Black Friday economics
Emotion is the death of reason
I can’t say I’ve ever participated in the shenanigans of Black Friday.
It’s not that I don’t understand the concept, it’s simply that I haven’t found any deal compelling enough to remove myself from the comfort of my home, early in the morning, on a vacation from school, to stand in line and be pushed around.
I’m sure this will change at some point.
But the fact that millions of Americans are willing to go out on Black Friday, year in and year out, amazes me.
Some say this is no more than another example of American greed, stupidity and excess. I say there’s never been a better economic system devised in human history.
Black Friday encapsulates capitalism in its purest form, with low prices driving massive consumer behavior.
Aside from the substantial jump in sales that companies, both small and large, enjoy from Black Friday, events like Black Friday are crucial to the American economy.
The U.S. does well when its citizens are wealthy. When its citizens are wealthy, they’re able to go out and buy things. Ideally the merchandise they purchase would be from American companies, but either way, the company benefits, the government collects taxes and the company pays its workers.
Then the cycle repeats.
Admittedly, it would be unwise to have a Black Friday once a month; however, couple Black Friday with other sales throughout the year and these events begin to serve a legitimate purpose. Not only to make companies money, but to remind the American consumer, “Hey, get out and buy things!”
I plan on going out this Black Friday. No camping, no waking up early. Nothing too extreme, but I might as well get some sort of deal on things I already plan on buying.
In doing so, I’d like to think I’m helping the American economy. Naturally, my contribution isn’t substantial. But, as part of a whole, the money I spend can end up making a positive change on our economy, and by extension, our livelihoods.
It’s not charity. I also benefit from this economic system, one of the wonders of modern economics.
So this Black Friday, when you go bargain-hunting, know you’re not just serving yourself. Know you’re part of something bigger than yourself. Know you’re part of an economic movement that benefits us all.
Maybe we can all feel a bit less guilty that way.
Jonathan Deemer is a sophomore studying biomedical science.