A Preemptive Strike Against The Inevitable Whining About "Black Friday"

We’re past election day, and the holiday season looms. Looming along with it is the holiday shopping season, which is a spectacle of consumerism in which Americans feel obligated to go out and spend until it hurts for a myriad of reasons among them economic stimulus.

Honestly, I think our country has an unhealthy attitude about the whole thing. A product of a deeply ingrained notion that the key to economic success is people spending.

There’s no doubt about it that our economy runs on commerce, but I think the sort of commerce that meets real wants and needs instead of the perceived obligations imposed by the holiday season is better for the economy. You’d be better off saving or investing your money instead of buying a flatscreen television just because it’s on sale.

But I digress.

A highlight of the holiday shopping season, in addition to those stories about mobs all but rioting over “door buster” post-Thanksgiving sales, has been griping about the fact that the stores are open for shopping during and after the Thanksgiving holiday at all.

It’s controversy fanned by the unions who, with flagging private sector enrollment, would like to get retail workers under their thumbs, but the outrage over “Black Friday” shopping is as insufferable as the rabid consumerism displayed by the shoppers themselves.

If the outrage over “Black Friday” were anything more than the yapping of a small but noisy minority the stores would have knocked it off a while ago. Yet here we are, on the edge of 2014 holiday season, and the retailers are flogging their “Black Friday” marketing more than ever it seems. The latest development is opening on the Thanksgiving holiday itself, to the chagrin of the yappers.

But, again, most Americans don’t seem to have a problem with “Black Friday.” Because the facts tell us that “Black Friday” marketing continues to work, year after year.

To put it bluntly, “Black Friday” will go away when Americans stop choosing to participate. Until that happens, to each their own. Whatever distaste I may have personally for “Black Friday,” I think people should be allowed to choose how they engage in commerce. If they want ugly mobs scurrying like rodents after deals for consumer electronics, so be it.

It’s a free country.

As for the employees who have to work the Black Friday holiday season, I’d point out that lots of jobs require work during the holidays. If you don’t like it, find another job.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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