Well, Christmas is coming, and the goose is getting fat.
Maybe not too fat. The goose may be a little thin these days. With all that’s going on right now — recovering from a government shutdown, furloughs, a budget battle — people don’t really feel good about the economy. And when people don’t feel good about the economy, retailers worry.
They worry so much that Black Friday is spilling over to Thanksgiving Day, even earlier this year. Major box stores are offering can’t-be-beat sales as early as 6 p.m. and promising customers that they will get that coveted item if they stand in line, or will guarantee the item will be shipped to them before Christmas.
“The earlier times, competitive deals and spike in ‘guaranteed’ products signify retailers pulling out all the stops to bring in more customers, as they enter a shorter shopping season with more wary shoppers,” Annika McGinnis of USA Today writes.
So will extending Black Friday and pulling people into the stores work? After all, consumer confidence is at its lowest since 2011.
“Confidence gauges only reflect what people say about how they think they feel,” Justin Lahart of the Wall Street Journal writes. “Other more tangible forces suggest spending through the end of the year should be robust.”
Other tangible forces. We are consumers after all. We spend. We give. We buy. We love to save. We’ll spend twice as much to save a little. With six fewer days to Christmas this season than last year following Thanksgiving, it could be that shoppers will get in a frenzy and prove they are confident after all, especially when it comes to getting Johnny and Suzie the gift they’ve been asking for all year.
We wanted to know just how confident our readers were about shopping this holiday season, so we asked, as we often do, on our online poll, which can be found at www.timeswv.com.
Last week, we asked our readers, “How would you describe how much you plan to spend on Christmas shopping this year?” And here is what you had to say:
• Santa, baby — I’m getting great deals on Black Friday and will be shopping the sales all season — 3.7 percent.
• George Bailey — I always worry, but in the end the most important thing is time with family — 46.91 percent.
• Scrooge — Things have been tough this year so I’m paring down — 49.38 percent.
That’s what readers said last week. Time will tell, as the kickoff to be holiday shopping season begins in five short days. Or four, if you plan on shopping right after turkey.
And speaking of turkey, let’s talk about that this week. Many are upset that stores are staying open on the holiday this year, meaning employees can’t spend the day with their families. Where do you stand on the issue?
Log on. Vote. Email me or respond online.
Well, Christmas is coming, and the goose is getting fat.
Prevention must remain focus when dealing with cruel black lung disease
“Preventable, but not curable.”
That’s how Joe Main, assistant secretary of labor for Mine Safety and Health, describes black lung disease.
He could also use the word “deadly.”
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, black lung has killed more than 76,000 miners since 1968.
If something seems too good to be true, then assume that it is
Scam. noun. A confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
This is a word that Marion Countians have heard a lot about in the past few years. And the problem appears to be one that is getting worse every day.
State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core
It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.
Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway
U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.
United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project
The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.
COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard
I love to talk to readers.
I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
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