The New World Order
What All the hype about Christmas sales over the last few weeks masked (was) the fact that American consumers demanded bargain-basement prices. And the price-cutting dramatically reduced sellers’ margins. In short, profits aren’t coming from American consumers (in 2010), and profits won’t be coming from American consumers in 2011.
“The big profits of corporations are coming from two sources: (1) growing sales in China, India, and other fast-growing countries, and (2) slimmed-down US payrolls. Corporate profits will continue to rise, as will the stock market. But typical wages will go nowhere, joblessness will remain high, the ranks of the long-term unemployed will continue to rise, the housing recovery will remain stalled, and consumer confidence will sag.
Most American workers are trapped in an L-shaped recovery. That’s bad news for the Main Streets and small businesses in 2011. It’s also a bad omen for home prices and sales, and everyone whose savings are mainly in their homes.”