ECONOMIC MELTDOWN? Hasn’t stopped some shoppers, where traffic was so heavy they had to call out the cops. “As veteran visitors to Sevier County, it sure didn’t appear to us there were any cancellations due to the economy or gas prices. Perhaps NBC News should visit Sevier County, if it could find it.”
UPDATE: Reader Mark Melville emails: “I had to venture out to a large mall in Novi Michigan last weekend. Not being one that enjoys shopping I was rather giddy with the thought that the mall should be empty as there was not enough credit to go around not to mention that Michigan is in a depression (Iâ€™m told). When I pulled in it was like December 23rdâ€¦..PACKED to the gills and I had one hell of a time getting a parking spot!!!. I donâ€™t know if the root cause was fear their credit cards would soon come up empty or what but they (we) were spending.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: A reader emails: “I live in one of the more affluent neighborhoods in Chicago and while I may be in my own little ‘affluent neighborhood bubble’ here, there is no sign of the impending economic disaster that we’ve been told is coming. Every night this weekend, including tonight, each and every restaurant around here has been packed. The high-end steak and seafood place, packed. The deep dish pizza joint, packed with a line down the street. Sidewalk cafes, packed with patrons adding liquor to their order. N. Michigan Ave, packed with shoppers carrying bags with their recent purchases. Bars, packed with cheering then depressed Bears fans. Things may be different down in Barry’s, Bill’s and Tony’s Hyde Park neighborhood and elsewhere for that matter, but here on the North side it was like 2005, 06 or 07.”
I don’t actually think this proves much about the overall economic situation — this fish is rotting from the head down. While the press has been telling us that it’s a bottom-up recession driven by falling consumer demand and employment, because they figure that will help the Democrats, it has in fact been a structural economic problem at the finance level, which they didn’t report on, really, until the last minute. They’re still trying to shoehorn reports into their traditional formula, but it doesn’t fit. That’s not necessarily good news overall: As I wrote a while back, just because the press is getting the story wrong doesn’t mean that gings are fine. But in truth, my guess is that it’ll take a while for the current problems to show up in shopping malls and restaurants. Perhaps they never will, though that’s an optimistic take, I think.