To those of you who decide to stay home with your families on Black Friday-congratulations for making the right choice. To the rest (the participants), what in the hell are you thinking?
Whether or not you believe as I do that we should be saving and paying down our debt, words can't describe my perception of the idiocy of this tradition. Hopefully you have the opportunity to see yourselves in one of the many videos currently viewable online or on TV. Bunch of buffoons.
Is this a sign of an improving economy? Seems doubtful to me and here's why. As has been noted on various other blogs (good blogs... not like this one), many who are effectively squatting in homes that they aren't bothering to pay for are using what money they do have to buy cheap Chinese crap instead of paying their mortgage payment and at least attempting to provide for their own and their family's future. It is horribly sad when someone prizes to such an extent a 40" flat screen TV that will either be shortly outdated or a nonworking piece of shit. Talk about screwed up priorities. Second, much of the amazing recent employment gains are very likely temporary seasonal workers who will once again be unemployed in January.
We as a society do seem to place undo emphasis on possessions. I think most would agree with that statement. If not- fine. If your idea of America is working 40 hrs. a week (if you're lucky) to own a bunch of stuff that will lose it's ability to make you feel good about yourself in short order, then more power to you. I certainly don't eschew possessions, I have lots of useful, durable stuff. Good quality stuff that was built to last. Not cheap Chinese crap made by poor people who are paid third world wages for the privilege of enriching Walmart and Target.
What happens when the holiday season is over is any body's guess. Probably temp workers will be let go, sales will return to their normal level (which wasn't good), truck freight will decline as well, and all the while the pundits will declare the economy healed. As I posted previously, excellent quality blogs such as Charles Smith's Of Two Minds, Mish, and Zerohedge paint a far different picture, at least for me.
I sincerely hope all will be well, but I very much doubt it.