With Black Friday soon approaching and considering the current debate over whether or not Congress should raise the US debt ceiling beyond $14.3 trillion, how do traditions like Black Friday factor into our economy’s current state and the unemployment crisis? And is leveraging consumerism so heavily a good idea?
Having once waited in line all night with a friend in order to purchase a laptop at half-price on Black Friday, we can only describe the experience as 'retail madness'. Beginning Thanksgiving night, thousands of people around the United States camp out in cold parking lots waiting for those sacred doors to open, as if about to enter paradise. As the final half hour approaches people rush to the doors, elbowing each other in an effort to ensure that they will be among the first to pillage the store. However, it's the infamous door opening which gives shoppers the green light to (often dangerously) stampede into the store.
Retail giant, Wal-Mart has announced that they will be opening their doors at 10 p.m on Thanksgiving Day in response to customers' requests that they'd prefer to stay up late rather than wake up early. (Aside from the Black Friday deals extension which Wal-Mart has provided, Wal-Mart is boasting some impressive deals including an Xbox 360
4GB model with Kinect for $199.96, which also includes a $50 gift
certificate, or a bundle that will add a $100 Wal-Mart gift card with
any smartphone with a contract— excluding the iPhone.)
It is important to note however, that with the onset of the economic crisis, we have
witnessed the popularity of numerous daily deal sites which allow people
to access 'Black Friday deals' year round. Will these decrease the economic benefits that Black Friday provides?
Probably not. Though the day's savings often do increase local economic activity, for each temporary boost there is also an immediate decrease which follows. Many seasonal employees who have been employed for the holidays are let go right after, and those who splurged on Black Friday have tighter budgets to make up
for their lavish spending.
All these sentiments aside, are we able to ignore the insane deals?