Permalink to The Elite Distaste for Black Friday

The Elite Distaste for Black Friday

 

Ah, Black Friday: The day wealthy whites are applauded for judging lower-class folks who are just trying to buy affordable gifts for their kids.

Huffington Post’s mocking headline blares “THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT!” followed by bold black and red stories of consumerism gone wild. New York’s Gawker features “The Best Walmart Thanksgiving Day Fight Videos” (I won’t dignify them with a link), while coastal elite news anchors cluck about the barbarians at the Target security gate.

I hate shopping on a regular day, let alone Black Friday. I’m hardly loaded, but would rather pay a few extra bucks to buy gifts on a slow day or online. Everyone doesn’t have that luxury.

Most of our progressive friends don’t seem to care. They cheer Walmart strikers, never noticing that the 1% doesn’t camp out for Black Friday sales. The howling picketers are merely making life more miserable for the have-nots.

The average Black Friday shopper isn’t throwing punches or trampling the infirm. And most lower-income folks waiting all night for that Xbox aren’t doing it because they’re greedy. It’s because they want to put a smile on the face of their child and possibly feel guilty they couldn’t afford one before today.

Disapproving hipsters via Shutterstock.

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  1. Profile photo of St. Salieri / Eric Cook Member

    Yes you did, by implication.

    The advocacy of thrift is to be encouraged – as I noted.

    There is a value above consumer goods, and we do have the right to judge, since we all participate in this society.

    Providing for a family via sacrificial labor for them is not the same as shopping on Friday, let alone on the holiday itself.

    I spent Thanksgiving day with a family that is working poor, the Dad works 2 jobs, seven days a week, the Mom works full time as well, and they invited us to their dinner. I get so sick of the elites on both sides of the ideological divide in our country talking about the poor – when I live among them and have been one, including last year. This Dad was just thrilled to be home for a day. However, he almost never saw his son because he was too busy playing the X-box Dad sacrificed for, finally Mom pulled the plug and they played some card games after dinner.

    • #1
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:00 am
  2. Profile photo of St. Salieri / Eric Cook Member

    The working poor I know would LOVE more time with their families, but many of them have been seduced into thinking if they cannot give time, they’ll give the stuff, when if they sacrificed some of the stuff they’d have the time. 

    • #2
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:00 am
  3. Profile photo of EThompson Inactive
    Byron Horatio

    Sure, lots of poor people are doing it to save a few bucks, but only to buy thousands of dollars worth of unnecessary electronics.

    Only in America could one make this statement! 🙂

    I agree with everything you wrote, but would add that it is not simply “poor people” on the rampage; 57% of the population is out looking to get something for nothing (the new American pastime).

    • #3
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:04 am
  4. Profile photo of St. Salieri / Eric Cook Member

    Yes, blasphemy against GOD Market will not be tolerated.

    Some of us just don’t think all of life lives and dies in the arms of the God of the Marketplace.

    There is more to life than stuff, buying and selling. I have no problem with the market, but I do find the manipulation of people’s desires unhealthy especially when you consider household debt in our society.

    Do I demand laws to restrict others from shopping on Friday, even Thursday if they want, NO.

    Should they have the freedom to participate, YES, absolutely.

    Do I have the freedom to see a set of behaviors that are morally unhealthy, YES.

    Do I have the power to speak out, YES

    So, what’s the problem, my participation in this debate is a form of the divine market, all hail to her and her children.

    FloppyDisk90: @4,

    Funny how some conservatives pay lip service to the free market and then look down their noses when they see it in practice. · 17 minutes ago

    • #4
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:06 am
  5. Profile photo of The King Prawn Member

    Xbox is a terrible example as Microsoft sets the price.

    • #5
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:07 am
  6. Profile photo of Okieman Member

    When people wait in line over night for the store to open, do they think at all about the economics involved? Dividing the savings gained on their bargains but the time spent in line, most are probably realizing less than would have been gained by spending that time at a minimum wage job.

    • #6
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:07 am
  7. Profile photo of drlorentz Member
    Barbara Kidder: You point is painfully insightful.

    Like many others, the thought of flying around a mall, searching for great deals alongside hoards of other shoppers, does not interest me in the least.

    You remind us that there are those for whom ‘Black Friday’ is a boon. My grandfather used to say, ‘One man’s meat is another man’s poison.’

    My disdain was ill-placed; thank you for pointing it out.

    Me too. I am duly and justly chastised.

    • #7
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:09 am
  8. Profile photo of EThompson Inactive
    St. Salieri:

    There is more to life than stuff, buying and selling.

    I have no problem with the market, but I do find the manipulation of people’s desires unhealthy especially when you consider household debt in our society.

    1. Certainly there is, but the buying and selling of stuff pays for a lot of our freedoms and individual choices.

    2. Manipulation? I think the proper term here would be lack of fiscal discipline aided and abetted by a reluctance to make the sacrifices necessary to earn a living in an uber-competitive world.

    • #8
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:10 am
  9. Profile photo of FloppyDisk90 Member

    @16,

    No problem here. Not sure why simply noting your distaste for observed economic behavior warrants burning 150+ words in response, but so be it.

    Statist attitude: people are dumb. They need the government to make decisions for them.

    SoCon attitude: people are dumb. They need God to make decisions for them.

    Conservative attitude: people are dumb. We’re doomed.

    • #9
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:13 am
  10. Profile photo of St. Salieri / Eric Cook Member

    What does that second statement even mean – so you think those who are struggling only do so through bad choices?

    Well, one of those bad choices might be wasting money on Black Friday, which could be better spent on education or opportunities for the children to gain skills to help them compete.

    Of course buying and selling produces opportunities, but hardly the ne plus ultra of human life.

    EThompson
    St. Salieri:

    There is more to life than stuff, buying and selling.

    I have no problem with the market, but I do find the manipulation of people’s desires unhealthy especially when you consider household debt in our society.

    1. Certainly there is, but the buying and selling of stuff pays for a lot of our freedoms and individual choices.

    2. Manipulation? I think the proper term here would be lack of fiscal discipline aided and abetted by a reluctance to make the sacrifices necessary to earn a living in an uber-competitive world. · 5 minutes ago

    • #10
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:18 am
  11. Profile photo of DrewInWisconsin Member
    Okieman: When people wait in line over night for the store to open, do they think at all about the economics involved? Dividing the savings gained on their bargains but the time spent in line, most are probably realizing less than would have been gained by spending that time at a minimum wage job.

    That kind of math only works if they’re actually trading work time for standing-in-line time.

    Did they really give up work in order to stand in line all night, or is this how they freely decided to spend their free time. I have relatives who do the “stand in line all night” thing. (Even in freezing Wisconsin.) They enjoy it. It’s fun for them. Should I tell them to repent?

    • #11
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:18 am
  12. Profile photo of St. Salieri / Eric Cook Member

    Most poor are poor through bad choices, but not all, and not all can overcome the mistakes of parents or grandparents in a single generation of work.

    Luck/Fate/God’s will plays a role in human affairs no matter what you call it or what some think.

    • #12
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:19 am
  13. Profile photo of St. Salieri / Eric Cook Member

    Point well taken, and that was hilarious!

    FloppyDisk90: @16,

    No problem here. Not sure why simply noting your distaste for observed economic behavior warrants burning 150+ words in response, but so be it.

    Statist attitude: people are dumb. They need the government to make decisions for them.

    SoCon attitude: people are dumb. They need God to make decisions for them.

    Conservative attitude: people are dumb. We’re doomed. · 5 minutes ago

    • #13
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:20 am
  14. Profile photo of DrewInWisconsin Member
    St. Salieri:

    Well, one of those bad choices might be wasting money on Black Friday, which could be better spent on education or opportunities for the children to gain skills to help them compete.

    Begging your pardon, but that sounds extremely leftist.

    “Your Christmas gift this year is ‘education!’ and ‘skills to help you compete!’ “

    “But Dad, what I really wanted was a puppy.

    • #14
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:21 am
  15. Profile photo of Mike Rapkoch Member

    There’s consumerism, and there’s consumerism. Folks out to find a gift for their 12 year olds are simply seeking to give the kids a little joy, no matter how brief. They show their love by braving the crowds, and risking the disappointment of failing to the find that special gift. This is, I’d say, a virtuous endeavor.

    I’m not given to this virtue. But not because I think it unseemly, nor because I fear a fight (although trampling is an ever present risk). I just don’t want to compete, just as I don’t want to watch soccer. Just a choice, not a condemnation of those who do play the game.

    Plus, this is nothing new. Years ago in my area a Penney’s store got its hands on a Cabbage Patch Kid. There was a frenzy. Hundreds showed up in hopes of winning the toy lottery. I declined to participate, but not because I was righteous, but because I thought CPKs weird. 

    Leave people alone. Christmas happens in the dark part of the year. If folks seek the little light of the joy of gift giving, let them move toward the light.

    • #15
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:25 am
  16. Profile photo of Inactive
    Anonymous
    St. Salieri: Yes you did, by implication.

    I most certainly did not. I’ve read several articles praising consumerism and the almighty market and this is not one of them. However, I did feel the need to remind myself to be charitable this holiday season; not with gifts, but with graciousness to others who are different from me.

    Black Friday isn’t for me. Neither is scoffing at the millions who enjoy it.

    • #16
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:29 am
  17. Profile photo of 6foot2inhighheels Member

    I’m with Jon and Drew on this. I have a degree in retailing, and spent years in the clothing business. Whether you’re a department manager, small shop owner or a big box franchisee, serious nail chewing begins with the Christmas season, because the answer to whether you’ll be in business for next year lies in the sales between now and Dec. 25.

    To dictate to people how they should celebrate Christmas, or how they should allocate their resources, or why they should starve the consumerist beast, is nonsense. I’s bad for business, and bad for freedom.

    • #17
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:31 am
  18. Profile photo of Inactive
    Anonymous
    M.D. Wenzel: Those look more like yuppies than hipsters. No ironic t-shirts, handlebar mustaches, or knit hats in sight · 1 hour ago

    Guilty as charged.

    • #18
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:32 am
  19. Profile photo of FloppyDisk90 Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    Okieman: When people wait in line over night for the store to open, do they think at all about the economics involved? Dividing the savings gained on their bargains but the time spent in line, most are probably realizing less than would have been gained by spending that time at a minimum wage job.

    That kind of math only works if they’re actually trading work time for standing-in-line time.

    Did they really give up work in order to stand in line all night, or is this how they freely decided to spend their free time. I have relatives who do the “stand in line all night” thing. (Even in freezing Wisconsin.) They enjoy it. It’s fun for them. Should I tell them to repent? · 11 minutes ago

    I think this is an important point. Many, many people simply enjoy the activity. It’s not greed or (gasp!) “consumerism.” They’re simply engaging in a social activity.

    • #19
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:34 am
  20. Profile photo of St. Salieri / Eric Cook Member

    Phooey! I’m not saying that there should be no toys under the tree.

    But consider:

    1. The net worth of the average single black female in the US is $5 

    2. Conservatives – see Fishtown/Charles Murray – have been saying the elites in our society practice the virtues that help succeed, but DO NOT seek to encourage the poor and those struggling up the ladder to emulate them.

    3. As Christians and Americans we used to place a huge emphasis on thrift, virtue, hard work, savings, and delayed gratification, all via self-sacrifice

    4. Now our highest virtue is to go shopping (ht Pres. Bush)…

    That’s what I am saying, and if I said it poorly or with too much invective, I apologize for the tone, but not the substance.

    DrewInWisconsin
    St. Salieri:

    Well, one of those bad choices might be wasting money on Black Friday, which could be better spent on education or opportunities for the children to gain skills to help them compete.

    Begging your pardon, but that sounds extremely leftist.

    “Your Christmas gift this year is ‘education!’ and ‘skills to help you compete!’ ”

    “But Dad, what I really wanted was a puppy.” · 2 minutes ago

    • #20
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:34 am
  21. Profile photo of Inactive
    Anonymous
    St. Salieri: 

    That’s what I am saying, and if I said it poorly or with too much invective, I apologize for the tone, but not the substance.

    2 minutes ago

    And the same goes for me, sir. Thank you… I love debating with Ricochetti.

    • #21
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:39 am
  22. Profile photo of St. Salieri / Eric Cook Member

    EDITED by the author to remove his own stupidity when he should know better….

    Perhaps all who dislike Black Friday – are neither leftists, nor elite, nor elitists, nor even would stop those from enjoying it, but who do see things in it that are to say the least – unhealthy?

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    St. Salieri: Yes you did, by implication.

    I most certainly did not. I’ve read several articles praising consumerism and the almighty market and this is not one of them. However, I did feel the need to remind myself to be charitable this holiday season; not with gifts, but with graciousness to others who are different from me.

    Black Friday isn’t for me. Neither is scoffing at the millions who enjoy it. · 9 minutes ago

    Edited 8 minutes ago

    • #22
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:42 am
  23. Profile photo of St. Salieri / Eric Cook Member

    Dictate…hardly…but this is at the root of my criticism, perhaps in 1870, you might have had a point.

    I find it hard to believe today, considering the entanglement of our public fisc and business and the entitlement state.

    Likewise freedom does not emerge from the head of the market, perhaps they arise together as twins on a shell from the surf, but their symbiotic relationship is sustained by other things.

    6foot2inhighheels: I’m with Jon and Drew on this. I have a degree in retailing, and spent years in the clothing business. Whether you’re a department manager, small shop owner or a big box franchisee, serious nail chewing begins with the Christmas season, because the answer to whether you’ll be in business for next year lies in the sales between now and Dec. 25.

    To dictate to people how they should celebrate Christmas, or how they should allocate their resources, or why they should starve the consumerist beast, is nonsense. I’s bad for business, and bad for freedom. · 10 minutes ago

    • #23
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:45 am
  24. Profile photo of Crabby Appleton Coolidge

    I wish I could say how much sleep I have lost and how much time I have spent disliking myself since I realized that the elites are so far superior to me in every conceivable way. Sigh.

    • #24
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:49 am
  25. Profile photo of St. Salieri / Eric Cook Member

    I would retract my accusation that you are calling consumerism the greatest good as well.

    Now, this ass of an author will remove himself to spend more time with his family rather than wasting it on the web…

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    St. Salieri: 

    That’s what I am saying, and if I said it poorly or with too much invective, I apologize for the tone, but not the substance.

    2 minutes ago

    And the same goes for me, sir. Thank you… I love debating with Ricochetti. · 10 minutes ago

    Edited 9 minutes ago

    • #25
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:50 am
  26. Profile photo of Inactive
    Anonymous
    St. Salieri: I would retract my accusation that you are calling consumerism the greatest good as well.

    Now, this ass of an author will remove himself to spend more time with his family rather than wasting it on the web…

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    St. Salieri: 

    That’s what I am saying, and if I said it poorly or with too much invective, I apologize for the tone, but not the substance.

    2 minutes ago

    And the same goes for me, sir. Thank you… I love debating with Ricochetti. · 10 minutes ago

    Edited 9 minutes ago

    2 minutes ago

    Why, you dirty, no good… 🙂

    • #26
    • November 30, 2013 at 1:53 am
  27. Profile photo of Mike K Inactive

    I bought my grandson’s Christmas present today, Black Friday, on Amazon. Steep discount. Some of the chain stores do seem too eager to get the shopping season started early but so it goes.

    • #27
    • November 30, 2013 at 2:10 am
  28. Profile photo of James Gawron Coolidge

    Jon,

    How right you are. Isn’t it ironic that someone with a Manhattan address no children and perhaps no gender has the gall to judge a lower middle class parent trying desperately to raise children in this society.

    When those parents try to raise their children religiously, one the few options that can improve the odds for them, the hideous elite relentlessly attacks. When the effects of all this result in people looking to techno toys as an outlet for energy that could have been employed more nobly the metro-sexual elite laughs.

    Thanks for seeing the big picture Jon. Who is really looking out for the humble american family? Just about nobody. Imagine a $50,000 a year income, 4 mouths to feed, cars to maintain and insure, mortgage to pay, and presents to buy.

    Then they get the letter, we just 86ed your health plan, we’ll give you a new one at 150% of the old one. You can forget about the docter who has taken care of you, your wife, and your children these last 10 years. Whoever we find that will work for peanuts is good enough for you!

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #28
    • November 30, 2013 at 2:19 am
  29. Profile photo of drlorentz Member
    FloppyDisk90:

    Statist attitude: people are dumb. They need the government to make decisions for them.

    SoCon attitude: people are dumb. They need God to make decisions for them.

    Conservative attitude: people are dumb. We’re doomed.

    Given that all agree people are dumb, isn’t the ‘conservative attitude’ the most rational? After all, the government consists of dumb people (arguably even dumber than average) and God, well… let’s just say not everyone is that into God.

    Edit: The ‘conservative attitude’ should be retitled conservative and libertarian, or perhaps just libertarian.

    • #29
    • November 30, 2013 at 2:38 am
  30. Profile photo of FloppyDisk90 Member

    Edit: The ‘conservative attitude’ should be retitled conservative and libertarian, or perhaps just libertarian.

    Huh? Libertarians are constantly being criticized for their Utopian view of the rationality of humanity. On the other hand, read Steyn, Stuttaford, et.al., for the typical contemporaneous conservative view. Not a lot of optimism there.

    • #30
    • November 30, 2013 at 3:36 am
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