The Quiet Revolution In American Shopping

One America News posted an article today about the changing habits of shoppers in America.

The article reports:

U.S. shoppers made more purchases online on Black Friday than in the mall – hurting traffic and sales at brick-and-mortar stores, according to data that offered a glimpse into what is still one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

For the first time in several years, however, store traffic on Thanksgiving evening grew – indicating a shift in when consumers are leaving their homes to shop. It is also a sign of how Thursday evening store openings have continued to hurt what has traditionally been a day that kicked off the U.S. holiday season.

The importance on the shopping calendar of Black Friday, or the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday, has waned in recent years. This is due to the choice by many retailers to open their stores on Thursday evening, as well as to early holiday promotions and year-round discounts. However, it is increasingly turning into a day when shoppers do not necessarily flock to stores but spend heavily online.

Also, for most retail chains, Black Friday store traffic and sales data is not necessarily grim as consumers continue to spend, consultants said. Winning the transaction, whether online or in-store, has now become more important for retailers than where it occurs.

Most major stores have followed the example of Amazon, making things available online (with options of in-store pick up). Shoppers can now find an item online, place an order, have it delivered, or go to their local store to pick it up immediately or within a day or two.

The article concludes:

Shopper traffic on Thanksgiving evening increased by 2.3%year-over-year but was dragged down by Black Friday, which fell 6.2% from a year ago.

Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting for ShopperTrak, said the traditional pattern of shoppers visiting stores has been disrupted not only by online shopping but by offerings like “buy online and pick up in store,” a growing category, which is not included in store traffic count on Black Friday.

“What all of this really boils down to is the customer journey has changed, now it can start anywhere online, in-store and end anywhere … and it is about making sure the customer makes the purchase and stays loyal to the brands more than where it happens,” he said.

Preliminary data from analytics firm RetailNext showed net sales at brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday fell 1.6%, which the firm said is slower than in previous years. No data was yet available for actual spending in stores.

The National Retail Federation had forecast U.S. holiday retail sales over the two months in 2019 will increase between 3.8% and 4.2% from a year ago, for a total of $727.9 billion to $730.7 billion. That compares with an average annual increase of 3.7% over the past five years.

Consumer spending is a major part of the health of the American economy. The increase in holiday retail sales is part of what keeps our economy growing and thriving.

Reading Too Much Into Something Can Spoil It For Everyone

Yesterday The Daily Wire posted an article about a recent controversy about “A Charles Brown Thanksgiving.” Some people who do not know the history of the Peanuts cartoon were upset about a scene in the program where Franklin, a character who is black, is sitting on one side of the table by himself in a lawn chair while the other characters sit around the table on regular chairs. The television special was declared racist on Twitter because of that scene. That declaration of racism does not hold water when the entire history of the cartoon and television specials is viewed.

The article puts the scene in context:

Of course, all of them have no idea what on earth they are talking about. Fortunately, black journalist Jeremy Helligar cleared up some of the controversy on Friday when he noted that the character Franklin had prime seating in other episodes of the “Peanuts.”

“A relevant aside: During the farewell dinner about one hour and five minutes into 1972’s ‘Snoopy Come Home,’ Franklin was seated on the same side of the table as Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Frieda — in a regular chair,” Helligar said on Medium.

The historical significance of the character Franklin cannot be understated; his creation was reportedly demanded by Charles Schulz following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. when a teacher named Harriet Glickman sent him a letter.

“When asked by the head of the cartoon’s publisher, United Feature Syndicate, if he was sure he wanted to add a black character, Glickman says Schulz replied, ‘Either you run it the way I drew it, or I quit,'” reports The Hill.

The Schulz Museum also celebrated Franklin’s 50th anniversary in July. He has never been treated like a token black character added for cheap lip-service to diversity and has always been a valued member of the “Peanuts” gang.

Watching “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” has been a tradition for family viewing during the Thanksgiving season. Hopefully common sense will rule in this situation, and the tradition will continue.

Something Your History Teachers Might Not Have Mentioned

In 2012, Forbes Magazine ran an article titled, “How A Failed Commune Gave Us What Is Now Thanksgiving.” The article reminds us that America was settled by Pilgrims who sincerely believed that community ownership and total sharing were the way to prosper in the New World. Unfortunately, their idealism almost caused the loss of their colony.

The article reports:

As I’ve outlined in greater detail here before (Lessons From a Capitalist Thanksgiving), the original colony had written into its charter a system of communal property and labor. As William Bradford recorded in his Of Plymouth Plantation, a people who had formerly been known for their virtue and hard work became lazy and unproductive. Resources were squandered, vegetables were allowed to rot on the ground and mass starvation was the result. And where there is starvation, there is plague. After 2 1/2 years, the leaders of the colony decided to abandon their socialist mandate and create a system which honored private property. The colony survived and thrived and the abundance which resulted was what was celebrated at that iconic Thanksgiving feast.

After watching the success of Bernie Sanders as a Socialist candidate for President, I wonder if our children are being taught this.

The article concludes:

History is the story of the limitations of human power. But the limits of power is a topic for people who doubt themselves and their right to rule, not the self-anointed.

That’s how it is now, and that’s how it was in 1620. The charter of the Plymouth Colony reflected the most up-to-date economic, philosophical and religious thinking of the early 17th century. Plato was in vogue then, and Plato believed in central planning by intellectuals in the context of communal property, centralized state education, state centralized cultural offerings and communal family structure. For Plato, it literally did take a village to raise a child. This collectivist impulse reflected itself in various heretical offshoots of Protestant Christianity with names like The True Levelers, and the Diggers, mass movements of people who believed that property and income distinctions should be eliminated, that the wealthy should have their property expropriated and given to what we now call the 99%. This kind of thinking was rife in the 1600s and is perhaps why the Pilgrim settlers settled for a charter which did not create a private property system.

But the Pilgrims learned and prospered. And what they learned, we have forgotten and we fade.  Now, new waves of ignorant masses flood into parks and public squares. New Platonists demand control of other people’s property. New True Levelers legally occupy the prestige pulpits of our nation, secular and sacred. And now, as then, the productive class of our now gigantic, colony-turned-superpower, learn and teach again, the painful lessons of history. Collectivism violates the iron laws of human nature. It has always failed. It is always failing, and it will always fail. I thank God that it is failing now. Providence is teaching us once again.

This is one example of the reason we need to pay attention to what our children are learning about American history in our schools.

The Government Seems To Be Getting Even More Intrusive

On Friday, CNS News posted a story about a man arrested for driving a car with a secret compartment.

The article explains:

The Ohio law passed last year prohibits, “designing, building, constructing, fabricating, modifying, or altering a vehicle to create or add a hidden compartment with the intent to facilitate the unlawful concealment or transportation of a controlled substance, prohibit operating, possessing, or using a vehicle with a hidden compartment with knowledge that the hidden compartment is used or intended to be used to facilitate the unlawful concealment or transportation of a controlled substance.”

This seems to be a law against an intention rather than an actual crime. There were no drugs in the compartment. When I was a teenager, I knew someone who rerouted the air conditioning in his car to create a refrigerator in the glove compartment. I suspect he kept beer there, but he was old enough to buy beer; and if the bottles are not open, having them in the car is not illegal. Would his refrigerator have been cause for arrest in Ohio?

The article further explains:

Just days before Thanksgiving, 30- year old Norman Gurley was pulled over for speeding, but Ohio State Troopers noticed wires running to the back of the car he was driving.

“During the search, they noticed some components inside the vehicle that did not appear to be factory,” Lt. Michael Combs told WKYC-TV.

“We actually figured it out and followed the wiring and we were able to get it open,” said Combs.

I have a problem with this law. If there had been anything in the compartment, the police would have had every right to arrest the person, but I don’t see how they can justify arresting a man for driving a car with a secret compartment with nothing in it. I believe this is another chapter in the growing story of our government’s assault on our rights as Americans.

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Economic Recovery????

Fox Business reported today that the weekly jobless claims jumped to 368,000 this week.

The article reports:

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits surged 68,000 to a seasonally adjusted 368,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That was the largest weekly increase since November 2012. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 2,000 more applications received than previously reported.

No explanation has been given for the jump. The claims report also showed an increase in the number of people collecting benefits. The number jumped 40,000 to 2.79 million in the week ended Nov. 30.

On Sunday I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) questioning the accuracy of the unemployment numbers we are being given. It is interesting to compare the actual numbers with the numbers being given out during the previous week.

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Are We Still There ?

America Was Founded on Our Servitude and Gratitude to God: The Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, by Continental Congress – November 1,1777
Forasmuch as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to him for benefits received, and to implore such farther blessings as they stand in need of; and it having pleased him in his abundant mercy not only to continue to us the innumerable bounties of his common providence, but also smile upon us in the prosecution of a just and necessary war, for the defense and establishment of our unalienable rights and liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased in so great a measure to prosper the means used for the support of our troops and to crown our arms with most signal success:

It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive powers of these United States, to set apart Thursday, the 18th day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise; that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor; and that together with their sincere acknowledgments and offerings, they may join the penitent confession of their manifold sins, whereby they had forfeited every favor, and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance; that it may please him graciously to afford his blessings on the governments of these states respectively, and prosper the public council of the whole; to inspire our commanders both by land and sea, and all under them, with that wisdom and fortitude which may render them fit instruments, under the providence of Almighty God, to secure for these United States the greatest of all blessings, independence and peace; that it may please him to prosper the trade and manufactures of the people and the labor of the husbandman, that our land may yield its increase; to take schools and seminaries of education, so necessary for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue and piety, under his nurturing hand, and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.

And it is further recommended, that servile labor, and such recreation as, though at other times innocent, may be unbecoming the purpose of this appointment, be omitted on so solemn an occasion.

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A Whole New Meaning To Thanksgiving Turkey

Breitbart.com reported yesterday that the Los Angeleslabor unions have decided to hold a protest at Lost Angeles Airport on Wednesday, the biggest travel day of the year. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is leading the charge.

The article reports:

What exactly is SEIU protesting for? They say that an airport contract is breaking the city law on living wages – which, of course, is nonsense, since that would be prosecutable. They also say that the contractor has eliminated “affordable healthcare” for over 400 workers. Which is, again, bull. After all, can’t the SEIU just rely on Obamacare?

Sometimes I truly wonder what the SEIU actually wants.

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