A reader just emailed me the following:
I just came across this article and [thought]: “That would be perfect for the EDIWM website/facebook page.”
So just in case you hadn’t seen it, I thought I would send a link to you.
(Hat tip to John Harvey.) The article is from August 31, 2009 and has the title “Blue Chip, White Cotton: What Underwear Says About the Economy.” Well…it IS something that is perfect for EDIWM, which is why I wrote about it back in April! So if the WaPo can recycle stories, so can I. 🙂 The upside of this recycling is that, rather than talk about how underwear sales are declining because of a bad economy, the article above is talking about how underwear sales are starting to rebound and how this is a good sign of things to come. So, yay, I suppose? Following is what I had to say the first time…
(The original post is from April 12, 2009, and you can see it with the comments here.)
1. I wrote earlier about how (and why) the most recent government stimulus checks were a boon to the porn industry.
“As chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan was known for using quirky, proletariat metrics to judge the temperature of the economy. The most famous of these, as recounted by NPR’s Robert Krulwich in January 2008, were the sales of men’s underwear. If the economic scales dipped even the slightest, Greenspan reasoned, it was as sure a sign as any that people were truly feeling the pinch.
‘If you look at sales of male underpants it’s just pretty much a flat line, it hardly ever changes,’ Krulwich recounted after the publishing of Greenspan’s book, ‘The Age Of Turbulence.’ ‘But on those few occasions where it dips that means that men are so pinched that they are deciding not to replace underpants. And [Greenspan] said “that is almost always a prescient, forward impression that here comes trouble.”‘”
Hm. So let’s see…when the economy gets bad, stimulus checks go out, which leads to an increase in porn consumption. If the economy is really bad (or people think it is going to get really bad), less men’s underwear is purchased, though thankfully not a lot less. I’ve summarized this in a nice little diagram:
I don’t even want to think about the logistics of this.