Black Friday. A Black Mark on America?

We at AgainstCronyCapitalism.org are for the free exchange of goods and services. We are for commerce. We are for business. We are for capitalism. We are for retailers making money. We are for consumers getting good deals.

However, what I saw on Black Friday, was America in many ways at it’s worst. Thankfully, I witnessed most of it virtually.

We are a people who now sacrifice time with our families, sleep, and money, to participate in a conjured frenzy. We’d rather save $20 dollars on a Galaxy tablet than eat another helping of turkey and sweet potatoes by the fire.

For that $20 savings, we get to stand in line for hours, and then elbow our way to a palate of trinkets. Then, we get to stand in line again to pay for our trinkets. For $20 of “savings.”

Time is money, and money is also time. How is it that so many people value their time so little?

It has something to do with the sad state of the economy I suppose. (Though people do seem to have some money, so that I guess is good.) As my wife and I were driving by the Wal-Mart on our way home from Thanksgiving dinner, I remarked that there were no parking spaces available and that still there was a line of cars waiting to enter the parking lot.

My wife said that the recession was part of what was driving the chaos. People were seeking to absolutely maximize their purchasing power, so much so that it is rational for them to stand in line for 3 hours to save a few bucks.

Many people have the day off and so it doesn’t eat into their take home pay to stand in the cue. It is worth it then to burn hours (time is money) to extend their purchasing power.

Of course, some people just get caught up in the insanity of it all and actually enjoy immersing themselves into the advertising induced fray.  Some people do actually enjoy shopping, even if it involves an elbow to the face.

I certainly don’t begrudge anyone for this tendency (assuming one can afford the tendency, and I think many people who go nuts at Christmas buying things can not. But hey.)  However, as I watch the video below I can’t help think to myself a couple of things.

1. How would these people act if there was ever a real (non manufactured) shortage of goods which actually mattered?

2. How much of a shame it is that many people won’t fight for their own liberty and human dignity the way they will fight for a plastic gadget.