We all knew that this was coming, didn't we? Each year Black Friday violence just seems to get worse and worse. What does it say about American consumers when they are willing to fight like crazed animals just to save a few bucks on cheap plastic crap made in China? Not that retailers are innocent in any of this. It certainly seems as though many of them purposely create wild situations on Black Friday where customers will rush like crazy people into their stores and nearly riot as they fight over discounted merchandise. The more Black Friday madness there is, the more of an "event" it becomes, and the higher the profits of the retailers go. This year there was more Black Friday hype than ever and there was also more Black Friday violence than ever. It is being projected that this year a record-setting 152 million Americans will go shopping between Thanksgiving and Sunday night. That may be good news for the big corporate retailers, but the shocking lack of character being displayed by American consumers all over the country this weekend is very bad news for the future of this nation.
Most Americans would agree that there is a tremendous amount of selfishness and greed on Wall Street, but as the videos posted below demonstrate, there is also a tremendous amount of selfishness and greed on "Main Street" as well.
For example, as merchandise was being unveiled on Black Friday night at a Wal-Mart in the Los Angeles area, one woman actualy pulled out pepper spray and sprayed it at other customers that were gathered around her.
Did she do this because she felt threatened?
No, according to the Los Angeles Times, authorities say that the woman was just seeking a "competitive" edge.
It is being reported that at least 20 people were affected by the pepper spray.
The pepper spray incident just added to the wild and frenzied atmosphere inside that Wal-Mart last night.
The following is how the Los Angeles Times described the scene....
Employees attempted to hold back the scrum of shoppers and pick up merchandise even as customers trampled the video games and DVDs strewn on the floor.
"It was absolutely crazy," he said.
Another customer said screams erupted after about 100 people waiting in line to snag Xbox gaming consoles and Wii video games got into a shoving match.
Alejandra Seminario, 24, said she was waiting in line to grab some toys at the store around 9:55 p.m. when people the next aisle over started shouting and ripping at the plastic wrap encasing gaming consoles, which was supposed to be opened at 10 p.m.
"People started screaming, pulling and pushing each other, and then the whole area filled up with pepper spray," the Sylmar resident said.
Pepper spray was used at a Wal-Mart on the other side of the country as well. Over in Kinston, North Carolina an off-duty police officer used pepper spray as an unruly shopper was being subdued. Approximately 20 people (including some children) were affected by the pepper spray.
Most Americans are not really concerned over the fact that this country is rapidly heading into the toilet, but they sure will get worked up into a frenzy over some good deals. Just check out the following video that was filmed in California. In the video, a huge crowd can be seen storming the entrance of Urban Outfitters in the Thousand Oaks Mall on Black Friday night....
There are lots of other crazy videos of Black Friday madness on YouTube today as well. Just check out some of the following examples....
*In Fresno, California law enforcement authorities were barely able to keep a stampede at the entrance of one store from turning into a riot.
*In this next video, you can see people going absolutely crazy over memory cards at about the 1:20 mark.
*On Black Friday night, American consumers will riot over just about anything. For example, there was a huge panic over Tupperware at one Wall-Mart last night.
*Of course electronics is probably the hottest category in most stores on Black Friday night. In some areas, the fighting over video games became incredibly intense.
*Some of the worst Black Friday rioting goes on inside Wal-Marts. Just check out this shocking video of what happens inside a Wal-Mart on Black Friday night.
*Also, what happened last night at a Wal-mart Supercenter in Greenville, North Carolina, was nothing short of idiotic.
If this is how the American people will act just to save a few bucks on cheap plastic crap made in foreign countries, how are they going to act when the economy collapses?
If Americans will literally fight each other over saving 20 bucks, what is going to happen someday when millions of them don't know where their next meal is going to come from?
Thankfully the economy is still in good enough shape that most Americans can participate in these orgies of consumerism. But the reality is that the global financial system is in a massive amount of trouble, and it looks like we could be on the verge of another global financial collapse.
Do the American people have enough character to be able to deal with a full-blown economic depression?
In a recent article entitled "22 Signs That The Thin Veneer Of Civilization That We All Take For Granted Is Starting To Disappear", I commented on the declining character of the American people....
Instead of teaching our children to love and care for one another, we have taught them to be incredibly self-involved. Today, way too many Americans deeply love themselves, deeply love money and are deeply addicted to entertainment. Each new generation seems to be even more prideful, even more arrogant and even more violent. As a nation, we are losing our empathy for others, our compassion for the needy and our respect for the elderly. Our family units are breaking down and thousands of our communities are being transformed into hellholes.
Over the past several decades, the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world has enabled us to enjoy unprecedented prosperity. But it has been a "false prosperity", and it is frightening to think about what America is going to look like when the good times finally end.
The other thing that is really disturbing about Black Friday is the fact that the vast majority of the products that Americans are fighting over are made overseas.
As I pointed out recently, 23 manufacturing facilities were shut down every single day in the United States last year.
Since 2001, the U.S. has lost a total of more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities.
This country is bleeding jobs, bleeding businesses and bleeding wealth at a pace that is nearly impossible to fully grasp.
We are becoming poorer as a nation every single day, and yet Americans are seemingly more enamored with consumerism than ever before.
Most Americans could not care less about where something was made. The only thing that matters to them is how cheap it is.
It doesn't matter to them that a record-setting 2.6 million Americans slipped into poverty last year or that there are 10 percent fewer middle class jobs in America today than there were a decade ago.
We have become a nation that is so self-centered that it is hard to find the words to describe it.
Rather than caring about what is good for America, most of us only care about what is good for ourselves.
The madness that we see every Black Friday is just one more sign that our society is coming apart at the seams.
America has become a nation that is absolutely saturated with greed. Unfortunately, all of that greed is going to make the hard economic times that are coming much, much more painful.