Maybe some of you saw the information come out this week that Americans saw their personal income fall by the steepest rate in 20 years (Reuters through the Chicago Tribune).
And yet the stats show that Consumer Spending was up, which means that people are going further into debt to make purchases. We see retailers such as JC Penney, Sears, and Best Buy struggling and continuing declines that have been going on for years now.
J.C. Penney shares fall after sales plunge - Reuters - February 28, 2013
A Truly Depressing Visit to a JCPenney Store - Slate - March 1, 2013
Sears Slows, but Does Not Reverse, Its 6-Year Descent - AP through New York Times - February 28, 2013
Best Buy Earnings, Revenue Top Estimates - CNBC - March 1, 2013
Best Buy, Sears failing to compete with online market, incoming U.S. chains: Analyst
- CTV - February 1, 2013
We know that the major issues that these companies face are caused by the hurting American middle class and their reduction in wealth and disposable income. These are just three companies that have been negatively effected by the Economic Depression that is now in its sixth year. What happens when these major retailers close down stores in the malls of mid sized communities. This will continue the downward spiral that continues to feed off of itself.
Below is an excellent video that shows the problems with income distribution in the United States. This is what has killed the American Retail Marketplace. We aren't going to see consumption growth as we did in the late 1990s for generations, but we can at least get balance back into the system by promoting policies that promote, restore, and protect the middle class. Until we begin those processes, the economy will only worsen.