When reacting fosters rethinking

Many Americans seem to be short-term reactionaries, making statements of intent to suit the times, and then resuming the pleasant pursuits that life generally affords us here.

Take our collective statements about spending money, compared with our actual behavior as buyers of goods and services.

Some indexes of consumer confidence after Sept. 11 indicated that we reckoned US prosperity was headed south with the Canada geese. Big plants were folding up, and so would our wallets.

But have they?

Anyone who tried to make reservations at a New England bed-and-breakfast - even a $250-a-night room - during the foliage frenzy that is Columbus Day weekend will say no. B&Bs were booked solid.

Restaurants are crowded, at least where I live. So are stores.

Surveys generate stats to play around with. But in uncertain times, the evidence we can see may be a better indicator of what's up on the consumer front.

When pressed, most economists dismiss poll-based statistics as too unscientific. What people say in surveys fairly often fails to match what they do when they hang up the phone or put down the pen.

Major events can shift sentiments on spending. But when does a short-term reaction become a new way of behaving?

Reversing a national drive to live as well as one can - at least in part through acquisitions - is as tough as turning a fully loaded cargo ship.

Today's lead story explores whether the ship may have already begun to turn when the attacks on America occurred last month.

Conspicuous consumption, in retreat since the '90s bubble deflated, may be a particularly hard sell during the war on terrorism.

Reach us at work@csps.com.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK