New And column out on shopping as a moral obligation

Column here. It stems from my annoyance at the endless focus on “consumer confidence” and the insistence (as quoted in the article) that we have a duty to shop: Never mind whether we want the stuff or not, we have an obligation to pump up America’s economy.
As more and more accounts of companies seeing their profits swell but not hiring anyone (which I suppose is one reason they keep profits high) the argument that shopping will help the economy, rather than just the 1 percent, seems thinner than ever. However, as Roy Edroso documents, conservative bloggers are asserting that to question Black Friday spending is to attack America itself: “Occupy wall street wants you to damage the American economy by boycotting Black Friday” … “(Occupy America) wants to hurt the retail sales. Which means, by extension, that they are trying to harm the economic security of fellow Americans.”
Edroso shows some of them expressing the same disdain applies to suggesting we shop local businesses rather than chain stores. I’m not sure whether this represents an actual economic philosophy, though, rather than a reflexive response to disagree with anything a liberal (or Obama) says, whether to discredit them (“Look! Occupy is really against the working man!”) or just because they said it (like the time National Review responded to feminist criticism of date-rape at frat parties by running several articles defending college students’ freedom to have sex while drunk out of your mind).
Whatever the reason, I’m sure nothing they’ve said will stop them lecturing against consumerism (which will be liberals fault) in other posts, or explaining that anyone who does spend on Black Friday and runs into financial problems later should not have spent the money.
In other economic links:
•Paul Krugman argues that the wealthy don’t really create more jobs than anyone else: If an executive makes $100,000 less, that’s $100,000 he has less to spend, but it’s $100,000 his employers aren’t spending on him, so the net effect on the economy is zero. He also reports a study that suggests it would take a tax rate of at least 70 percent before high-earners started feeling it wasn’t worth earning the money.
•From Digby, the Masters of the Universe continue finding ways to make themselves richer while the companies they run keep tanking.
•An updated version of the parable of Lazarus and Dives asks why “economic efficiency” is the only goal we’re supposed to consider (courtesy of Slacktivist).

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