A radio news report I recently listened to stated that if Americans do not buy a lot of Christmas gifts this year, the economy will “be in the tank.” That’s the exact wording they used: In the tank.
Well, I haven’t heard how sales are going so far but I can tell you that the economy in my neck of the woods is not good. The cost of everything is going up. I live relatively simply. I have no mortgage payment, no credit card debt, no college bills, and yet, I feel pinched. Gasoline, auto repair, electric, telephone, all the insurances, dentist bills, taxes....I wonder how in the world other people are making ends meet? How is it possible that Americans can purchase a lot of Christmas gifts this year?
When I was a kid I would look through the Penny’s and Sears catalogs around Christmas time and dream of having so many different things. These days, there are plenty of other merchandise catalogs that come in the mail around Christmas. I do not look at them the way I once did. Now I look through them and think to myself how ridiculous and totally unnecessary almost all the stuff is.
Take, for just one example, the Brookstone catalog. It is subtitled, “Innovations for home and life.” There is NOTHING in the catalog that I need, or that anyone else really needs. Granted, there are a lot of clever and unusual gadgets and gizmos that you can spend your hard-earned money on, but few of them are truly useful or necessary. All of them will loose their luster, and end up being thrown out, some in a surprisingly short time. Or they will end up being sold in a garage sale or on Ebay, for far less that was originally spent on them.
So much unnecessary stuff. So much junk. So much eventual landfill fodder. The future of our economy rests on the willingness of Americans to buy this kind of merchandise for themselves and each other this holiday season. I think there is something seriously wrong with that.
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