Credit card debt now stands at around $800 Billion in the U.S., nearly assuring that no one is even close to dethroning Americans as the most debt-ridden people on the planet. Thank goodness, we're still #1 at something.
My purpose of pointing out this staggering number is that Christmas is'a comin', ready or not. Okay, NOT! And, I suspect that some of you are getting ready to warm up what's left of your credit card line of debt. Since the plastic in your purse and wallet is not fire proof, I'm going to suggest you not create additional friction on that thing swiping it through those little checkout machines down at the mall.
The heat that you're going to need to keep the old hacienda warm this winter is going to cost enough without adding foo-foo gifts from China to the rising credit card balance.
Fuel of all descriptions is so expensive that it should come with a payment plan...well, I guess it does, just swipe the card and sha-zam, an 18% payment plan. Same goes for Christmas gifts, buy now and pay later, much later. Such a deal.
Oh sure, I understand that America runs on the consumption of Chinese goods and so does China. But, call me hard hearted, those Chinese can go pound sand. I'm trying to save Americans from themselves. Hey, I gotta live here to.
The U.S. is on the verge of recession. Millions of Americans are either in, or will soon be in, foreclosure. New construction is lower than a snake's belly in a wagon track. Inflation is running absolutely wild. Savings in the U.S. remains negative for the now 3rd consecutive year (never before seen). Jobs in industry are dropping like home prices in Vegas. The stock market resembles a Six Flags roller coaster ride and the normal winter slow down is, in my opinion, going to put the icing on the cake.
What I'm saying here is; you're going to need that Christmas money.
So ma'am, just put the credit card down and step away from it and nobody will get hurt. Go over to your kids, your sisters, brothers, and cousins house and say, "Merry Christmas, you're not gettin' a gift." They will say, "Does that mean I don't have to send you a Chinese wall plaque that says, Welcome To Our Overpriced Home?" And you will say, "Exactly." They will then fall at your feet and say, "God Bless You Sister, you are the returning savior," which is what Christmas is all about to begin with.
I recently tried this approach out on my brother Steve and sister-in-law Marilyn. I called them yesterday morning and the conversation went something like this. "Hello, this is the Folkerth residence, please leave a message." To which I replied, "Pick up the damn phone, I'm not coming to visit." My brother then picked up the phone and answered, "Good."
Wanting to break the news gently, I continued with my practiced spiel, "I'm not sending you a Christmas present." Steve seemed heartbroken at first as I heard him shout, "Hey Marilyn, you can take that plaque back to Wal-Mart and pick me up some underwear with the money." But once he pulled himself together from the shock of the whole thing, he said, "Have a Merry Christmas." And in the spirit of the season he added, "Thank God...you're not coming to visit."
For those of you who apply my now tested method and for those of you who don't have any credit left on your card to begin with (after filling up the car), cutting spending at Christmas does not bode well for the Mall. The Amazing Ginsu Knife store and the Lead Based Paint Date Rape Drug Chinese Import store, will take a huge hit.
After which they won't pay their rent, after which the Mall owner will evict them, after which the bank will evict the vacant mall owner, after which the bank will post another $97 Billion loss, after which the CEO of the bank will be given $200 Million for quitting, after which Ben Bernanke will print more money for the bank,...if the Chinese will buy the T-bills, which they won't because they will still be peeved about the closure of the Lead Based Paint Date Rape Drug Chinese Import store at the mall.
That my friends, as Paul Harvey would say, "Is the rest of the story," on the very near future predictions for commercial real estate. You heard it here first from the King of Simple News Network.
Commercial real estate is always at the end of the train wreck and the last one to arrive at the scene of the accident, but arrive it will in spectacular fashion. And you, my fine readers, don't have to participate in the sudden stop. Send cards with love, pictures and letters and buy food for your family dinner, not Chinese imports.
As always, "Live simple, live well, and live long." Wake up Middle America, the train's pulling away from the station.