Contrast and pictures : USA in recession and shopping mania

USA are in recession since… december 2007. Yes 2007. It’s official.

Last friday, was “Black friday”, a totally insane day in the US… the symbol of a sick society. Or at least, a sick model. Shopping mania.

AFP and Reuters photographers have done a great job. Here are some pictures, with their original captions.

There is no need to comment further… The US economy is crumbling… People loose their houses, their jobs… But meanwhile they have only one obession : to buy. To buy a giant LCD or plasma TV screen (made in China !)… And are ready to queue in the morning for it.

It’s frightening. It’s a grotesque and tragic farce.

Okay, I know : what’s the point with Thailand ? 😉 Well… everything I think, on the economy level, and “cultural” level as well…


Shoppers wait outside a BestBuy store to open at 5 a.m. in Los Angeles, California, a day after Thanksgiving. US shoppers snapped up bargain basement deals on so-called Black Friday as desperate retailers attempted to claw their way out of a deepening slump.


Shoppers queue to enter a Disney Store at the Glendale Galleria shopping mall on Black Friday in Glendale, California November 28, 2008.

Holiday Shopping Electronics

A man pulls a shopping cart with two flat screen televisions at the Wal-Mart store in Secaucus, N.J., Friday, Nov. 28, 2008. Hundreds of people lined up to get into this Wal-Mart for the annual pre-dawn Black Friday bargain hunting.

Holiday Shopping

Shoppers Kevin Naumann, from left, brother Steve, and their brother Eric of Berkley, Mich. each purchase a 42′ plasma television for $499 that normally sells for $899 at a Meijers store in Troy, Mich. during Black Friday, Nov. 28, 2008. The brothers had brought along an inflatable doll with the hopes of being able to purchase a fourth television. ‘We tried to get her a T.V. but they wouldn’t allow us’ said Eric Naumann, ‘you’ve got to be able to push a cart.’

Holiday Shopping

Shoppers Denise Ross, from left, her mother Annie Hall, brother Brent Howard and brother Tavan Hall of Southfield, Mich. each purchase a 42′ plasma television for $499 that normally sells for $899 at Meijers in Troy, Mich. during Black Friday Nov. 28, 2008. The family had been waiting in line since 7 p.m. the previous day, to take advantage of the deals that started at 5 a.m.

Holiday Shopping

Early bird shoppers run into a Target store in Aurora, Ohio looking for bargains at the beginning of ‘Black Friday’ shopping early Friday, Nov. 28, 2008.


Judy Maloney (L) and Phil Maloney (2nd L) wait in line outside Circut City at Concord Mills Mall for the start of Black Friday and the holiday shopping season in Concord, North Carolina November 28, 2008.

4 Responses to “Contrast and pictures : USA in recession and shopping mania”

  1. 1 Shilo 1 December 2008 at 10:36 pm

    The story behind the pictures is quite different. Many of the “shoppers” where looking to pick up items at deep discounts and will then try to flip them on Ebay. I think that is what the brothers with the plastic doll were up to.

    Many of the surveys done that say suggested that customers were only buying what they needed and only if it was at a very deep discount.

    Personally, I just got back from running up to a food store that happens to be next to a big shopping mall… there were more cars in the food store lot than in the mall.

  2. 2 ThaiCrisis 1 December 2008 at 10:50 pm

    I’m sure many people had many good reasons. And I don’t accuse them on an individual basis.

    I just try to look the overall picture.

    And there is only one conclusion : the wall. At light speed. Hard collision.

    Look at the obsession of US lawmakers and officials (bailouts for the banks to make them give more loans… to people to buy more stuff)… I’m sorry but it’s a total perversion.

    We had the first example on Q2, when Bush sent a check to every household… What was achieved with this ?

    More LCD screens bought from China. A little artificial fart on Q2 GDP figures. A few month later, Lehmans collapsed and it was the beginning of the end. It wasn’t of course, the crisis started much earlier… But it was necessary to hide the truth.

    They lied to us. Bernanke, Paulson and Bush, even last august were still saying, their hand on their heart : “our banking system is sound”… “our economy is resilient”.

    So, again I don’t blame people. I just think that the whole system is running wild like a headless chicken.

    But I do agree : when the world is crumbling around, it feels good to buy a MP3 player, an IPod. Or an IPhone. 😉

    As for eBay… ask yourself : to who the brothers are going to sell their TVs ? 😉

  3. 3 ray 2 December 2008 at 4:55 am

    hello thai crisis. the us govt, is following the keynesian school of economy ie. economy driven by consumer spending. if u are not familiar with ir u should look it up. its interesting. on the other side we have the “austrian school of economy”( free market: what goes up must come down). this was supported by only one presidential candidate congressman ron paul. if u youtube the republican debates he is the only one who was making sense and predicted all this mess last year and made john mccain look like a fool.

    in yr other blog about recession and black friday it was clear. we are in recession so u must go out and spend money on things u can live without which is made in asia. americans are spoilt.period.

  4. 4 Simon 3 December 2008 at 7:07 pm

    I prefer to buy online – less of a crush!

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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