You’ve been there. You have shopped on the busiest shopping day of the year. And as you know it is known as Black Friday. Black Friday is the day that most retailers find their way to profitability by herding in the masses, and offering ridiculously low prices. Do you want to buy a laptop for $300? Then Black Friday is for you. Do you want to buy a $4 toaster? Then Black… why do you care that much about a toaster?
But this Black Friday will be crazy different. Black will be whack. There are three reasons why:
- This holiday shopping season will not lead to a final push in profitability. It will lead to more layoffs. Retailers are between a rock and a hard place. They need to offer you deals to get you in the store, but they are discounting on items that they need to profit on.
- Shoppers have less discretionary income than they have in recent years. Also, the job market is incredibly tight, therefore many shoppers will be shopping with unemployment checks. Unemployment checks don’t go very far, and retailers will be reeling from the loss of high discretionary incomes.
- Shoppers shouldn’t be shopping. Capitalism is a wonderful thing, but a free market economy has some strange conundrums built in. The retailers need us to shop, but we shouldn’t shop at this time. I don’t feel obligated to help our free markets by flooding the economy with my hard earned money, and neither should you.
- You see, there are three players in the game: the government, corporate America, and us. When the government needs more money, then they raise taxes. When corporate American needs more money, they try to sell us more stuff. When we need more money, we have to get another job. But more importantly we have to keep from paying more taxes, and we also need to win the battle against retailers.
- It is sad and insulting that we (as shoppers) continuously buy stuff we don’t need. Our capitalistic society has created a major problem. The government and the retailers depend on us to buy stupid stuff that we don’t need. Our tightening credit has led to an economic meltdown, but have you ever thought your way through this. People that shouldn’t borrow money to buy stuff that they shouldn’t buy are having trouble borrowing money. America is great because you can do whatever you want, but the reality is that a Capitalistic Economy preys on poor decisions.
- I am not anti-government. But the government needs us to continue buying things we don’t need in order to help fix the economy. Won’t that just get us back in trouble sometime in the near future? This Black Friday will be an eye-opener. If the consumer bites, then we are right back where we started. If the retailers fail, then the economy is then flooded with more unemployment.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.