Two Americas, Two Christmases

13 Dec

The Christian Science Monitor has a an interesting analysis of our holiday spending:

Holiday sales are going well in the United States. Consumers aren't in a 'Bah! Humbug!' mood.

But there's a fly in the soup. Call it the Wal-Mart factor.

While overall spending is up this Christmas season and high-end retailers are doing a banner business, sales at Wal-Mart stores have been relatively sluggish. The discount giant has blamed internal mistakes in strategy and tactics. But the dichotomy hints at a more important trend: the growing inequity in incomes, a decades-long phenomenon.

Apparently, the rich can afford to buy presents at Nieman Marcus, while the poor and middle class are strapped to find enough cash to buy gifts at Wal-Mart. What a great country we live in.

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