Retailers and investors are bemoaning the fact that Black Friday sales failed to put stores back in the black for the year. In fact, this year, it might as well be called Red Friday, in regards to the ledger balances that stores were reporting Monday morning. Many excuses have surfaced, including the populist notion that stores angered their would-be shoppers by opening on Thanksgiving Day. In reality, given the economic “health” of America in the age of Obamanomics, a holiday spending splurge was never really in the cards for 2013.
While some people like to direct their anger toward the profiteers of productivity, the truth is that our fiscal policy (combined with easy monetary policy) is largely responsible for a widening “wealth gap.” And that wealth gap translates into reduced consumerism among middle class America. Obamacare, as it turns out, also played a large role in consumer trepidation as its fumbled implementation put a damper on consumer optimism.
For starters, there is a record number of Americans who are no longer in the work force. It is usually fairly difficult to justify that big-screen TV purchase if you don’t have some sort of steady household income. Household wealth has also been on the decline. As of 2013, the average household's overall wealth has failed to recover from the recession's lows. Again, it becomes mildly difficult to justify a big-ticket purchase when a majority of family savings have been wiped from bank accounts, and overall assets are diminished.
Even household incomes have been plummeting. According to the Census Bureau, incomes have been dropping faster during Obama’s “recovery” than during the actual recession. Even the Obama Administration has admitted that only 5 percent of income growth has benefited “the 99 percent”. (Someone call up Occupy Wall Street!)
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