Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Impact of the Elections

I've been asked to opine on the question of whether a Republican win will be "good for retail" or not. Here is my answer.

It may be sacrilegous for me to say this, but what may seem good for retail in the short term (less overt regulation, continued unfettered imports) can likely affect it negatively in the long term. The off-shoring of jobs that continues unabated ultimately affects American consumers, as we can observe in the stubbornly high unemployment rate. We have off-shored most low-skilled labor jobs and are working our way up the economic food chain into the middle class. In other words, we continue to be a nation focused on consumption, and an unregulated economy of consumption is unsustainable. I am forced to ask myself who will advocate for the longer term and the greater good. It's not as though the Democrats have done a bang-up job of protecting those interests, but less government is not the same as good government, and the US is sorely in need of the latter rather than the former.

The longer view says continued erosion of the middle class and continued re-distribution of wealth to the very wealthy will happen after this election. How can that possibly be good for retail?

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