In what may be the most asinine homage to capitalism in the history of ever, two women in Beaumont, California have started a line to wait for Best Buy’s Thanksgiving Day sale, which starts at five p.m. on the 27th. The line was started three weeks early.
Why are they camped out that early? According to the Banning-Beaumont Patch,
‘We could have started later, but then we wouldn’t be sure to get first in line,’ [Vicky] Torres told Patch on Friday, as she and [Juanita] Salas sat under the hot sun in front of the electronics store. ‘They only get a few items at the cheaper prices and it’s first come, first served.’
This is far from their first experience, as well. They’ve reportedly camped out the last few years. This year, they’re looking for a “good deal on a TV,” which begs the question — is $50 worth three weeks of your life? They take turns going home for food and showers, but other than that, they just wait. During the same amount of time, you could probably earn enough money to buy a TV without any kind of discount, and you wouldn’t contribute to a consumption culture that injures people every year (and sometimes kills them). And if retail stores didn’t do so well with Thanksgiving Day sales, they wouldn’t have them — and their employees could stay home on the holiday. While many volunteer, “many” is not “all.”
With consumer confidence rising and sales starting earlier than ever this year, though, it’s unlikely that there will be any mass boycott of sales. The fact is that consumption drives our economy, and like it or not, big sales are going to help even more. You’d think they could at least wait until Black Friday, though — every year, Christmas and consumerism seem to take more and more away from Thanksgiving.
And it’s not just Best Buy opening early this year, according to the Star Tribune:
Target announced Monday that its stores will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. That’s two hours earlier than last year. Others opening at 6 include Macy’s, Kohl’s, Staples, Wal-Mart and Sears as well as many local shopping malls.
J.C. Penney and Toys ‘R’ Us are getting a jump start at 5 p.m. Radio Shack is opening many of its stores at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. Kmart, which has opened on Thanksgiving morning for years, will open at 6 a.m. this year.
Keeping that in mind, it’s not surprising that some have derisively started referring to it as “Black Thursday,” — and a Facebook page with 79k likes as of this writing is asking Americans to boycott business that are opening on Thanksgiving. Here’s an example of one of their posts:
What do you think? Should people shop on Thanksgiving, or stay home?