Black Fri­day is com­ing to leave your fi­nances black and blue

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LIFE - Jim Mullen The Vil­lage Id­iot Con­tact Jim Mullen at mullen.jim@gmail.com.

It seems peo­ple have for­got­ten the true mean­ing of our most prof­itable holiday: Black Fri­day.

Some peo­ple ac­tu­ally want com­pa­nies to close on Black Fri­day to give their em­ploy­ees time off to spend with their friends and fam­i­lies, in­stead of work­ing in a mad­house the day af­ter Thanks­giv­ing for the same pay they would get for work­ing on a slow day in June. Can you imag­ine? Where will this kind of crazy talk end? What’s next, giv­ing em­ploy­ees the day off so they can get can­cer screen­ings and colono­scopies? Giv­ing hourly em­ploy­ees paid time off to care for sick chil­dren or tend to fam­ily emer­gen­cies? What kind of mad­ness is this??

Sure, it’s OK for highly paid CEOs, man­agers, vice presidents and mem­bers of Congress to take ran­dom days — and weeks — off any­time they feel like it with­out get­ting their pay docked. Let’s face it: Who would no­tice if they showed up for work or not? But what would hap­pen if the peo­ple who ac­tu­ally DO some­thing for a liv­ing started to take time off to han­dle real-life sit­u­a­tions? Who would solve all the prob­lems that ev­ery­one has at the cashier­free self-check­out ma­chines? Who would put the magic marker stripe on your re­ceipt as you walked out the door of the big box store? Who would put that strip of pa­per on the mo­tel toi­let seat that says it’s been cleaned? Who would train to­day’s new em­ployee at the burger joint, who’s re­plac­ing the one who left af­ter two weeks, who re­placed the one be­fore that, each one throw­ing in the towel af­ter a sin­gle too-small pay­check?

If those peo­ple were al­lowed to take time off when they needed it, com­pa­nies would be forced to hire more peo­ple to take up the slack. And then they’d just pass along the cost to you: The linewait­ing, self-cashier­ing, trainee-watch­ing con­sumer. We all know that it’s OK for com­pa­nies to pass along the cost of their CEOs’ $100 mil­lion salaries to the con­sumers, along with the salaries of the board of directors, the Wash­ing­ton lob­by­ists and the execs at the swanky ad­ver­tis­ing agency. It’s also fine to pass along the cost of the junk mail they send you every week. But it would be just plain wrong to pass along the hourly em­ploy­ees’ pay! Con­sumers de­serve bet­ter than that.

“Giv­ing em­ploy­ees higher salaries and ben­e­fits will put mom-and­pop stores out of busi­ness,” says one busi­ness ex­pert. Of course, he must be talk­ing about all the mom-and-pop stores that Ama­zon and Wal­mart haven’t al­ready shut down. Be­cause, re­mem­ber: It’s OK for a gi­ant re­tailer to put smaller stores out of busi­ness, as long as it’s not be­cause the gi­ant re­tailer started pay­ing its lowly work­ers bet­ter. See the dif­fer­ence?

Too many of us for­get the true mean­ing of Black Fri­day: To buy ev­ery­thing you can lay your hands on that says “10 per­cent off,” whether you need it or not. Sure, the store you’re stand­ing in line to get into at 5 a.m. raised all of its prices by 25 per­cent the day be­fore, but that’s not the point. The point is get­ting as much money as pos­si­ble out of your wal­let and into theirs. Think about it: What coun­tries DON’T have Black Fri­day sales? Com­mu­nist ones. And if you don’t go out and get into mas­sive re­tail debt on Black Fri­day, they win. You won’t be do­ing your part.

Stop shop­ping on Black Fri­day, and stores will have to let all their cashiers go and put in au­to­matic scan­ners in­stead! Oh yeah — they al­ready did that. Well, don’t worry; they’ll pay some­one lots of money to think of some way to keep the money they saved from trick­ling down to the peo­ple who need it the most.

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