American Consumers Newsletter

The American Nightmare

Millions of Americans cannot believe what is happening to them, and with good reason. Most of the nation’s working-aged population (anyone under age 45) has never experienced a recession this bad, including many of the business executives...

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Another Look at Who Is to Blame

In a recent online poll, Time magazine asked its readers who was most to blame for the current economic crisis. Readers rated the guilt of 25 different people on a scale of 1 (innocent) to 10 (guilty). On that scale, the American Consumer rated...

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They Should Have Seen It Coming

The empty cash registers finally got their attention. Businesses large and small are in a panic, wondering where their customers went. Last week the Census Bureau reported that November 2008 retail sales were 7.4 percent below November 2007...

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Don’t Blame Main Street

Americans are standing with their mouths agape as the stock market plunges. They lie awake at night worrying about what the future holds for their jobs, their families, and their communities. Who is to blame for this unfolding financial crisis?...

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The Middle Class Just Blinked

The back-to-school season is losing its luster. The traditional college student population is shrinking, according to the Census Bureau–an unexpected development that may be a harbinger of worse times to come for the higher education...

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Trapped in Gasoline Ghettos

OK, this is bad. The rapid rise in the price of gas is turning the nation’s far-flung rural and suburban areas into gasoline ghettos, locking millions of Americans into houses they cannot sell, far from their jobs, with little hope of...

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Ten All-American Traits

In the run-up to the November election, we are engaged–once again–in ritual self-analysis. Who are the American people? What do we believe? How will our national identity play out in the...

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Why We Are Bitter

Americans are bummed out–some might even call us bitter. When asked whether the country is on the right track, a record 81 percent of the public says it has veered off course, according to a recent New York Times survey. The...

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Last of the Big Spenders

Consumers stopped buying pretty much everything,” commented the Associated Press in a recent news story about the 0.6 percent decline in February retail sales. This bit of hyperbole about the $380 billion Americans spent at retailers last...

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