Quick Takes: Coffee, economic forecast and child poverty | AspenTimes.com

Quick Takes: Coffee, economic forecast and child poverty

Lots of flotsam frothy with fact and truthy-sounding fancy float down the river of information during the week.

Sure, I’ll take a cup

Coffee consumption supposedly is up 14% since January 2021, for instance. Denver ranks No. 10 for coffee, San Francisco No. 1. Fremont, Calif., spends the most on coffee in the country, at an average of $229.62 per household. Hialea, Fla., spends the least at $65.06. Experts suggest buying medium to save money or brewing yours at home. Further into the no-duh category, a professor who studies such things counsels doing your research before opening a coffee shop. Half close and pretty quickly. Thank WalletHub for these grounds.

But, Sept. 29 is National Coffee Day, and a variety of marketing types seem to believe you can get a deal. That or they’re overly caffeinated with hope themselves.

So, what is it?

Less inane, but we’ll see if wrong-footed, the Colorado Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting sounded triumphant late last week in declaring: “Economic Forecast: Colorado’s Economic Growth to Continue.” Stock market, the Fed, inflation et al. be damned.

“This new projection includes the welcome news that Coloradans will get even more back in tax refunds when they file next year in April,” Gov. Jared Polis crowed.

Never mind the gathering horde of naysaying economists and such.

CNBC — boo! — reporting on the week: “Stocks tumbled Friday to cap a brutal week for financial markets, as surging interest rates and foreign currency turmoil heightened fears of a global recession.”

The Economist early this summer put it this way: “These days it is hard to turn a corner without bumping into predictions of an American recession. Big banks, prominent economists and former officials are all saying that a downturn is a near certainty as the Federal Reserve wrestles inflation under control.” Then, the august publication predicted a mild recession and long recovery.

But, gloomy predictions of recession bloom every year and are almost always wrong.

So, we might actually be wise to bet with the governor, even if it is an election year, and incumbents always say stuff like this. Just like if you ask a Realtor, right now’s always the best time to buy. Try it.

No small subject

Jon Stavney, head of the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, discussed child poverty in his latest newsletter. Government support during the height of COVID “briefly slashed child poverty,” he wrote. And, he relayed a report from The New York Times about how the child-poverty rate in the United States has dropped by about half since the 1990s. Raising the minimum wage (a liberal wand wave) and insisting that single mothers can work (those mean ol’ conservatives) apparently combined as the main factors in this. I dunno. It’s Jon’s report.

But what caught my attention was this chart:


Notice anything interesting about Pitkin County’s tally of free and reduced lunch kids at school or the percentage of English-language learners? Besides “Aspen” in parentheses, I mean.

Aspen Times Editor Don Rogers can be reached at drogers@aspentimes.com.