Let Your Fingers Do the Shopping

Did you know that when talking movies became the rage in the early part of the last century, the government had no way of accounting for ticket sales?

I kid you not.

It wasn't until after World War II that Uncle Sam finally threw such sales figures into an "entertainment" category that included restaurant and bar sales.

It did the same thing with televisions when they first came out. Although a big ticket item, these new family entertainment sets weren't added to the list of big ticket items followed until 1962. 1962!

My point is, the government gets it. But it gets it late.

Take retail sales.

The government says they're ok, but not great.

I say they're great and much better than O.K.

The government bases its "OK" sales on conventional retail stores.

I base my "great" sales on unconventional Internet sales.

The government says sure, Internet sales are a factor, but not a big one.

I say they are the factor -- the biggest one.

The government says a lot of people might shop online, but it doesn't count much.

I "know" such sales are up 73 percent from last year and should count a lot.

The government still thinks we're shopping like it's 1962.

I know we're shopping in 2002.

The government will correct its ways and discover things are good.

I say it's a pity that until then, it'll have us believing things are bad.

When they're not. And clearly, when we're not.

Watch Neil Cavuto's Common Sense weekdays at 4 p.m. ET on Your World w/Cavuto.