Black Friday - When People Fight to Buy Junk they don't Need and Can't Afford
Only in America (I sincerely hope), does the animal drive to posses just one more thing than our neighbors have cause so many people who can't afford much more than the utter basics (savings, food, clothing, and shelter) stand in the cold for up to 24 hours just to get a bargain on a piece of electronics some advertiser has convinced them they MUST have.
Even worse, mostly it was their children who convinced them of the need because kids see more advertisements than anyone else and are relatively defenseless against the pretty images and fanciful claims.
Just stop and look at what is on sale each Black Friday - is it food? College tuition? A GED (high school graduation test), winter heat, paid electric bill?
Or, is it the latest model TV showing the same old shows that were on the old TV, a new cell phone which does a few more things than the one already in your pocket.
Just how many people buying new TVs don't already have one? Or a cell phone, or a game machine, or a slightly older computer?
If someone is standing in line for 8 or as many as 48 hours, then why don't they just work overtime and make the money to buy at the regular price? If they haven't got a job that pays that well, why are they working so hard for the chance to buy something they really don't need?
Is something a bargain if you can't pay for it?
I've had a small eBay store for years (thecountrycraftstore) and I always see a spike in sales around black Friday but, perhaps not surprisingly, what I sold recently were books and irrigation supplies, things people actually needed.
Online buyers don't need to stand in lines and are often willing to buy at a store's regular price, perhaps because online stores normally have low prices to begin with.
Yes, this is a consumer driven economy and that is what built America (the U.S.) but back during the building phase all those unneeded gadgets were at least also made in the U.S. Today almost nothing is made in the U.S. so buying more and more junk doesn't help keep a local factory open.
John McCormick is a reporter, /science/medical columnist and finance and social commentator, with 17,000+ bylined stories. Contact John through NewsBlaze.
* The views of Opinion writers do not necessarily reflect the views of NewsBlaze
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