11.13.2016

2016 post-election economic contraction (home version)

L.L. Bean return label with handwritten reason: "TRUMP"

In October, I bought a pair of Bean boots for the first time because I'd always wanted a pair and they were on pre-season sale. But now I'm returning them. I wrote on the return form that while "the boots are great," I'm "worried about paying for health care" and have "no $ for extras," unhappy face. I wrote "TRUMP" in the reason code since the other options weren't applicable: the boots were indeed the right size, good quality, and made in the USA. There was nothing wrong with them.

Now, I'm not a "good consumer" as economists would define the term. I don't spend much beyond the necessities of groceries, housing, and health care. I no longer own a car but take urban public transportation. I shop secondhand for most things. I rarely ever eat out. I don't have a mortgage. I also don't have any debt (knock wood), even after breast-cancer treatment last year because of a) personal savings, b) hospital foundation money, c) the State of Oregon, and d) private insurance. And the only reason my credit score isn't higher is because I almost never use credit.

So if I'm already cutting back on my spending since the presidential election this past week because of fears that Trump will soon be gutting Obamacare as promised, leaving me with an uninsurable preexisting condition, I'm probably not the only one. And Trump saying he'd "repeal and replace" Obamacare with "something terrific" is about as meaningful as a Walmart greeter telling a shopper to have a nice day while the other Walmart employees are out back in the break room filling out food-stamp applications.   

(Thank you, anyway, L.L. Bean. I'm sorry. Maybe someday . . . )

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