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Monday, November 30, 2015

Fewer Crowds, Fewer Dollars, Fewer Freedoms in 2015

Poor Man Survival
Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…

ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

“I need more frugality. I wonder where I can buy some.”
Jarod Kintz

Fewer Crowds, Fewer Freedoms, Fewer Dollars…

There was a pushback among some consumers and retailers this year against being open for business on Thanksgiving Day and the so-called Black Friday in general and it worked….there were fewer crowds at the malls.

This was due to an increase in online shopping and the fact there are fewer Americans with extra money According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, Black Friday attendance was down over 3%, from 58.7% last year to 55.1% this year.

The survey noted that the average shopper was expected to spend $380.95, which was down from $407.02 the previous year. According to the group’s estimates, sales slipped from $57.4 billion to $50.9 billion.

“A strengthening economy that changes consumers’ reliance on deep discounts, a highly competitive environment, early promotions, and the ability to shop 24/7 online all contributed to the shift witnessed this weekend,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay.

I read a report in Time magazine that even auto dealers are now pushing six and seven year loans or leases and Americans are becoming ‘upside down’ auto loans just as they did with mortgages!

Wall Street, fearful that consumers are running out of cash heading into the crucial Christmas retail season, are selling off retail stocks and everything else sensitive to consumer spending.
So why are consumers running out of cash?

Well, as I’ve reported before, it is because the middle class is dying, poverty in America is exploding and the cost of living continues to soar.

Just look at what is happening to healthcare costs.  It turns out that employees that work for medium and large companies in the U.S. are now paying more than double for health insurance than they were a decade ago…

Employees of midsize and large companies in 2015 paid an average of $4,700 for their health insurance, up from $2,001 in 2005, according to recent analysis from Aon Hewitt.

Consumer Reports released its annual 2015 Naughty & Nice List    
Firms such as FedEx, UPS, CitiBank, Sprint, Verizon, LifeLock and many other well known names made the list again…check it out:   

America Falls – Again
The last time I wrote about this, the United States stood at number 13, now we stand at number 20…if you’ve found yourself feeling less free you’re right!  A new report published last month that measures and ranks how much personal, civil and economic freedom there is 152 countries shows bad news for the US – dropped again to number 20

Believe it or not,  Hong Kong and Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands took  top spots on the Human Freedom Index

How I went from being a millionaire to nearly broke-a spouse who thought nothing of blowing $1,000 a week or so on gifts to buy friends and office workers, while forgetting household bills…[at least that was my experience]

Income inequality has become a key hot button issue in the modern day political spectrum. While these economic and class divides seem more pronounced than ever before, the impressive new documentary Plutocracy: Political Repression in the USA reveals that the core of these struggles pre-date the beginnings of the industrialized labor force. The long and painful journey towards achieving worker rights and fair wages has been marked by violence, discrimination, and inhumane exploitation.

Great projects from the World Maker Faire in NYC including:  the Creature Choir which has 12 disembodied heads, a Fire-breathing 30-foot tall robot made from discarded airplane parts, Fortunetron 7000, an automated fortune teller that pulls your fate from the Internet and more!  I’m seeking help for my project:  the creation of beautiful female automatons and androids!

·  How to Buy a Christmas Tree
A tree grower shares his secrets
·  Does your debt have an expiration date?
What does the statute of limitation mean for debt? Find out how this law protects you

A Parting Thought…
Situational Awareness…or the lack of is the number one reason citizens get into trouble.  One of the priorities I was taught in the military was to be aware of your surroundings at all times.  Few people today seem to have any awareness.  Instead, they have their head buried in their cell phone, walking and talking or texting, often to the point where they can be easily robbed or injured…just plain stupid and pointless.  Wake up America and pull your head out of your ass!

Yours for better living,
Bruce, the Poor Man

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1 comment:

DAR said...

Hope your holiday was 'filling' and we're all happy you're still doing this blog!