Friday, December 26, 2008
Stagnant Shopping Season Topic On Paltalk
The poor Christmas shopping season, which appears, preliminarily, to be a poor post-Christmas shopping season, and its effect on the economy was the topic of today's News Talk Online on Paltalk.com.
Last week during the Paltalk Unplugged show I interviewed a woman at New York City's South Street Seaport who told me that her entire family agreed to exchange not one gift this year.
Another woman told me today that her family did exchange gifts, but they gave fewer and spent less than year's past.
The economy is clearly affecting shopping habits. And those shopping habits are effecting the economy.
New York City, with its vertical neighborhoods, is reliant upon the omnipresent small mom and pop restaurants that deliver fresh meals, usually by kamikaze bicycle riding delivery men, to people who live in tiny apartments and don't take the time to cook. But WNYC, New York's public radio station, recently explored a new trend - people cooking for the first time. Again, tightening up their budgets.
Fewer people going out to eat means less money circulating in the economy. Resulting in restaurants cutting back or even closing. Resulting in more people cutting back on their spending. This has the possibility of turning into a vicious downward spiral.
How did you adjust your holiday spending this year? Are you concerned about the continuing recession as we move into 2009?
As we take prudent measures to balance our own household budgets, there is a danger that we are contributing to the very economic morass that we are trying to protect ourselves from.
President-elect Barack Obama is said to be considering a make work program to rebuild our aging infrastructure and help stimulate the economy by getting more money circulating. But how can he do this when he plans to redeploy troops from Iraq to better prosecute the war in Afghanistan?
All important, interrelated questions for which, alas, there are no clear cut simple answers.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ioannart/3139086944/