Selected numbers appear to show consumer spending is way up, thanks to the 'black' days, cyber day, and on and on with the hype. A closer looks suggests it's really more like a one or two percent increase for the quarter; it's really all about building up a shopping frenzy. Are consumers really spending more at all? Or are they simply desperate to stretch their ever declining incomes to meet pent up demand to replace worn out consumer goods?
Then there is the gnawing need to provide the American dream for yourself and your family. It's not that people really feel the need to buy more junk from China, it's that they know deep down that they're in trouble. And they want so badly to kid themselves that they are still middle class. The evidence for this is that consumer debt is way up. The business channel folks actually point to this increase in debt as proof that the economy is turning around, and there is a certain amount of truth to that, in the same way a soap bubble is a new house.
Big ticket items are often given unique model numbers to disguise their true worth, which always is less than what they are being sold for. The practice of manufacturing stripped down models using inferior parts that closely resemble the item shoppers think they are getting results in what are called 'derivative' models. These are much like the Wall Street 'derivatives' that resemble something of value, but have none.