Preserving the Holiday Spirit

It’s done my heart good to see the American consumer doing her/his best to meet retailer expectations this holiday season.

And nay, nay, this will not be yet another screed about the over-commercialization of Hanukkah, Christmas, Yule and/or Kwanzaa.
As a struggling small business person and a displaced technology worker to boot, my purity this holy season is assured: I have few worries about “spending too much for junk they don’t need”.
Besides, my sister Sandy got me off the hook with the only members of the extended family I’ve shopped for in recent years, my niece and nephew, by telling me that they are too old for gifts.
She’s right, of course, and anyway, they are at the point in their lives where they have pretty much amassed anything they would want, at least within my budget. I’m sure they’d have no objections if their aunt could, for example, pay off their mortgages, so I routinely buy lottery tickets to accommodate that possibility.
That leaves my son and his family, and since we are all financially challenged this year, we’ve worked out an understanding to trade chits for when our ships come in – someday, but not so soon that it concerns those who direct traffic on the Cape Cod Canal.
But, as they say, I digress: I’m glad that other people have taken up the challenge to keep the current economic boom going, or at least keep it from back pedalling too much from the “blistering” pace of 8.2% achieved in Q3.
I’m hoping that if the economy continues to be fueled by consumer spending, it will convince technology clients to spend as well – and preferably here, in the good old USA, not in India, China, the Phillipines, Russia, Ireland or even (much as we love it) Canada.
A year ago, Forrester said that $136 BILLION in white collar wages will be overseas outsourced by 2015. It is expected that this will involve more than just technology companies like IBM, Oracle, Microsoft and Dell. Already, financial services jobs are being shipped “over there”, but not, we’re assured, the really “good” jobs, i.e., senior management, just the “low-level” ones, the $30-70k ones that support the diminishing middle class.
Some of us suspect that this is due not only to the usual American mega-business focus on short-term financial gain, but also to a hidden agenda to return this country to the good old days when the rich were very rich and the middle class wasn’t so uppity, mostly because it didn’t exist.
So, I sez, “buy, buy, buy”. Look at the labels. Try to avoid goods made in China if you possibly can, but protect our way of life by loading up on all kinds of “stuff” this holiday season.
And if a computer is on your list, don’t buy it from Dell.