American Consequences - January 2018


Re: Our Newest Readers Weigh In We’re a nation of angry, entitled, shallow, shiny object worshipers who’ve adopted a ‘me first’ outlook that does not include [caring] about our neighbor. Self-interest rules the day, idiots rule the news, newspapers and news gatherers are functioning with skeleton crews that leave no room for fact checking or investigation. As for those jobs? They aren’t coming back... By the year 2026, crime will be rampant and national morale at its lowest. The U.S. will be at war on at least three continents; most jobs previously held by the ‘unskilled’ and the former middle class will have been automated or eliminated; Social Security will be exhausted; foreclosures will be the norm; and the average citizen will (correctly) feel a sense of pointlessness, despair, and uselessness. – Al Muzer P.J. O’Rourke comment: Al, I hope you’re wrong. But I fear you’re right. I guess we all just have to try to do what we can to keep your – all-too-likely – vision of the future from coming true. Editing American Consequences is my small effort. Whether it makes a difference is not for me to judge. I’m betting there are also things you’re doing to keep your own predictions from happening. Our choices are to either weep in our beer or buy each other a round and hope for the best.

Re: The Death of Malls The loss of brick and mortar stores spells the end of an estimated 70% of all consumer packaged goods sales that are considered impulse buys versus shopping list must haves. Good luck with that. – Steve Throssel, former CEO Dodger Sportswear, former CEO Whink Products Co., now retired P.J. O’Rourke comment: Steve, that is an astute observation and one that is not often taken into account in discussions of the future of retailing. It’s also the reason I’m not allowed to do the grocery shopping. The last time I did, my “impulse buys” included five pounds of liverwurst, a large jar of pickled pig knuckles, and goat cheese that was so smelly that the dogs wouldn’t eat it and the trashman refused to cart it away. Perhaps these malls should look outside the box... I used to live in Duluth. Superior, Wisconsin was just over the bridge, and their mall was in dire straits. Most stores had closed and others soon were thinking about it too. Some horsey folks from the Twin Cities area who had a tack shop there decided to open one in the Superior mall. That store was extremely successful, and the next year opened into the empty store next door as their business expanded. There are a lot of horse people in the area and their customer

16 January 2018

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