As retail store closures continue to unfold, will have big effect on the U.S. economy

Discussion in 'Economics & Trade' started by kazenatsu, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member

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    As retail stores continue not to do well it's going to have a very big effect on the U.S. economy in terms of jobs.



    While some of this is a reflection of the transition to online mail order retail, from companies like Amazon for instance, it's also important to remember that some of this stems from the typical American consumer having less disposable income to spend.

    Online retail only makes up about 11% of total retail sales.


    You might want to click on the link to get a full screen view of the video so you can better see the details in the many graphs, and also part 2 of the video is just as insightful as the first part.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  2. Reiver

    Reiver Well-Known Member

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    Greater equality, more self employment, more family run enterprises offering bespoke product.

    Sorted!
     
  3. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Donor

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    Yes, retailing is changing significantly due to the Internet. (Amazon & Company).

    But that does not mean necessarily that Demand is hampered in an economy growing at a 3.2% annual rate. (That is, the quarterly rate annualized as if it would continue as such for the entire year.) That is not at all a bad rate of growth for the US economy. (There is damn little a PotUS can do about economic growth since GDP is a factor mostly dependent upon Total Consumer Sales.)

    But if you want to attribute that growth to the present Replicant in the Oval Office, then be my guest. (But, he's had nonetheless nothing to do with it.)

    The "typical American consumer" means nothing. There is a comparable measurement called Mean Personal Income (individual or family). In statistics of this kind it is difficult to obtain the "average", so we shall have to do with the "mean". (What's the difference? See here.)

    Two statistical entities measure "income" in the US:
    *The U.S Bureau of the Census has the annual real median personal income at $31,099 in 2016. Whist it puts
    *Real median household income at $59,039 in 2016.

    Now, compare that to the Poverty Threshold income, which (for a family of four) is $25K annually.

    In this, the Greatest Nation on Earth, the real-median personal income is a bit less than twice as much as the Poverty Threshold income (below which one can be considered to be "really poor"). Do you think that is a "Great Societal Achievement" for the US?

    I don't ... because most of the Income that transits (if it can) up into Wealth is owned by a tiny, tiny, tiny percentage of the American population. And the rest of us would be "really better off" if we instead were the benefactors of their unearned wealth. And we could be if Upper Income Taxation rates were back at 90% and not as is the case today. Or, as Forbes put it: Trump Plan Delivers Massive Tax Cuts To The 1% And Sharp Kick To The Upper Middle Class
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  4. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member

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    Household income is kind of a meaningless statistic. Some households are 1-person households, while some are 2-person households. The ratio of 1-person to 2-person households can change over time, or may not be the same in different regions of the country.

    The only thing household income might tell you is housing affordability.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  5. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Donor

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    If you have a better one, I'd like to see it.

    I also think that this infographic is one of the most meaningful of its kind:
    [​IMG]

    It shows what a helluva long way we have to go to tighten that band, especially from the bottom-side up ...
     
  6. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Donor

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    And growing.

    Give it time ...
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  7. james M

    james M Banned

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    Econ 101: when the farm tractor was invented to replace million's of jobs it was a good thing. Here's the most basic rule of economics: new inventions got us from the stone age to here; thus new inventions are good regardless of what liberals say.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  8. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member

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    I overall agree with that. But there are some technological/economic changes that can bring potential downsides. Theoretically these downsides could be rectified by the government using the revenue gains brought about through increasing efficiency, but in actuality, all throughout history, governments have always failed to properly address these problems. And so there were things like factory workers being exploited under wretched conditions during the Industrial Revolution, or families being pushed off their farms during the early half of the Twentieth Century (not really the best thing for economic self-sufficiency). And technological change has only been good for the people when it meant economic growth. That may not necessarily be the case for all forms of technology that have a big impact on the economy.

    However, all this may just be a distraction and not very relevant, because what's happening here, I believe, doesn't have so much to do with technology. Yes, of course Amazon was only able to come into existence through the existence of the internet and online selling, but that's not really the thing that's causing the workers to suffer here. There are other structural shifts happening in the economy, not so much related to new technology.

    I think it's a big mistake, and counterproductively incorrect, to ascribe all this change to "technological innovation".
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  9. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Donor

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    They do indeed. And, in fact, if governments do nothing of the kind that is the fault of who?

    We, the sheeple, who stayed at home bitching-'n-moaning (on a blog) but did nothing to elect the "right candidate" instead of the "Right candidate". (Which means four more presidential-years of a do-nothing government.

    We have been collectively screwed by the Electoral College, a manipulation of the popular vote that (in fact) DONALD DORK LOST ... by a significant margin of 2% of the popular-vote.

    And we pretend that ours is a real democracy? We are fooling nobody but ourselves.

    It is silly to complain about the the lack of effective economic policy-making that betters the lot of the American people. But, as a (1) lazy electorate that is (2) insufficiently leftist, we deserve what we get.

    The likes of Donald the Dorkman ....

    PS: In fact, France, where I live, has had exactly the opposite problem. Far too many Leftist politicians who made a damn-good living establishing a Government Does Everything Mentality - that was proven dead-wrong when the first really-mean contraction of the economy resulted in the Great Recession. The Socialists have since been dumped ...
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  10. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind, it's also possible redistribution/transfer of wealth brings about some inherent degree of inefficiency, and this inefficiency could exceed the small increase in efficiency brought about through technological gains or changing market structure. In that case, the people would be worse off, even if government attempted to redistribute the gains. Remember, a free market is going to want to move towards a new mode of production even if that new mode is only 1% more efficient.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  11. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member

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    Part 2 of the video

     
  12. crank

    crank Well-Known Member

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    what the hell?
     
  13. crank

    crank Well-Known Member

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    It's about time the spastic consumption eased up.
     
  14. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member

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    Average American consumers were spending much more money than they could afford, all throughout the second half of the 90s to 2007, maybe even a few years after that. There were people wondering how long it could last. Seemed like lots of people were buying new cars all the time, eating out at corporate chain restaurants multiple times a week, going out to movies that cost $15 for a ticket, and in general spending lots of money on consumer things they didn't really need.
    But by 2011, all that was finally coming to an end, and many people with lots of debt had to pay the piper.

    They're blaming all this on the switch to online shopping, but most of it has to do with economics.

    This man goes around doing documentaries inside dead malls in America.
    The abandoned spaces inside can be kind of creepy.







    This is a map of some of the mall closures across the United States within the last 10 years.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  15. Reiver

    Reiver Well-Known Member

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    Taking the quote out of context? Tut tut!

    The point isn't difficult. We know that self employment is higher when there is greater equality. We know that there is greater firm creation, leading to a shift away from market concentration: including a more bespoke shopping experience.
     
  16. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member

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    That might be true, I'm not disagreeing with you. But we also know self employment is higher when there is greater inequality.

    1 out of 3 Americans forced into the gig economy
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  17. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Donor

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    AN ANACHRONISM

    The truth-in-politics, in terms of actual policy-definitions, is somewhere in between both the hard-core Right and the hard-core Left in most systems of governance. (And admittedly I am comparing the only two I know well-enough, Europe and the US.) Americans seem to think that if you believe in something, you "gotta bump-it with a trumpet".

    Meaning that BoobTube expenditure on political commercials actually does-bend-minds in an election. Which is a great shame, if true.

    Nevertheless, I remain convinced that given pertinent information people make up their own minds. So, why did Hillary (and Bernie lose). Was their information "impertinent"?

    Nope, not really. Especially Bernie who was Left-of-center and Hillary too centrist. Hillary did her best, and it was the "electoral system" that caused her to fail.

    Donald Dork is the product of a sentiment built in the Great Recession that took away a great many jobs and scared-the-shat out of a great many others that they would lose theirs. Besides, Hillary DID NOT LOSE THE POPULAR-VOTE ELECTION.

    She won it and it was snatched from her hands by this election-anachronism called an Electoral College* ...

    *
    The idiocy of it all is that the popular-vote is sufficient in all other elections in the country except that of the Executive Office (PotUS). And for no good reason given that the presidency is that of the entire nation for which only the nation's popular-vote should apply.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  18. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Donor

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    Response:
    *Employment is a function of any market-economy. Due to the nature of a market-economy, it cannot be guaranteed (except by a civil-authority - and even then not always). Economies are always in flux.
    *Incomes were unpredictable in a major economic recession. That is no longer actually the case for most of the American economy today. Incomes are, in fact, increasing their averages.
    *I don't think companies should be providing "benefits". I believe that in a Social Democracy, the crucial benefits are provided by the states. In that manner, they are uniform and everybody has the possibility to access them.

    We can try to make life less of a cutting-edge sword however by assuring that people have a chance to better themselves through free education and obtaining better work-qualifications that the Information Age will require of them.

    As I never tire of saying, Manufacturing is down to just 12% of the entire workforce; and if "collecting the garbage" is not necessarily "manufacturing", it does not require any great skill. Wherever skill is basic, that is good ground for robotics.

    Why did we never see this coming when automated paint-machines replace men on product-lines of Detroit's "Big3" back in the 1980s/1990s!!!!

    Did we think this was a "one off". It wasn't. It was more like "their nose in the door"! Which has come to be their seat in the chair of manufacturing no reduced to highly skilled people who know how to run robotic manufacturing machines. A skill that they were likely taught in some school somewhere.

    There is no difference whatsoever between what happened in the last century and what is coming to pass in this one. Robotics is assuming more and more of manufacturing production.

    This is our "way-of-life" in the new Information Age. We'd best get used to it because "information management processing" is producing more of the GDP than are smoke-stack industries. And one needs a good grounding to manipulate such systems* ...

    *I went to high-school when we had in them a "print shop". Where students learned how to "set type". Many went on to jobs in newspapers. All that is changed. But, pray tell, why can we not have the same secondary-schooling for advanced "labor" techniques ... like robotics? (The kids are already pretty good at manipulating a computer, aren't they?)
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  19. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member

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    What makes you think all this is caused by automation? Is that just another meme?

    I think automation is only responsible for a small fraction of what's going on.
    The same thing goes for online shopping. That's only a smaller part of the cause.

    In terms of money spent, online purchases account for only 8.1% of retail sales. Obviously, there's got to be something else to explain this.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
    crank likes this.
  20. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Donor

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    I don't and I see it all around me here in France.

    Jobs by the thousands have been exported to China in the basic industries. There is not one company left in France that makes low-cost household articles in plastic. That's all gone to China.

    They will only come back when the manufacturing-cost is reduced by robotics production* that replaces the central cost-factor of manual labor. And I have seen that in numerous news articles throughout France, so I suspect it is also happening in the US.

    *China has seen the evolution of its foreign-trade. They are now concentrating the production and sale of low-cost items into Africa - which is very unlikely to compete by setting up companies with local low-cost hiring. (Unfortunately.)

    I don't.

    Again, an example from France: French cuisine, aside from being world-famous, is also a major job-market here in France. And that market is now being threatened by companies that are buying highly sophisticated cooking equipment that also packages the product for quick resale and delivery to the consumer at home (or office).

    That's just one example of how automation is replacing low-end manpower that has become too expensive (in a country that has an unemployment rate twice that of the US) ... !
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018

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