The first spending decline on a Black Friday weekend since 2009 reinforced projections for a lackluster holiday, increasing chances retailers will extend the deep discounts already hurting their profit margins.
Purchases at stores and websites fell 2.9 percent to $57.4 billion during the four days beginning with the Nov. 28 Thanksgiving holiday, according to a survey commissioned by the National Retail Federation. While 141 million people shopped, about 2 million more than last year, the average consumer’s spending dropped 3.9 percent to $407.02, the survey showed.
The pumpers are trying to put lipstick on a pig by saying that online sales were up about 20%, but with the headline number being that gross sales, online and otherwise, were down about 3% the bottom line is that people are buying less.
Yes, you'll get people who will come in for their $99 TV. But then they leave, with nothing more in the cart, and when you are selling at or actually below cost on that $99 TV you're relying on people buying other things -- online or in the store.
If that doesn't happen you not only don't see increases in the gross amount sold you also make no money.
The reality of the Fed's and government game -- that one can lie for only so long before the credit card and bank balance smack you back into reality -- appears to be coming into focus.
I'm not sure I buy the thorium-powered "concept car", and the embedded scaremongering on Fukushima lacks consideration of scale, but the central point on thorium is -- and remains -- valid.
Bitcon (as I call it), otherwise known as “Bitcoin” is all the rage it seems. These days it is “flying”, going up and up in alleged “value.”
But Bitcoin not a currency – and as long as it lacks the fundamental qualities that define a currency it will not be one. It is, at best, a digital commodity much like Farmville land or “level ups” for various online games – a series of bits that may have a price to some people, but utterly lacking inherent value.
Let’s go over what defines a currency. To be one you need:
The mania currently being found in digital commodities is amusing to watch but none of these are in fact “currencies” since they fulfill neither of the primary requirements of same nor either of what I consider to be the two most-important secondary characteristics.
Instead these fads are more akin to tulip bulbs.
In the 1630s.
I have to say I'm underwhelmed....
*****, I hate to say it, but Markos is right. Daily Kos needs your help.
As General Manager, I oversee our income and expenses, and it’s clear that our business model is changing—and fast.
Ad revenue dropped 21 percent this year, even as site traffic surged. We think that dynamic will continue next year, meaning that Daily Kos can no longer fund operations on ad revenue alone.
Well, let's see. My traffic has been about normal, but ad revenue has been fine. In fact, it's more than fine -- to the point that in order to actually execute on what I intend to do -- that is, withdrawing consent from the government via reducing my income (and thus what I send to DC) I have had to decide to remove features from my site that generate revenue.
How much removal? Quite a lot, actually.
So if ad revenue is "cratering" over at Daily Kos, perhaps the problem isn't the ads.
Maybe it's the message and who's reading that crap.
Specifically, perhaps Daily Kos is*****ing off more people than they're educating and those who come to "read them" do so as an object of ridicule and pointedly refuse to click on the ads.
Perhaps, just perhaps, the fiasco and fraud known as Obamacare has finally focused people's eyes on the truth -- that this so-called "progressive" message is anything but. It is, in fact, a message of force, fraud, theft, coercion and financial******-- stopping short of physical******only because they haven't come up with a clean name for it yet.
Here's a hint: Stealing other people's money can be profitable if you're the thief and can stop people from defending themselves, but the problem with so-called "progressive" politics is that you're plum out of other people you can steal from in protecting your pet industries and friends. Now you're just stealing from everyone who has anything to try to keep the Ponzi you've designed going.
It's not going to work.
What if another Thanksgiving Day is upon us and because of the government we have less to be thankful for than we did at the last one? What if at every Thanksgiving liberty is weakened and the government is strengthened?
What if Thanksgiving's warm and breezy seduction of gratitude is just the government's way of inducing us to think we should be grateful for it?
Read the entire essay, then sit down and think.
And while you're thinking, keep this single fact in mind: Absolutely none of that can, would, or will in the future happen without your active consent.
You consented before, and you consent now. Each and every day.
You get up, you labor, you willingly and intentionally send off your hard-earned money to the government without which it could not operate.
I know, the counter-argument is that you have to go to work or your family would starve. But think about it folks -- how many of you are really living at anything close to a level where you'd starve if you're reading this? None, right?
You may be struggling, but how much of that is your own fault? How many of you have far more house than you need, living in a high-cost area, running on the hamster wheel? How many of you are more-concerned about whether you look ok in front of the neighbors than whether you have no neighbors and can live in peace? How many of you insist on both of you (if married) working to so you can shuttle the kids off to a private school or daycare instead of living in the country somewhere, making much less, living in a much-smaller and compact way, but one of you can now stay home and raise said kids?
It's all about choices folks. It's about the new flatscreen TV and Xbox, the Lexus, the new shooz, the fancy handbag -- and you know it.
Heh, I've been there and done that. I drove the Volvo XC and considered the Mercedes. I bought the Hickey Freeman suits. I dined and wined at The Signature Room in the Hancock Building in Chicago guzzling down $100+ glasses of nicely-aged Port.
I've also lived in my $100 (on a charitable valuation) smashed-in-door Chevy Vega, relying on the kindness of people I knew to borrow their shower and a hose to wash my clothes -- which is not far above a refrigerator box under an overpass, when you get down to brass tacks. Been there and done that too.
There's a lot of room between those two places. I'm in the middle now and headed -- intentionally -- downward rather than upward. To the extent I can without starving I'm withdrawing my consent in a lawful and peaceful manner, because the other means of withdrawing consent aren't peaceful.
And I'm sure there'll be more than a bit of hate mail coming my way for pointing it all out, in context with The Judge providing the backdrop as to what you're enabling, once again.
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
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