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Reports say Consumer Spending is up...but that's a lie

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by PatriotsReign, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    Once again, our gov't agencies are lying to us about the health of our economy.

    In the latest "Retail Sales/Consumer Spending" releases, it is being reported that figures show an increase. As I've stated many, many times previously, these numbers are based upon "Same-Store sales" and NOT overall actual spending.

    Given that a huge number or retailers have closed many stores to weed out poor performers, these numbers show us nothing regarding actual consumer spending trends.

    I always wonder why our gov't wants to mislead us. Especially on economic news. Do they actually believe people will read these lies and think, "Hey, things are looking better...I think I'll start to spend again."? No one is that stupid....or are they?

    The bottom-line here is that consumer spending is NOT looking good. If you want REAL proof, just look at state sales tax receipts. They're definately not increasing!

    Retail sales boosted by back-to-school shoppers

    "NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The road to economic recovery is still rocky, but American consumers are slowly starting to spend again.

    Retail sales grew for the second month in a row in August, led by back-to-school shopping and a strong showing from grocery stores and gasoline stations."


    Retail sales boosted by rising gas, food prices - Sep. 14, 2010
  2. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    Yeah PR, I agree 100%.

    We have people in here wondering about far-flung conspiracies and here we an obvious one. Why does our gov't lie about the state of our economy?
  3. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Poor PR, talking between his two selves again.

    I'll take pity on ya so ya don't feel so all alone, tho.

    Just how do we "just look at state sales tax receipts?" I can't find anything online. Maybe I'm using the wrong search words, however.

    I'm assuming you have links and info, however, since you made the statement and obviously have the proof.

    Share either a link or the actual information and we can have a real discussion about it.

    The only thing I found was the following from Illinois - and it disagrees with your statement.

    Springfield sales tax collections are up about 7 percent through the first six months of the fiscal year.

    City, state report better sales tax figures - Springfield, IL - The State Journal-Register
  4. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    First of all, we'd have to look at every state's sales tax rate history to see if it was increased. If Illinois increased their sales tax rate last year by 8%, then an increase of 7% would actually indicate a decline in retail sales.

    For example, Massachusetts INCREASED our sales tax rate by 25% in May of 2009. This change also included taxing things that were never taxed before. So if sales tax revenue increased 10% since then, it would still reflect a decline in retail sales.

    It's complicated, but possible....

    "In 2009, 12 states have increased sales tax revenues by such means as raising rates, expanding the tax base to cover previously untaxed goods and services, and administrative changes."

    Massachusetts, Kentucky, Colorado, California, Vermont, Wisconsin, Nevada, Tennessee, Maine, New York, Rhode Island and Washington all increased sales taxes in 2009.

    The above list does not even include any state that increased their sales tax in 2008 or 2010.

    The Point I'd like to address is that "Same-store sales" can't be used to measure retail sales trends if retailers are closing thousands of stores (and they have). Care to address this point specifically?
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
  5. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Not particularily. You raise the same question frequently, try to make the same point over and over again, people argue with you, you argue with them, nothing gets resolved, no one's figures or facts are any more provable or disprovable than anyone else's and so what's the point?

    I know it's not the same as having the same argument today but if you're really interested in having your "point" addressed perhaps you can simply refresh your memory.

    I doubt opinions (yours or anyone else's) have changed much in the past few months.



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    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
  6. patsfan13

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    PR in the real world the economy stinks, government employees enjoy their safe little world.
  7. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As an Economist you should know economics is a blend of Finance, Psychology, and Sociology so even if the government is lying it might be a good thing. If people think that the economy is doing better they will go out and spend. The economy is based quite a bit on perception and how people feel. Look at the Stock Market just a few years ago, i heard more than once that there must be Prozac in the water for people to put so much money in the market. That there was no rational reason for the market to climb as fast as it did. Now its the opposite, i watch the market see saw up and down. One day theres a bit of good news and he market will jump 100+ plus points, then the next day on a little bit of bad new or rumor the market goes down. If traders kept their money in, the market might continue to climb. Its like self fulfilling prophecy these days.
  8. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    You make some valid points Flex. Economics does have a lot of psychological causal factors. I agree with you there. But it is never, ever acceptable for our gov't to lie or even stretch the truth...but we both know this is a daily ocurrance, don't we?

    Also, keep in mind that the stock market is NOT the economy. The economy drives the markets, not vice-versa. To that point, the markets are a LOT higher than the low point we reached in 2008, but the economy is NOT a lot better than it was back then.
  9. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    People can choose to believe that "same-store" sales accurately measure retail sales, but they'd be wrong. The fact is, they do not.

    Our gov't wants us to believe retail sales are up
    The markets want us to believe retail sales are up
    Retailers want us to believe retail sales are up
    Manufacturers want us to believe retail sales are up

    Why? Obviously to convince consumers that the economy has turned around and you'll spend.

    BTW....I just read another article in Sunday's Boston Globe about the incredible American cultural trend toward "Frugality"....Personally, I hope we permanently become a frugal nation and get away from materialism.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
  10. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Not saying that the market is the economy, just at one time people were throwing money into it with no rational reason other than it kept going up so they kept throwing money into it. Its like a self fulfilling prophecy: If you think the economy is good and your going to make money by investing you put money in the market. Other people (investors) see the market going up and do like wise. And it works in reverse just as well.
  11. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    So are you saying you're ok with being lied to?

    If so, just consider the me the messenger of truth.

    The economy is a fuggn' MESS. We're not done with bailouts and the transfer of wealth to wealthy corporations disguised as economic packages
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
  12. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This was discussed before, last year? I think that it wasn't the first time the gov. lied about the economy. Do i want to be lied to....if it HELPS the Country, Yes.
  13. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    Can you say "Weapons of Mass Destruction"?:D

    Lying can't ever "help the country" Flex, but go ahead and believe that if you choose.

    The psychology part only goes so far. It's not what will determine whether or not (or even when) our economy will prosper again. Even if Americans became convinced it is ok to spend, there isn't enough disposable income out there to get us back to pre-2007 levels.

    -Too many people are out of work
    -We can no longer use equity in our homes to finance spending
    -There isn't enough credit available to the public (see credit card changes)
    -If there was enough easy credit, people won't use it after what has happened.
  14. khayos

    khayos Rookie

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    They're padding the employment rolls now too lol.
  15. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    I believe "they" are doing that as well. But that's not a partisan thing since the definition of unemployment was changed back in the 80's. But to your point, the way it's reported is misleading at best.

    If someone is out of work longer than 2 years, they're no longer counted as among the unemployed. Even though all Americans believe that person should be counted as unemployed.

    Why do think that is?
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
  16. khayos

    khayos Rookie

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    Reports are that election workers, for the first time, are being asked to fill out paperwork indicating employment hence a job to hit the last job report before the election.
  17. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    Well then...if I were running against one of these idiots, I'd bring this to the attention of the voters. After all, campaigning isn't a ligit job and most do it for free. I've helped with campaigns many times and never got a dime. But I did get "taken care of"!:D
  18. Real World

    Real World Rookie

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    Can you say "epic fail"? That's what the measures taken by our government over the last 2-3 years have amounted to.

    Foreclosures Rise; Repossessions Set Record

    Published: Thursday, 16 Sep 2010 | 2:11 AM ET Text Size By: Joseph Pisani
    CNBC News Associate

    US foreclosure activity rose in August from the previous month, and banks and lenders took ownership from homeowners at a record pace, according to a new report released Thursday.

    Bank repossessions, often the final step in the foreclosure process after a home fails to sell at auction, increased about 3 percent from the month before to 95,364, a record high. At the same time the number of properties that received default notices—the first step in the foreclosure process—decreased 1 percent from a month ago and fell 30 percent from a year ago, a sign that lenders are focusing on their backlog of foreclosure inventory before tackling new distressed loans, according to foreclosure listing website RealtyTrac, which released the report.

    Overall, foreclosure fillings rose 4.18 percent in August from the previous month, and were down 5.48 percent from a year ago. In all, 338,836 properties were in the foreclosure process. One in 381 U.S. households received a foreclosure notice in August. (Foreclosure notices are defined as a default notice, auction sale notice or bank repossession.)

    “There is a buildup in delinquent loans that are not in foreclosure,” said Rick Sharga, senior vice president of RealtyTrac, adding that banks and lenders are slowing the process to avoid a drop in home prices. “It’s a managed slowdown more than anything else,” he said.

    “The underlining conditions haven’t improved,” Sharga added, referring to high unemployment and falling home prices in certain markets.
  19. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Anecdotal evidence but i saw an interview with local B+B owners, and for the first time in a couple of years they're reporting that they're selling out for the fall foliage. This means that the average person now has enough disposable income to go on trips, not major vacations but weekend get aways. I think there is an important difference, people will save up all year to go on a major vaca IMO weekend get aways are quicky decisions. That means you have the money in pocket.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010
  20. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    That's interesting, khayos. Got a link by any chance? It's pretty terrible if it's true.

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