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Too many stores: How long will the anti-shopping backlash last?

By The Editors

“The extreme consumption of this current gilded age has inspired a backlash. In December, hedge-fund billionaire Ray Dalio ran full-page advertisements in newspapers urging Americans to eschew Christmas gifts and instead make donations to charity. Maybe he's just run out of things to buy. Or maybe he's surfing the zeitgeist… [but] the cultural anti-retail moment will likely pass. Thoreau lasted only 26 months in his cabin by Walden Pond. The elevation of frugality into a virtue seems likely to last about as long as modern recessions do—about eight months.”

Posted 2/18/08 at 12:55 PM