Or Why the fourth Quarter Retail Figures Will Not Reflect the Real State of the Economy.
Last year, my partner purchased a new tree. It was one of those fibre optic light changing plastic monstrosities. It took a minute to put up and thirty seconds to plug in. It came with a number of decorations “built in” – in other words, pre-trimmed.
No more untangling strings of Christmas tree lights. YaY!!!
Last night (Christmas Eve I asked her (my partner) where we had put the tree. It used to be in the garden shed, but I knew that she had put it carefully somewhere in her office. Her response came as a surprise, “Why bother? It doesn’t really feel like Christmas… and I’m not sure where I put the tree. I think it’s behind some boxes and I couldn’t be bothered digging it out.”
There was a part of her comment that struck a logical chord within my childlike “Oi where’s the chrissie tree” contemplative navel gazing reverie.
She was being logical, after all, older generations without screaming bundles of joy don’t really need Christmas trees.
Australia has now entered the baby-boomer retirement phase.
As a country, our principle bandaid solution is the increase of migration from overseas.
The following suggests a possible barrier to long term financial recovery, not understood by the average person aghast at this countries apparent cavalier attitude to illegal migrants.
Every year from the age of two or three I awoke on Christmas morning to the delight of a flashing, shiny Christmas tree decorated with szalonna cukor [a Hungarian traditional mashup of toffee and marzipan wrapped in coloured shiny foil that reflect all of the lights on the tree].
My Hungarian origins meant that I was actually waiting for St. Mikulas, and not Santa Claus and he came earlier in the month, yet my Judeo-Christian parents, in accordance with their proud new New Zealand citizenship modified the Hungarian Traditions moving the entire celebration to Christmas eve.
By the age of five, I had figured out that the miracle of the tree and presents appearance and the simultaneous disappearance of my father appeared to coincide. My mothers role was to distract my brother and I by retiring to our bedroom and singing Menybol az Angyal and other Hungarian Christmas carols, whilst we eagerly awaited the little bell jangling from the direction of the lounge room to indicate that St. Mikulas had been and gone.
Of course, Hungarian tradition still differs in that St. Mikulas brings the entire tree (fully decorated). Which of course dictates that the family doesn’t get to trim the tree together as is western custom in other parts of the world.
Notwithstanding differing tree sourcing traditions, every years Christmas since, has been memorable in the annual mad shopping dash to ensure the duck/goose, ham, colbasz as an annually growing list of appetizing imperitives were collected and prepared for the great day.
Christmas was a target for the entire family, “Thanks be to God, we made it, another year.”
For my Jewish friends, it was “Happy Hanukah time, we made it, another year.”
I received a link from a friend and colleague in the USA this morning, to the “Charlie Brown “Meaning of Christmas”. A great skit of the meaning of Christmas. However, it is the meaning of Christmas for less than one seventh of today’s rapidly growing emerging nation dominated, global population explosion.
The Origins of Christmas Financial Reporting
Christmas only became about the religious aspects as a justification for the boost that merchants and traders needed on what, for the Northern Hemisphere was the first day of Winter, which for the northern agronomic based societies of Europe, meant no fresh greens for the next three months.
The Roman Emperor Aurelian, declared the 25th of December a celebratory holiday [day of the God, Invincible Sun, Sol Invictus] in recognition of the first day (longer day) after the three [shortest] days period of the Winter Solstice. Therefore, the Northern Hemisphere solstice Celebration day, was the last day of the market where souls would deign to travel to the markets to buy up large before the worst of the winter snows and blizzards arrived.
History has turned that historical survival necessity into a market driving annual event.
Industries globally strived to create goods that could be sold at market for the best price possible to allow craftsmen and tradesman to better provide for their families during a time when the only central heating consisted of yesterdays burnt wood, relit and boosted with some fallen tree branches and such dried dung as could be scraped from barn dung pile.
We have a lot to be grateful for since Aurelian’s declaration, the world has developed additional capabilities. Plastic and credit cards were invented, we discovered oil and “climate control air-conditioning arrived to make the Christmas period and the ensuing winter more bearable.
No longer do we need the smell of fresh pine needles in our home to banish the stale smell of humans locked up for months on end in an environment where all the windows are closed against the cold.
With a global fertility rate of over 2, the need to continue production at all levels to be able to meet manufacturing quotas so that Christmas bonuses could be paid and the recipients could provide for their families those luxuries that usually only arrived once per year.
Japan, that country of innovative consumer engineering excellence, showed us what happens to an economy as the fertility rate stalls and then starts to decline.
Whilst Australia has maintained it’s fertility rate, it has done so by ignoring the Judeo-Christian Winter Solstice written history ingrained imperative.
The majority driver of fertility in Australia is now via persons of the Muslim faith, who of course don’t observe and consequently fail to “commercially” practice Christmas.
The Christmas retail imperitive fails when:
- Christmas becomes irrelevant due to the ageing population
- economic divers evaporate due to differences in religious observation
- the cost of consumer targeted goods lowers to the point when one doesn’t have to save all year to be able to afford it. and;
The manufacturing cycle, that used to reward handsomely for increased production levels has been moved offshore by industrialists keen to regime shop labour costs to increase profit margins to reward shareholders.
In other words, it is difficult to have continually increasing fourth quarter numbers if a company lays off all its’ employees in favour of cheaper offshore labour.
Especially if the companies that pay the employees to enable them to shop at each others emporiums all emulate each others labour regime shopping initiative and lay off all their staff. Who is left to shop and with what Christmas bonuses ?
The catch up and bite you period appears to be five years. Companies playing in this short term gain arena are learning that they are unable to remain industry leaders for more then a five year period, regardless of how strong their balance sheet was at the beginning of the game.
- The population fertility rate for almost all developed nations are in serious decline.
- Some nations like the USA are offering 10 year visas to Judeo Christians females, hoping to harvest their offspring’s long term economic benefits.
- Australia has since the eighties had a generous non-secular approach to immigration.
NATURAL INCREASE AND NET OVERSEAS MIGRATION
Source: ABS Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0)
As can be seen from the above ABS graph, that policy has paid handsomely in the natural population increase making it’s effects obvious in 2004. Yet the results will be increasingly obvious this year at the cash registers.
The Western suburb shopping centres yesterday were just like any other shopping day.
No traffic jams, no teeming throngs of people all trying to squeeze through the entrance gate simultaneously. In fact it appeared to me that one would be hard pressed putting together an all male first fifteen.
Christmas of the future ?
Unless we make some basic alterations to how we prepare for and celebrate Christmas, the following scenario, will become a reality.
December 25, 2020: Kids ordering goods from the $1 eBay shop being delivered direct to their bedroom windows by autonomous flying UAV delivery vehicles all year round whilst watching videos of Miracle on 34 St and asking their mothers, “Beeyatch, what was all that teary shit about ? Who in the hell is dat fat Klaus character, was he another one of them famous pedophiles ?”
Our only alternative to ensure survival when the copper and iron ore stop being needed is to dramatically re-skill our nation to become home based artisans, tradesmen and craftsmen, enabling a return to former years when the ability to make something with ones hands was a revered skill and not one that was shamefully labeled by today’s XY&Z generations as Dat Dere Blue Collar Worker.
We need to retask our populations skillset, taking advantage of of the different commercial opportunities presented by increasingly cosmopolitan population.
Charlie Browns Christmas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKk9rv2hUfA
COMPONENTS OF ANNUAL POPULATION GROWTH Australian ABS Graph – ABS 3101.0