Stock market volatility and reports of lost consumer confidence are the latest indicators feeding the anxieties about a global economic slow-down. If you listen to the pundits, you'll hear that 2015 is beginning with a "surprise slump" and a gloomy economic air.
Profit will out, whether in Wall Street boardrooms or in the ashes of a south Asian sweatshop. All of which makes for ever wealthier plutocrats, consumers kept content with cheap goods, and if we do nothing about it, lousy citizens.
A growing number of shoppers are researching their purchases in-store then buying later online, which would be fine if the sale went to that retailer. But when it goes to Amazon or a competitor, it means the store served as an unpaid showroom.
We can be sure of one thing: Wal-Mart has promised before that it would Buy American -- and it didn't. Like Sam Walton's promises 20 years ago, Bill Simon's rediscovery of American manufacturing in 2013 isn't worth the paper his press release was printed on.
A record 27,000 retailers and technology vendors converged in NYC this week for the National Retail Federation's Big Show. On the heels of a modest holiday retail season -- up only 3 percent year over year -- three keywords dominated.
Retail jobs are a crucial source of income for the families of workers in this sector, so why are there currently more than one million retail workers and their family members living in or near poverty? That's not what economic recovery looks like.