Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Holiday Hubbub

In my neck of the woods, people were camping out Thanksgiving night (in the US) at Kmart and Circuit City parking lots to get the great deals. It seems to be getting worse every year and the rampant consumerism has just about destroyed Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays. Some radio stations have already begin the rote playing of Christmas carols before Halloween.

So what's driving the frenzy? Could it be an admission that the US economy is on the skids? Look at the home mortgage implosion for one. Owning a home has been part of the American Dream for generations, but the middle class has given up getting a home in the usual way - working for one by having and maintaining a steady job with a decent pay. Decent jobs are hard to come by in America, even if you have years of experience and a college degree. This forces people to take risky methods of owning a home.

Having a home with a rising value spurned people into spending and retailers revelled at the prospect of huge sales. But overvalued homes have led to a major correction at the same time that mortgage rates are being reset higher. Foreclosures galore for landlords, tenants who pay their rent on time facing eviction because their landlords have gone belly up.

People are desperate for a deal, so much that they will trample each other to get that 'must have' toy or Ipod.

Retailers are a major source of the problem. They put all their eggs in one holiday basket. The solution is simple - treat December for what its worth - 1/12 of yearly sales instead of depending on one holiday for 40% of its annual revenue. The second half of the equation is equally simple -- provide the middle class with a way to make a decent living without having to kill themselves (or others) in the process.


At 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank (insert favlorite household diety) i am not part of teh amerikkan rat race....the crax=zy bastards, shootouts at wal-mart over the last "tickle me gee dubya" doll or 70" plasma teevee; all the better to watch drug, beer and car ads or reality teevee and faux nooze, in glorious 7:1 surround sound.

amerikkka, kill your televisions, go read a book or take a long walk, meet your neighbors. teevee is a dangerous drug

this country is fucked as is the rest of the world, "as falls witchita, so falls witchita falls"

it's time for god or whoever's in charge of this shithole of a rock to rn a low level reformat of the planet, kill off everything, then reload from scratch.


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