For over a week, some neighbors of mine up the street put 3 nice-looking chairs in front of their house. It was their way of inviting passersby on a busy street to take the chairs. As I said, though, the chairs were there for over a week. I think they were finally picked up by the trash collector.

This is a strong indicator of how well people are doing: you can’t even give away medium-quality chairs.

I tried something similar a few months ago. I put out an old-style color TV in perfect working condition. After 3 days, and not wanting my neighbors to be upset at me, I moved the TV into my garage. I’ll soon call a specializing trash company and pay them to haul it away. Again, this is a strong indicator of general economic well-being.

That reminds me of the first garage sale we had–in late 1990. Our stuff sold well and we made over $300 in about 3 hours.

Two years later, we thought we had enough good items to have another garage sale. This time, we collected under $150 in about 4 hours and finally gave up. My wife commented, “People must really be hurting financially.” I replied, “I think it’s the opposite.”