The usual holiday cheer that underpins the throngs of shoppers may be missing this season. Political pundits are eager to blame potential terrorist risks as a compelling reason to avoid the crowds at malls, but knowing the sentiments of the consumer culture, it is difficult to accept that retail businesses will be empty. Nevertheless, will the economy incentivize the bargain hunters to brave the added security obstacles to storm the doors for the reward of super discount pricing?
The expected immediate shock in France is understandable. Xmas sales plummet, Champs-Elysees empty in edgy post-attack Paris, indicates that upscale customers respond predictably.
"Department stores half-empty when they should be packed and a Christmas market on the prestigious Champs-Elysees avenue where vendors outnumber the visitors -- the attacks on Paris are having a profound effect on retail business."
Notwithstanding, Forbes makes an obvious point in the column, The Paris Attacks And The Economic Impact Of Terrorism.
"Consider the fragility of both European economies and the institutions underpinning the European Union. The euro zone grew by a meager 0.3% in the third quarter, well below expectations. And last week's attacks may do some real damage to current spending, keeping shoppers away from crowded retail parks in the lead-up to the busiest month of the year."
Before the play on panic is accepted as the new normal, dig deeper into the feeble economic activity that in fact forecasts the inauspicious health of retail spending.Quiet US Ports Spark Slowdown Fears is a leading indicator of what to expect.
"For the first time in at least a decade, imports fell in both September and October at each of the three busiest US seaports, according to data from trade researcher Zepol Corp. analyzed by The Wall Street Journal. Combined, imports at the container terminals at the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Calif. and around New York harbor, which handle just over half of the goods entering the country by sea, fell by just over 10% between August and October."
Now this decline in imports might be a positive sign if domestic manufacturing was taking over the traditional role of internal production of goods for our own consumption. But that is not happening in the poisoned globalism environment that is poised on imposing a series of new draconian trade treaties.
Michael Lombardi writes in Terrorism: Unfortunate Effects of Paris Attacks on the US Economy about the psychological apprehensions that might keep store patrons away from high profile soft targets. Even so, the current economic contraction bodes that America is already in a deep recession.
"As an economist, my concern lies more in the aftereffects of these terrorist attacks on the minds of citizens. After all, one of the goals of terrorism is to instill fear in people. Will that fear result in consumers holding back on everyday life and on spending their money? The data already suggests retail sales are weak. Will the tide of terrorism fear put further pressure on an already suffering retail sector, especially in the US?"
The immediate concern for law enforcement planners and security agencies are less focus on robust retail sales than on enhanced screening and intelligence gathering. Or so we are told by Homeland Security.
While announcements like Anonymous uncovers ISIS plan to attack 7 cities TOMORROW...including this US city, published on Allen B West's site attracts attention on the internet, the culture will still sit down in front of the TV propaganda machine as indoctrinated apparatchik followers of the ad messages, will keep the spending/debt economy going.
This is the reason why warnings such as ISIS In America: Black Friday Attack On US Soil Feared, are mostly ignored.
"Since a few of the terror attacks that the world has seen (not just ISIS) have occurred on very specific days (9/11 and Friday the Thirteenth), people have begun to wonder if the next attack will occur on another day with meaning. With the holidays just around the corner, many kept help but wonder if the terrorists are planning something for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas, or New Year's Eve/Day."
This brings up the most likely circumstances for the holiday season. Online buying will certainly benefit, and the likes of Amazon will continue their onslaught to replace bricks and mortar retailers. Overriding this trend is the instinctive motivation to buy, when the deal is irresistible. Profits for the major corporatists may suffer, but their stagnant inventory will be offered at deep discounts.
The 64 dollar question is can the consumer afford to buy as the economy tanks further and confidence erodes even more. The wild card is when the Fed will start to raise interest rates? None of these factors lend themselves to foster prosperity.
Add the eventual strict security measure and the presence of European style armed guards patrolling the mall kiosks, and you have the formula of less holiday cheer and joy in the shopping experience.
The Grinch that stole Christmas is actually the manufactured apprehension coming out of an artificial fear that a terrorist is behind every seat of a food court and that the government is actually providing meaningful security for defenseless subjects.
The best solution for the individual is to become an armed citizenry. Bona fide terrorists, and not the fabricated versions produced or sponsored by government sociopaths, would be effectively neutralized when innocent Americans are allowed to provide their own self-defense. The victims in Paris need not die in vain, if the lesson of personal protection is recognized as the most basic right of the individual.
FBI: Gun Sales Surged to Record Levels in August provides the most encouraging advancement in countering the forces of globalist induced terrorism. It is high time that Federal authorities act as public servants and provide serious national security against concrete existential threats. Until that day arrives, it is up to individuals to act responsibly and be willing to provide protection for, themselves, family and neighbors. Bring the elation back, stuff a stocking with a peacemaker.
James Hall is the publisher of the BATR Realpolitik Newsletter.