The Only People We Have To Blame For Black Friday Is Ourselves

black-friday-mobs

Griping about “Black Friday” shopping has become a Thanksgiving tradition. Especially now that organized labor has glommed on to the issue as a way to get a foot hold into organizing the work force at retail giants like Walmart.

To some degree, I agree with the criticism of Black Friday. I’d rather not shop during the holiday and, what’s more, the images we see of angry mobs of shoppers fighting with each other over heavily discounted merchandise makes me feel a little sick to my stomach.

But what I hate about this debate is how many people blame corporate America and “big business” for sacrificing the holidays and family time on the altar of greed and profit (if I may channel some of the more hyperbolic of the critics). Why do you think these businesses do it? Why do they buck the criticism and open their doors to the public?

It’s because the public wants it. Nobody forces those shoppers to get up at ungodly hours to stand in line in the freezing cold for the sake of a big discount on a flat-screen television or a new gaming counsel. They do it because they want to. The stores are merely willing sellers peddling goods to willing buyers.

That the whole ordeal isn’t something I’m particularly interested in involving myself in, I support the right of seller and buyers alike to engage in commerce as they wish. And for those griping about the damage it’s doing to American culture, remember that it’s only happening because free people are choosing to do it.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • WOOF

    Before black Friday sales there were after Christmas sales.
    We all understand on whose omniscient shoulders the fault
    is carried.
    Jackie Mason

    • Neiman

      Obama?

  • Neiman

    Yet surely, if the businesses give in to this lust after gifts, it is to make more money and isn’t that greed? So, the people demand to shop on Thanksgiving or the day after, they too are guilty of not using these holiday breaks to invest quality time with family.

    I think both are equally guilty and neither have much room to blame anyone else.

  • kevindf

    Do they accept EBT cards (Obama cards?)

  • borborygmi

    The Consumer aka salivating dogs.

  • Davo

    Do you think we should allow topless bars to stay open 24 hours a day 365 days a year?

  • The Fighting Czech

    They need to start handing out baseball bats right before the doors open. it would be a great way to Cull the Liberal herds!!!!

    • The Fighting Czech

      Actually it might be a great way to get rid of some of the idiots on the Right too!!!!

    • borborygmi

      That would be the Liberals spending money stimulating the economy, yeah that is conservative thinking alright. NIce Holiday spirit. I suppose that would mean more for you.

      • The Fighting Czech

        Nope, most of that junk they discount doesnt interest me in the least. Black Friday is just a reminder of how stupid people are. the news has been saying that except for a very few limited items that the stores advertise as a hook, you can get the same prices on most the stuff during upcoming sales, or on the Net, if you dont want to wait…

  • matthew_bosch

    Agree Rob, consumers vote with their dollars.

    But to be safe it may be advantageous to legislate this matter. I suggest we establish a Bureau in charge of Black Friday Shopping which sends government monitors(With UN/Hague oversight) and safety advisors to each store to make sure no one is trampled. The first year budget will be $100 billion in undisclosed expenditures, with guaranteed budget increase of 5% a year. BBFS monitors will be subject to mandatory union membership and are guaranteed 120% pension, with .5% contriubution(dont worry, we’ll get rid of employee contribution in contract renegotiations).

    If this saves just one life, it’s worth it.

    • LibertyFargo

      + 1 for the proper use of Sarcasm!

  • mickey_moussaoui

    Give cash. It’s always popular

  • SigFan

    For many retailers, their year is either made or broken at this time of year. And for the consumers this is the best opportunity they have throughout the year to get great prices on the things they want (or in a few cases need). While I am not a participant myself in the lunacy of Black Friday – and likely won’t be in a mall again until well after Christmas – both sides of the equation have the right to do this if they want to. I deplore the over-commercialization of Christmas and the materialism, but that is the current and unfortunate state of society. Perhaps that will swing the other way some time in the future but for now Black Friday is going to remain a part of the culture.

    • badlands4

      I couldn’t agree with this post more. The only thing I would argue is I read that outside of a very few deals(that normally run out quickly), you don’t actually get the best deals on Black Friday. Apparently the best deals tend to be about the middle of December.

      I tried to Black Friday shop with a few friends and I swore never again. The height of insanity to me ;) .

      • SigFan

        Actually I think that in most cases it’s only the perception that you are getting a great deal that drives people out – that and the idea that you won’t be able to get what you want later due to it being sold out. In reality, the after Christmas sales are the best prices, though the merchandise can be picked over. Last year I picked up a couple cashmere sweaters that normally retailed for $200 for $35, colors and sizes were limited but I found what I wanted eventually. Society is not into delayed gratification though, even if it costs more for the instant version.

        • banjo kid

          Very smart I do the same thing look for after Christmas sales they are great and no one is in the stores except a few looking for good deals .

    • banjo kid

      As for me and my family black Friday will be an event we will by pass let the people do it if they want to it is none of my business at all . but I would not go if they had I pods for a dime.

  • awfulorv

    Perhaps I’ve missed it, but why haven’t racial extotionists such as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and his tri polar son, sued the big box stores and, in particular, the Mom and Pop killers Wal-Mart, for using the discriminatory “Black” in their friday sales advertisements?

  • Waski_the_Squirrel

    I’m glad to read this from someone on the right. I get so tired of all the articles from both sides lamenting the cultural damage when it is actually a reflection of the culture.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      The dog wags the tail, not the other way around.

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