Home Front

A blog about the economy and the Sacramento-area real estate market.

November 27, 2009
What meltdown? People will spend for toys

50742161-27102824.jpgFor all the talk about how rough things are, for all the uncertainty and fear, people apparently have no problem whatsoever rationalizing the purchase of big-screen TV's and other adult "toys."

I had the privilege again today to watch Black Friday shoppers in the pre-dawn hours. I don't know exactly what it says about the economy, but I have never seen so many people buy TV's in my life. Carts lined up for 40 yards to the checkout register: each with a TV inside. Many had two TVs. I saw two guys whizz by in the parking lot at 5:30 a.m. with THREE TVs!

Nearly all were Emersons and Sonys - 32-inch LCD specials in the range of $248 to $378. I think I talked with four or five buyers - asking them if this was to go under the Christmas Tree. Every one of them looked at me sheepishly - and said no. Five hours later now I am guessing all those TV's are operational already. They were buying them for themselves.

I guess the lesson retailers know is this:  No matter how strapped you are for money in your life, however big your student loan or house payment a good flat-screen TV is indispensable.
As is a cell phone. And a digital camera. And lately, a GPS system for your car. The toys we enjoy as adults just keep getting better and more irresistable.

I don't know about the rest of  America, but in the West Sacramento Wal-Mart Supercenter at 5:30 a.m. today it was sure easy to think: Meltdown? WHAT economic meltdown?

Photo: Los Angeles Times

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

Jim Wasserman on Twitter

Follow "jimwasserman" on Twitter

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31