Empty store on Black Friday

I don’t like holiday commercialism! Yes, I know that it’s all about the money, encouraging people to get their shopping done as early as possible so they can project huge sales at year end.  Who came up with Black Friday & Cyber Monday anyway?  It comes down to battling crowds at the stores, or shopping on your computer with a glass of wine, which might be the best advantage for some.

This year black Friday landed on November 27th, a tradition that started in Philadelphia in the 1950s, when the police in that city used the term to describe the horde of shoppers from the suburbs that descended into the city for the days after Thanksgiving. The city promoted big sales and decorations, ahead of the Army/Navy football game on Saturday, the day after Thanksgiving, when Black Friday was traditionally held.

Many retailers, desperate to start the Christmas shopping season have been advertising Black Friday and Cyber Monday as early as mid-October,  but based on the state of the economy, the numbers will be dismal. While we might see an initial surge in retail sales as companies try to unload unwanted inventories at bargain prices, the rest of the four weeks leading up to Christmas doesn’t look so hot according to Forbes.

Who are the people splurging during the big sales? Since interest rates are up, along with gas and food prices, and the cost of heating homes, it’s not the 52% of the American works who are making a list and checking it twice.  Many are panicking because their IRA’s are down which greatly affect the moral of the people who are depending on this money to retire. 

More than 24,000 tech workers across 72 companies have been laid off this month, NPR reported, totaling 120,000 tech jobs lost this year. At a time when companies are planning for the next year, weak earnings are being reported across the tech industry and forecasts aren’t looking good. When this happens, Business Insider suggested that most companies will turn to layoffs to cut down on salary costs. 

I would guess that people working in technology have higher salaries than the average blue collar worker.  Just two days before Thanksgiving, United Furniture Industries shut down their business leaving 2,700 people without an income.  They were notified by text and email that they were terminated immediately without provision of Cobra, a federal law that may allow you to temporarily keep health coverage after your employment ends. For all the people struggling, the last think on their minds is staying warm and putting food on their table.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen finally admitted that she was “wrong” last year when she initially dismissed rampant inflation across the US as a “transitory” problem that would soon resolve itself.

Both Yellen and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell repeated on several occasions last year that rising inflation was “transitory” in nature and that prices would return to normal as pandemic-related supply chain bottlenecks cleared — a prediction that has turned out to be woefully off the mark. Many people are using their credit cards to afford necessities, but the downside is the interest rates they are paying monthly.

Are we in a recession yet?  In October. President Joe Biden said he doesn’t believe there will be a recession in the near future and if there is, he expects it to be a “slight” economic dip. Biden also said that “the US economy is strong as hell.”  He also said, ” I don’t think there will be a recession. If it is, it’ll be a very slight recession. That is, we’ll move down slightly.”

Joe Biden has logged more than one-quarter of his first 20 months in office away from the White House. Since January 2021, Biden has spent 236 days on unofficial rest and relaxation. He has traveled to his homes in Rehoboth Beach and Wilmington, Delaware, 55 times for a grand total of 174 days, and spent 64 days at the official presidential retreat at Camp David, spread across 19 individual trips, costing the American taxpayer $11 million associated with the use of either Air Force One or Marine One, as well as security costs for the Secret Service.

Public documents from the Department of Defense comptroller show that the Marine One helicopters used by the president cost between $17,065 and $20,206 per hour. The helicopter trip between the White House and locations in Delaware takes roughly an hour, according to the president’s schedule. If he takes Air Force 1, it takes an hour at a cost of $4 million. 

For a man who is so concerned about Climate Change, I would think being driven 81 miles by car would be less wasteful, but apparently Joe only thinks on one level.  Spending our money any way he can.