Everyone in America is going to suffer financially because of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida.
Some think that almost half a million cars were flooded in Texas and most are beyond repair. Many will be salvaged for parts but some will make their way across the country and into the hands of unsuspecting buyers. There are ways to check if a used car was salvaged but only if that car was covered by comprehensive insurance.
Like Oklahoma, cars in Texas have to carry liability insurance but at least 15 percent don’t. And of the 85 percent that do have insurance, only three out of four carry comprehensive insurance that would replace a car that is ruined by a flood.
Texas has about 14 million cars and six million trucks, with about 3.5 million in Houston, where Hurricane Harvey hit. Owners of the flooded cars that were insured have been anxious to buy replacements because you can’t really navigate a city like Houston without a car.
Those unexpected car sales are an economic boost for car dealerships but they will also jack up the price for new and used cars as demand rises faster than supply.
After Sandy struck New York and New Jersey, car sales jumped almost 50 percent.
Edmunds estimated that 366,000 new vehicles on dealer lots in Texas were damaged by Harvey, including 150,000 to 200,000 new vehicles in the hardest-hit areas such as Houston and Corpus Christi. Many of those are new trucks. Texas is the top market for new-truck sales in the nation.
The good news is that there is an abundant supply of new cars around the country but it can’t help but raise the price on all cars in general. While there is an inventory of new cars, Texans who can only afford a used car will pay more for 4- to 8-year-old cars.
And because of the extensive property damage, there will be pressure for insurance companies to raise rates all over the nation to compensate for such huge losses in Texas and Florida.
You can probably figure the same economic result for some building materials, like drywall, paint, etc.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott thinks the total cost of Hurricane Harvey could top $180,000,000,000.00.
In a public relations move, most major airlines offered cheap fares for people who affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida. Tourism is a major industry in Florida – especially in the Orlando area.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is investigating reports of price gouging from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.
The hurricanes caused a big jump in demand for tickets in a time when air travel usually slows around Labor Day. It is estimated that there were at least 13,000 flights cancelled.
And because of refinery problems, not only will gasoline prices rise but airline fares will be impacted because of higher fuel costs.
Cruise ships, which are heavily invested in ports in Florida and cruises to the Caribbean and Puerto Rico, are taking a financial hit. Carnival canceled two Miami cruises to the Bahamas and switched around the itineraries for at least five others to avoid Irma. Royal Caribbean canceled at least two cruises to the Bahamas and one to Cuba while also delaying the return of some cruise ships. Norwegian cancelled two cruises and shortened two others.
And the stock for all three companies took a hit. Not only did the cruise lines suffer financial loss due to cancellations but the prospect of sailing in or around a hurricane might discourage bookings in the future.
Puerto Rico, a commonwealth of the United States, has been in economic decline for years because the liberals running the government kept spending money they didn’t have (sound familiar?).
Puerto Rico has $74,000,000,000.00 in debt and $50,000,000,000.00 in unfunded pension liability.
And now Puerto Rico has to pick up the pieces from a category 5 hurricane.
You can bet that Democrats in Congress will push for a Puerto Rico bailout and that will cost all of us eventually.
Here is a hidden cost. Because we had back-to-back giant hurricanes, fake scientists and progressive doomsayers will say this is proof of “climate change” and “global warming.” And they will blame it on “human activities” – like driving cars, burning coal and using refrigeration.
Let’s hope that President Trump and the Republicans who are supposed to be running Congress will stop any attempts to increase taxation or regulation based on false science cooked up on a computer model. We just came through a 12-year cycle with hardly any hurricane activity and it is not unique in the overall weather history to see something like Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.
Despite the fake news in the big newspapers and TV networks, these were not the biggest storms in history.
The lesson here is to build strong buildings. Keep structures away from the coast and on high ground. Evacuate when the time comes. And keep some money in reserve because we are all paying a price for these storms.