Monday, November 30, 2009

Economic Electrons

Today is Cyber Monday. This productivity-sapping, at-work, on-line Christmas shopping day rivals Black Friday in the lemming-like behaviour of humans swept up in the holiday shopping frenzy and rushing over the cliffs of rampant, credit-fueled consumerism. By the time this post joins the crowd of trons taxing bandwidth, on-line retailers will have a good idea whether this holiday shopping season will be a successful one for them, and economists will have a good feel for whether our spending will boost the economy, or if we'll be mired in a moribund recovery. I'm betting on the latter. It's not that I want the recovery to be a slow, painful experience. I'm just a student of history, and history tells us that consumer-driven commodity/asset bubbles drive recoveries. Unfortunately, the soap-slick on the deck from the popped housing and credit bubbles is going to make getting back on our feet much, much harder this time around.

The Colonel is, as may surprise many of you (at least two of the three of you who regularly subject yourselves to rod and cone wastage perusing posts hereon), a huge fan of the electronic technology that allows me to sit here at my computer and do my shopping. No need to subject myself to the sanity-testing inanity of parking lot bumper cars and shopping cart traffic jams. No need to stand in line at the cashier behind a crowd of teenagers whose vocabulary is restricted to the words "like," "dude," and "I'm all." No screaming snot-nosed miscreants announcing their parents' inability to grasp even the most rudimentary elements of imposing their will on a child and instilling a modicum of discipline. No slack-jawed, dull-eyed, un-caring cashiers dumping my treasures in flimsy plastic bags, one per bag, until a modestly-numbered list of purchased items swells in crinkly crush to fill an entire shopping cart with land-fill bound, petroleum-based baggage and packaging.

The Colonel is content to test the claims of Life Lock and and answer the question: "What can brown do for you?" When the rumble of a delivery truck up my gravel drive announces the arrival of my cyber-bought booty, I might even put on some clothes and go out and meet the man in the van.
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