Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Yahoo's Economy At A Glance

NEW YORK (AP) -- High gas prices are driving a wider wedge between the wealthy and everybody else.

(You know what else also "drives a wedge between the wealthy & everybody else?"

The rich are back to pre-recession-style splurging: Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom customers are treating themselves to luxury items like $5,000 Hermes handbags and $700 Jimmy Choo shoes, and they're paying full price.

(Translation: During the elite's epic financial ass raping of the un-elite, the wealthy, not looking to draw opprobrium or lynch mobs, laid low. Now, with the realization that we're little more than whipped dogs groveling at their mercy, they decided to say, "FUCK IT" and splurge.)

At Target and Walmart, shoppers are concentrating on groceries and skipping even little luxuries. BJ's Wholesale Corp. said Wednesday that its customers are buying more hamburger and chicken and less steak and buying smaller packs to save money.

"The average shopper isn't in the game, except for necessities," said Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of retail leasing and marketing at Prudential Douglas Elliman. At the same time, among the rich, "Luxury products are selling like bread."

(NEWSFLASH: The average shopper has never been "in the game," because survival isn't a game. Advertisers have never aimed any "luxury" advertising at people like me. I get the beer ads & the get rich quick real estate schemes & Jerry Springer)

J.C. Penney, Wal-Mart and home-improvement retailer Lowe's Cos. all said they're noticing their customers are consolidating shopping trips to save money on gas as the average price hovers near $4 a gallon.

More than a half-dozen corporate earnings reports this week show that, for the affluent, rising prices are merely a nuisance. For others, they can mean scrimping to put food on the table.

(Which leads me to believe that we should just shit, get off the pot and exterminate all those poor wealthless bastards toot sweet. Look at it as mercy killing. After all, you wouldn't let a dog wallow in anxiety as it slowly starves to death, so why do it to people. Of course, I'd be on the their "shoot the bastard" list, but, like my dearly departed ma used to say, "Ya gotta take the bitter with the better sonny boy.")

The wealthy were the first to start spending again after the recession. Middle-class Americans' spending started picking up late last year.

(See above)

But the retail earnings results show that rising prices for gas and food, particularly meat, dairy and produce, have started to erode spending power.

(In other words, the average American's economic recovery didn't really amount to much.
In reality, the recovery was an invention, foisted on yoo-hoo America in an effort to misdirect them into spending more of what they don't have on shit that they don't need.)

It could get worse later this year, when clothing prices are expected to rise 10 percent to 15 percent. Meat prices are expected to rise 6 percent to 7 percent this year and dairy products as much as 5.5 percent, according to USDA estimates.

(Cool! Even more shit I won't be able to afford to buy. At this rate, my goal to become materialism negative should be reached much sooner than I thought. Now I'll have more time to work on the Breatharian principle of gaining sustenance from light rays. I'm always impressed at the concern the elite have for my spiritual well being.)

The bottom fifth of earners, with a median household income of $9,846, spend 35.6 percent of their income on food and 9.4 percent on gas, according to Citi Investment Research.

The top fifth, whose median household income is $157,631, spend only 6.8 percent on food and 1.9 percent on gas. So they feel price increases less.

(With one slight revision, that last bit will be completely true. "The top fifth, whose median household income is $157,631, spend only 6.8 percent on food and 1.9 percent on gas. So they feel less.")

"While the U.S. economy is showing some signs of improvement, we expect the recovery will continue to be slow and uneven, particularly for more moderate-income households," Gregg Steinhafel, Target's chairman, president and CEO, said on a conference call with analysts Wednesday.

(Tranlation: If ya ain't got that green, life's gonna get mean.)

The divide is prompting retailers to alter their strategies: Luxury stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, which had added more items, from shirts to suits, at lower prices after the financial meltdown in late 2008, are again rebalancing their assortments. Now, it's back to the $300-plus dress shirts.

"We are increasingly optimistic about the future," Saks CEO Stephen Sadove said in a call with analysts on Tuesday after reporting a 9 percent first-quarter revenue increase.

(I don't know about you, but I am heartened to know the wealthy are "optimistic." Why should everyone mire themselves in utter depression like I do on a day to day basis? Truthfully, it sucks. I'd take optimism & a big bank account over depression & crushing credit card debt any day of the week.)

At the other end of the spectrum, Wal-Mart and others under more pressure to get their financially squeezed shoppers to spend, are offering more discounts and pushing smaller packages at the end of the month when shoppers have less money.

(I have a suggestion for Wal-Mart. Since Wal-Mart's only goal appears to be squeezing every last cent out of their clientele, they should just arm their greeters. Then, when anyone comes in to shop, the greeter can just get their wallets at the door. It would cut down on useless practices like stocking shelves since most of what Wal-Mart sells is shoddily constructed junk that will fall apart within weeks after purchase anyway. Not to mention the boost in self esteem all those greeters would experience as they're mutated from invisible & ignored oldsters into modern day versions of Jesse James. I can think of one guy, a Wal-Mart senior with no legs who always seems to look so sad & lost as he sits in his wheelchair at my local Wal-Mart, who would benefit greatly from this plan.)

CVS Caremark Corp. announced Wednesday it was offering a new program for its loyalty card members to earn free $10 gas cards for every $30 they spend on certain items from Sunday through Aug. 28. Eligible offerings, from soda to household cleaning products, will be listed in an advertising circular and highlighted on store shelves with a gas tank logo.

Target, whose shoppers' median household income is $60,000, said Wednesday that it's the better-off customers who are driving its revenue growth. The rest of its customers are focusing on necessities like food, resulting in some sales declines in the rest of the store.

(I understand that CVS is also contemplating having a "let your cute daughter blow the manager for discounts" day. Not to be outdone, Target, always in the market for PC friendly publicity, will also include "cute sons" in the offer.)

"The importance of delivering everyday low price has never been as great, as our customers are consolidating trips due to higher gas prices," said Bill Simon, CEO and president of Wal-Mart's U.S. division.

(Man, nothing warms my heart more than seeing the neat & creative ways American CEOs insert economic destruction into their marketing strategies. What more could a nation of consumers want from a reality anyway?)

Alfred E. Neuman III, Esq.

"His thoughts trickled, disjointed, timid. He decided the poets and the painters,
the sculptors and the writers, the crackpot theologians and their excommunicated kin,
and the mystics had it right. Reality was a makeshift prop, an amalgamation of
agreed-upon conjecture, a consensus of self-limiting parameters and paradigms
made palatable by endless speculation fueled by madness and hope
and no mean amount of good dope. Rubber science, bouncing like a handball
off the nonexistent wall of a metaphysical gulag."


Anonymous said...

humblenotry said...

Anonymous said...

humblenotry said...

4 of us are planning to visit the asshole of the world tomorrow. Downtown Detroit. A mini vacation from the suburbs to the big city. Wish me good fortune. Ah, if we do not write again Dick, and anyone else here, it's been an enjoyable time. Happy May 21 to you all. May the wolves in sheep's clothing be eaten alive and the worms infest their corneas. And their anuses continually bleed until their screams penetrate the utricles of aged homeless men.

just_another_dick said...

So what you're saying Mr. H., is that UTube video you sent me was really a documentary?

Speaking of Detroit, have you seen any of the new car ads from Chrysler, I believe, where they're rhapsodizing about Detroit as if it isn't collapsing in on itself like a metropolitan black hole?

If there's any better example of the manufacturing of reality, I've never seen it.

Here it is:

Kind of cool to see Eminem making believe he isn't a corporate bitch boy spouting corporate ad copy.

Anonymous said...

humblenotry said...

The video is an attempt to scare people. The video looks reminiscent of 9-11. My relationship to it is about Campings prophecy. This is judgement day. It's 12 midnight. The bombs are dropping. Instead of hee hee hee it's not true. My day will be ruined hee hee hee. The old piece of shit minister is really enjoying himself I'm sure.

I'm just not into the automobile thing. Buy an 8 cyl that has 400 horsepower and drive 45 mph down the road and get caught in a traffic jam. The area where I live is known to the wiser locals as one of the most likely places that one will get a speeding ticket in the Metro Detroit area. The police officers around here have a field day on unsuspecting victims.

My name is slim shady. slim shady. My name is slim shady. slim shady. My name is slim shady. slim shady. ad nauseum...

I can visualize his head dunked into a toilet by teenage ruffians for kicks.

I am slim shady. I am slim shady. I am slim shady. I am slim shady. I am slim shady. I think that his mother doesn't live too far away from here. He is an ass.