Last week, the streets were packed with shoppers but not enough of them were spending. Higher mortgages, debt, fuel and food price inflation meant that money was tight for the UK's increasingly 3rd world working people. And because of that, high street shops are feeling the pinch too.
Working peoples' jobs are exported to where labour is cheapest. Any jobs remaining in the country have cheap migrant labour to do them. All this drives down wages. Capital has no interest in nations and borders, only profit.
The losing finalist in the recent PDC World Darts Championship was only a part-time player. His day job is as a sheet metal worker and his salary, if you can call it that, is £8000 per annum. I earned that much as a mini-computer operator 20 years ago. How can anyone today pay a mortgage, utility, food and fuel bills with £8000 a year and be expected to act like a drone at Christmas time?
To stimulate the economy businesses want interest rates lowered to entice people back onto the high streets. Mortgage lenders and house builders want interest rates lowered to make house purchasing affordable. At the same time, the price of oil is inflating the price of everything. Price inflation calls for interest rate increases.
If workers can't afford to buy anything then they will strike (if there are any union members left) for more pay. Pay deal percentages greater than the inflation rate just feeds the inflation rate. A real mess.
The end of western style economies? Here's hoping!
Guardian - High Street starts to feel the pinch after shoppers cut back on festive spending
Guardian - Householders face double digit rises in gas and electricity
Guardian - The heavy price of $100 a barrel