Thursday, August 4, 2011

If There's Going To Be A Marxist Revolution. . .

Furthering situations like the those described in these paragraph from the New York Times article "Even Marked Up, Luxury Goods Fly Off Shelves" show how the country may creating the situation to make such a revolution possible.  This story illustrates the widening wealth gap far better than any chart or graph.

Reporter Stephanie Clifford leads with
Nordstrom has a waiting list for a Chanel sequined tweed coat with a $9,010 price. Neiman Marcus has sold out in almost every size of Christian Louboutin “Bianca” platform pumps, at $775 a pair. Mercedes-Benz said it sold more cars last month in the United States than it had in any July in five years.
Even with the economy in a funk and many Americans pulling back on spending, the rich are again buying designer clothing, luxury cars and about anything that catches their fancy. Luxury goods stores, which fared much worse than other retailers in the recession, are more than recovering — they are zooming. Many high-end businesses are even able to mark up, rather than discount, items to attract customers who equate quality with price.
Later, Clifford reports,
Apparel stores are holding near fire sales to get people to spend. Wal-Mart is selling smaller packages because some shoppers do not have enough cash on hand to afford multipacks of toilet paper. Retailers from Victoria’s Secret to the Children’s Place are nudging prices up by just pennies, worried they will lose customers if they do anything more.
She follows that paragraph with a stunningly obtuse statement.
While the free spending of the affluent may not be of much comfort to people who are out of jobs or out of cash, the rich may contribute disproportionately to the overall economic recovery.
So, people who have trouble affording toilet paper should thank people who are buying $775 pumps for saving the economy?  Seriously?

Those who can't afford the basics get to ask "What recovery?"  So can those who formerly frequented Target but now shop WalMart as well as those who formerly shopped Wal-Mart but now shop Dollar Tree.

Articles like this one illustrate how successful that the war against the middle class has been prosecuted.  The middle class is being squeezed in ways that I've never seen in my lifetime.  That includes the malaise of the 1970s.

Right now, many of the people suffering disproportionately still buy the American Dream.  They listen to talk radio hosts who tell them that class warfare is terrible and those who rail against the rich are merely jealous.  As the number of people who can't afford basics or who are reduced to viewing Wal-Mart a luxury shopping destination rises, that message will fall on deaf angry ears.


BW Schwartz said...

And amazingly those shopping at Dollar Tree continue to vote Republican ensuring that their next shopping trip will be at Goodwill.

LK said...

I don't understand that dynamic either. I almost didn't quote the Times article because of it

Hoever, I don't believe people are immune to history. As soon as hope runs out,people get angry. I see hope leaving around the same time that last roll of toilet paper is gone.