Today’s Example of Bad Journalism

America’s Poorest Shoppers Are Putting Discount Stores Out Of Business

Sensationalism at its worst and yet another example of liberals, such as the author of the article, wanting to see successful businesses fail or the predicting failure of successful business. Same goes for liberals freaking out over Putin – lots of hype for clicks and pageviews.

The libs predicted, incorrectly, that Facebook was a fad, that profit margins would contract, that stocks would crash, that the student loan bubble would pop, that real estate in high-flying regions such as the Bay Area and Vancouver would crash, that the consumer would become more frugal – the list of failed predictions goes on an on and to write them all would take an hour at least.

A commenter astutely points out:

Let’s see. Dollar General has had constantly rising earnings since 2008. Dollar Tree constantly rising since 1998. Family Dollar earnings constantly rose from 1998 – 2013 with rising revenues in 2014, though a blip down in earnings. Walmart constantly rising earnings since 1998. And they’re all “slowly dying”?

In other words, slowing growth is NOT dying. I guess in today’s frenzied, click-hungry online media environment where writers are paid by the number of pageviews, slowing growth – whether it’s GDP or earnings – means certain doom. If Facebook is slightly losing its appeal among teens, the libs say the site is dying, glossing over the fact that some of these defecting teens are spending more time on Instagram (Facebook owned) or that overseas growth is far exceeding any loss of users in America. In 2012, the libs said Facebook would see a major slowdown in revenue due to people using the mobile version of Facebook instead of the more ad-laden desktop version, but it never occurred to the left that maybe people are spending MORE total time on Facebook, and that is exactly what happened. It’s not like mobile usage has to deduct from desktop usage. In contrast to 2007 when mobile speeds were slower and screens were smaller, now people are on Facebook twice as much: on the phone when away from home and then when they get back home. Also, Facebook has had great success at monetizing mobile users and will continue to do so.

As a possible culprit for the ‘demise’ of dollar stores, the author mentions:

Money spent by households earning less than $30,000 has been flat since 2008, WSJ reports, citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Total income for that group fell 1% between 2004 and 2012.

Some counter arguments:

1. Even if wages and purchasing power are flat, that doesn’t preclude the possibility of a greater proportion of purchases going to dollar stores.

2. Increased consumption from those making over $30k. It’s not like only the poorest of Americans shop at dollar stores.

3. And if income is stagnant or falling, wouldn’t that make this demographic more inclined to seek bargains?

4. Finally, maybe people are realizing dollar stores are a terrible value with inferior products compared to Walmart and other stores. Technically you pay only a dollar, but you get a better value with Walmart by spending a little more. For example, at a dollar store a package of just four Ibuprofen will cost $1, but you can get a whole bottle of 500 pills at Walmart for $7 – a much lower price per pill.

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