Friday, December 20, 2013

The Los Angeles TImes wants you to hate a twenty-four-year-old graphic designer

I know, you've never even heard of her so why would you hate her? Here's why:
Trinkel De La Paz, 24, loves this holiday's deep discounts because they're enabling her to be a more generous Santa.
To herself, that is.

The Silver Lake graphic designer bought herself an iPad mini and some clothes discounted on Cyber Monday, and she's not done. De La Paz said she feels free to splurge on herself because she has extra money from a recently landed job, a new apartment waiting to be spruced up and only one present to buy for her family's Secret Santa exchange.

"These prices are only happening this time of year," she said. "I might as well stock up now."
Actually, if you stop and think about it, her behaviour is quite rational and entirely defensible. You're buying stuff for others and you see a bargain on something you want. There is nothing wrong with that. Trinkle knows that and she talked to a reporter about it in what probably felt to her like a normal conversation. And then that same reporter went and put this quote up like this in a context that she knew would inspire anger to be directed at Trinkle.

Remember that the next time some nice reporter starts asking you questions in a friendly tone. You have no idea how te story is going to be framed and reporters think nothing at all of acting friendly while they position you for a knife in the back.

Okay, but why go to the trouble to set poor Trinkle up? So they can bury the lead!

Consumer's impulse purchases to buy something for themselves while out shopping for gifts is actually a very good indicator of the state of the economy.
"The willingness of the shopper to push her budget beyond what she had originally planned is a key influencer for holiday growth," NPD Group analyst Marshal Cohen said in a blog post. "In fact, the self-gifting indicator has made the difference between growth and decline."
Cohen reasons that each year, the number of gifts Americans expect to give remains roughly the same, making their tendency to buy presents for themselves a more accurate gauge of their economic circumstances. And during the recession, when spending declined, "one of the leading factors that saved retailers was an increase in self-gifting" by consumers taking advantage of big holiday bargains, Cohen said.
And now that you know that, there is a pretty obvious question: How are we doing? If you read 11 paragraphs into this article you get the answer:
But this year, the behavior is on the decline, as shoppers already accustomed to making do with less money shrink from the head winds of continued economic uncertainty.
Far be it from me to suggest that some poor 24 year old got held up to mockery in the press just to protect some politician who is having a rough time right now.

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