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Black Friday: A Festival Of Greed In The Midst Of A Sea Of Pain And Suffering

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Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving when millions of Americans line up before the crack of dawn at retail stores across the nation hoping to find great deals on cheap plastic stuff made outside the United States.  The Friday after Thanksgiving has become an “unofficial holiday” in recent years, and in fact in many ways it is starting to become as big as Thanksgiving itself.  A recent search on Google News found over 31,000 stories about “Thanksgiving” and over 24,000 stories about “Black Friday”.  Almost every major news organization has been running stories about Black Friday for weeks now.  Some of the biggest retailers, including Wal-Mart, Sears, Old Navy and Toys R Us, have had such success with Black Friday sales that they have decided to stay open for Thanksgiving now.  You would think that we could all have one day off to spend with family and friends to give thanks for all that we have been blessed with, but apparently that is not going to be possible.  Just like so many of our other holidays, the true purpose behind having a holiday called “Thanksgiving” is being totally obliterated by a tsunami of greed.  Meanwhile, more Americans than ever are living in poverty this year and very few people even seem to notice.

Not that there is anything wrong with enjoying all the things you and your family have been blessed with.  However, perhaps we should all take time this week to remember the tens of millions of Americans that are going to be deeply suffering this winter.  They keep telling us that “the recession is over” and yet poverty continues to spread like an out of control plague.  But for most Americans life is still relatively “normal”, and so the horrible suffering going on out there doesn’t really affect them.

The truth is that the U.S. economy is dying.  Americans have been living beyond their means for decades, and now we are starting to pay the price for the gigantic mountains of debt that we have accumulated.  But instead of preparing for harder times and looking for ways to help those who are hurting, most Americans are preparing for another orgy of shopping this holiday season….

*According to a new study by America’s Research Group and UBS, more Americans than ever before will be out shopping this Black Friday.

Meanwhile, nearly 15% of all American households experienced a food shortage at some point during 2009, and experts anticipate that the final number for 2010 will be even worse.

*Approximately 48.9 percent of all Americans plan to shop on Black Friday this year.

Meanwhile, many other Americans only have a very, very cold winter to look forward to.  According to the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association, more than 10 million U.S. households will not be able to afford to heat their homes this winter without assistance, which would be a new all-time record.

*The National Retail Federation estimates that holiday retail sales will hit $447.1 billion for 2010.

Meanwhile, more Americans are on food stamps than ever before.  Today, more than 43 million Americans are enrolled in the food stamp program.  The number of Americans on food stamps has increased almost 60 percent since 2007.  If our economy is getting better, then why is hunger spreading like an out of control virus?….

*Millions of American families will be streaming into Wal-Mart and Target to buy foreign-made electronic gadgets this upcoming Friday.

Meanwhile, millions of other American families would gladly give up their Thanksgiving meals in exchange for a decent job for a family member.  According to one recent survey, 28% of all U.S. households have at least one person that is looking for a full-time job.  Unfortunately, there are not even close to enough jobs to go around in post-industrial America.

*Consumer Reports has posted a Black Friday shopping guide that encourages people to be prepared to wait in line out in the cold for several hours if they want to get the “best deals”….

It’s not always worth breaking down the ‘door.’ … But consumers shouldn’t bother to show up unless they are willing to wait in line, sometimes for hours before the store opens, and should be prepared for possible disappointment. There are no guarantees.

Meanwhile, there are millions of American children that barely have enough to eat.  According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010.

The age of consumerism is coming to a close so enjoy it while it lasts.

Sadly, many proponents of “free trade” (which is actually not “free” or “fair” at all) point to the “great deals” available on Black Friday as evidence that globalism works.

Yes, you might get 20 extra bucks off on that 32-inch television, but in the end American workers are going to be supported somehow.

Either we provide jobs for American workers that enable them to feed their families or we provide for them by giving them food stamps and unemployment checks.

The United States has lost over 42,000 factories since 2001.  Are you willing to have your taxes raised to provide food and shelter for all of those displaced workers?

The following is how Wikipedia defines deindustrialization….

Deindustrialization (also spelled deindustrialisation) is a process of social and economic change caused by the removal or reduction of industrial capacity or activity in a country or region, especially heavy industry or manufacturing industry. It is an opposite of industrialization.

In case you haven’t noticed, that is what is happening to America.

The United States is rapidly becoming a post-industrial nation.

As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing.  The last time less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.

Not that all trade is a bad thing.  Trading with other nations such as Canada and Germany that have similar standards of living and that pay their workers similar wages could potentially be beneficial to both sides.

However, merging our economy with nations such as communist China was a colossal mistake.  In China, most workers earn less than a tenth of what most American workers make.  Today, our factories, our jobs and our wealth are being transferred to China at a pace that is almost unbelievable.

In 1985, the U.S. trade deficit with China was 6 million dollars for the entire year.  In the month of August alone, the U.S. trade deficit with China was over 28 billion dollars.

In case you are wondering, that is not a good trend.

Every single month, tens of billions of dollars more goes out of the United States than comes into it.

In other words, we are being drained.

But that isn’t going to stop tens of millions of Americans from running out on Black Friday and buying huge piles of stuff that nobody really needs with money that they can’t really afford to spend.

America is in the midst of a long-term economic decline, but nearly everyone in the media keeps expecting the economy to “snap out of it” and for the good times to start rolling once again.

Unfortunately, things aren’t going to get better.  This is about as good as things are going to get.

The federal government has piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world.  Our state and local governments are drowning in a sea of red ink.  Average Americans are seeing their incomes decline and their standards of living go down.  The greatest economic machine in world history is being dismantled and most Americans have become so dumbed-down that they don’t even understand what is going on.

But as they say, ignorance is bliss.

So enjoy this “Black Friday” while you still can.  Perhaps the memories of these good times will keep us warm during the truly dark days that are ahead.

The Prepper's Blueprint

  • The line at WalMart is real long, everyone chomping at the bit to get in. What I like to do is dress up like a X-Box 360 salesman and hold up a sign and yell “FREE X BOX’S FOR THE FIRST 100 PEOPLE”. Then watch as they all trample each other.

  • Please stop writing about silly stuff like trade deficits. Why can’t you cover the important news like who’s going to win Dancing with the Stars?

  • There are 3 steps in economic devlopment: from agriculture to industry to services.

    Yet, it was never proved that any of these 3 steps could be removed, without serious consequences.

    Economic development is not similar to a satellite launch, in which the main rocket gets rid of lower and smaller rockets, once a certain altitude has been reached.

    Economic development is more like a stairway, where no stair can be removed, at the risk, otherwise, of falling through it.

    When a country move from an agriculture based economy to an industry based economy, it doesn’t get rid of its agriculture. The number of farmers considerably decreases, and so does the number of farms, but it is the result of a concentration process, leading to less farms, of bigger size.

    The huge mistake was to believe (certainly not “think”) that the middle stair, industry, could be removed, as long as the top stair (services) was strengthened. The problem is that the top stair leans on the middle stair.

    It is the wealth produced by industry which allows workers to enjoy going to restaurants, movies, beauty parlors and so on… but the latter cannot make an economy by themselves, because they produce almost no added value.

    Most of all added value comes from the transformation process.

    In industry, one starts with a mineral, say iron, which in itself isn’t worth much, and ends up with a car, which carries a lot of value.
    In service, one starts with an empty stomach, or long hair, and ends up satisfied, at best; there is very little added value, thus very little weath creation.

    The economic growth China actually enjoys, belongs, for the most part, to Western economies. It has been stolen, albeit not by China, but by the Western companies’ executives who have transfered their countries’ major sources of wealth to third world countries, so that they didn’t have to share the profits anymore!

  • JWF

    People are shopping just to comfort themselves. Spending money may give the economy a slight lift at the end of the year but it’s all an illusion.

    People should be hanging on to their money and stocking up on real necessities. The old U.S. lifestyle is gone but most people haven’t gotten the memo and they will pay dearly later for not adapting to the ‘new normal’ sooner.

  • premurderedGOM

    ….And there on the screen was a smiling Bill Gates…Next to jolly old Santa, arm-in-arm mates…And I heard them exclaim in a voice so bright…Have A Microsoft Christmas And To All A Goodnight…

  • In my comment above, I forgot to mention that, given the transformation of the US economy into a so-called service economy, its citizens have become addicted to consumption.

    Even though, households are going through very difficult times, they keep on shopping as if it was business as usual.

    Many people have stopped paying their mortgage and use the money normally allocated to pay their housing debt, to go shopping, instead of saving it for rainy days, such as those that will undoubtedly follow their home repossession.

    American consumers are in the zone and their dealers, the usual suspects, are making sure that things remain as they are!

    Click on my name to visit my blog.

  • What is greedy about using Thanksgiving sales to purchase Christmas presents for children?

    The US economy is not dying due to consumers living beyond their means. The US economy has been destroyed by Keynesian economics and politicians.

    Rather than giving up Thanksgiving to honor unemployed Americans, why don’t we make a list of all politicians that voted for free trade and impeach all of them by Christmas.

  • Wayne

    90.4% of us are employed and will spend our money the way we feel it should be.( after the government gets theirs) And how you go into food stamps from black friday ( which is named for small business making it for another year) is just back ground noise to cover up you not having anything to say!!

  • Gary2

    I will be at the food pantry Fri in order to eat. I do not know how so many people can be shopping and going out to eat? Besides the rich (who we need to tax) who has money?

    Good but depressing article.

  • TOM

    Black friday, indeed.

  • premurderedGOM

    the dead end kids, 16-24. 53% not working. unable to repay loans, support themselves. 90% people working? hogwash!

  • Cary


    I invite you to realize that the rich who pay taxes aren’t the problem. It’s the rich who DO NOT pay taxes, who guide politics, who guide foreign policy, who own the courts, and who are many times more rich than those mentioned as the richest by Forbes.

    Your “tax the rich” mantra is one side of the ruling class strategm. The other side being “screw the poor.”

    When the bourgeoisie fight with the proletariat, the parasites can feed in peace. Babylon 101.

  • allenwrench

    IT’S NOT THAT SIMPLE TO DO A 180…Without compulsive spending and conspicuous consumption funded by unaffordable debt, we would fail as a country. Since our economy if fueled 70% by the consumer, we must stay in debt and consume by any means necessary to keep the Ponzi scheme from collapsing.

    We must make shoddy products that self-destruct quickly – so new products are in constant demand to keep the workforce of drones working. All the while squandering natural resources…but we are increasing the business of the landfills.

  • Matt

    For those jobless people out there: Get a job – any job. That’s what I would do if I lost my job today. There’s job postings every day in every local paper. There’s job postings on the internet by the 1000’s. Even people coming here illegally from other countries risking everything, who don’t speak English can get a freakin’ job! So what’s your excuse? Go get a job. Live with a relative and don’t be a drag on them, or with a friend – if you cannot afford your own place. Carpool or take the bus if you cannot afford a car. Don’t depend on big daddy Govt to take care of you.

  • Matt

    Gary, get a freakin’ job man. And if it “doesn’t make enough money” then either lower your expenses or get a second job – but ‘man up’ dude and stop yer incessant ‘poor me’ whining stuff. Since you like the idea of taking other people’s money is it ok if I take some of yours?

  • For probably the last 10 years or more, I have
    avoided the Holiday madness centered around
    consumerism and corporate greed. I still do
    not support these travesties. However, just
    yesterday, I purchased two pairs of Harley-
    Davidson riding boots, one pair $37.50, the
    other pair $43.50! The sale started today but
    the clerk gave me the sale price….you gotta
    admit, it’s a good feeling you get when you
    know you spent $80 instead of $300!

  • Big Meech


    Can you clarify your statement?

  • zack

    The bobbleheads on CNBC are eternally optimistic that the economy is fixed and that we’ll have an incredible holiday sales season. That said, I sense an underlying strain in the sentiment of my friends and family. Gift exchanges will not be nearly as lavish this year as in the past; people are going to conserve their resources for needs instead of wants. Americans are finally beginning to gain an appreciation for thrift and frugality.

    We help Americans find jobs and prosperity in Asia. Visit for details.

  • flubadub

    Most of us would have to admit that much of what’s stuffed into our closets, garages, attics and sheds is truly useless junk that helped contribute to our trade deficit. Look at some of that stuff and contrast its genuine lack of value to the slick and glitzy way it was presented by the packagers, retailers and advertisers responsible for separating us from whatever money we traded away or borrowed to posess it.

    Rather than stampeding with the herd of hypnotized bargain hunters on friday I’ll be spending the next few weeks trying to find American made gifts but only those that won’t likely be stored and forgotten.

  • madjik68

    Merry Thanksgiving!

  • john w

    Want to give you kids a really good Xmas present? Teach them how good it feels to think about other people instead of just acquiring rubbish.
    If you have money to spend this Xmas, split the amount you were planning to spend on your kids in half. Use half of it to but your kids presents and let your kids choose how to spend the other half helping people who really need something this year,

  • Wayne

    The problem with stupid people is they don’t know how stupid they are. One reader obviously believes what he hears in the mainstream media regarding the unemployment rate. So he takes the official unemployment rate and subtracts it from 100 and asserts that “90.4% of us are employed.” Hey! Where do these people come from?

  • William

    Stuff! I used to like “stuff”. But, at age 63, I now feel that “stuff” weighs me down. I am trying to get rid of more and more “stuff” each year. I buy little now. Food and clothing mostly, with a documentary DVD or historical book now and then. I have not had cable TV since 1992. I do not have a big screen TV. My vehicle is 9 years old on 28 Nov 10. My most valued “stuff” these days is a very modest amount of gold and silver bullion coins. Not enough to save me when the collapse gets here, but better than not having any.

  • Ouida Gabriel

    “The US economy is not dying due to consumers living beyond their means.” Gutter Econ

    WHAT? Seriously, you need to research things before you make such a absolutely ridiculous statement. The country knows over-consumption to the highest degree. People actually go out and pay $5 for a cup of coffee, myself included. We are a nation that competes with our brother and then smiles with self satisfaction when they are envious. I know people who spent, spent and spent more on credit cards, file bankruptcy and then run up new ones. And this is the older generation that should have been teaching us how to save and be frugal. But no, they have to keep up with the Jones’s. Our country is full of idiots who want a free ride. And just because a person has a job does not mean that they are hard working. If all your income is going to pay for credit cards or loans because you couldn’t wait to get what you wanted then what does that say?

    If you are only working to show your status symbol then you are as useless as the next guy in my opinion.

    The American people are just as responsible for this mess than a economic theory.

    Ouida Gabriel

  • mondobeyondo

    Take a bet on which line will be longer – the line outside the food bank on Thursday morning, or the line outside Wal-Mart on Friday morning.

  • sword face

    So people are greedy if they shop and if they don’t shop, people can’t get jobs? Congratulations, you have ensured that no matter what happens, you can say Americans are evil and poor!

    MMMM, yummy doomster porn.

  • Eric


    90.4% of Americans are NOT working. The 9.6% unemployment rate that the government claims does NOT include people who have given up looking for work, people whose unemployment benefits have run out, people who are under employed, etc etc. And you fell for it. Nice job.

  • sharonsj

    I’m still pissed that businesses have commercialized Xmas to the point that Thanksgiving barely lasts a day. The minute you stop eating mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, it’s hurry up and run out to spend money you don’t have on Chinese crap you can’t afford–and you are forced to hear Xmas music 24 hours a day at the same time.

    If America had brains, which it doesn’t, they would refuse to be sucked into this madness.

  • Reader

    RE: ‘Besides the rich (who we need to tax) who has money?’
    I have a naivistic question to ask – the interest accrued on loans is not deducted for tax purposes, which means that the borrower is paying the taxes on the interest that the lender receives and the lender pays no taxes on the ‘hard earned money’ he receives as interest – words fail me.

  • Gary2

    Matt-you are the problem not the solution. If you really believe what you post than you have the IQ of a carrot stick (on a good day)

  • Lmao here.

    Love sword faces’ snark. Such a superior being dwelling with us bottom feeders. Thanks for enriching our lives with such wit and insight. Now go back to your room and let the adults talk.

  • Michael

    Hey sword face, temporary retail jobs will be created, but since the goods are mostly produced in foreign countries, there won’t be many manufacturing jobs created from all of this Christmas shopping. It will increase the trade deficit.

  • John Lang

    The demise of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency is now within a period of less than a year. In fact, Gold, silver and other precious metals are in the process of replacing all paper currencies. In other words, the demise of the dollar and the empire that relied on it for killing innocent foreigners abroad and destroying countries at will is approaching fast.

  • walmart nation

    black friday,s history, this will be deep red friday. oh sure, store’s will packed, but folks are just plain broke.i’m afraid black friday is a distant memory

  • Maria

    I understand wanting to get a good deal, but we are doing it at the expense of our own jobs. We have got to stop this insanity. All this cheap junk we are addicted to has actually been very expensive in the end.

    I vote we all boycott cheap imported junk and buy silver eagles to give as gifts this year.

  • kaswaro

    i know that videogames are bad and all, but has anyone played bioshock? if you have look at the splicers and you have a perfect image of what people will look like in 10 years! joy

  • Sancho

    Guys! World didn´t end yesterday and it doesn´t end today. Instead of going shopping, do something else. Go outdoors with your family and friends, or something. Shopping is a braindead activity anyway.

    Excercise a bit in fresh air, meet your friends if you have any. If you don´t have friends, so what, read a book. If you have old geezers in the family or as a neighbour, go ask them how it was done. Know your family story and roots (if you have any).

    There is nothing wrong with you guys. You are not the reason for worlds problems and you sure can not solve them either. Defeatist attitude doesn´t suit you.

    Best regards from cold Finland

  • Hoody

    Well Maria to a Gates or Buffet I guess a used Lear is “cheap” junk.

    People buy what they can afford at the price that looks most comfortable to them. It may be “cheap” junk to you but to some its an opportunity to own a LCD now that they’re so called cheap at 600 instead of 3 grand.

    btw: Since the BLS and uncle ben have decided theres NO inflation, I’m looking for even cheaper junk with no COLA and getting 1% or less on my savings.

  • Richard

    Biggest wealth gap in the US since the 1920’s:

  • Maria

    Wow, Hoody…used Lears and $600 LCDs? Really?

    Well Hoody, not everyone is continuing in that paradigm. If that’s what you choose for yourself, c’est la vie.

    I would like to see industry and jobs RETURN to this country. That means I try to buy local whenever possible. Because I’m spending a little more to support my local farmers and industry, it also means I do without a lot of things…especially used Lears and $600 LCDs.

  • paul

    Our WHOLE economy is an illusion.

    The only reason our economy has not collapsed is due to massive amounts of borrowing at the consumer level, state level and federal level.

    Its like a family using $10,000 in credit card debt but claiming “Hey, our income went up $10,000 for the year!”. Multiply that by a few trillion and you have our entire economy in a nut shell.

    When this does collapse, its going to be ugly.

  • trigger puller

    stores are opening earlier and earlier, and why, because they aint makin any mulah on black friday. there’s a reason all the retailers open on thanksgiving and stay opened 24/7, and that’s because black friday is a money loser all around. watch they’ll say sales are up, but fail to mention that they’re staying open on weekends, holidays, hurricanes, typhoons, nuclear explosions just so they can brag that sales increased 1%

  • Philip M.

    I prefer the festival of greedy corporations over a festival of mindless overpaid bureaucrats anytime.

    The US will recover in 2 – 5 years, but Europe will have a lost decade ahead of itself, just like Japan had before.

  • exile in Northern Europe

    As long as big business and banks control a
    nation it will look like this….Americans have to
    wake up out of their century old slumber and
    get rid of the two party, bought and paid for,
    system. The only way Amerikka will get out of
    this mess is to start another War, the big one that will take down most of the worlds population. Wake up America!!!!!!!!

  • Brigitte in Paris

    Living in a poor neighborhood of NYC for a while I saw people heat their apartment with the gas stove burners all on at maximum force.
    I have improved on this by putting a 5-gallon pot of water 24/7 at mimimum force on the smallest burner. When it’s really cold I add one empty cast iron skillet on another burner and it does make a difference and the heat from the kitchen reaches the other rooms and when I get up in the morning the temp is sufficient. Cast iron has excellent heating properties and was used in old radiators for that reason. I am so satisfied with the heat I’m getting this way that I will not spend thousands of euros to have a conventional heating system installed through my apartment.
    If you have an individual water heater it may be cheaper to turn it off to save electricity and use the hot water from that pot, and refill it as needed.
    I know this is not a survival blog and apologize for the OT but it could help someone.

  • onetruth

    The root of the entire economic problem is the Federal Reserve, which is not FEDERAL. It is a private bank owned by people that for the most part don’t even live in the U.S. Abolish the Fed and we will all watch joyously as our economy and country rises from the ashes like a phoenix.

  • @Wayne

    90.4% of Americans are NOT working. The 9.6% unemployment rate that the government claims does NOT include people who have given up looking for work, people whose unemployment benefits have run out, people who are under employed, etc etc. And you fell for it. Nice job.

  • Hello americans, I am the president of the United States. I am the warrior chief. I care not who writes your laws, patrols your streets, or what party you belong to. He who controls America’s money supply controls the USofA. And I control the money supply. Stupid people. My kind of people! Happy Holidays! : *-* )))))))))))))))

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