Monday, 28 December 2009

There are mutterings of discontent

among the retailers in South Australia. They had to close on Boxing Day. They were open yesterday (a Sunday) and they have to close today for the Proclamation Day holiday. After that they are free to open until New Year's Day - another holiday.
I suspect we have too many public holidays. The silliest one of all is for Adelaide Cup Day. This is, believe it or not, for a horse race. Even the Victorians in the next state do not have a holiday for Melbourne Cup Day which is, I understand, a much bigger event. I have no interest in horse races. I just feel sorry for the horses. We do not need public holidays in honour of animal cruelty.
But, back to the discontent. The root of the discontent is, of course, financial. There are the post-Christmas sales to consider. The retailers are complaining that it is hard to keep the momentum going. It is more difficult to get people to part with their money - or their credit. Apparently there are some big ticket items (like televisions) going 'cheap'. Hmm. (Our television set is about 30 years old. When we go digital next year then we will need to do something about this but it will be in the form of some sort of gadget attached to the telly. My nephew knows about this and assures us that is all we will need - although I think he thinks we should just upgrade the telly. We think we do not watch enough to warrant it. )
The recovery from the financial crisis is supposed to be led by the retail sector, the demand for goods (and thus services). I do not understand enough about economics to know whether this is really going to be the solution to the problem. It sounds simplistic to me, too simplistic. Surely one of the things that led to global financial meltdown was the desire to have more than we needed?
I find it difficult to sympathise with the big stores wanting to sell me a television set I do not need. While these big stores can open, the small independent stores like our local independent bookshop will have to remain closed. They do not get a look in.
There are too many people out there who may already be regretting the size of their credit card bills. That will be a real source of discontent. I think we need a holiday from shopping.


Donna Hosie said...

Are you sure Victoria doesn't have a public holiday for the Melbourne Cup? The ACT does!

Tony said...

While Melbourne Cup Day is not a state holiday, it is observed in Melbourne itself (and is a de facto holiday in the rest of the state). As a full time worker, I would also have to disagree with your comment on the number of holidays - I would like to see more, especially in the second half of the year!

catdownunder said...

Aw come on Tony, the universities schedule exams on those days! Well yes of course we full time workers would like more holidays but are they good for the economy? I would actually like a holiday. Oops, I had better not complain I had four days real holiday last year - the first such holiday since 1976.