UPDATED from an earlier story. It’s worse than thought.
#1. The day after Christmas, 37 percent of Christmas gift items are being returned and 69 percent of statistics are made up. Return lines at the Roosevelt Field Mall near New York City stretched almost to Albany by noon on December 26. Even the risk of terrorism and the recent shooting at the mall could not stop consumers who needed to “Go Returning.”
#2. Victoria’s dirty secret is out. “All in-store returns and exchanges require an electronic scan of your government-issued ID.” Following Victoria’s lead, more retailers are refusing to accept returns with just the receipt. A protest outside one of the stores has turned into a vigil where men who received bras that don’t fit are praying for full cash refunds. Protester Dennis Rodman explained, “I can vote early and often without ID, but they want me to provide ID just to return my new bra. They don’t care that I have the wrong body shape and it obviously doesn’t fit. And most of all, I have the receipt.” Inside the mall, one angry shopper told our reporter, “I won’t buy anything more until they ease up on these refund rules. Can you carry some of my bags?”
#3. The one bright spot of the 2015 Christmas season was not enough to save the holiday. Sales of Teletubbies following the new right to gay marriage were not as high as they could have been due to low product supply.
#4. According to scientist Lenny Bernstein, “The recent tornadoes were not sufficient to create enough damage to spur a rebuilding boom. To correct for this next year, we need to warm the atmosphere.” But Lenny does not see more warm weather coming.
#5. Christmas dinner leftovers have hit an alarming level, with people eating far less than recent years. The glut of leftovers has already sent ancient supermarket A&P into bankruptcy and forced the closing of related stores. Some are expecting more supermarket closings in 2016. Others point out that increasing obesity rates will swallow up just about everything around including this temporary trend of buying less food. The net economic effect on this point remains to be seen.
#6. Senior citizens have cut back on spending due to fears of Social Security (SSA) benefit cuts. These fears seem to have come from ace economist Larry Kotlikoff propagating false information on PBS:
I’ve never heard of a change in Social Security law that eliminates benefits for people already collecting, but this is what’s in this bill … The ability to collect a full divorced spousal benefit between full retirement age and age 70 has also afforded important insurance to Americans getting divorced. This too would be wiped out.
Our deuce economist on staff corrected the ace PBS economist:
He’s never heard of benefits being cut for current retirees because it has never happened. Oh, the humanity. And it’s not happening now. He made this up. But, since he’s the main TV spokesperson on SSA, people believe him. So they react with fear and cut back on spending. This harms the economy. Also, the new rules don’t affect the “ability to collect a full divorced spousal benefit” once a person files. The problem with these non-satire sites is that they just make things up.
The ace PBS economist retorted with an article entitled “This is not how you fix Social Security.” He blamed his falsehoods on phantom sources. With plenty of reporters in the world, Larry was the only reporter who heard these phantoms. He excused himself in his own area of expertise, saying, “Look, anyone who knows about Social Security knows it is crazy complex.” He refused to apologize. He never clearly corrected the mistakes. Rather, he sidestepped them with a big bundle of bantering bluster. Seniors are still panicking.
#7. Projections indicated that SSA disability benefits would be cut in late 2016. The recent law changes have fixed this problem through 2022. However ace economist Larry Kotlikoff somehow missed mentioning this fact in his authoritative article on the subject. Rumors on Twitter claim he was distracted by loud phantoms. Disabled people, still expecting big cuts in benefits, will spend less in 2016, further harming the economy.
If most of these indicators were flashing red, that would be bad enough. But with TV economists scaring the dentures out of senior citizens, it is time to put your legs between your heads and prepare for the coming nuclear Armageddon. If your body is not that flexible, then at least buy gold.
Happy new year from Newscast Now!
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