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The Final Word by Jim Thompson
As you read this, I am traveling across the United States in my trusty Honda CR-V. 
I left Atlanta yesterday morning, 19 July 10 (which happened to be my 60th birthday) headed to Houston, Albuquerque, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and, of course, Golden, Colorado to see my daughter, son-in-law, and all important grandson, Huck. Then to Kansas City, St. Louis, Nashville, and home, just in time for the first issue of PaperMoney in August. 
If you happen to be along this route and want to say hello, just email me at jthompson@taii.com. I have found over the years that trips like this give me a better feel of the pulse of the economy than trying to discern it from the news. Companies try hard during hard times to attract and keep customers. For instance, I have noticed that retail establishments with which I interact have now trained their employees to be more polite, more interested in the customer. Likewise, fast food establishments move from teenage employees to employees in the prime of their working career when jobs are scarce. A trip to the local Sprint cell phone store has become a thing to look forward to, not something to dread!
Little things like this can tell one a lot about the economy in general and local economies in particular. I'll have my eyes and ears open.

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