Aug 23, 2015

MEME: How To Spot A Liberal On The Internet Perfectly Explained


By on Sunday, August 23, 2015

There are times when excessive attention to monthly data reporting what’s up, what’s down, can be allowed to obscure underlying structural changes in an economy. …But there are significant trends underway, trends that are unlikely to be reversed and which, as they play out, will result in an American economy considerably different from the one we have today.

Perhaps the most notable is the change in how Americans choose to live. We seem to be in what might be called “the full-closet era.” No more stuff. More “experiences.” Consumers are spending more but department stores, from Macy’s, a dominant player in that sector (sales at stores open at least a year down 2.1 percent), to Kohl’s (sales flat, profits down), are watching those dollars pass them by as consumers use their money for gym memberships, to dine out, travel, buy apps, and find more and more unfree uses for their cell phones. Perhaps the only sector in which stuff trumps experience is the booming auto sector, but even there much of the increased revenue and profit is coming from the experiences consumers want their cars to deliver in addition to getting them from here to there[.] …
Americans’ choice of what sort of roof to put over their heads in very different from it once was [sic]. Only about a decade ago, in 2004, 69.2 percent of all homes were occupied by their owners; the home ownership rate has since fallen to 63.4 percent, the lowest in almost fifty years despite some of the most attractive mortgage interest rates on record. In part this is due to the difficulty young couples have in qualifying for a mortgage, as once-burned, twice-fined and increasingly risk-averse banks, looking over their shoulders at their regulators, raise their lending standards. …

[A]dults in their 20s and early 30s, so called millennials, are not alone in preferring to rent rather than buy. Ageing baby boomers, now in their 50s and 60s, have tired of mowing, hunting for plumbers, fixing leaky roofs and coping with the nightmares that accompany realization of the one-time American dream of home ownership. They have accounted for the bulk of new renters[.]…

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