I want to show you two sets of headlines from this this week’s papers. Here’s set one:
and here’s set two:
- DSG shares fall 27% after warning of dismal Christmas – Independent
According to the first set of articles, consumers enjoyed such ‘excessive Christmas spending’ that one in four faces unmanageable debt. We enjoyed a holiday ‘binge’, a ‘spree’, we ‘lost control’ and spent an unprecendented £34 billion on our credit cards.
And yet, say the high street, we ‘scaled back’, we were ‘nervous’. We did not provide them with ‘the spending bonanza they had been hoping for’, causing ‘gloomy figures’, ‘plummeting’ shares, ‘misery’ and the threat of a ‘tough year’.
Our economy is completely irrational.
What would it take for the high street to have a good Christmas if our highest ever spending, to the point of bankruptcy, is still only ‘dismal’? If we had bought enough to satisfy the high street chains, how many more of us would be in the red, if one in four is not enough? How ironic that we’re the ones called ‘consumers’.
We’re shopping more than ever before, spending like there’s no tomorrow, and destroying ourselves in the process, and yet the Guardian business section ran a cartoon today featuring two aliens looking at the earth through a telescope, and one saying to the other “Still no sign of life on the high street”.
Does anyone else see the staggering brokenness of our consumer economy?