Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Where she stops, nobody knows!

Greetings good citizen,

You may have seen the pundits crowing over the ‘surge’ in retail sales while your own frugal buying habits haven’t changed significantly. Allow me to remind you that during the ‘boom years’ between 2005 and 2008, the top 20% of earners were responsible for 80% of the spending.

As one might expect, closer examination of precisely who is reporting increased sales revenue reveals that those who aren’t ‘suffering’ like the rest of us are once again ‘disproportionately represented’.

Which is to point out that the ‘bulk’ of the uptick comes from retailers that cater to the wealthy.

Is this a sign of ‘economic recovery’ or is this another ‘let them eat cake’ moment?

Truth be told good citizen, it’s neither.

What we have here are political operatives positively desperate for some economic good news, because there isn’t any…because nothing has changed.

What has all of this hand waving over the collapsing banking sector been hiding good citizen? What has this smoke screen been distracting you from? It has diverted your attention from the fact that globalization has made the nation 'economically unviable'. The fucking capitalists ‘exported’ our tax base while importing our GDP…it all looked good on paper until it didn’t.

So good citizen we continue to see Bullshit like this being passed off as ‘proof positive’ that the economic desert is in ‘full bloom’.

Which brings us full circle to the same damn issue…what the hell are YOU going to do about it?

Which yields the same answer, ‘nothing’. Legally, there is nothing you can do…because the fuckers decide what is and isn’t ‘legal’. Worse, if they’re the ‘fuckers’, that makes YOU the ‘fuckee’…

Consumer spending trend is a shaky foundation for economic recovery

Analysts say the upswing in buying is largely by affluent people snapping up luxury items and delinquent homeowners who have extra money since they aren't making their mortgage payments.

The surge in spending by upper-income Americans could be seen in the upturned sales of Neiman Marcus, Mercedes, Morton's restaurant and other companies catering to the affluent.

By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times, May 16, 2010 | 7:33 p.m.

Increased consumer spending has fueled false hopes that the current economic recovery will keep getting stronger, but behind the encouraging numbers is a little-noticed reality: Much of the new spending has come not from America's broad middle class but from a small slice of affluent people at the top. [A.K.A. the already fucking rich!]

And upper-crust spending, while welcome, can be worrisomely volatile: Since it involves luxuries, not everyday necessities, the buying can suddenly shrink if something such as the recent stock market plunge panics affluent shoppers. [Bizarrely, these assholes ‘stay rich’ by not spending ‘the principal’ the millions they blow are all ‘juice’ (largely imaginary.)]

What's more, some analysts calculate that another big chunk of the recent spending spurt has come from an even shakier source — delinquent homeowners who have more cash in their pockets because they've stopped making mortgage payments now that their houses are worth less than the loan amounts. [Not addressed here is the ‘two-edged sword’ this represents. Most of these properties will never sell for more than what is owed on them due to a ‘permanent’ dearth of ‘qualified buyers’. This is going to fuck up the retirement plans of a huge segment of the population…and it is not just the Boomers that will be affected.]

Economists' uneasiness over building a recovery on such uncertain foundations is all the greater because the larger fundamentals are also shadowed by uncertainty. [Like how the hell does anyone survive in a society of three hundred million that can only support ten million?]

The improving job market should broaden the base of consumer spending, but wages are not expected to go up fast, which will crimp middle-class spending power. [So it goes without saying that the largely non unionized ‘working class’ is totally screwed!]

Moreover, the job gains this year have gone largely to less-educated and lower-income workers, according to Labor Department statistics. [If you owe hundreds of thousands on your college degree, tough. It’s not the school’s problem; it’s yours! Don’t forget the ‘law of the land’, “Fuck You, Pay Me!”]

"The economy can grow if lower-income households aren't able to spend, but it can't flourish," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's [Like the apparent ‘confusion’ surrounding the term ‘bonus’, it appears financial types are also unable to distinguish between ‘growth’ and ‘parking’ (hiring workers for sustenance or sub-sustenance wages) which is how we got in this fuckaree in the first place!]

The recent acceleration of spending "was a little bit of release of pent-up demand," said Ken Goldstein, an economist at the Conference Board, a New York research group that tracks consumer activity. [Proving that asshole wouldn’t recognize ‘pent-up demand’ if it bit him on the ass!]

"We survived the recession, we deserve a night out," Goldstein said of the mood of many spenders. Without much more job growth and bigger incomes, he said, "that window will close fast." [It is incredible how these fools consistently fail to acknowledge that this is NOT a recovery nor is it ‘sustainable’.]

The surge in spending by upper-income Americans could be seen in the upturned sales of high-end cars, clothing and luxury services. Nieman Marcus, Mercedes and Morton's restaurant, among other companies catering to the affluent, have prospered accordingly. [This might be the ‘one last time before the peasants burn the place to the ground’ sort of ‘consumption’…]

Since December, sales at luxury chains have outpaced those at department stores and discounters, helping boost overall consumer spending by a surprisingly robust 3.6% in the first quarter, according to data from the International Council of Shopping Centers.

But an economy that has become more dependent on the well-to-do is an economy at the mercy of volatile financial markets. [In an economy that produces nothing, these fuckers are ‘tap dancing on a land mine!’]

The irrationally soaring stock market last year boosted the spirits of high-income consumers and helped open their wallets. [Sure, it is ‘free’ money!] Wall Street's latest plunge and the continuing fear of a financial meltdown in Europe can just as quickly send them running for cover.

Penny Gilbert, 44, of Sherman Oaks said that what happens in Europe and in the stock market over the next few weeks would determine whether she and her family vacation in Hawaii this summer or take a trip closer to home, such as to the Grand Canyon.

"I'm very leery about the future," she said. "That was scary last week when it dropped 1,000 points for no reason," referring to the brief plunge May 6 in the Dow amid rapid-fire electronic trading and widening financial turmoil in Greece.

Last summer the Gilberts, who have two children in private school, [Just your ‘typical’ Americans…right!] were afraid to go anywhere and spend money, she said. Gilbert works part time as a research consultant. Her husband is a lawyer. "We stay-cationed," she said.

Now, having recouped some of their stock losses and with home prices in their community stabilizing, Gilbert is getting ready to plow as much as $20,000 into repainting their house and buying a new air conditioning and heating system. [Okay, how big is their house? $20 g’s for a paintjob, even if that includes ‘new’ HVAC, is pretty damn stiff unless you’re living in a ‘mansion’.]

"I haven't seen any more foreclosures in our area," she said.

In American Express' monthly "Spending & Saving Tracker" survey, 70% of homeowners with incomes of $100,000 or more said in April that they were planning home improvements this year, spending an average of $11,500. That's about double the amount lower-income homeowners plan to spend. [Again, the point here is the ‘new normal’ doesn’t include ‘everyone’ and those it doesn’t include will literally be going A.) hungry and B.) caveman on the civilization that dares to ‘lock them out’.]

In fact, Labor Department surveys show that the top 20% of U.S. households in income account for about 40% of all spending. [Ya think that number has any basis in fact or that it hasn’t been ‘massaged’ down from a much higher figure?]

In recent months, the wealthiest Americans have apparently been driving an even more disproportionate share of consumption. [And contrary to what these ‘wealthiest American’s may think, one percent of the population is not ‘the whole economy’…you ignore the other 99% at your own peril!]

According to estimates from, they've also contributed an outsized share of the corresponding decline in saving, which has worried some analysts and policymakers. After rising to about 5% in the second quarter of last year, the personal savings rate fell below 3% this spring. [Paying down your credit cards is NOT saving…this is just more bullshit from those who make their living fucking around with money (at your expense!)]

Economists said it's common for affluent consumers to lead the spending in a recovery, but it's crucial that greater prosperity spread to the rest of the population.

Zandi thinks the underwater mortgage factor may also have juiced up consumption in the first quarter: Millions of homeowners are choosing to default on their mortgages or aren't otherwise making their monthly housing payments — and that's freed up billions of dollars in cash for consumers. [Um, under the ‘Fuck You, Pay Me Flag, this is going to cause some severe ‘civil unrest’ in the not too distant future…makes us wonder if the MSM will ‘embargo’ such news items?]

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said that's hard to know, but he estimated that only 10% of delinquent homeowners who have the ability to pay are opting not to do so. [Um, that doesn’t bode well for the 90% who DON’T have the ability to pay and are unlikely to ever, er, ‘recover’ that ability, if they ever had it in the first place…]

Still, that translates into hundreds of thousands of families. And with monthly payments averaging roughly $1,500, said's Scott Hoyt, a good portion is probably being spent. [Truly, life goes on and these people have no illusions, they are simply making the best of a bad situation, while it lasts.]

Overall, consumer confidence among the general population remains historically low, according to various surveys, though it has ticked up recently. [How much do you want to bet that ‘uptick’ was ‘politically motivated’?]

Shawn DuBravac, chief economist for the Consumer Electronics Assn., sees some encouraging signs. In addition to a pickup in affluent consumers who are buying once-deferred home theater systems for as much as $150,000, [More ‘typical American’s’…right!] stores are reporting that more shoppers are making bigger purchases in their visits, he said. "We see a higher selling price in 2010." [Does this mean consumers are buying batteries AND light bulbs?]

But DuBravac also remains wary. He said recent data indicated that 18% of personal incomes are from unemployment benefits and other government payments, such as social security. [More ‘massaged’ data, the true number is much closer to 50% but they don’t want you to know that…]

"We've seen spending increases, but it's come at costs in savings as opposed to real income increases," he said. "What we want to see is broad-based income growth, and not just a recovery in wealth." [Until these fuckwits put the brakes on globalization, that ‘recovery’ ain’t gonna happen! Your workers are, by necessity, also your customers! To even THINK otherwise is to risk revolution! Which is to point out that the interests of commerce and the interests of society are seldom ‘perfectly aligned’, this is why governments exist.]

Mike Grossman, who lives in the Dallas area, exemplifies the employment challenges facing many consumers — and the recovering economy.

This year, he spent about $6,000 for tools and supplies to landscape his home. But in March his software firm was sold to another company and his treasurer's job vanished. [Curious thing that, to be a company officer without having an ‘equity stake’ that would have allowed him to see this coming! Perhaps all is not ‘as represented’ here?]

Grossman, 45, has been looking for work ever since. "There's just more competition out there," said the single father of 13-year-old twin boys. [Um, don’t look now but Mr. Grossman is ‘doomed’…he’s too old and too ‘needy’. They can hire a kid fresh out of school for half of what Mr. Grossman is seeking and the kid will think he hit the jackpot instead of being ‘ill used’ as Mr. Grossman might regard such an offer. His best bet is to use his separation pay to ‘buy in’ to another ‘start-up’.]

And until he lands a job, Grossman said, he won't be doing much spending.

Even articles that slam capitalists for their shameless data manipulation still fall far short of openly crying foul when that manipulation is revealed.

This is the ‘world we live in’ and it is disturbing to see it has suddenly shrunk, so that all of us are no longer…there is no way to candy coat this, useful.

I saw an ad yesterday for ‘inafj’ which stands for ‘I need a freaking job’. It’s a You Tube video of a bunch of kids, stating the obvious…they need jobs…because without jobs their lives are ‘on hold’.

Left to your imagination is how these youngsters are going to take the news that ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ capitalism has no use for them? Worse, this is where ‘capitalist utopia’ really falls on its selfish face, think there wasn’t enough ‘market share’ before, it’s really pathetic now!

The ‘crux’ of this whole ‘financial crisis’ is a ‘dearth of paying customers’. The rapidly disappearing ‘working class’ hasn’t seen a raise in three decades and can no longer afford to live on the pittance they receive from the predatory capitalists.

Soon we will see how ‘good’ it is to be ‘king’…when the kingdom is burning.

But don’t take my word for it, you’ll see for yourself soon enough.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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