Around this time every year, Americans are reminded that our status as the most powerful nation on Earth hangs in the balance. The only way we can stay top of the heap is by spending a lot of money on stuff people don’t really need. The more crap we buy, the rosier the economic outlook! But to be serious, there’s a science to following and understanding spending trends. Tom Compernolle from Deloitte joins us to talk about how the Chicago area stacks up against the national average when it comes to the annual opening-of-the-wallet festival.