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Author Topic: The abject failure of trickle-down economics
Colonel Panic
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Icon 1 posted November 24, 2008 09:57      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Neo conservatives would like us to believe that if we gave all our money to the sinfully wealthy, they would take care of the economy. Current experience contradicts that.

So does Adam Smith who, in 1776 published the handbook of American success, "Wealth of Nations". In that book he stipulated that free-market economies could not succeed unless the "poorest of the poor" could afford essentials to daily life in our society. These people drive the economy, buy shoes, televisions, cares, etc.

So what has happened now that trickle down has busted and there is no trickle down? Here is a listing of store closings I ran across recently.

Circuit City stores... most recent (? how many)

Ann Taylor- 117 stores nationwide are to be shuttered

Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, and Catherine's to close 150 stores
nationwide

Eddie Bauer to close stores - 27 stores and more
after January

Cache will close all stores

Talbots closing down all stores

J. Jill closing all stores

GAP closing 85 stores

Footlocker closing 140 stores more to close after January

Wickes Furniture closing down

Levitz closing down remaining stores

Bombay closing remaining stores

Zales closing down 82 stores and 105 after January.

Whitehall closing all stores

Piercing Pagoda closing all stores

Disney closing 98 stores and will close more after January.

Home Depot closing 15 stores 1 in NJ (New Brunswick)

Macys to close 9 stores after January

Linens and Things closing all stores

Movie Galley Closing all stores

Pacific Sunware closing stores

Pep Boys Closing 33 stores

Sprint/ Nextel closing 133 stores

JC Penney closing a number of stores after January

Ethan Allen closing 12
stores.

Wilson Leather closing down all stores

Sharper Image closing down all stores

K B Toys closing 356 stores

Lowes to close down some stores

Dillard's to close some stores

Pretty scary isn't it? Lotta jobs lost there.

Colonel Panic

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tweety
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Icon 1 posted November 24, 2008 10:36      Profile for tweety   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Bombay's been closed (at least where I'm at) for some time. Eddie Bauer's been in trouble for years, but I think that has much to do with first line customer service (long story, had a run in with them regarding a down blanket – unless you buy it from an Eddie Bauer store it's not an Eddie Bauer product). Wickes has also been closed for some time (another long story (first-hand) on that one, essentially, I wasn't surprised). KB Toys has been in trouble since I believe '05 or '06. Disney Stores aren't wholly owned by Disney, they were bought out by management a few years back, namely because Disney wasn't making any money on them and the management team thought they could.

A lot of these places expanded too quickly expecting the good times to last forever. One of the most amazing thing to me is that it was only 7 short years ago that we had the Tech Industry meltdown, and here we are now with a Housing meltdown that's oozing into the deepest core of our financial systems. The same underlying fundamental mistakes were made both times. I swear, all humans must be crazy. "Hey, it didn't work in this industry and now we're hosed. But, hey, let's try that other industry. I mean, there has got to be something in which its value never decreases. Profits forever!"

Laissez-faire economics has never worked, and trickle down voodoo is just another face for laissez-faire. Let me be honest here, if I somehow found myself very wealthy through business I'd be keeping a lot of the money for myself. Especially if it came through my blood, sweat and tears. If I won the lottery, I'd be finding ways to secure myself for life and to grow that money, relatively safely, not reinvesting it into any business ventures. And, I know that any money I invest in stocks will more than likely never find its way into the pockets of the worker bees.

The last 30 years has seen Reaganomics lead us to a severe recession under Bush I. Abandonment of Reaganonomics saw an upswing under Clinton. But, the Clinton admin did help pave the way for less oversight of important financial structures. Bush II furthered those policies, bringing back Reaganomics and landing us squarely in the mess we face now. Sure, an oversimplification, but the general idea/timeline nonetheless.

Oh, you can also add Tweeter to that list.

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted November 24, 2008 10:52      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by tweety:
Laissez-faire economics has never worked, and trickle down voodoo is just another face for laissez-faire.

I apologize in advance for not contributing to this serious question, but the first thing that poped-up in my head upon ready this was "lipstick on a hog". I thought you might like the double-entendre.

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tweety
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Icon 1 posted November 24, 2008 10:56      Profile for tweety   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stereo:
quote:
Originally posted by tweety:
Laissez-faire economics has never worked, and trickle down voodoo is just another face for laissez-faire.

I apologize in advance for not contributing to this serious question, but the first thing that poped-up in my head upon ready this was "lipstick on a hog". I thought you might like the double-entendre.
Stereo – Thanks, that brought a sorely needed smile to my face.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted November 24, 2008 12:32      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
________________ CP __ Tweety__ Stereo __ There used to be an expression of its better to be P*ss#d Off Than P*ss#d On. Well try this on for size. All of these legacy costs that Congress wants the Auto makers to shed were bought and paid for by the auto workers. Well to get Prescription coverage you have to give up twenty five cents/hour for one year before we start the program same with Vision, Dental, Pension, and Health care The Company never gave us any thing we gave up pay to get those things. You hear about the sub fund well we funded that at the tune of a quarter/hour to help defray layoff expenses. I paid into the Sub-fund for thirty two years and never collected a dime from the fund.

So the suits took my savings, and now they want my Pension, Health, and Dental care and put me at the mercy of SS. That Clown Romney knows that the workers funded these programs, now he wants to take them away. Why is it that there are rules being written for the workers but not the suits? I get a kick out of writers saying if Detroit made cars people wanted to buy they would sell, then why was Toyota & Honda making Pick-ups if they did not sell. The Big three made what sold, until gas hit Four/$ a gallon and there was no money for leases or auto loans.

Rain water, Creeks and sewers run down hill money floats to the top where the suits skim it off.

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Icon 1 posted November 24, 2008 13:45      Profile for geekygoddess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Boy, am I sure glad I got out of retail when I did. That is quite scary!!!

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted November 24, 2008 18:16      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:

GAP closing 85 stores
Zales closing down 82 stores and 105 after January.
Disney closing 98 stores and will close more after January.
Sharper Image closing down all stores

[Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

Thanks, you made my day a little brighter. [Smile]

Also:
Macys to close 9 stores after January
Hmm...if they continue their desperate chase for customers, maybe I'll fleece them again on their insane sales — I got something for 69% off last week!

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted November 24, 2008 19:02      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So what's the solution? If every store closes, then all those people will be out of jobs. What will they do? Where will those people who still have jobs spend their money?

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted November 24, 2008 21:14      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Perhaps at some stores that sell goods that are Made in the USA?

Wouldn't that be an idea?

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted November 24, 2008 23:13      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
Perhaps at some stores that sell goods that are Made in the USA?

Like these guys. Style AND warm fuzzies at multiple levels. Who could ask for more?

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted November 25, 2008 04:38      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
Like these guys. Style AND warm fuzzies at multiple levels. Who could ask for more?

Uh, those of us who wear over size 18? Those of us who can fit into 2XL and 3XL shirts but would prefer to wear shirts that follow our curves, not boxy "unisex" shirts? An opening page that is not akin to softcore porn? It was definitely NSFW.

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted November 25, 2008 07:18      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
Like these guys. Style AND warm fuzzies at multiple levels. Who could ask for more?

Uh, those of us who wear over size 18? Those of us who can fit into 2XL and 3XL shirts but would prefer to wear shirts that follow our curves, not boxy "unisex" shirts? An opening page that is not akin to softcore porn? It was definitely NSFW.
Soft core porn? I don't know if I left the Flash player to run for long enough, but I didn't see anything I would classify as porn. Oh whoops! as I speak, there goes a nipple on a very fuzzy nude photo. Well I still think I have seen more objectionable images in the National Gallery

Rhonnie, I think I understand some of the political issues around clothes and size, how fashion models are absurdly thin, and how designers and manufacturers make too many clothes that only look really good on rail thin girls, but am less certain whether people of your size and shape should be entitled to be catered for by mass market chains. My father was 6 ft 6 tall, and this limited his choices in many ways that you might recognise, clothes, cars, theatre seats etc. etc., but if you are at the edge of the statistical bell curve, it is surely unlikely that most mass market operations will cater for you, because the demand part of the supply and demand equation is not there. What do you think?

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted November 25, 2008 08:37      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
Perhaps at some stores that sell goods that are Made in the USA?

Like these guys. Style AND warm fuzzies at multiple levels. Who could ask for more?
Neat. I wasn't actually certain that they were made in the US*, but I did a bit more reading and I'm pretty impressed! I really don't know more about them other than that I've seen more than a few ads for them in The Onion.

*That could sound very stupid, but I'm a bit cynical.

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Icon 1 posted November 25, 2008 12:46      Profile for tweety   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rhonnie – There is a flip side to your dilemma. Try being short and skinny like myself and Mrs Tweety. Okay, I'm not really that short, 5' 8" -ish. Yet, the average American male's height is now approaching 6'. It's sure hard to find the same amount of choice in Men's small as you would get in Men's M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL, well, you get the point. My mother had the same problem you have, though. She was always on the heavy side her entire life, and could never find clothing that was fashionable in her size.

It's even worse with shoes. Mrs Tweety is a 4 1/2 and no one readily carries size 5 (which she can kind of wear). Most places now only start at 6. If she really wants 4 1/2 she can get them at Nordstom's, but who really wants to spend $300 for shoes when the quality isn't any better than Aldo's or Payless'? I'm beginning to run into a similar issue. While I don't have really small feet, let's just say I'm well proportioned. [Wink]

The clothing industry is going to be like any industry, it's going to focus on where all the money is at. Pretty much what Cally was saying. So, as the average height increases, the more Larges will be on the rack. The heavier people become, the more plus sizes you'll see. The thinner people become, the more small sizes, etc. Besides, can't we just all go back to sewing our own clothing? Imagine a teenager having to sew their own jeans. Think you'll be seeing holes in those?

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted November 25, 2008 13:52      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Heh. My boyfriend is about my size, which is small for a man (but mid-size for a woman). We can sort of share clothes, including pants and shoes - before we started living together I once rode my bike over to his place, arrived soaked from a storm that started while I was on the road, and he had lend me clothes while we ran what I arrived in through the wash. It all fit well enough, though we're proportioned a bit different and I prefer my inseam longer. Also, his feet are contoured differently so even though our shoes are the same size, wearing his is a weird, weird experience. Our feet are about as small as they sell for men and right around the popular size for women (seriously, I never find shoes on clearance :roll:).

He went to buy a motorcycle jacket and came home complaining about how the men's jackets were too long in the sleeves and the women's jackets too small across the shoulders. He bought a men's jacket anyway and I teased him about being a shrimp. This isn't even an ethnic thing - he's just small. Your typical full-size Serb is about 1.5 times taller and wider than kreziserb. He makes up for it with sheer force of personality.

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted November 25, 2008 19:20      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
Soft core porn? I don't know if I left the Flash player to run for long enough, but I didn't see anything I would classify as porn. Oh whoops! as I speak, there goes a nipple on a very fuzzy nude photo. Well I still think I have seen more objectionable images in the National Gallery

Girls pulling their shirts up, displaying the lower halves of their breasts, are definitely NSFW and those of us who prefer to avoid such images on principle. I went to a clothing site. I expected to see clothing, not uncovered people.

quote:
Rhonnie, I think I understand some of the political issues around clothes and size, how fashion models are absurdly thin, and how designers and manufacturers make too many clothes that only look really good on rail thin girls, but am less certain whether people of your size and shape should be entitled to be catered for by mass market chains. My father was 6 ft 6 tall, and this limited his choices in many ways that you might recognise, clothes, cars, theatre seats etc. etc., but if you are at the edge of the statistical bell curve, it is surely unlikely that most mass market operations will cater for you, because the demand part of the supply and demand equation is not there. What do you think?
I think that I have money and will gladly spend it on clothing that fits well. Manufacturers/retailers are shooting themselves in the foot when they ignore a segment of the population that is as significant as mine.

You bring up politics - I am fat. I am a person of worth. The two are not mutually exclusive.

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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 1 posted November 25, 2008 20:10      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:

Rhonnie, I think I understand some of the political issues around clothes and size, how fashion models are absurdly thin, and how designers and manufacturers make too many clothes that only look really good on rail thin girls, but am less certain whether people of your size and shape should be entitled to be catered for by mass market chains. My father was 6 ft 6 tall, and this limited his choices in many ways that you might recognise, clothes, cars, theatre seats etc. etc., but if you are at the edge of the statistical bell curve, it is surely unlikely that most mass market operations will cater for you, because the demand part of the supply and demand equation is not there. What do you think?

I don't think supply/demand is the whole story. The size of the average woman in the US is 12/14 right now. The trendy clothing stores and most places that stock anything you'd actually want to wear before you turn 50 (no offense to Dress Barn or my grandmother, but I'd like to dress like a 26 year old right now) end their sizing at 12/14. If they are concerned about a bell curve they should have the most clothing in sizes 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18 and then maybe start tapering off on the ends, but they don't. There is a mall near me where I cannot buy anything to wear except accessories because the stores don't carry plus sizes or have relegated the plus sizes to online only (I'm looking at you Old Navy). And I couldn't find much there even when I wore size 12. People are getting fatter in the US, there should be more catering to those of us who are fat, not less.

Edit:

To tweety's concern, yeah, I definitely get that too. I have large calves not just from being fat but from lots of muscle. Even when I was 150 pounds I still had large, muscular calves. This means that the really cute knee socks never come up and I can't find boots taller than ankle boots. And I have a really short inseam so it's next to impossible to find pants that don't have to be hemmed. It's just part of being a weird size that is uncommon. I don't expect all stores to cater to every weird variation that occurs because then they'd never make money. But as far as fat people go, they're the rule not the exception.

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted November 26, 2008 05:11      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TMBWITW,PB:
I don't expect all stores to cater to every weird variation that occurs because then they'd never make money. But as far as fat people go, they're the rule not the exception.

Here lies the whole problem, though. "Fat" comes in all sizes. Some are heavy from waist down to the ankle, while the upper body goes smaller. Some have it all around the belly, lower body goes almost normal, arms almost normal. Some have it all in the bust and behind, but are comparatively narrow.

So, for a size 20, there could be 4 or 5 variations to make it fit to everyone. That means a specific design will only cater to a percentage of overweight people; not all. While a size 10 will just about everyone who is of size 10.

So, yeah, up to a point, to have good fitting clothes when you are overweight means you have to do some sewing. Until someone finds a way to have "made to fit" clothes, when you put in your measurments (or have a body scan) then you choose the model you want, and it goes to the factory. But unless it's almost fully automated, it's going to be pricey.

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Icon 1 posted November 26, 2008 05:34      Profile for geekygoddess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Where are you guys shopping? The stores I shop at carry from 00 to 18, if you are bigger than 18 they have a few stores in the mall for that and if you are smaller they have a store that caters to the "little" people. Maybe it depends on the location. Now, Stereo is right, people's proportions do vary a lot. One size does NOT fit all! [Eek!]

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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 1 posted November 26, 2008 07:58      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stereo:

So, for a size 20, there could be 4 or 5 variations to make it fit to everyone. That means a specific design will only cater to a percentage of overweight people; not all. While a size 10 will just about everyone who is of size 10.

That's baloney. Even in smaller sizes you have people with shorter/longer torsos, smaller/larger breasts, wider/narrower shoulders, and people who are a different size on bottom than on top. The thing about mass manufactured clothes is that they never fit anyone perfectly, they just fit a lot of people pretty well. And I wasn't talking about the plus size clothes available not fitting properly, I was just talking about having them available in the first place. I'm not complaining about plus size tops being designed for those with larger chests when I have a small one because I know that's how the distribution generally goes, but I do think it's ridiculous that so many stores refuse to even serve plus size customers when so much of the country falls in that category.

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted November 26, 2008 14:23      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Heh. And I have the opposite problem, Peebs. Shirts that you feel are cut too big for you are cut too small for my Rack of Doom(tm). All those cute empire-waisted shirts? Can't wear 'em. They cut across the middle of the lower half of my boobs instead of under them. Unfortunately for both of us, empire waists are pretty much all that retailers are giving us right now. *sigh*

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