Saturday, November 26, 2005

Black Eyes For Black Friday

I must admit that I have in the past beaten the roosters out of bed to hunt good deals on the day after Thanksgiving. There is indefinitely a certain rush and sense of satisfaction in finding a great buy. This year I stayed at home, and I am glad I did. The so called "Black Friday" shopping is by far capitalism at its extreme. It is amazing to think that retailers wait for one day out of their fiscal year to push profits out of the red and into the black. It is also amazing how Americans have managed to turn the beginning of a holiday season, meant to be a time for sharing, giving, and togetherness, into an individualistic competition and rush to see who can spend their money quicker than the next guy. It makes you wonder if capitalism has truly gone amuck.

This year the pushing, shoving, and fighting to get a super-deal was no different than years past. Here is a good example of what I am talking about. This year Wal-Mart shoppers took the award for most aggressive as they showed their unified spirit by proceeding to knock each other out on their way to grabbing at $350 laptop computers. It looks like Black Friday turned into a Black Eye for many, and definitely a black eye for our country.

Forecasters are saying crowds were bigger this year and so was spending. This surprises me as I thought for sure that with more money spent on gas and heating this year and money donated to Tsunami, hurricane, and earthquake victims that pocketbooks would be empty - I know mine is. Maybe this is simply an indication of how far Americans are willing to go into debt to acquire material comforts and to appear as if they are caring benefactors to their friends and families. Or maybe my economic sense is backward. However, I am also surprised considering that I thought for sure online shopping would lure many shoppers and keep them from the stores. I can only hope that online shopping will be a saving grace for out country and a check on the true blackness of Christmas shopping in the future. With online shopping people can peacefully look for good deals and make more informed decisions. Shoppers can avoid the temptation to get close to others by pushing and shoving to the electonics aisle. It will also lead to spreading the shopping over all Christmas shopping days and not bungling it all in one day. Maybe Americans are not trusting of online shopping just yet, but as more people get $350 laptops from Wal-Mart you will see many finding online shopping much more comfortable - AND SANE!

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