There’s nothing quite like the feeling of walking into a store around mid-August to find all of the Halloween decorations already on display. I get the same feeling around mid-September when all of the Thanksgiving paraphernalia is already on sale, and mid-October when Christmas bells begin to ring around the store. It is a not a coincidence that every year holidays move up two months. This is a ploy set up by stores to get us to buy more holiday crap.
Shopping for holiday crap serves a purpose, considering your national happiness is based on how much we shop. Shopping makes us happy because it helps the economy, which in tern makes us optimistic. It is not the act of shopping itself that makes us happy, but rather the effect it has on our economy. 70% of our economy is based on consumer purchases. The more we shop, the more money companies make. The more companies make, the more people they can afford to hire. Therefore, the more we shop, the more jobs retailers can create. It’s a win-win for both retailers and us? Buying useless crap is really helping the nation? Apparently the American public thinks so, considering there has been a 4.1% increase in consumer purchases this year. The November and December holiday season makes up 40% of a retailers income for the year. It is no wonder the holidays come early ever year. This season is expected to be especially successful due to the election.
Considering the increase in shopping rates, the American public has been fairly optimistic this year. This is something both Romney and Obama have tried to maintain during this election. Since our economy is predominantly based on consumption, and jobs are created from that consumption, both Romney and Obama want the American public to keep shopping. When either candidate talks about “job creation”, they really mean for us to continue to consume. Tax breaks can help create jobs because it gives the public slightly extra money to spend, not to save, but to spend on things like holiday crap. It irks me that the candidates can use code terms like “job creation” and “tax breaks” that translates to the American public as a go-ahead to continue shopping. Shopping makes the public happier, the economy happier, and our presidential candidates happier. Keep up the good work, voters!
P.S. See the video in the post below to see a perspective on how we can make better decisions to not consume.