In the US and apparently much of Europe working people don't really make many things but rather work for giant retailers who sell cheap crap made by workers who earn next to nothing.
This has resulted in a tiny super rich class that "earns" (a particularly dubious claim) vast wealth by selling smoke and mirrors derivatives and other scams to unsuspecting investors.
At the same time the working class people who were sold the delusion that they were really middle class and shared nothing in common with actual working class people are increasingly discovering they too are working selling crap whether investments of a dubious nature or stuff made elsewhere by labor paid next to nothing.
It is all a freaking delusion, a game that allows us to pretend that Global Warming/Climate Change doesn't mean we have to radically alter our behavior. That having gone past the point of peak oil doesn't mean the end to suburban sprawl and hours of commuting in a low efficiency automobile.
By the way, how many of you have seen the ship that carry the containers of cheap crap from elsewhere, where the people make next to nothing that allows the delusion of material prosperity for people who have seen their real income decrease over the last 30-40 years.
We have been subjected to endless sales pitches urging us to buy. Television has created an illusion that the common people live lives in homes and apartments far beyond our means while credit card companies and mortgage scam artists told us that we too could afford to live this way. After all in the words of so many ads, "We are worth it." or "We deserve this".
It is like Stuart Smiley and positive affirmations not only run amok but turned to evil purposes. Dangle stuff in front of us using every single possible tool to make that object desirable, attack our self esteem if we do not buy it and convince us that it is affordable by selling it at a price that is so low we can't resist. Except the price isn't anywhere near that low if one uses a credit card.
Because the one thing that the rich excel at is loan sharking.
But there are other reasons to think before planning to hit the stores "Black Friday".
These bastards have gutted out a perfectly nice holiday. One that could easily be distanced from any other purpose except gathering with family and friends for feasting in what is the kick off of European end of the harvest, onset of winter feasting. One of the main reasons for these feasts was to consume food that would otherwise spoil. But it was also a way of taking stock of the harvest and seeing to it that family and friends had enough to make it through the winter.
This week we learned that for many people working in Big Box stores the people with McJobs are not going to be celebrating much of anything today or this weekend. The stores are open until about six then the doors close for a few hours while employees frantically stock for the middle of the night opening.
Then in the middle of the night the stores open to frantic hordes of people, all looking for the lowest price possible on cheap crap made elsewhere by nearly slave labor.
If the retail workers are fortunate the only thing they will suffer is verbal abuse from those frantic shoppers and fatigue. Hopefully the "shoppers" hyped to a frenzy by corporations hungry to transfer even more wealth upwards, won't trample any workers to death when the doors open.
As working people we are blamed for being suckered into buying the very things we are told we must have to feel complete. If we don't buy something whose sales message is "You deserve this" doen't that mean we are not deserving or unworthy?
Mostly though what we are being sold is debt and debt slavery which is how the wealthy elite makes itself richer in an economy that manufactures next to nothing and that is dependent upon people with ever shrinking incomes continuing to buy stuff that is sold at such low prices as to make a profit on the surplus value pretty minimal.
We are told we are irresponsible if we succumb to the sales pitches that are honed and perfected by experts.
Yet at the same time we are told that if we do not shop and buy we will never get out of the depression we are in.
What to do? What to do?
Avoid the Black Friday hysteria.
Many of the items have fine print that will tell you your chances of actually getting the product even if you were to start standing at the door at noon on Thanksgiving Day are minimal.
Don't go shopping at 3:00am. You are not in the best shape mentally to judge the value/price/quality of much of anything at that time of day, especially in an environment of mass hysteria.
The stores are desperate and there will be sales from now until late January.
Don't over spend. Get things you need or others need or will use not expensive trivial items that will wind up in the land fill or thrift store in six months.
Durables and tools, things that are usable for a long time or that might lower the carbon foot print of the recipient.
If you are working Black Friday, my heart goes out to you.
But the best suggestion enjoy Thanksgiving and don't even think about leaving your house after midnight tonight.