It is time for the Keynesian economists to predict disaster in spite of their pronouncements that the economy was finally recovering. They announced a fragile recovery and a jobless recovery. Then "Black Friday" failed to occur. The single biggest shopping day of the year happened without the massive crowds normally associated with that day.
Retailers were reporting that conditions were basically the same as any normal business day, and that by early evening the stores were fairly deserted. Although there were shoppers seeking good deals on high end items, it appeared that they were shopping for replacements for worn appliances, and not purchasing items like plasma televisions and other luxury consumer goods.
As is preached by Austrian economists, people are saving their money because they are in a recession. Many businesses look forward to "Black Friday" and the rest of the holiday season, as Christmas shopping helps sustain the businesses through the rest of the year. If the 2009 Christmas season fails to provide the profits usually associated with Christmas shopping many of the businesses that depend on it may not make it through the rest of the year.
The Keynesian solution is more stimulus. The message among those in political circles will be that people aren't spending enough.
People are saving money because it is the sensible thing to do, especially in economic hard time. The official unemployment rate is around 10%, the unofficial (and more accurate) rate is aroudn 20%, and the rate among 18 - 30 year olds is 50%. The money isn't there to be spent. Going further into debt is the very last thing peole need to do right now, even if the banks were lending.
If "Black Friday" i an indication of things to come, the situation is more accurately described as "Lack Friday". First the stores will lack customers, and then thanks to government efforts to remedy the situation the people will lack money and freedom.