Saturday, November 28, 2009

White Snow / Black Friday

There was a chance of snow predicted for Toledo this weekend (which never really materialized), which might perhaps have prevented at least a few of the psychotic "early shoppers" from camping out in front of the doors of stores in waiting for the best deals. Wal-Mart, having already experienced the litigation involved with such practices in the past, chose a different path and has been open long hours since Thanksgiving to offer early Christmas discounts. 

However, anyone who was expecting a piece from me today decrying the rampant consumerism that has taken over Christmas will be sorely disappointed. No, much like the plot for the movie "The Day After Tomorrow", I consider this simply one more catastrophe of human origin that must be overcome by strength of character and treated simply as simply an annual test of survival. In fact I applaud this year, those with enough optimism to race out to the stores to spend at a time when the income of so many is in jeopardy. I salute those out there attempting to support the banking industry through credit card fees, interest payments, or check processing fees (and I'm sure that those evil banking executives that you were bitching about a couple of weeks ago are doing likewise). I congratulate those of you bolstering our position in the world economy as consumers by buying products undoubtedly manufactured in foreign countries (especially those of you who are union members and only were recently crying the blues about "buying American cars")

Perhaps those of you spending money like it was going out of style (something that I guess you learned from the government?) simply have a understanding of economics greater than my own. They say after all, that rampant inflation is right around the corner, caused by the government printing presses that have been running non-stop for some time now. 

So perhaps blowing all of your money now is simply your way of exercising what you see as your best hedge against such inflation. Perhaps instead, you know already of the next stage of government interference in banking; understanding that it likely includes credit card interest rate reduction regulation (after all, the current high interest rates have to rank up there with extortion or loan sharking). This would mean that you need have no fear of the massive balances to your credit cards and that there is little need to worry that like the government, you will be hard-pressed to keep up with even the interest payments on your debt. Perhaps you simply believe that we are just around the corner from the next Government Stimulus Package, and your spending is merely being done in anticipation of future government payback (which of course, you will also be paying for)

Regardless of the reasons however, you will undoubtedly be contributing to better retail numbers for the government to report upon in the coming days and weeks (and good news in any kind of economic report is something that a government can always use). You will likewise have proved beyond a doubt that hope springs eternal in the heart of the American consumer (regardless of the stark reality that they face)

You will also by the way, have done wonders for the Chinese economy, where I don't believe that Christmas is much celebrated. I suspect however, that while there will be grand coverage of the crowds in the malls, and much anticipation in the retail sales numbers; that there will be far fewer shoppers out there fighting for bargains than last year. 

Common Sense seems to be making a rare and unscheduled appearance among the American people, and profligate spending appears to be a behavior limited to Congress these days. The white of snow may be little more than wishful thinking in parts around the country this weekend, but I fear that the color in this year's "Black Friday" may more clearly represent that of mourning for Christmas retail sales.


Roland Hansen said...

Gee, are there racial undertones in your blog entry title?

jk - satirical sarcasm - all too often nowadays people cry foul where no fowl may be found - oops more sick humor. Guess who is bored at the moment? I'll never tell.

Roland Hansen said...

Sorry, Tim, the devil made me do it.

Tim Higgins said...


The undertones and overtones in this posting were as pure as the driven snow, and as black as my heart.

As for the sarcasm, tis' the season.