We have a recently built shopping centre which is mostly open - some has
a thin plastic roof which keeps rain off but the wind whips through. The
heat pouring out of open shop doors is beyond belief. You can feel
overheated walking past the shops even in the middle of winter.
Even more ludicrous when you think how many shops try to flog at least
some of their wares on the basis of energy saving.
Perhaps every shop should have to display their recent energy usage?
Walk, as I used to, along the edges of the flat roof of any hospital or
school or office block. You can hold out your hand and feel the heat
rising from the open windows below. But on flats you don't get that effect.
Still pretty true that in many local-government controlled buildings,
the heating comes on based on the calendar, rather than the temperature,
and the way to regulate room temperature is to open the windows, turning
off the rads doesn't help when much when there's a large, unlagged, hot
pipe running round the perimeter of the room ...
A mates dad had a flat in a small council owned block.
This was equipped with underfloor heating which came on about October
and ran till sometime in Spring. There was no way of controlling it
by the occupants and on some days many of the flats had windows open
to keep cool even in December. He later bought the flat under the
Right to buy but I lost touch around then, I wonder how the bill was
then sorted, If I had bought the place I wouldn't want to pay for
warming up the pigeons outside.
The money spent on impulse buys can only possibly enough to pay for
impulse buys, so unless the impulse buys themselves actually generate
additional happiness the boost to the economy is worthless.
It's possible that they also redistribute wealth somewhat, though I
can't see any reason to suppose it would be in a desirable direction.
Spending increases demand, which leads to improved growth and less
unemployment. Around one third of all purchases in supermarkets is
unplanned, which suggests that impulse buying is a very important part
of the economy.
To me it suggests either:
1) Wastage (and eating too much falls in the category);
2) It may be unplanned in the spur of the moment, but if the person did
not buy it there and then, they would have planned to buy it or
something else in the very near future (thinking food items) - so not
I went into Homebase the other day for a pack of screws (well, I was
passing) and bought one LED lamp to test. This was an extra purchase
over what I went in for, but it was not unplanned as such as I had been
perusing LED HUT, Amazon and other places for exactly that form factor.
So it makes me wonder who that would have been recorded if I had been
collared for a survey?
On Thursday, October 16, 2014 10:18:54 AM UTC+1, Richard Tobin wrote:
If people buy things on impulse they can't afford they resort to credit to pay it off.
Importers of tat and the owners of coffee shops and payday loan companies might benefit, but most people (and I suspect the economy overall) might be improved if they spent rather less on impulse.
Possibly. Or possibly it just results in less being spent on other
And the increased demand is for exactly the things that are bought.
The resulting wages get spent on average, on those very things -
because that's how much extra money is available.
Now it's possible that it shuffles money around so that more of other
things is bought, but you'd need some evidence for that.
The question is whether that part of the economy is actally making
anyone happier. If it's just a lot of extra stuff that no-one really
wanted, it isn't. And you have to set against it the possibility that
people buy less of things that *would* actually make them happier.
In short: does buying more things we didn't previously want result in
us having more of the things we really do want? If so, why?
It is the total amount being spent that is important, not what it is
being spent on. If people are buying one thing instead of another,
rather than as well as it, that is not an increase in spending.
Only if you are a sociologist. Economists are interested in whether
people are buying non-essentials, as that implies a greater level of
disposable income and hence a healthier economy. Whether or not they are
happier as a result is only relevant to the economy if it results in
even more spending.
Unlikely with impulse buys. The money spent on those is more
likely to just be saved if it isnt spent on the impulse buy.
Not just possible, that is an absolute certainty.
Nope, there is nowhere else it can go unless the
impulse buy is for something sold by someone
who has nothing useful to do with their time and
who is just selling stuff like that as a hobby to
fill in the time and who just adds the cash they
receive from the impulse buy to their already
substantial savings in the bank etc.
Sure, some small shops are like that, but its only
a subset of the small shops being discussed.
It isnt about happyness, its about jobs.
And most are happier with a job than without one anyway.
Its unlikely that a third of supermarket purchases are that.
But those arent the shops being discussed, those that believe
that they get more impulse buys when they leave their door
open. Supermarkets mostly have automatic doors or no doors
at all when they open onto malls etc.
That is certainly true of the sort of mindless shopaholics.
But those do provide jobs for those that sell them stuff.
Yes, that does happen when you see something that
you didn’t realise would be useful until you saw it.
I've actually done that with supermarkets, seen a
new thing on the shelves, decided to try it, found
I like it a lot and choose to buy it more often.
In fact they they stopped selling that item, presumably
because not enough people liked it, so I started making
my own, and its much better than the one I bought in
In this case chicken breasts with various stuffings
wrapped in prosciutto, cooked in the oven.
That's a whole different ballgame as politicians and many commentators
do not understand the meaning of GDP variously quoting as "wealth" and
"income". Even prostitution and rug dealing is now included in GDP. In
the days when our economy was largely manufacturing based it was a
reasonable measure of economic activity but personally I think it has
passed its sell by date and its about time economists came up with a new
It never was. That was just a much more important component than it is now.
Trouble is that there isnt one.
Yes, its stupid to be ignoring the amount of effort that goes
into doing stuff around the home, particularly with food
preparation when that competes with having much more
of the food preparation done in factorys to minimise the
amount of effort required in the home, but the problem
is that it is essentially impossible to measure that other
stuff so it can't be included in some national total figure.
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