Saturday, November 24, 2012

Building a better Black Friday

I've never ventured into the fray on a Black Friday but my inner sociologist is compelled to watch, in fascinated horror, as the annual fail of civil society unfolds in news reports. This seems to have been a better year than any in recent history. As far as I've seen, no one got trampled and no one died at the hands of deranged shoppers.

Which is not to say there weren't some inevitable incidents of Black Friday rage. Actually found the fact that a guy in Texas wasn't charged with a crime for pulling a gun on a line jumper because it wasn't against the law more disturbing than the fact the guy pulled a gun in a massive crowd of innocent bystanders to protect his right to save $50 on a fking flat screen teevee. But he didn't shoot it, so there's that.

More hopeful for the future of humanity was what turned out to be a successful Walmart protest. Despite corporate's attempts to minimize it, there were a thousand small but vigorous protests all over America. I saw a lot of local coverage in a random check this morning. Sure they didn't hurt Walmart's bottom line and few employees could afford to walk off the job. But the activists won the battle.

Their message got out. Big box retailers, as exemplified by Walmart, exploit their workers and foist their costs onto the taxpayers in order to increase their profits. This model of "job creation" isn't an avenue to an equitable society. It's a parasitic drain on our national economy.

People were talking about it. It reached widely into the social nets. Hoping the activists find more ways to keep this conversation going.Would be useful to discuss it at further length.

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Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I've read reports of a disappointing BF, but one local retailer said it was his best since the 1960's.

I won't patronize Wal-Mart, but public outcry will eventually have an effect, I think -- I hope. I don't think we can stop the trend toward huge retailers and I think the end result of unguided Capitalism is fewer choices from fewer vendors, but the Waltons have got to be concerned. Perhaps the Union hating public may have cause to revise their opinions as well.

10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Reports I've seen focus on BF sales only and say there were hurt by early TDay openings and internet and whatever. But thinking overall sales are going to be just fine for the retailers.

On the bright side, still seeing some media focus on Walmart/big box business model and lots of activity on social nets, so it has lasted longer than I expected already. It's a start.

12:42:00 PM  

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