Monday, November 30, 2009

Why I Hate Black Friday

I hate Black Friday. Black Friday is the most ridiculous excuse for bad behavior and reckless spending I have ever heard of. But when your economy relies so heavily on consumer spending, I guess the troops have to rally the spenders. Analytics firm ComScore says Americans spent 3% more this year on Black Friday. Reuters says they spent significantly less than last year. The stock market waits with bated breath to see who was right, hoping passionately that spending was up. Because that tricky Dubai situation really dampened everyone's spirits on Black Friday. Still, it didn't stop idiots from queuing up two days before Black Friday, camping out in the rain and the cold to be first in line when the doors opened. Some people went so far as to actually miss Thanksgiving dinner because they were waiting in line at Wal-Mart. Last year a store worker was trampled to death by desperate Wal-Mart shoppers. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that there is something seriously wrong with people who spend all of their Thanksgiving holiday queuing up for and fighting over bargains at retail stores. Yes, OK, you save 25% or 50% or 75% on flat screen TVs. Maybe you couldn't afford one without the discount. But the question is - if you have to queue up for two days to 'save' money, maybe you really shouldn't be spending it at all. One woman who was interviewed on TV on Friday said that she had lost her job and that buying food was becoming a real issue. She said this as she queued up at a store to buy crap for Xmas. She can't afford food, but she can afford to buy crap as long as it is on sale. TV stations, advertisers and retailers have teamed up to tempt shopping-addicted Americans to do the Patriotic thing and buy stuff to support the economy. Maybe it works, but it isn't pretty.

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