I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving.
I’m not going to say Happy Black Friday! because Black Friday is everything that is wrong in this country. If you want to work that day or on Thanksgiving or any other day, feel free to do so, but don’t make your employees come in at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night to set up so that they’re ready for a PR-induced stampede at midnight.
From the newscasts of the lines to the viral videos of the brawls over waffle makers, Black Friday has become a way for us to laugh at poor people. And I’m just as guilty.
Even The New York Post, bastion of free market ideals and right-wing Conservative values, called Black Friday a “two-way war on the poor“:
But why should being open on Thanksgiving help?
Behavioral economics. Get people in for a “one-time only” deal, and even if “doorbuster” stuff is gone early, they’ll buy something to justify the time wasted.
This “doesn’t make any sense for anybody,” says Davidowitz. The stuff on sale now will be even cheaper in a few weeks.
And wealthier consumers know that. Davidowitz says the top 10 percent are “definitely not out there” on Thanksgiving.
Yes, people can make their own decisions and no one told them to stand in line in the cold all night, blah blah blah, but on what type of person does advertising work most? Is it the graduate school-educated marketing guru who orders whatever he wants online or is it the lower-middle-class individual that still thinks the only way to buy something is to go to the store?
And perhaps no one made the consumers go there, but the employees sure as hell had to show up and set up displays and break up fights to collect their minuscule paychecks.
Look, I know employees of REI took to Reddit to announce how awful it is to work there during their CEO’s AMA, but we could all complain about our jobs and at least Jerry Stritzke is taking a stand. He is attempting to reverse a dangerous trend in this country. Something needs to be done and say what you want about him, but at least he’s trying.
Here’s what I published this week:
“We have a holiday where we stuff food into other food…I mean, Thanksgiving is really typical of how we think about third-world indigenous people. We celebrate the one nice moment we ever had with the Indians.”
– Bill Maher
See ya on Monday!
Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.