Friday, November 25, 2005

Shopping: Ridiculous Consumersim

11.26.05 - On the heels of the rush to snap up the new Xbox 360, U.S. shoppers swarmed retail stores at dawn this morning on what has come to be known as "Black Friday," the busiest shopping day of the year.

The ritual repeats every year: retailers and economists worrying that sales will be disappointing, while shoppers quickly drive up their credit card balances, buying anything they can lay their hands on.

This ridiculous race to be the first to grab the great deals may not be such a strange phenomenon in a capitalistic society such as the United States, but that it sometimes turns into violence is disconcerting.

In an Orlando, Florida, Wal-Mart store this morning, people got into an altercation in the quest to land a notebook computer. Similar stories are certain to unfold throughout the day. It's the same every year.

The urge to spend money and to acquire more junk is a curious act. Are our lives so empty that we need to fill them with things? Has spending time with ourselves and our families become so mundane that we have to look for stimulation at the neighborhood mall?

I'm all for free economy and the freedom of choice, but it's ridiculous to get up at 5:00 in the morning to be the first one in line at the Sears store. Those sales aren't going to go away. As desperate as retailers are in competing with each other to bring in shoppers, they are always offering great bargains. The merchandise and the good prices aren't going to go away.

So save yourself the aggravation and stay out of the scuffles. The time to go shopping is when everyone else isn't. You're more likelly to find what you're looking for at a good price when you're not in a crowd of hungry spenders.

Happy shopping!