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A Nice Chart Showing How Poor You Are

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Here’s a frightening math chart from the mathies at Calculated Risk putting that record 2.8% October retail sales decline in perspective. (As if a record drop in consumer spending needed more perspective!) Sales are down 8.8% on a year-over-year basis, which may just strike you as, “bah, some dumb number,” but this graph shows that that is what we call a “free fall.”

It is important for the supply-siders to realize that giving more money to the “investor class” at the expense of others won’t help much now, because who would invest in a company that can’t sell any products since no one has any money or credit?

Christ, how many more days must we wait for Obama to come in and dish out those $20k Hope Checks we’re all getting? It so SO MANY DAYS. Obama will arrive just in time to bail out Citigroup. You know, the biggest company in the world. This will be an opportunity for Americans to learn a delightful new word: “unbailoutable.”

Retail sales plunge record 2.8% in October [Marketwatch]
Retail Sales Collapse In October [Calculated Risk]
Citi’s Desperate Straight [Portfolio]

About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined Wonkette.com in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell


Hey there, Wonkeputians! Shypixel here to remind you to remember our Commenting Rules For Radicals, Enjoy!

  • El Bombastico

    This is gobbledygook, but “YoY” is a funny acronym. “YoY Real” sounds like a brand of North Korean noodles. Which will be all we can afford for the next decade.

  • EricaKane

    My personal chart appears to be in the shape of a noose.

  • krlars

    Can we get Nate Silver working on this? Pretty please? He could make this look better somehow.

  • AngryBlakGuy

    …”why buy things, when you can steal them?!”, that’s my motto!

  • Serolf Divad

    If I lived in Australia I’d be welding massive gas tanks onto the back of my black 1973 XB GT Ford Falcon Coupe right now. I’d get a dog and learn to enjoy eating dog food out of the can. I’d dress in black leather and carry a sawed off shotgun and lots of shells.

  • Thegreatbacon

    The chart looks like it needs a bailout. Can we bailout the charts, too?

  • Serolf Divad

    [re=177031]El Bombastico[/re]:

    YOY is an acronym that stands for: Youreallsofucked Oh Yourjustfuckingfucked.

  • monty

    9 posts before lunch
    did you aquire a meth habit jim?
    not that theres anything worng with that
    not that i am complaining
    not that i am getting any work done anyway

  • pondscum

    [re=177040]Serolf Divad[/re]: I live in Illinois and am doing that now!

  • freakishlystrong

    Well, thank Christ Christmas is coming!

  • AngryBlakGuy

    …at this rate a market index for the “Barter & Trade systems” will be added to the DOW before the end of the year.

  • Tommy Says Soooo

    If everyone would get off Joe the Plumber’s website and BUY something, then we all would be rich.
    See, he’s right, libtards.

  • Thegreatbacon

    I’m already making my jury-rigged helio-copter in the garage. Expect my petro bombs from the sky.

  • Kinbote

    In rough seas, it helps to be big and heavy — up to the point at which it helps to be smaller and lighter. Citi is the biggest and heaviest ship in a storm of unprecedented magnitude, she’s creaking badly, and there’s nothing the captain can do about it: you can’t fix a vessel like that in the middle of a hurricane. All you can do is hold on tight, and pray.

    Gene Hackman in a bad turtleneck will lead us to safety, and it’ll all be worth for having seen Shelley Winters swimming underwater.

  • Thegreatbacon

    On the bright side — we’ll be able to redefine the poverty line downward. If you have your own egg-laying chicken, you are now above the poverty line.

  • shortsshortsshorts

    I was about to post a list of store closings and layoffs that I concocted last night while drunk, but realized it was something like 5,000 characters. I will spare you. FOR NOW.

  • AngryBlakGuy

    [re=177040]Serolf Divad[/re]: …well here, in post apocalyptic America you put together a rag-tag group of resistance fighters and fight against the machine overlords!

  • WhatTheHeck

    We’ve all heard about the disturbance in the force, but Jim, why oh why, did you have to show it graphically. It’s scaring me.

  • Anonymous Office Zombie

    Well, somebody sure is in love with the maths today. I think our moderator is in the tank for Texas Instruments.

  • middle of the bird

    As our clown president would and has said…”spend money of the terrorists will win.”

  • nurple

    Bad news – retail sales are down.

    Worse news – most of our economy depends on retail sales.

    Isn’t there an Oscar Wilde story about a village where everyone makes a living taking in everyone else’s washing?

  • AngryBlakGuy

    [re=177031]El Bombastico[/re]: [re=177044]Serolf Divad[/re]: …YoY = You’re On Your Own

  • SayItWithWookies

    The decline was exaggerated by deflation. Falling gasoline prices accounted for about half the loss in total sales in October. Sales at gas stations fell a record 12.7%…

    So in reality there’s nothing to worry about, but we’re panicking anyway? Okay, someone find Wolfowitz and chain him to a radiator until January 21st.

  • Terry

    [re=177040]Serolf Divad[/re]:

    Is it getting warm in here? (fans self)

  • Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Hookers and blow are on Barry!

  • monty

    [re=177071]AngryBlakGuy[/re]: that would be YOYO

  • 4tehlulz

    [re=177054]Kinbote[/re]: And in the sequel, it will turn out that Citibank was carrying plutonium and Obama and his crew will have to fight for their lives against smugglers from Goldman Sachs trying to get a hold of it!

  • wigu

    What this chart is not noticing is that 93% of online merchants do not actually report any sales.

  • bitchincamaro

    Is the blood red in the chart supposed to be the same blood red in the Circuit City ad? ‘Cuz it is.

  • Meaux

    [re=177052]Thegreatbacon[/re]: Expect my petro bombs from the sky. I must find a way to work that phrase into conversation this afternoon, by the end of my workday.

  • Lascauxcaveman

    [re=177040]Serolf Divad[/re]: AND you’d be changing your Wonkette screen name to “Xam Dam.”

    Which is kinda cool, now that I think about it.

  • shortsshortsshorts

    George Soros said yesterday that we are inevitably entering a deep recession with the possibility of a DEPRESSION.
    Two things:

    1. Banning short-selling was like the WORST IDEA EVER.
    2. We should have listened to Paultard….

  • WhatTheHeck

    [re=177044]Serolf Divad[/re]:
    And there, clothed in tight black leather and spiked metal collar is Palintolla of roc n’ rolla.

    Even in our quiet desperation, we all need an anti hero who goes up in a flaming inferno of mangled nouns and verbs.

  • Chuck Fildren

    Charts? I don’t trust charts unless they’re from Nate Silver!

  • Paterlanger

    Hey, at least the fall is free!

  • queeraselvis v 2.0

    [re=177054]Kinbote[/re]: You left out the part about Celine Dion standing at the railing and warbling “The Crazy Dame from Wasilla” (sung to the tune of “The Shady Dame from Seville”). Backwards. In Urdu.

  • Lascauxcaveman

    [re=177072]SayItWithWookies[/re]: For reals, I spent a lot less on gas in October. Maybe because gas cost a lot less this October? I’m looking forward to to it being even lesserer in Nov-Dec. This shit’s waaaaay too cheap.

    Time for this Caveman to get a 4WD F-250 to hang his truck nutz from; the ’90 Camry ain’t getting any respect.

  • Pope Priapus


  • anabellum

    i’m reminded that National Chapter 7 Day is coming up fast……

    please remember that you have to complete the required credit counseling session before you can participate in the festivities…

  • Chief Grinning Eagle

    Someone sets the prices in the morning.

    I think they need the fix-it method that we used to use for an old black and white television. Give a good whack on top first with a closed fist. If that doesn’t stop it from flickering, hit it again harder using a rubber mallet. If that doesn’t do it, go get an anvil. Break the damn thing and go read a book.

  • freakishlystrong


  • Thegreatbacon

    [re=177081]Meaux[/re]: Here’s how you use it: First, you casually slip a foreshadowing comment into conversation. Maybe you look out the window of your office building and say: “A petro bomb could do a lot of damage down there.” Then later, to the same person, you say: “You know, we could save money on heating by just setting off a petro bomb in here.” Then, later, when you have finished your transition into a desert anarachic, with facial tatoos and straps of leather making a rudimentary loin cloth, you might casually say while trying to refill your coffee only to discover that nobody has made a fresh pot: “No coffee? Expect my petro bombs from the sky!” Then run to your gyro-copter or helio-copter or surfboard on wheels powered by solar cells and take off, never to be seen again.

  • Capitol Hillbilly

    the timing of this movie could not be better:


  • Meaux

    [re=177106]Thegreatbacon[/re]: Done and done! (I do work for the state, after all.)

  • problemwithcaring

    I’m scared for our future. This is totally anecdotal, but personally it’s been over 48 hours since I’ve purchased something plastic, cheaply made in China and endorsed by some person in America too obscenely wealthy to work for a living.

    What will become of our economy!?!

  • Baconcat

    [re=177040]Serolf Divad[/re]: Who runs bartertown? Could somebody please, for the love of God, tell me who runs bartertown?

  • ALIVE!

    Keep in mind that these numbers are not adjusted for the unusual spike in vice presidential candidate and family apparel spending in September. Adjusting for that one-time event, the October decline is not as severe.

  • ManchuCandidate

    [re=177040]Serolf Divad[/re]:
    Screw that. We don’t need another hero.

    I’m going with a Hockey mask and assless leather chap ensemble while driving a hot rodded tractor.

  • Meaux

    [re=177162]ManchuCandidate[/re]: Because of the economy, or just because it’s Friday?

  • Urbanachiever

    “It is important for the supply-siders to realize that giving more money to the “investor class” at the expense of others won’t help much now, because who would invest in a company that can’t sell any products since no one has any money or credit?”

    Jim, you need to take this quote and tattoo it to Paulson’s forehead!

  • Pope Priapus


  • ManchuCandidate

    A little bit from column A and a little bit from column B.

  • Servo

    Considering that people were living waaay beyond their means for most of the shown time period, I honestly think what we’re experiencing is more accurately defined as a normalization. Quite simply, a reality check. Yes, it hurts, but it’s not the end.

  • Terry


    Heck, I’ll claim Auntie Entity. You guys are all going in the THUNDERDOME…

  • AfghanVet

    Ehhh…buying shit on credit means when you have no more credit you cannot buy more shit. And, frankly, after the orgy that has been the Bush years…is there any shit left to buy? Anyone with cash is desperately trying to pay off debts they built up buying initial shit.

  • psychedelicSludge

    I’m waiting to cash in my Obama $$$ until after the election.

  • One Yield Regular

    [re=177072]SayItWithWookies[/re]: But the decline in oil prices was certainly offset by the increase in contributions to the Obama campaign – or does that not count as a retail sale? I’m still waiting for my t-shirt.

  • problemwithcaring

    [re=177261]AfghanVet[/re]: Learning “lessons” are for pussy Frenchmen. In Amer’ca, we just
    bring back layaway.

  • lotusflwr

    I like how it totally dips down at the end there. That’s the part where we all scream and it takes our picture and we can buy them once we get off this crazy ride… right?


  • psychedelicSludge

    I use solar-powered Excel. I give ink back to the grid.

  • blader

    My most humongous dickhead neighbor ever works at Citigroup.

    God I hope they crash into the iceberg

  • schnooten
  • qwerty42

    [re=177040]Serolf Divad[/re]: you wouldn’t want a gyro-copter (or whatever that thing was)? oh yeah – and a snake.

  • SayItWithWookies

    [re=177341]schnooten[/re]: The Marketwatch article was talking about deflation in the oil market, which is an entirely different matter from the debt deflation you’re referring to.
    Not to mention that the debt deflation idea (per my scant economics knowledge) seems a little dubious — like blaming the flu on a high fever. Seems like speculating on margin might be a more immediate cause of the depression than that.

  • schnooten

    [re=177372]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Now is the time for exaggerated concern!

  • nurple

    I think with 24 hour markets, and futures, there’s more information and more ability to spring back from a market blow. That being said, there are ALSO people out there taking positions based on what everyone ELSE expects the market to do, since it has 24 hour markets, and futures, and more ability to spring back from a market blow.

  • villageatrois

    Hey, the maths are so bad. But, for those who think the maths suck donkey balls, Wonkette put the charts in colors. When the red goes above the blue, your life sucks. If there is anyone here who is not math-tarded, I apologize, and acknowledge that the colors are arbitrary, unlike the numbers. The colors mean we vote for Obama; the numbers mean we eat dog food.

  • napalmnacey

    [re=177040]Serolf Divad[/re]: Why eat dog food when there’s perfectly good kangaroos wandering around? Nice tasty meat!