Remember Black Friday 2010. It marks the beginning of the nation's recovery from the Great Recession of 2008-2010.
The mighty American consumer, taught the harsh lesson of credit-card debt, is back in the market, but this time buying with cash in the bank.
Online shoppers boosted online retailers' revenue by 16 percent on the Friday after Thanksgiving, according to the Associated Press, while long lines in the dark hours before dawn Friday proved before doors even opened that brick-and-mortar shops were going to have a good day.
Locally, you could tell that advertisers were back in force in the Denver Post.The Post has been selling the bottom of its Sunday front page for more than a year now, it seems. Since summer, the newspaper has sold the top-right corner of the page, labeled "Today's Daily Deal," to a variety of advertisers. And now the newspaper is selling off the bottom of page 2 as well, depriving readers of the interesting short items it has regularly showcased in that space but driving up ad-sales revenue that much more.
After all, what's a newspaper for? To share the news and serve the public interest? Not necessarily.
Newspapers survive today by selling space to advertisers; and the Great Recession for Newspapers, which began even before the nation's latest financial crisis, has proved unarguably that business survival is the ultimate goal of any newspaper, just as it is for any business.
In fact, newspapers, today, are not much different from any retailer; the ad sale is king, and not much will get in its way. Walmart, for example, long prided itself on not having to advertise in media because its low prices would lead consumers to its aisles simply by word-of-mouth. Today, however, Walmart is inserting ads in the Post like any other big-box seller.
I no longer argue with newspapers on that score. My profession as a journalist is dependent on the ad sale, and plenty of jobs collapsed when advertisers moved from newspapers to other venues to deliver their messages.
And if Today's Daily Deal for pole-dancing lessons, symphony performances and home-security packages do the trick (pun intended), then I'm all for using the deals to give working journalists some white space to fill with news.
And you can't argue with the results. If ads spur consumer spending, and consumer spending creates jobs and jobs create more spending, then an economy that is sputtering back to life is what every American, even the underemployed and unemployed, can genuinely be thankful for on this holiday weekend.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Health care in these United States can hardly be called a revolution, despite the Tea Party's Revolutionary War custumes during the last election campaign. Evolution occurs with each dying dinosaur's extinction. One day in Colorado, the evolution of a 21st century health-care system will be complete.
Monday, November 15, 2010
I feel better now, so I'm back at my computer to tell you again about where I've been in my fight against this disease.
Before the latest treatment, I was telling people I felt I had come back to nearly 100 percent of my work energy before ever being diagnosed. That was the result of a seven-month break from the chemicals: my hair grew back; the neuropathy in my hands, feet and legs continued to dissipate, making me feel like my nerves were growing back; I was writing and posting these blogs (about other subjects) more frequently, writing on http://www.examiner.com/ about Colorado poetry more often, finishing my book about Denver oil man Timothy Marquez, and even writing about other literary topics on my poetry website, http://www.robertschwabpoet.com/.
I also underwent six weeks of radiation therapy trying to kill the one cancer-cell production center -- a lymph gland in my chest -- spotted in the March 17, 2010 pet scan I received following the end of the first Erbitux round of chemo.
The side effects of that treatment were minimal except for the fact that Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield initially denied paying for the treatment and sent me a statement indicating a debt of more than $70,000. I believe that claim is now being worked out. When you don't make much money, you have to treat such claims casually and just seek to have them resolved between your doctors, the hospital and your insurer.
Five-year survival rates for colo-rectal cancer starting with a tumor in the rectum are about 59 percent, according to a 2006 post on About.com.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
In the metro chamber's 2010 study, "Toward a More Competitive Colorado," education funding, multimodal transportation and health care for all Coloradans are cited as eroding pillars of the state's economy that must be fixed NOW!
Colorado labor has already been whipped into shape by Ritter to not expect much from a state leadership that is required to appease every whine that emanates from the business community.
And what labor really wants most right now is a job -- almost on any terms.
So what's left to be cynical about?
Only, perhaps, that even Republican victories, a restoration of balance to our legislatures both in Washingon and Denver, will not be able to insure that our political machinery is now well-oiled enough to actually produce something for its people.
Gridlock still threatens, and only politicians with "the People" truly in their hearts will make things happen in this the greatest democracy, the greatest model of capitalism, on the planet.