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Fri Nov 27, 2015, 07:32 AM

Black Friday is the Donald Trump of holidays: Inside the absurdity of a holiday tradition

Black Friday is the Donald Trump of holidays: Inside the absurdity of a holiday tradition
by Bob Cesca

Black Friday is not unlike Donald Trump. It’s obnoxious and humiliating, yet it remains invariably popular...It’s difficult to think of another annual occasion that combines American excess with American indignity more than the day after Thanksgiving. No other episode in the calendar year illustrates our unique penchant for trading our self-respect for discounted merchandise....


While right-wing media figures have for years bemoaned a “War On Christmas,” in reality, there’s a war for Christmas, insofar as we’re still obligated by our consumer culture to purchase big-ticket items as a measure of social worth. And since we can’t afford much of it, too many of us are left with no choice but to blitz Wal-Mart at the crack of dawn, a way to overcome the dissonance between having less money, more credit and relentless corporate/socioeconomic pressure to buy cars, TVs and gadgets....

....snip...Black Friday brawls become more prevalent as incomes decline. Again, if you don’t have a lot of money and you’re relying upon Black Friday sales in order to satisfy the cultural demand to own things associated with higher incomes, you’d better be prepared to throw down in order to get there.

There’s something truly awful about it. Rather than building stronger middle- and working-class incomes to keep up, our politics and our corporate culture have collaborated on a humiliating work-around: cheaper crap that you might have to fight for.

Not too long ago, politicians from both parties* working in conjunction with their corporate bosses began to send American jobs overseas in pursuit of cheap labor.

Back home, we’re forced to take jobs for lower pay and less advancement, and the outsourced manufacturing yields relatively inexpensive products sent back to our stores.

Cutting to the chase, rather than being compensated with more money and better jobs to afford the things we want, we’re forced to earn less while being sold cheaper, more disposable goods.

And nowhere is this dynamic more obvious than on Black Friday....

Read in full~

*Its tough to face this history, but it happened. We need to face it so as not to repeat it.~

.....As Richard McCormack pointed out in the American Prospect, in the beginning of this century American companies stopped making the products Americans continued to buy, from clothing to computers. Manufacturers never emerged from the 2001 recession, which coincided with China's entry into the World Trade Organization. Between 2001 and 2009 the U.S. lost 42,400 factories and manufacturing employment dropped to 11.7 million, a loss of 32 percent of all manufacturing jobs. The last time fewer than 12 million people worked in the manufacturing sector was in 1941.

Clinton had the gall to accuse those who opposed China's entry into the WTO of "aligning themselves with the Chinese army and hard-liners in Beijing who do not want accession for China." Clinton claimed that the agreement that he championed "creates a win-win result for both countries," arguing that exports to China "now support hundreds of thousands of American jobs" and "these figures can grow substantially." (Clinton's press person at the Clinton Global Initiative did not respond to my requests for feedback.)

The facts contradict these assertions. Imports of computers and electronic parts accounted for almost half of the $178 billion increase in the U.S. trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2007 and the loss of 2.3 million jobs, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Clinton then went on to enact NAFTA, or the North America Free Trade Act, which as American Prospect editor Robert Kuttner has observed, "was less about trade and more about making it easier for U.S. based multinationals and banks to take over Mexican companies." ....


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Reply Black Friday is the Donald Trump of holidays: Inside the absurdity of a holiday tradition (Original post)
RiverLover Nov 2015 OP
MisterP Nov 2015 #1

Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2015, 01:57 PM

1. soon they'll start demanding we give gifts on Thanksgiving, too

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