Liquor, Restaurants and Computers Up; Most Other Retail Classes Down → Washingtons Blog
Liquor, Restaurants and Computers Up; Most Other Retail Classes Down - Washingtons Blog

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Liquor, Restaurants and Computers Up; Most Other Retail Classes Down

The New York Times has an interesting chart showing that retail stores of liquor, restaurant expenditures and computers are up, and almost everything else is down.

Why liquor? I believe liquor always goes up during a financial crash (as do things like Pepto Bismal, which treat stomach jitters).

Why computers? Well, during the Great Depression, the sale of movie tickets skyrocketed, as movies provided cheap entertainment and escape from the economic misery.

Movies are now fairly expensive, but there is alot of free entertainment on the web. So - in addition to any business reasons for buying new computers - I think computers will be the escape of choice during this downturn.

Why restaurants? Many families are opting for "staycations" (vacations in one's own town instead of traveling).

My guess is that many families are saving a lot of money by skipping vacations away from home, but are eating out a little more as their big splurge. In other words, they may be saving thousands by staying home on vacations, and spending an extra hundred of dollars or so on meals out - to make vacationing at home seem a little less mundane.

Similarly, instead of buying that bigger house or that new car, my guess is that many families are staying with what they've already got, but splurging on meals out.


  1. We have a small mom and pop retail clothing store on main st. america. i can tell you, it is ugly out here. very, very ugly. and we see no light atthe end of this manufactured re-depression. America will never ever be the same. The traditional American consumer is gone. Bare essentials are now the mode. We will probably see a community barter system developing. The detail of a countries economy lies within its retail. and as of now, there is no retail in our economy. just my humble opinion.

  2. I'm not your typical moral type. -I think guillotines are -more- moral objects than the bells rung by the Salvation Army soldiers at Christmas time. I think they have the potential to save more living souls too.

    But that's just an opinion.

    The Temperance Movement had some real moral impetus to it, -I think. I'm not against moonshiners, because their product has a justifiably moral and social taint appropriate to the substance.

    But I don't think it should be legal to sell booze in stores. That says, -This stuff is good for anyone, when it isn't.

    People will buy their booze before they feed, clothe, house or educate their children.

    Any moonshiner who sells booze to someone like that -deserves to be shot. And a moonshiner generally knows that moral fact too. So he has that moral fear of the unpredictable -keeping him on the straight and narrow, -the straight and narrow for a moonshiner that is.

    Cigarettes are the same way. And when cocaine is out of the reach of some, which it is right now, they'll turn to drinking themselves to death in short order.

    Good riddance to them all -too. I'm a moral bastard, but I'm not opposed to allowing the vast majority of morons to commit suicide. I just object to their going to Walmart to buy the stuff to do it with.

    A lot of teachers and judges are drunks. A lot of college professors, lawyers, Wall Street brokers and doctors are drug addicts.

    Good riddance to them too.

    Restaurant expenditures are up because -when homeless populations rise -Bonanza's all-you-can-eat (or stuff in your pants) sounds like a good deal.

    For those people who haven't a clue how to eat, -all-you-can-eat- would be a good deal too, -if you didn't have to contend with the runs for a week after eating out just about anywhere you can eat-out in America.

    Eating anything in an American restaurant is about as advisable as brushing your teeth in a public urinal. That's the truth.

    My wife and I spent nine months on the road in an extended touring-vacation after we sold our small farm almost four years ago, -yup -right at the peak.

    The price looked too good to be true, so we took it. And we're glad we did too.

    While on the road we learned very quickly, restaurants are not the way to go.

    Thereafter -we ate what we bought in grocery stores -right on the front seat of the car, or on any beach or in any park we happened to be nearby.

    Some people are buying computers -because straight across the socio-economic strata of America- everyone is looking for new outlets for peddling anything they can peddle, from themselves via Monster.Com (Craig's List if they're peddling venereal disease) and their apparently much less cherished -stuff- that they try and sell on eBay.

    Mostly they pay eBay fees to exchange their stuff for bogus certified checks though.

    What most people don't realize about venereal disease is, everyone has venereal disease -of some sort -and plenty of it too. Are there fish in the oceans? Yes, there are.

    And when you have sex with multiple partners, you get lots of different kinds of venereal diseases.

    Some of them make you stink. Some rot your gut, -or your teeth. And some of them kill you.

    More people are committing crimes with their newly-bought computers. Computers are cheap today. Crime is rampant. That's because a lot more people think they're morally justified in their crime. And they likely are too.

    Just don't get caught. There's a rumor that the cutting-off of hands is coming back with a vengeance. It'll be just a rumor until you lose a hand or two too.

    It's all just a passing fad, a temporary blip on an otherwise not-too-dependable NY Times list of exaggerations and outright lies.

    But I'm sure the exaggerater of those little white lies felt morally justified too.

    David Letterman boinking Stephanie? What a moron. And what a little slut!

    THAT man has venereal disease up to the rafters.

  3. George, rather than have you miss this, you requested a link to Richard Koo's statements about bank insolvency in the 1980's. It is in this video, which was posted on a website I go to from time to time. Not the CSIS site, but where I found it. Here it is, the October 28, 2008 talk by Richard Koo.

    There was also a slide show at

    Appreciate your work.


  4. The portion of Koo you need to see starts at 31 minutes into the video. He says that 7 out of 8 US money center banks were under water due to the Latin American debt crisis.

  5. It is terrible how this crisis is wiping out businesses like nothing. I'm glad to see at least some branches of the market prospering but it's a sour prosper when you think of it. I don't quite think the restaurants are doing great but maybe in your area they are. I've seen multiple restaurants close down recently, and they were great restaurants too, not just a shabby old shack that serves burgers. It's just sad to see them disappearing like that. Anyways, if you ever find your way to Toronto, you shoudl check out The Quince Restaurant. It's quite a catch and I'm helping it survive by eating there many times..haha. Thanks for your post,

    take care, Elli


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