By even the most conservative accounts, the “Christmas Season”, otherwise known as the season of greed and overindulgence, where the majority of retail sales are supposed to occur, seems to have been foisted onto us a bit early this year.
The strategy being employed by retail outlets, from rolling out the tinsel and sale items to playing every bad Christmas song ever written on their public address systems, seems to be an effort to push severely slacking sales by bringing the orgy of spending which supposedly accompanies the birth of some Jewish guy 2000 years ago (but actually just a co-opting of an old pagan seasonal ritual), a bit earlier than it is supposed to show up.
I think they’re forgetting something very vital in the attempt to buoy their sinking bottom lines … If the glut of spending for the Christmas season occurs earlier … it won’t happen later. It’s pretty basic, since there isn’t any extra money in the economy due to other horrendous, almost unthinkable greed which tanked our global economic institutions. It’ll spread the limited spending this year even thinner, but increase the costs to the stores, some of which will be open 24 hours a day.
In the midst of all of this news, the bastion of horrific worker treatment, Wal-Mart, is coming to the federal government with their hands stretched out, begging for federal bailout funds (as reported by MSNBC). Not that they aren’t already sucking funds out of the government in the form of subsidies, but that awesome example of capitalism can’t seem to keep its beak out of the warm embrace of corporate welfare. Let’s just say that Paulson is fucking us and our grandkids with our pants on.
And the Wal-Mart is also bringing back the concept of layaway, which they had previously abandoned, as they hadn’t required it to push through additional sales. Squeeze ‘em anyway you can, I guess.
The fat guy in the red and white suit, though an amalgum, would be rolling his eyes. My guess is that his haul of cookies and milk would be pretty piss-poor this year. I think homeowners are going to be more worried about rising foreclosures and soaring jobless rates. Maybe the words should be “all I want for Christmas is a federal bailout.”