Wednesday, December 26, 2012


It always seems like the health of our nations economy depends solely on the spending of dollars by the average consumer. This often raises the question in my mind as to where does Corporate America fit into this seemingly ludicrous, flawed formula.

One would think that Corporations, the Private Sector, Federal, State, Local governments should be essential parts of this equation that needs to invest heavily in America, whether it be through hiring American workers, locating customer/tech departments locally, buying, manufacturing their materials here, and contributing the overwhelming portion of financial support that determines whether our economic status is healthy. Somehow, they get a "free pass" by outsourcing everything possible, sitting on huge profits that are not invested here, never being held accountable to as an integral part of helping our economy grow and not being factored very much into keeping America alive.

Every year at this time I am reminded of the back assward way that experts judge how our economy is doing. It is called the "Holiday Shopping Season" and its success or failure is all determined by how much money regular folks spend, never taking into account the impact of all the other above entities that weigh heavily on whether our financial system can survive.

Especially this year, as the United States is creeping within days of falling off the so called "fiscal cliff", no one in any position of Authority appears to have the courage or even a "Boehner" fide interest in stopping this disaster from happening.

The Stores were packed, filled parking lots, online sales were so busy that on certain days there was so much Internet traffic that online capacity was tiny, reducing web surfing to a turtle crawl.

But the latest report of holiday sales reports this season is the worst since 2008 when we were deep in a recession.

Part of the blame can be attributed to the real potential of the Country going over the fiscal cliff, which apparently spooked enough shoppers to hold back.

Nobody knows how much money they'll get to keep in the coming year. One shopper stated that he seemed to be opening a lot of socks on Christmas. Although, have you noticed? Socks aren't a cheap gift anymore. They all have some sort of high-tech wicking system, special shock absorbing impact zones, patented open mesh ventilation technology, anti-bacterial odor suppression.

There are even now pairs of ultra high tech RFID socks pair of RFID (radio frequency identification) tagged Smarter Socks.The Swedish company behind them hopes to solve the perennial problem of odd socks.

Founder Samy Liechti describes them "as something the sock world has never seen before". Critics may argue that they are a little over-engineered.

Each sock comes with its own RFID chip, which can be "read" by a NFC (near field communication) device known as a sock sorter, which in turn communicates via Bluetooth with an iPhone.

As each pair has its own unique identifier, finding a lost pair amongst a pile of identical socks is as easier as scanning them with the sock sorter, and waiting until the iPhone app beeps to tell you it has located the exact match.

For those who really want to keep track of their socks, the app also produces a range of data checking how black they are, offering to replace worn-out socks and even finding a close match for socks whose partners have gone astray.
Smarter Socks which comes with one Sock Sorter and ten pairs of socks
But apparently even buying these socks aren't enough to juice the economy. So the President will be back in town tomorrow to see if he can get a budget deal done in the five days that remain.

I'm beginning to think it's going to have to take another shock like the stock market dropping 2,000 points to get them off the dime.

Pollster Frank Luntz reported on a just released survey that he completed that "I'm not sure if either side is watching very carefully or listening to what the American people think," said Luntz.

Still not listening. If they were listening they'd hear that people want a deal.

Seventy percent want rich people to pay higher taxes.
"But an even higher percent support significant spending cuts."

"I'm not sure if either side is watching very carefully, and listening to what the American people think," said Republican strategist and pollster Frank Luntz in an interview today with "CBS This Morning."

"When we asked the American people, Who is the GOP fighting for and representing? The number one answer, the rich. The number two answer, big business. Back in number three place is hard-working taxpayers. By the republicans fighting this tax increase on the most wealthy Americans, the public looks at that and says once again the GOP is standing up for the rich."

The Democrats, Luntz argued, have been equally tone deaf.
"What the Democrats don't understand is that the hostility towards how much Washington spends, that this whole discussion over the last six weeks has been about raising taxes on the wealthy rather than also  cutting wasteful Washington spending," he said.

So the polls say Americans want a compromise, and congress doesn't get it, which is why Congress's approval rating has now dropped to 11 percent.

How bad is that? Totally pathetic. Libya's Gahdaffi had a 15% job approval rating and that was among the people who killed him.

Well, if we do find ourselves lining up for soup at least we'll have warm socks, probably made in China.