Economy Not So Bad That People Won't Line Up To Buy A New Gadget

from the phone-lines,-not-breadlines dept

So, the economy is collapsing, consumer spending is way down, banks and auto companies are on the verge of going out of business, unemployment is up, foreclosures are up, and some might have you believe that we're heading back to Great Depression style bread and soup lines. Luckily, it looks like we're not quite there yet, as plenty of folks seemed willing to line up, not for some free grub, but to get the latest hot new phone, the Blackberry Storm. Apparently, we haven't quite entered Great Depression territory yet.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Art, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 4:39am

    Then again

    From Fark, a Colorado couple opens their farm to allow people to pick free vegetables (post harvest) and 40,000 show up to pick the fields clean. An estimated 600,000 pounds of produce was picked. I'm thinking this is more significant than a few morons standing in line for a new blackberry.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 4:50am

    Re: Then again

    ...but how is that technology related?
    "moron"? angry much??

     

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  3.  
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    EVIL_BASTARD, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 5:01am

    more significant?

    not much for statistical samples are we?.

    also people like free things, even vegetables. Very generous of the farm owners no doubt.

     

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  4.  
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    Art, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 5:15am

    yeah

    Ummm, yeah, morons. It has nothing to do with anger, I just classify anyone who spends hours standing in line to grab the newest toy on the first day a moron. No, it's not technology related, but Mike is the one mentioning bread lines.

    Sure, it's more significant. These are perishable goods, pick more than a weeks worth and you're probably wasting your time. How many people do you know these days who will brave that kind of traffic, trudge through dirty fields, and pick their own free vegetables to save just a few bucks? 40,000 people showing up to pick through an already harvested farm is a big deal when farmers usually HAVE to resort to migrant workers to get their fields harvested to begin with. 40,000 people (4 times normal) showing up at a field in Colorado is a big deal, we're not talking about a stadium in a big city.

     

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  5.  
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    Norm, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 5:17am

    Mike again sets up a straw man argument

    And who in their right mind is making a correlation between the Blackberry Storm and bread lines....besides Mike?

    Is the purchase of a gadget by some a new economical bell weather barometer?

    Phew - I guess we are going to be ok as long as sales of the Storm are good!

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 5:31am

    Re: Mike again sets up a straw man argument

    I believe that CONSUMER REPORTS is... making a correlation between technology and the economy.

    Here is an article for you:
    "CR found that, unsurprisingly, the number of folks hitting the stores is higher this year despite the economy's current position in the proverbial shitter"

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 5:32am

    Re: Re: Mike again sets up a straw man argument

     

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  8.  
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    Luci, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 5:40am

    Re: yeah

    And yet if you read the article that this piece talks about, you'll note that this little 'toy' sold out in New York City. That's also significant. Yes, they shipped a lesser amount, not expecting large sales with the economy in the shape that it is, but I'd also imagine that it sold out in other cities as well. Food sales aren't the only barometer for the economy, though they can be telling.

     

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  9.  
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    Norm, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 5:52am

    Re: Re: yeah

    I wonder if sales of this gadget is high to the same morons that put us into the financial fiasco?

     

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  10.  
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    Norm, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 5:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Mike again sets up a straw man argument

    The poll was what folks would "consider" buying - let's see how sales actually are when then can't get 1 of the 2 super discounted items on Black Friday.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 5:54am

    Re: Mike again sets up a straw man argument

    First off Norm, you should really *read* about what you are talking about. There are even helpful links in the article that go to stories by other people regarding what Mike is talking about. Oh the wonders of the Internets...

    Seriously though, the point is the economy is in trouble but possibly not as bad as one would think.

    Myself? I'm worried. I keep hearing how the economy is in rough shape but I personally was able to afford to buy a new car, which they happily gave me a rock bottom price for without much effort on my part. On top of that, all my other spending has either stayed the same or gotten cheaper (fuel mainly for the latter).

    So I'm not really noticing an economic downturn. JP Morgan bought my bank but its business as usual in that regard too.

    So I'm worried. If we are 'heading for another Great Depression' it is going to happen quick for some people. A lot of people around where I live aren't changing their spending habits much, and things haven't been getting more expensive by a whole lot.

    It's scary, and even scarier when you can't see a change but everyone tells you its coming.

     

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  12.  
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    hegemon13, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 6:12am

    Re: yeah

    "How many people do you know these days who will brave that kind of traffic, trudge through dirty fields, and pick their own free vegetables to save just a few bucks?"

    Brave traffic? Uh, lots. They're the same people that will be standing in line at Best Buy at 3:00am Friday. Trudge through muddy fields? The same people who normally PAY to do the same thing at self-pick farms all over the Midwest.

    Plus, I would do it, and I don't fit in either category. It's not just a matter of saving money. Farm-fresh vegetables are FAR better than anything you can get in the grocery store.

    The only thing weird about this is that the farm offered everything for free. There is nothing too surprising about the turnout. I live in Kansas City, and one of the suburbs has a biweekly (twice a week) Farmer's Market. Hundreds of people show up every Wednesday. Thousands show up every Saturday. And these are all people paying for stuff.

     

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  13.  
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    Bread Line Bobby, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 6:50am

    Not Everybody was Broke ...

    People seem to forget that even in the Great Depression, there were still 70% of the people employed and only 30% unemployed. Not everybody was destitute.

    Items are still purchased during a depression, normally just fewer of them and at a lower price.

    On a separate note re: "Farm-fresh vegetables are FAR better than anything you can get in the grocery store." ... where exactly do the items in a grocery store come from????

     

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  14.  
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    fritzbrown, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 6:54am

    So, people who can afford to live in one of the most expensive cities in the world lined up to buy a new gadget... ?

     

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  15.  
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    Norm, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 6:54am

    Re: Re: Mike again sets up a straw man argument

    I was commenting on the link provided in the comment by another Anonymous post.

     

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  16.  
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    Judsonian, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 7:13am

    Free food.

    Growing up in South Alabama I can tell from first hand that what occured in Colorado had little to nothing to do with the economy. In rural communities fresh produce is as common a staple as Starbucks to the Urban survivor.
    Has anyone (reading this) evey ventured to a gas station radio event where something (anything) was given away free. From Bumper stickers to a free t-shirt you will indeed get HUGE lines, even in the strongest Reagan economy.
    The population is responsable for how they fair this economic "slump". I see News coverage of Mr. and Mrs. "smith" loosing their house etc. This early in the game its most assuridly thier inability to live within their means apposed to the fault of the bank. When you live using every cent of your income ANY change will result in severe concequence.

     

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  17.  
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    DS, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 7:22am

    Re: Then again

    Because people don't like free food when the media isn't in a panic?

     

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  18.  
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    Bob, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 7:24am

    A couple minor points....

    Free Food...

    The issue at hand today isn't (for the majority) of people living beyond their means, it's loans made by banks that are WEAK. Meaning, you shouldn't be allowing Senior Citizens on a fixed income take out a Mortgage on their home for $80,000 when all they have to live on is Social Security. The LOGICAL next step is foreclosure in this case, and every case like it.

    For the Colorado Farm, let's re-tell this story in 4 months, when we find the local animals going hungry. Sure, it sounds like a great idea, but when you think that here's a real STAPLE of the local wilderness during winter, then you have to begin to look at things in balance. When there are MILLIONS of pounds of food being disposed of by the Grocery Stores weekly, I think to open a field to be picked over is a bit over the top right now.

    I'm all for doing things for the poor, trust me I'm one of them, but let's not all jump too quickly to this idea that we are in a Depression. It's hard, but all that means is I won't be giving away Christmas Gifts or having Thanksgiving Dinner, I still have food to eat and a place to live. What we need to do is get the FOOD into the hands of people that need it, not that want it.

     

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  19.  
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    What?, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 7:28am

    Re: Free food.

    Reagan economy? Didn't we have a small recession during Reagan? Why use Reagan as an example?

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 7:36am

    I have a job

    I'm guessing most of you have a job

    We can still afford our gadgets, especially with costs coming down all around us (anybody else save a ton a gas as compared to the summer?)

    The great depression was great for people who managed to keep their jobs and kept the same pay. That would have been the equivalent of a huge pay increase!

    PS - Lining up to get a gadget on the first day is kind of silly

     

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  21.  
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    anon, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 8:09am

    Re: Not Everybody was Broke ...

    China?

     

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  22.  
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    Professional Chef, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 8:35am

    Re: Not Everybody was Broke ...

    where exactly do the items in a grocery store come from????

    They are imported.

    There's nothing better than a good, fresh tomato. Most Tomatoes are picked, and boxed in an unripened state. They are green!

    To fix this, and turn them red, a little organic chemistry is employed: Prior to shipping, they are sprayed with ethylene. Ethylene is a ripening agent, and by the time they get to the grocery store, even in the absense of light, they are (vola!) red.

    But as any good tomato connoisseur knows, these imported tomatoes are still biologically unripe, and hard like a baseball because they remain filled with un-broken down starch. Ethyline has three benefits- 1.) It prevents bruising while on their 5,000 mile journey from the plantation, 2.) It increases shelf life as the tomato runs through a complex import/export supply chain process 3.) it still looks appealing wile on grocery store displays for a month.

    Point is, there's nothing like the real "Organically ripened" blend.

    To further illustrate my point, please ask someone to throw an organic tomato along with one of the imported-variety at you. I imagine you'll appreciate the organic version- it won't feel like a softball as it hits your back because it's actually ripe.

     

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  23.  
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    hegemon13, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 8:55am

    Re: Not Everybody was Broke ...

    As mentioned by another poster, they come from products harvested prematurely so that they do not spoil by the time they reach the grocery store. Pick it naturally ripened and mature straight from the plant on the farm, and it is completely different. We grow a garden every year not to save money (I think the total cost is actually more than buying produce), but because everything tastes so much better.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 9:52am

    I guess all this farm talk is the dirt in the techdirt. Who knew?

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 10:01am

    Its things like this that point out that the economy, while nowhere near good, is not anywhere near as bad as some would have you think.
    I am currently unemployed, not because of any market segment downturns, but because the company that bought the place I worked at are complete idiotic morons that couldnt work their way out of an open ziplock baggie. Im also not worried that i will not find another job. I will, there are plenty of jobs out there to be had.
    this kind of gloom and doom "we are headed back to the great depression" talk always happens when there is a large market bubble that bursts. You want to help the economy? make SMART purchases in the market sectors that are in need of help.

     

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  26.  
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    angry dude, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 10:38am

    No new gadgets for techdirt punks

    not ultil you finish your GED degrees

     

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  27.  
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    ahhh, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 11:28am

    and this is different from everybody lining up for the newest Jesus iphone. People who had already bought the same one just a year a go, you know the phone lacking basic dumbphone technology (3G)?

    oh FYI guys, this rescission started over a year ago.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 12:33pm

    Re:

    rescission

    noun
    (law) the act of rescinding; the cancellation of a contract and the return of the parties to the positions they would have had if the contract had not been made; "recission may be brought about by decree or by mutual consent."

    Maybe you mean "recession." Can't anyone even ATTEMPT to spell?

     

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  29.  
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    ahhh, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 3:23pm

    lol Mr. Coward must own a Jesus Phone?
    poor coward

     

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  30.  
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    mountainmaven, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 8:56am

    Re: Free food.

    First of all, the idiots in Colorado who drove scores of miles out of their way to harvest free food at the farm probably could have saved more money by driving (or walking) to their nearest farmer's market and just buying their food there rather than using up all their gasoline (even with gas prices having plunged) to reach an out-of-the-way farm. The free harvest was a highly promoted media event in Denver that people showed up for because that's what the TV news anchors said to do. This was actually just like the launch of the BlackBerry Storm. The "sheeple" were told they needed to be in line at the Verizon stores for this new device, so they were. The farm harvest had very little to do with free food...everything to do with being at a "had-to-be-there" media event. Second, I didn't wait in line for my BlackBerry Storm, but I really love it.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
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    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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