Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I hate to be greedy about the government stimulus plan. From what I know about economics, it won't do much at the "macro," big picture level other than deepen the deficit. In a best case scenario, consumers get a check, with money borrowed from the Chinese, to buy products made in China. Whose economy are we stimulating again? Yet, as a store owner, and a merchant of plenty of Chinese made products, there's something about knowing the government is handing out $600 checks to my customers (they fit the demographic) that makes me stand up and wonder how I can get some of that. I'm sure other businesses are thinking the same thing, it would be borderline negligent not to.

I have my doubts about how it will be spent. Personally, if you handed me a check for $600-900, the amount I'll probably be getting, I would pay off debts. That's what's best for me and my family and that's everyone's first responsibility. Although the money is intended to stimulate the economy, if it's in the form of a check, I see it as a bank shore-up plan.

I actually find myself agreeing with Glenn Beck, who believes the best way to stimulate the economy in this fashion. if you have to do it, although you shouldn't, is not to send a check, but to send debit cards. Hurricane Katrina victims got debit cards and although they were mostly used for food and shelter, many bought jewelry and more luxurious items, like breast implants. It was embarrassing to the government as a disaster relief plan, but it was an excellent proof of concept for economic stimulus. You want high margin sales, like, uh, games, yeah.

I was walking through the game center over the weekend while customers were talking about the plan and just threw out the idea, "Yeah, and 10% off if you write your check over directly to the store." It was just an idea, and although there were some shocked looks, there were cheers as well.

As a business person but also a thoughtful human being, my ideal situation is that all my customers have good jobs, maxed out 401K plans, and that they have a healthy entertainment budget, most of which is spent at my store. I want to compete for as much of that slice of entertainment budget pie as I can get. It's this vision that allows me to sleep at night and not feel like I'm taking advantage of people. The reality is that many are living on credit, don't budget, are semi-employed at best, and .... those are my best customers. So if I had to send them a message, it would be do what's best for you, but consider your friendly local game store if you've got some extra money.

No comments:

Post a Comment