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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 09:44 PM
Original message
'Black Friday was blacker than we knew'
The Black Friday shopping spree was more about consumer desperation than about consumer confidence.

Danny Schechter Last Modified: 05 Dec 2011 13:12

We all saw the shopocalpyse, as Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping calls it, on Black Friday. The big story became a shopper pepper-spraying others, and then a shot being fired. Not in most of the news: Occupy protesters in Oklahoma arrested at a Walmart for challenging blind consumerism.

That was the immediate news. The big story came a day later, calling this year's shopping surge the biggest ever, up 30 per cent.

Wow.

This news was viewed as a sign of consumer confidence that, with an earlier government report on a new wave of optimism released a week earlier, sent markets up.

But, as is so often the case, figures like these are designed more to foster public perceptions, not report truth. I have been following these numbers ever since making the film In Debt We Trust in 2006 and find them invariably misleading, perhaps by design.

First there is the good news in reports like this one on Bloomberg that get picked up widely: "Black Friday sales increased 6.6 per cent to the largest amount ever as US consumers shrugged off 9 per cent unemployment and went shopping".

remainder: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/12/201112...
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bhikkhu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 10:25 PM
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1. So good news is bad news, and bad news is bad news
I'm not much of a shopper myself and the idea of a "shopping event" is basically ridiculous, but everyone I know that has a job - which is most people I know - in some way or other depends on the economy and wishes it were better. This year it has generally been better than last year, and last year was generally better than the year before. The narrative I see is that people are slowly digging themselves out of the mess the bush years got us into.

Good news is still good news in my neighborhood. An improving economy is step in the right direction, one of many.
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shellgame26 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 09:14 AM
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6. +1
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Arctic Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 10:48 PM
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2. The media always tries to help foster the fending frenzy of consumerism
They stopped being an outlet for knowledge a while ago.

CNN used to be the worst, that is why I stopped watching them about five years ago.
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 11:18 PM
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3. About the only good thing to come out of the Bush WH occupation is how much I've learned
about the goings-on behind the corporate scenes.
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Citizen Worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 02:14 AM
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4. CNN=Chicken Noodle News and is one of the major reasons I gave up TV 15 years ago.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 06:53 AM
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5. recommend
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