The quick-and-easy way to categorize the retail sector of the U.S. economy would be to use the metaphor of “falling off a cliff”. However, such a characterization would be overly simplistic. A more accurate analogy would be to consider someone sliding halfway down the side of a mountain – and then falling off a cliff. This represents the retail sector of the largest “consumer economy” the world has ever seen.
As explained previously; a “consumer economy” is (by definition) a dying economy. Consumption is not an activity which contributes to the productivity of any nation. Rather, “consumption” is our means of harvesting the fruits of previous labours. As a matter of elementary logic; such “harvesting” cannot continue over any extended period, or one will simply run out of anything to harvest.
At that point; the consumer economy becomes a debtor economy, meaning a Deadbeat Economy, since it now lacks the productive capacity to pay for what it consumes. Our economies have become a cartoon, and our governments have become a Cartoon Character, specifically Wimpy, from the old “Popeye” cartoons.
“I’ll pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today.”
Children laugh at the cartoon, because everyone knows that Wimpy can never pay for the hamburger on “Tuesday”, but rather when it comes time to pay for his consumption he will simply seek to do more mooching. That is the “consumer economy”. That is the U.S. economy.