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Suddenly The NYT Loves ‘Consumerism’

From those tireless boosters of the Obama economy at the New York Times:

From the Mall to the Docks, Signs of Rebound


April 25, 2010

PORTLAND, Ore. — The docks are humming again at this sprawling Pacific port, with clouds of golden dust billowing off the piles of grain spilling into the bellies of giant tankers.

“Things are looking up,” said Dan Broadie, a longshoreman. No longer killing time at the union hall while waiting for work, instead he is guiding a mechanized spout pouring 44,000 tons of wheat into the Arion SB, bound for the Philippines.

At malls from New Jersey to California, shoppers are snapping up electronics and furniture, as fears of joblessness yield to exuberance over rising stock prices.

People are buying electronics and furniture because the stock market is up?

Tractor trailers and railroad cars haul swelling quantities of goods through transportation corridors, generating paychecks for truckers and repair crews.

On the factory floor, production is expanding, a point underscored by government data released Friday showing a hefty increase in March for orders of long-lasting manufactured items. In apartment towers and on cul-de-sacs, sales of new homes surged in March, climbing by 27 percent, amplifying hopes that a wrenching real estate disaster may finally be releasing its grip on the national economy.

After the worst downturn since the Great Depression, signs of recovery are mounting — albeit tinged with ambiguity. Despite worries that American consumers might hunker down for years — spooked by debt, lost savings and unemployment — thriftiness has given way to the outlines of a new shopping spree: households are replacing cars, upgrading home furnishings and amassing gadgets.

The very things the self-same New York Times decried all during the Bush administration.

Many economists estimate that consumer spending — which makes up some 70 percent of American economic activity — swelled by 4 percent during the first three months of the year, more than the double the pace once anticipated. Some have nudged upward their estimates for economic growth to more than 3 percent this year

These wouldn’t be the same economists who are wrong about everything else, week after week, would they?

While few dispute signs of recovery across much of the economy, significant debate remains on how robust and sustained it will be. The lingering effects of the financial crisis have some economists envisioning a long stretch of sluggish growth.

But recent months have delivered a stream of news bolstering the notion of a more vigorous recovery

Still, much of the improvement appears the result of the nearly $800 billion government stimulus program. As that package is largely exhausted late this year, further expansion may hinge on whether consumers keep spending. That probably depends on the job market, which remains weak…

As always, the New York Times finds a way to push for yet another stimulus/jobs bill. 

In a sign of the anxieties still gnawing at households, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index this month plunged to a preliminary level of 69.5 compared with 73.6 in March.

Still, even that number represented a substantial gain over the record low of 55.3 reached in November 2008. And many economists dismiss such surveys as indicative of what people think, as opposed to what they do.

What they are doing increasingly is shopping.

You see, in the golden age of Obama consumer confidence no longer matters. As long as there are people going to the malls, the economy is booming.

“I’m certainly interested in spending now that the stock market seems so relaxed,” said Dan Schrenk, an information technology consultant, as he stood outside a Best Buy store in the Portland suburb of Beaverton.

Last year, Mr. Schrenk’s income declined as local companies put off servicing computer systems. He and his wife cut back on dinners out and purchases.

But in recent weeks, Mr. Schrenk’s stock portfolio has expanded. He has picked up five new clients.

“I’m feeling very optimistic,” he said. “People are just far more interested in spending money.”

So, there he was, shopping for an iPad

The stock market has been shooting straight up for more than a year now. Where has Mr. Schrenk been?

As John D. Morris, a retail analyst with BMO Capital Markets, wandered past stores like Gap and J. Crew on his weekly “mall check,” he spotted large numbers of women 25 to 45 years of age — prime earning years.

“The mainstay of the mall is back,” he said. “That’s your signal that we’re in a more meaningful recovery with staying power.”

So much for scientific analysis.

“People saw that the world didn’t come to an end,”  “Maybe they just said, ‘Hey, I can at least spend a little bit of money.’ ” …

“People get tired of holding on to their money, or just sitting at home and not doing anything,” [said Timothy P. Boyle, Columbia Sportswear’s president and chief executive.] “People love to shop. And you take that privilege away from somebody, it lasts about a year. Eventually, people want to come back. They want to buy new merchandise, a new product, to make them feel really good about themselves.”

Again, notice how the New York Times is portraying this outlook to how they used to talk about such spendthrifts when they were busy talking down the economy.

Optimists suggest this is already unfolding, pointing to the addition of 162,000 net jobs in March, the biggest surge of hiring in over two years. In this view, job growth amounts to a corrective after excessive layoffs during the worst of the crisis.

But in reality this uptick was just the result of a temporary hiring binge for the US census.

“You didn’t fire people because you had a judicious plan about how to run your company,” said Robert Barbera, chief economist at the research and trading firm ITG. “You fired pell-mell, because you were afraid you were going to lose access to credit.”

Now, he argues, companies are guided by a new anxiety that demands hiring: fear of missing out on the profits of fresh growth

You got that, New York Times readers? You captains of industry?

You had better ratchet up your stock buying and business expansion or you might miss out on the profits of the coming Obama bull market.

All in all, it’s quite a different tune from what The Times was saying when they were trying to talk us into a recession, isn’t it? But then again, a good economy will help their Democrat bosses this November.

Just like a bad economy was meant to help them back in 2006 and 2008.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, April 26th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Suddenly The NYT Loves ‘Consumerism’”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    The very things the self-same New York Times decried all during the Bush administration.

    Yup, I always laugh how when I get into an argument with a liberal who hates the US, one of the first things they say is “how great the economy was under Clinton”.

    Regardless of the inaccuracy, liberals DESPERATELY desire a booming economy under a liberal in office. Yet, they find the same booming economy under a republican an affront against all that’s supposedly good in the world.

  2. AcornsRNutz says:

    Remember 1984? Every day they were inundated with statistics telling them how great everything was. Now that the party is in control, everything is fine. We were always at war with eastasia, we have always had plenty of everything, and we always will. Big brother says so.

  3. Right of the People says:

    Suddenly The NYT Loves ‘Consumerism’
    They probably thought it said Communism.

    You had better ratchet up your stock buying and business expansion or you might miss out on the profits of the coming Obama bull market.

    Steve, We’ve been in an Obama “Bull” market since he began running in ’07 and I’m getting damned tired of it.

  4. proreason says:

    “Tractor trailers and railroad cars haul swelling quantities of goods through transportation corridors, generating paychecks for truckers and repair crews.”

    and the report from the Journalist continues……

    “heavy lidded maidens, breasts heaving with unfulfilled yearnings, watched the swarthy muscled longshoremen with bulging pectorals as they heaved the swollen quantities of goods form the engorged railroad cars to the pristine beauty of the virginal tractor trailers.

    The beautiful young girls’ delicate fingers danced across their dainty waists, as the sweaty males took looong and deeep drags of their forbidden cigarettes.

    Finally, one of the panting maidens could take no more and she swayed up to the darkest of the glowing godmen, the very sinews of the man’s taut, erect frame pulsing with fatigue and renewal to the rhythm of her fertile sashay, to the gentle roll of her hips and thighs, opening, closing, opening, closing, opening closing, over and over again. Before speaking, she grasped her parasol as if life itself depended on it…..

    “Hey big boy”, the words seeped out of her lips….”the retail statistics are indicating a solid recovery in all indusrial sectors this quarter, before seasonal adjustments, and pending foreign trade exchange-rate currency adjustments. I just want to say thanks for doing your patriotic duty to keep the GDP advancing.”

  5. TwilightZoned says:

    Perhaps people are spending money in preparation for a very rough future. Not that everyone is buying necessities but rather replacing older items for fear of not being able to in the future when items have broken down or worn out.

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