Another sign that we’re already into a recession:
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s February sales gained more than the discounter expected as lower prices on electronics and groceries lured cash-strapped consumers who spent less at Gap Inc., J.C. Penney Co. and Nordstrom Inc.
Sometimes, Wal-Mart is the place you shop when you have to. A recession is one of those times. Another time is when your son decides that a couple hundred pieces of Lego Duplo aren’t enough, and Toys’R’Us is way overpriced.
I remember during the ’91-’92 recession, Wal-Mart was exploding around the country. Some idiot economist on CNN was predicting the “end of name brands” We were in some kind of end times when everyone would shop at Wal-Mart and wear no-name clothes and drive generic cars.*
Of course, that recession turned out to be a short one, and within six months everyone was back to driving their BMWs down to Neiman-Marcus to buy Hermes diamond-studded ties. Or it at least became cool again to shop at Dillard’s. Name brands came back as soon as the economy did. Call it a leading indicator.
Having a recession in an election year — even a relatively mild one like ’92, or the current one (so far) — is a dangerous thing. We have two Democrats in a “race for the bottom” against our two best trade partners. And we’re always one election away from further nationalization of health care. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. And suffering leads to the government screwing around with our economy.
Note that when Republicans tell us we need to get serious about national security, it’s because they want an imperialist war to establish their long-dreamt-of fascist dictatorship. But when Democrats use fear-mongering to about the economy to grab control of more of it, it’s because they love you, the little people.
Me, I think the government is much better at breaking things than fixing them. So I’d rather have us fighting a war against terrorists overseas, than fighting a war on poverty or drugs or whatever here at home.
If I had a point here, I’ve forgotten what it is.
*Given Toyota’s rise to total dominance, that last point might be true.