Over the years, I’ve had some highly entertaining and very informative conversations with taxi drivers. If you ever want a spot-on gage (or gauge) of current socio-economic issues and seer-like accurate predictions of future events, speak to a taxi driver. These guys (although there are female cab drivers, it is still a male-dominated field of work) will always tell it like it is, without frills or any long-winded speeches.
In an election year, forget what the polls say. Ask a cabbie, and he’ll tell you who will win. He will usually be right.
Want to know how bad (or good) the economy really is? Speak to a taxi driver. He will filter out all the marketing rhetoric that the political pundits are espousing. He will refute many economists (particularly the ones who back up the politicians) as they predict current and future economic trends.
Taxi driver wisdom is not unique to the United States. Take a cab in any city or suburb in Canada, in Europe, or indeed anywhere in the world… and you will be a captive audience of one – a student in the University of Reality.
Before you laugh and shake your head in disbelief, I tell you that what I say is true. I’ve “attended” many such “class lectures” – from Dublin and London to Paris and Berlin, from Vancouver (British Columbia) to Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island), and in at least 35 states right here, in America.
I will tell you the latest “word on the street.” Recently, I phoned my favorite taxi driver (Martin), to wish him a happy birthday (he and I were born in the same year). I’ve known Martin for 15 years and he has become a dear friend. After all the birthday wishes and catching up on each other’s news, I asked him the million-dollar question:
“So what do you think, Martin… are we in an economic recovery… as we’ve been told?”
He laughed mirthlessly and said:
“Are you kidding me? Maybe the country club folks think that this is a recovery. They are not feeling the pinch. The middle class is. People are still struggling to make ends meet. Even my regular corporate customers are traveling minimally, taking no more than one or two business trips each quarter.”
I asked one last question:
“Is there an economic recovery in sight, perhaps in 2014?”
With a sigh, he said:
“Yes, probably towards the middle or end of 2014…. but it won’t be the recovery that we’ve all been praying for. It will be a weak recovery. But, at least it will be a little better than it is now.”
From your lips to God’s ears, Martin.
So, there you have it. Taxi driver wisdom.
We’ll see how everything pans out.
From Aug 14-Sept 7, purchase a copy of Casualties of the (Recession) Depression, and for every $20 book purchased directly from me, through my website, I will be donating $5 from the proceeds of each book sale to either: Feeding America (US), Action Against Hunger (Canada), or The World Food Programme (Global). The purchaser chooses one of the three. As I’ve stated before and clearly state on my website, this promotion does not apply to books purchased from third party distributors, such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.