Why Has Consumption Been So Volatile in the New Millennium?

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  1. rd commented on Jul 13

    I can list a few reasons:

    1. Most people have seen multiple waves of layoffs either in their own companies or their friends over the past 3 decades. 2009 brought this to a crescendo. The business community is always asking for “certainty” from the government but they offer nothing like it to their employees. Employees are reminded repeatedly that they are “employed at will” in case they had forgotten (so they can’t sue when they get laid off).

    2. The memos employees get from their management are constantly yacking about the need to cut costs and maximize profits despite record high stock prices. The employees know that means their work is going to be more miserable and their jobs are still on the line.

    3. The baby boomers are finally beginning to see the whites of retirement’s eyes and realized that their meager savings are probably not going to cut it. In addition, there is constant bleating from politicians and business leaders about how their Social Security and Medicare should be slashed. That does not create an atmosphere of confidence.

    4. They finally get cost of living pay raises for the first time in several years and management acts like it is a gift to them and indicates that they shouldn’t get used to it.

    Please see Dilbert and Doonesbury (or the newspaper business pages) for more examples.

  2. willid3 commented on Jul 13

    i am guessing that slowing income growth has driven the interest in tax cuts. and that because incomes havent kept up with even low inflation. and oddly enough, its usually state taxes (sales etc) that have much more impact than the federal do. just ask about gas taxes. federal is smaller almost always. but the impact of layoffs has also cut interest in consumption (and in some companies that has been an annual event). and lets face it in a capitalist economy, its consumption that dives it. no matter what the ‘job creators’ claim, cause no jobs will get created with no one buying any thing. and investor stop investing when profits stop (and when sales stop too)

  3. cschene commented on Jul 14

    I can’t display this: Do I need a plug in of some sort?

    I am running Chrome on a Mac.


    ADMIN: As far as I can tell, its basic Flash — but you may need to update your flash player