The news has been all over the airwaves and screens for ten days now. Say it ain’t true: Consumer spending in October slipped by 1%.
Yet when I painstakingly avoided Shoporama-Land last weekend, Black Friday looked as busy and crazy as ever. Parking lots were jammed. Movie theaters were packed. And when out celebrating my birthday on Saturday night, most bars and restaurants were bustling and hustling hash to ravenous partiers.
Hey, didn’t they get the bad news?
Recessions aren’t fun. Losing a job sure can stink. And watching your investment portfolio shrink hurts. But 1%? That’s a mere penny per dollar less that we’re spending as a nation. Let’s break it down a few ways.
It’s amazing to me that this kind of news actually alarms people. Markets? Sure, all they do is behave in bipolar ways. But the rest of us? Hey, we’re still having 99% as much fun as we did last year, as a whole.
Even my Very Close Personal Friend, THE ARMCHAIR ECONOMIST, told me:
“YOU’LL KNOW THIS DOWNTURN IS SERIOUS WHEN PITCHERS OF BEER BECOME MORE COMMON THAN THE PINK MARTINIS. BUT WORRY NOT: THE PEOPLE WILL STILL DRINK!”
I’ll drink to that—and I miss pitchers. Makes me sort of nostalgic (and thirsty) just thinking about it. Thanks, Old Sport. And may we all survive living on 99%.