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Shopping Wasn’t A Problem — Why Now?
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Shopping Wasn’t A Problem

Normally I avoid stores during this period to avoid the rowdy crowds, but they weren’t around this year.

I picked up some things I needed to finish this rehab and a quick stop by the supermarket, and neither were any busier than normal for a Sunday. More importantly is that I went passed Malwort and their parking lot was definitely not more crowded than any end of the month Sunday.

There may have been some people lining up for the start of the ‘Black Friday sales’, but once they were done, in about two hours, so was the buying.

The stores are not stocked for a big Christmas season. The Christmas stuff came out earlier than ever, even before Halloween, but there wasn’t that much of it. The aisles aren’t blocked with excess stuff, the way they once were.

Unemployment may be dropping, but the people who are finally finding jobs, have a lot of debt to pay off, and that has more priority than spending a lot of money on gifts. The local paper covered the early shoppers, and found that the people in the stores are more interested in buying clothes on sale, the basics, than expensive gifts for their family.


1 Badtux { 11.26.12 at 9:38 am }

Debt is the problem that nobody is talking about. Americans are paying off debt rather than buying, both because they have more debt than they’re comfortable with and because they don’t feel secure in their jobs. Best way to deal with debt is inflation, which is the same as debt deflation, but the bankers don’t want that because it’d interfere with them sucking the last bits of wealth out of the rest of us.

Easiest way to create monetary inflation given the bankers’ resistance is a minimum wage hike, a *big* minimum wage hike, to around the level that minimum wage was around the early 1970’s when it would actually support a family, because it creates a wage ripple effect on every wage above minimum wage and everybody would have to raise their prices to pay the higher wages (can’t lay off or outsource, because every job that could be laid off or outsourced without the business going under is already laid off or outsourced), which in turn would cause money currently sitting under mattresses to rejoin the economy to pay the higher prices (while not hurting working people at all since they’re making more money) and thus create the circulating money monetary inflation to add dollars to the price and wage inflation to raise the whole ship of the economy, but heaven forbid that we do something that benefits actual *working* people instead of the grifter class that merely grifts the wealth created by working people rather than create wealth of their own.

Another thing that should be done, but isn’t, is to index all Federal assistance programs to inflation (since the Feds have a printing press in the basement of the Federal Reserve and can, duh, trade T-bills for dollars at the Fed window if they wish). If you raised the average amount of food assistance to match food inflation, for example, you’d have people able to spend what little other money they have on stuff they need rather than food, and if Pell Grants had actually risen at the rate of college tuition inflation you could pay the average state college tuition and books 100% with Pell Grants rather than having to take out non-dischargable loans that put you into debt slavery for the rest of your life, thus preventing you from contributing to the economy as a consumer in the future. But again, this would help working people and their children (do note that the vast majority of food assistance and college tuition assistance goes to working people, less than 2% of the population is on “welfare” as stereotypically described), so once again it cannot be allowed.

And yeah, we’re all still so fscked…

— Badtux the Economics Penguin

2 Bryan { 11.26.12 at 11:55 pm }

It amazes me that people don’t understand the most basic things about the economy, and I don’t mean the average person, but the people supposedly in charge.

You can’t have a market if you don’t have buyers [demand] as well as sellers [supply]. You can’t have a viable economy if both the private and public sectors are attempting to deleverage at the same time. The two sectors need to balance each other or very bad things happen,

We know what worked to recover from the Great Depression, and that’s what we should be doing. Europe has offered a prime example of what happens when you decide that austerity is the best policy. If the US follows that disastrous path, the world economy will tank – again.

People are paying us to take their money, so it wouldn’t be polite to refuse, and maybe we could fix our infrastructure, as well as new flood control measures for our coasts.

I have no confidence in the US government not to take us back into a recession. They just don’t understand how the economy actually works.