I've been thinking about beginnings, the US economy, Black Friday, Computer Monday, sales, jobs, Afghanistan, health care, hope and expectations. Sunday at my home church, we celebrated the first Sunday in Advent ... the first of four holiday candles was lit and the church year officially began.
Personally, I look forward to 2010 to be a year of beginning life with a newly constructed heart. The MRSA infection took me off my feet for a full two months. My body atrophied. I am reprogramming my body to do all the things I had taken for granted and progress is measured month by month and week by week -- NOT in terms of day by day. I'll get there, but it is going to take awhile.
I wish I could tell you that the US and world economies would be fully recovered in 6 to 9 months. That just isn't going to happen despite all the smiles and spin we are hearing from our political leaders in Washington D.C. and from Statehouse across America. Our systems are broken (or are breaking down) before our eyes, and the quick fixes of historical "solutions" to past recessions and depressions just aren't going to cut it this time. In the past we have spent our way to recovery. People had jobs, or got jobs, which paid a living wage, debt levels were considerable lower, and stimulating the economy was a matter of getting the people out to spend and to consume. This time it is different.
We are now "nose deep" in a "get out there and spend" campaign for Christmas 2009.
Last Friday began the make or break holiday shopping frenzy. One fifth of a years sales are made between that Friday and New Years Day. The figures from Friday are only now coming in -- meaning the business community did not get what it desired in terms of shoppers, or spending. This could be terminal for many local shops after the first of next year.
Not to worry " the wunderkinds of advertising and marketing have conjured up a new day for redemption if Black Friday didn't generate the necessary sales. This is "Computer Monday" which this year falls on November 30th. On this latest addition to the holiday shopping season, gaggles of shoppers stay home and huddle around the family computer(s) to make the "all-salvation" purchases. I will be on-line most of the day, but to research -- not to shop.
Besides " I like to visit stores. I may use a credit card, but I pay off the balance in full every month.
A turn around isn't going to happen until we see a resurgence of domestic jobs which pay a living wage and offer a full smorgasbord of benefits. Every item I've seen (or picked up) something, I see that it was made elsewhere. Such purchases may help China, Mexico, Honduras, Belize, or Korea; but they will do squat in helping the American worker.