As we enter the new year, people are speculating whether or not we're headed into a recession. Some economic indicators suggest that could be the case: Fed Ex shipments down, jobless rate up, house market in an extended slump, holiday sales lackluster. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a story looking at the chances of recession in 2008 in Seattle. It's hard to gauge, at least if you look at the traditional indicators, which is why Mossback uses his own surefire method of prognostication. According to the story: So far, companies in this region are still hiring, and the average wage increases are outpacing inflation, said Steve Leahy, Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce president. "There's a more cautious feeling looking into 2008 than there probably has been for the last three years, since we dragged ourselves out of that ugly recession," Leahy said. "There's just this tightening up, apprehension and wondering is-there-another-shoe-that's-going-to-drop anecdotal conversation that I'm beginning to hear." So, what are the chances of the big "R"? The odds of a regional recession in the next two years stands at 30 percent, according to economists cited in an economic report issued recently by the city of Seattle...But even economists admit that there are no crystal balls. ... But what if there was a crystal ball? Or at least a glowing ball of light that could give us a hint about the real state of the economy and consumer confidence? Mossback thinks there is. Over the years, I have noticed that when the economy is turning down, there is an increase in the number of cars with one headlight out. Why, I don't know. Maybe it's because people can't afford to replace a burned out bulb, maybe it's because folks are distracted with bigger worries. Or maybe my crackpot theory is simply a case of looking for broken headlights when I personally begin to worry about the economy. But I swear it's true. On a recent road-trip, I counted nearly a dozen one-headlight cars in one two-hour stretch from roughly Hood Canal to Madison Park--and that doesn't count the car with no headlights. I just figured that driver was King County Council member Jane Hague. You can hardly drive around town these days without seeing plenty of one-eyed autos. I even had a headlight go out recently. I replaced it, but even the new one is looking a little dim. I don't take that as a very good sign.