Monday, November 09, 2009

What I'm reading....

When I first heard this quote today I thought it had to be a joke....

“There are families not eating at the end of the month,” said Stephen Quinn, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Wal-Mart Stores, and “literally lining up at midnight” at Wal-Mart stores waiting to buy food when paychecks or government checks land in their accounts.

Eric E. Schmidt, chairman and chief executive of Google, began his speech by declaring, “We know we have begun the recovery” because searches on for terms like “restaurants” and “dancing” are increasing. “I think we should be optimistic,” he said."

Really, people are lining up at midnight to buy food when their money hits their accounts? I guess that's another market for Walmart to corner. And Google is basing their outlook on the economy based on people searching for restaurants or dancing? I know tech geeks like to think they are above the whole economics thing, but that's taking it a little too far.

A quick check of Mr. Schmidt's assertions on Google trends seems to make his claims look a little suspect. The blue line is "restaurants" and it's pretty much flatlined this year. There has been a minor blip in the last week, but that barely registers when you look at the data from an entire year.

The term "dancing" is represented by the red line and it has been trending down over the last couple of months. Admittedly, there was a spike in September, so were people rushing to go clubbing and buy a couple of bottles of Crystal in September? Maybe not. Remember Patrick Swayze passed away in September (star of Dirty Dancing) and the new season of Dancing with the Informercial Stars or something kicked off in September. Both of these factors probably influenced search terms more than any desire to blow money you don't have "dancing".

The final line is the term "unemployment" and that seems to be the only search term showing a definitive uptick.

How did this idea get off the drawing board? The billionairexchange.... basically ebay for Billionaires. Yeah, here's a thought -- the guys and girls that are billionaires didn't get to be billionaires by searching the internet for the latest beanie baby.

Haute Couture tries the Netflix model.... I love the people that are quoted in this article "Here was this young girl who loves fashion and was willing to spend a good portion of her salary on a dress that she’s only going to wear once or twice, and I thought, there has to be a solution for this." WHO SPENDS A GOOD PORTION OF THEIR SALARY ON A DRESS? I'm out of touch with the twitter generation....



Anonymous said...

Here's a better thought on the dancing and restaurant spike: All over America young people are leaving their homes to go to colleges in "new towns" and they want to know where they should go to eat, and where to dance and meet new people .


The Hermit said...

The Hermit opens a can of worms....
Lots of folks are going hungry at the end of the month for several reasons. Welfare checks arrive on the 3rd, money is gone by the 15th, (read pot,drugs, junk rent to own payments etc). Food stamps are traded for cash for more of the above. Send the kids to school to eat or at the neighbors.Next cycle, go to Aldis or wally world get some junk food, repeat cycle.
Never buy flour, potatoes, or wholesome food.
As taxpayers, we get to pay for all this. Sad thing is, some kids do go hungry. How do I know this, because I feed them, while mom and boyfriend do pot.

The Artful Blogger said...

Ha! Good thought on the school year starting. I'm not sure how many kids would google "dancing", but there was a huge spike in searches for "beer pong" in August so maybe there's something to your theory :)

Re: Hermit's comments, I think many social programs suffer from abuse by a few bad apples. If more concerned citizens stood up to stop fraud and abuse of the food stamp program we'd all be better off.

Thanks for the comments!!