Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Making Black Friday a Little Blacker

Black Friday, An UnAmerican Tradition

A quick explanation from the friendly Wiki:  (Read the article here. )

Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. On this day, many retailers open very early, often at 4 a.m., or earlier, and offer promotional sales to kick off the shopping season, similar to Boxing Day sales in many Commonwealth countries. Black Friday is not actually a holiday, but many employers give their employees the day off, increasing the number of potential shoppers. 

It has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year since 2005,although news reports, which at that time were inaccurate, have described it as the busiest shopping day of the year for a much longer period of time.

The day's name originated in Philadelphia, where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Use of the term started before 1966 and began to see broader use outside Philadelphia around 1975. Later an alternative explanation began to be offered: that "Black Friday" indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or are "in the black."


So, having firmly dislodged the idea that the day's name arose from the famous Friday when the Black Plague began its scourge of Europe, exactly what, pray tell, could be "Un-American" about all the retailers in the country peddling enough Chinese imports to finally be "turning a profit?

Of course, it's the "Chinese" part.  The latest version of the Black Plague is an economic one.  It is the scheme to curtail any gains in middle class income levels, prepare cheap "knock offs" of what had previously been American made goods and then sell all this stuff on credit to the jobless middle class public.

The facts of the scam are crystal clear.  The junk can be produced at slave labor wages in China, designed to look remotely similar to the incredibly better quality domestic products it's replacing on store shelves and then sold for a few pennies less.  The "shoppers" will be listening to some think tank denizen explaining the benefits of the "new global economy" while they drive home, deeper and deeper in debt.

What Can Be Done?

The answer proposed by MeanMesa in this posting is simple.

Buy Nothing.

At least, don't buy anything new.  It's time for parents to have a bold, loving, heart-to-heart talk with the kids.  Explain the Occupy Wall Street movement to them.  More importantly, explain to them the importance of supporting the patriots in that cold weather place who are fighting for their futures as middle class teen agers, middle class students, middle class workers, middle class citizens and middle class adults.

Explain to them that this Christmas is going to be a little different from past Christmases.  Explain to them that it's time to understand what is happening in the country and the part they can play in it.  To kick things off, an American made American flag on the Christmas tree might be a good start.  

Hold a Christmas Ornament Breaking Party.  Take a close look at all the stuff your family has been hanging on the tree for the last few years.  Does it really mean anything to you?  Or, is it just another pound of baubles and other junk that rolled out of a slave labor factory in some unfortunate country overseas?

Ask yourselves and your family, "Is this stuff really something that we want to hang on our Christmas tree?"

If you can afford a green tree, junk the old plastic one (hmmm...why not take it to the thrift store?) and buy a live American tree, grown here and sold here by your neighbors.  If the family finances won't bear a live tree, let your family's spirit decorate the one you have instead of just making another mindless trip to WalMart.

Do you buy your family's electricity from private, corporate supplier?  Cut the number of lights in your decorations in half.  

Kids hate clothes for Christmas anyway, so why not take them to the thrift store -- Chinese is okay if it's used.  New presents are fine if they are made in the United States.  If the kids ask why they didn't get something, simply tell them that it's not made here and some of your neighbors need jobs.

Delivering Santa's List? (photo source)

Turn off the television -- especially the commercials designed to sell even more junk to your kids -- and make decorations with crayons and poster board at the kitchen table while you're listening to Christmas carols on the stereo.  

Explain to them that very bad people have tricked Mom and Dad into buying -- on credit -- all the junk the kids see on television.  Explain that the money the family saves can be used just the way that Jesus said in Matthew

This means give cash -- start a savings account at a credit union for the young ones.  And, tell them why.  For relatives, maybe the best present is a cashiers check to help pay for something special to eat or a dentist or medical bills or utility bills -- or rent.  

It IS the thought that counts, and it's time that we started thinking.