything and as a result the country is in gridlock on most economic initiatives to spark its economy.
Against a background of 8.6 percent unemployment in the U.S., millions more underemployed, one in four homes is worth less than the value of the mortgage, tight credit, anxiety over job security and a possible relapse into another recession, the economy is resetting. Americans are saving more. As various generations of families live together to better withstand the current economic uncertainties, home builders are erecting homes with two master bedrooms to address the social consequences of these challenging times. Smartphones, tablets and the internet are reshaping so many of our day to day activities. The economies of North America and around the world are being reset by this confluence of forces and by the rise of China and other developing nations around the world....