WILL CHRISTMAS SHOPPING SAVE US?AS "BLACK FRIDAY" NEARS,NEW QUESTIONS ABOUT AN ECONOMIC RECOVERY THAT ISN'T
By Danny Schechter
Author of "The Crime Of Our Time"
Funny how, back in 1929, we had Black Thursday and then Black Friday as the market crashed, plunging the country into a depression. Now we have every retailer in every mall in America on their knees praying for a prosperous black Friday this week.
Here's the scenario as Thanksgiving rolls around.
TV advertising spikes. Local TV channels start hyping the action at the local malls announcing plans to "go live" without mentioning that they are doing it to attract more advertising,or as part of the deal they already have with sponsors.
If the past is any guide, we will be told how packed the parking lots are--and they will, thanks to the hype, probably be packed. Part of the reason is the deep discounting and special sales --what are called "lost leaders" to get customers into the store even if you have to bribe them to come.
What happened last year was that most consumers only bought the sales items and left most of the other goods untouched. No wonder, a number of malls are now in foreclosure,
At the same time, all we hear from business is optimism, including the use of the term "surge" that has been used so deceptively in Iraq and Afghanistan.