Is anyone else tired of this:
The headlines on this story are ridiculous. Retail sales up "Solid" 1.1%. They "Surged" 1.1%. "Shoppers Unfazed." "Spending surprisingly robust."
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Retail sales excluding gasoline, autos, and building materials are up 0.4%. Furniture sales are down 1.6%, restaurants are down 0.7%, music and hobby shops down, and all the shopping malls are still empty.
We're a consumerist nation so 'retail sales up' is a pretty good indication of that the economy is doing better. It's not necessarily a good indicator that wages are doing better, but 0% of anybody gives a shit about that so long as jobs are doing better it doesn't matter to the American public if that job's minimal wage or not.
Thing is, it's still a recession even if it's a recovering one, so of course frivolous sales of automobiles are down. They will probably never recover, or at least not until the recession is 100% over and has been for quite some time. Furniture and restaurant sales are down because in the first case the housing market, not the economy overall, is tied to that, and the second case, eating out is the first thing off people's budget when they're barely making it.
Music and Hobby Shops are a symptom of the internet. Shops like Gamestop, Blockbuster, etc. are probably going to evaporate, at least how you know them now. That doesn't mean music sales and hobby sales are down, which is actually sort of the opposite. It's just that they're leaving brick and mortar stores. If you want to combat that trend (and to a degree, you should, because when retail stores fold up in favor of online outlets, you're trading your own neighbor's jobs for your own convenience to not speak to another human being), that's a matter of another debate. Or maybe not, because to play Devil's Advocate, the music industry and video game and television industries was so appallingly terrible to their talent that I can't feel too bad for the internet creating a way around them. If only the internet could find a way around the more crappy publishers like EA while still keeping open the retail stores the majority of the country works in.
Either way, 'some growth' when predictions of slowdown were had is pretty good news. You shouldn't hold out for 'all poverty eliminated this Wednesday'.
Retail sales does not measure how many gallons of gas was sold, just how much it cost. Of course retail sales are up. Gas spiked in Feb. We're getting a boost in building materials from Hurricane Sandy efforts- but without those two key factors Feb Retail Sales are hardly a Rolling Stone's magazine Tour de Force.
We're actually getting a drag on all sales because of Sandy, that's why this news is so good. Sandy wasn't exactly great for the economy. You'd be foolish if you were hoping for massive increases to sales to hope that hurricanes hit more often.
Also, I don't think you understand how they're calculating sales.
And yet, this news item was regurgitated nearly 200 times today across the web, I saw maybe a few that actually came right out and said this is really mixed signals at best.
All news could be mixed signals at best. That's how entities like Fox News operate, by exploiting that fact. And it might be false good news: so could anything economy related, ever, always. At that point you might as well wear a tinfoil hat or turn your news off altogether if your distrust of all news is that high.
Some showed pictures of people crowding department stores and shopping malls, not captioned photos, just pictures of people shopping from 2007 because it goes along with the cheery, upbeat bullshit nature of the story.
Has anyone else noticed this? It has been going on incessantly for several years now, and despite the news media taking every fraction of percent rise in some blurry statistic as a cue to sing from the rooftops, there hasn't been a recovery yet.
I can only think these people assume we are completely fucking stupid- here's one from CNBC:
http://www.cnbc.com/id/100548877 "Consumers Still Strong - Just Keep On Spending."
You have got to be shitting me. Just Keep On Spending? Fuck you CNBC, you spend, I'm broke. In some part of my mind, I hope the economy does collapse so that a bunch of people will get pissed off at the media for feeding us all this shit and a post-apocalyptic tribunal will go round up those responsible... and just before they're executed, they tell us why they did it.
That's all I want, just an explanation.
Do these assholes honestly believe they are contributing to greater good by jerking everybody off with this nonsense? Because you've got a job in the media, is it your duty to repeat these lies often enough so that might become true?
I guess they could get jobs at Fox News reporting on why all improvements to the economy are really some bizarro indicator that the economy is doing worse?
Well I've got news for you, this is Bobby from Detroit, MI reporting in. There is no recovery, there is no hope, there is no change coming any time soon. Against inflation, your real rate of return on any savings you sock away will be negative. The stock market is at an all time high because interest rates are so low that it's full of borrowed fed money, and money the fed creates by buying billions in mortgage backed securities every month. It's another bubble.
Reminds of the article I saw yesterday- Still a good time to get in the market? Mainstream media says of course it is! Pay no mind to the fundamentals being completely out the window and all the bloated stocks of companies trading many times above the Price To Earnings ratios they held even before the first crash.
We keep hearing about record profits, yeah- it's pretty easy when a can of soup that costs 80 cents to a dollar today used to cost 40-60 cents in 2009. I've been buying chicken noodle soup every month for at least that long. Despite what they'll tell you, inflation is not holding steady at 1.9%. They pick the items that make up the CPI, and one of the items gets too expensive, they substitute in a cheaper comparable one to keep the inflation figure artificially low.
You're confusing inflation with wage stagnation. Their inflation figures are pretty right on the mark. It's just that your wages if you're making minimal wage haven't moved since 2009, and attempts to raise it to 9 dollars still fall way short of its proportional value in the 1960's.
The shit most people don't know about how these figures get cooked up could fill a book. In fact, it would probably be a great seller.
Anyway, the point of all this is, how do you feel about being blatantly lied to and mislead every day by the organizations that are supposed to keep you informed?
And more broadly- what purpose does the media even serve today? It is certainly not to report the truth, to keep people informed and information free. More than ever, the media resembles a state-run institution in the USA.
If the US Media is state run it sure as shit isn't run by the same state that holds office in the white house or senate.