Best Buy, check; Wal-Mart, check; Target, check; Maybe I should hire some people to hold my place in line, or I could just purchase the vouchers that get handed out for free.
In fact, I’m going to cancel thanksgiving dinner, pitch a tent in front of a store right now (like this family), and be sure that I do whatever I have to in order to get my moderately discounted Apple iPad.
Have We Lost Our Minds?
If I’ve ever seen a case of uber-consumerism, then it must be Black Friday. Every weekday of every year, I hear people complain about having to wake up early to go to work, but for a week before Thanksgiving peoples’ faces light up like Christmas morning is here.
They just can’t wait to wake up at 3 AM, wait in line for hours upon hours, and blow a whole bunch of money on electronics for which they have a suitable alternative at home.
Is it just me, or does anyone else consider that the prices we see aren’t really all that discounted? Sure, cheaper alternatives might be made available like the same product offered with fewer features, but generally there are not that many good sales. Sure, you’ve got the front page door busters, but in our blindness we graze on all of the other offerings surrounding us.
The fraud can be seen as stores have now begun offering “Early Black Friday” discounts now. It’s a hoax that was founded on a day that received moderate discounts to which clever marketers said “We can really milk this for all that it’s worth.” And it has worked flawlessly, as will be proven this coming Friday when lines of people wrap around malls for miles.
Black Friday doesn’t defy economic laws.
Wasted Man Hours
I cringe at the thought of all of the wasted man hours that will occur on Friday morning. All of the good that could have been done with that time, all of the time families could have had together, but instead people will freely donate it to Electronic Gluttony.
Millions of hours are going to be wasted standing in line. People will even be bragging about it on Monday, wearing it like a badge of honor. What I find surprising is that a large portion of this country is in financial dire straits, and it mainly comes because of a lack of planning.
Clearly it isn’t because of a lack of skill, as families have the mall and store logistics down pat. They have walkie-talkies and hand signals for communication. If we put half this much effort into controlling our finances we would still be at the top of the financial food chain, but instead we are clawing at an already lost reputation.
Some people still think that we are the most financially prosperous country, but it is because of the illusion of debt. Visit our friend Jacob over at Early Retirement Extreme and read his article titled “Dear Unborn Grandchildren.” It’s a fabulous insight to how we have financed our supposed “prosperity” on the backs of future infants. Ask our children’s children how prosperous we are in the future and you probably won’t get today’s patriotic response back.
Enough With The Beatdown
That’s just my 2 cents on the enormous waste of time that is Black Friday. If you are participating in it, then I hope you do it with financial common sense, and I truly hope that it is a safe experience for you. For me, I’ll be sure to sleep until my normal time, wake up, and try to be as productive as possible. There is no way that some products at a store are going to dictate how I spend my morning and day.