Discretionary Spending (and my mother)

Cite this Article
Elizabeth Nowicki, Discretionary Spending (and my mother), Truth on the Market (August 31, 2006), https://truthonthemarket.com/2006/08/31/discretionary-spending-and-my-mother/

Back during GW’s first term, when various folks were positing that the economy was in a recession, my mother said something along the lines of “I know that we are not in a recession because people are still buying bras from Victoria’s Secret.” True story.

My mom’s point, for those of you who have never bought a bra at Victoria’s Secret, was that as long as people had the discretionary cash to spend $32 on a bra (ONE bra) at VS as opposed to, say, $7 for a bra from JC Penney’s, there was enough cash in the average consumer’s pocket to refute any notion that we needed to worry about a weakening economy.

It is good to see confirmation that my mother’s sophisticated economic reasoning holds up in the mainstream, however, as is evinced by today’s Starbuck’s article from Reuters. It is unclear whether the University of Chicago will come recruit my mother or whether she would be better off approaching them herself.

(My personal test of the strength of the economy hinges on whether we still have private equity markets (as long as we still have private equity, we are A-ok), but I am not quite as sophisticated as my mother.)