The "Christmas rush" is over. The final, last-ditch hope for our flailing economy has come to an end. The gifts have all been purchased. The free-spending desperate trips to our nation's big box retailers have all been taken. And now, America asks itself: did it work?
Well, let's put it this way: a hundred K-Mart stores will be closing, because you, the consumer, did not sufficiently support them during this holiday season. You thought of yourself on Christmas, sure, and you thought of your family, but did you think of the K-Mart corporation, and whether or not it can afford to keep its creaky, second-rate stores open? You did not. You were thinking about the homeless veterans living on the streets, and the cuts in university funding, and the poor Hondurans victimized by violent drug mafias funded by America's insatiable hunger for cocaine, and other selfish things of that nature. Like the unconscionable and absurd wealth gap between the citizens of our "democracy" and their own freely elected representatives. But not, we're willing to wager, a single thought for K-Mart's bottom line.
Even if you purchased a flat screen television at K-Mart this holiday season, it didn't do much good, for K-Mart.
So while "scientists and custodians alike" suckling at the public teat are enjoying higher paychecks, hardworking K-Mart executives are now staring down the barrel of unemployment, thanks to your parsimonious purchasing decisions this Christmas. (By "K-Mart executives," we mean "low-level K-Mart workers." The executives will be fine. We're making a point here.) So-called "experts" tell us that the economy will be better in 2012. But will it? That's the same thing so-called experts said right before the Great Depression, I bet. [Ed.—find some link or something for this] What we know for sure is that, for more than one hundred K-Marts, this is it. Santa brought them a bag of coal, which is a metaphor for corporate downsizing. And all that "charitable" paying off of poor people's layaway items you did in "the Christmas spirit" didn't do a damn thing for the bottom line. Congrats. Jerk.
Now, bereft of K-Marts, America will have to satisfy itself with the opening of Crystal Bridges, the gaudy monument to wealth-whitewashed-by-art that the Wal-Mart fortune built. And by America "satisfying itself," we of course mean razing that decadent museum to the ground and salting all of the earth within a 50-square-mile radius of Bentonville, Arkansas, lest another one sprout from its ashes.
Wal-Mart is no K-Mart. K-Mart is no K-Mart. And no K-Mart is what the holidays are all about. Better luck in 2012, America. You'll need it.
[Image via Daniel Oines/ Flickr]