On Friday, hordes of desperate zombies were spotted desperately trying to save a few dollars on toys, apparel and cheaply made electronic goods all over America. Seemingly oblivious to the fact that virtually all of these goods were made outside of the United States in nations where it is legal to pay slave labor wages, these zombies often clashed violently with one another over items such as soap, toilet paper and jumbo-sized televisions. Black Friday puts the worst excesses of American materialism on display for the whole world to see, but most Americans don’t seem to care how pathetic we appear to be to the rest of the planet. The only thing that most Americans know is that it is “the holiday season”, and so now it is time to spend, spend, spend even if it means going into crippling amounts of credit card debt.
Overall, it is being projected that Americans will spend an all-time record high of 650 billion dollars this holiday season. That is an amount of money roughly equivalent to the yearly GDP of the nation of Saudi Arabia.
But it would be one thing if we did all of this spending with some class. But instead, many Americans braved freezing cold temperatures and stood in very long lines on Thanksgiving evening so that they could have the opportunity to fight over “great deals” such as $1.60 towels…
In video apparently recorded inside a Walmart in Bainbridge, Georgia, showed shoppers fighting over towels that were on sale for $1.60 during the Black Friday rush on Thursday.
At one point, one woman so eager to get her hands on a towels that she fell into the box.
Meanwhile, shoppers at a Walmart in Houston broke into an all-out melee on Black Friday, as customers battled it out for some $99 kiddie convertibles.
We have become a nation that is entirely consumed by greed. The average American has the television on approximately five hours a day, and that means that we are being endlessly exposed to commercials that are telling us to buy stuff. Sadly, all of this “programming” does cause many Americans to actually behave like zombies as filmmaker Mark Dice has so brilliantly illustrated…
And unfortunately, the violence on Black Friday is often not limited to the ridiculous brawls over Chinese-made electronic goods. In fact, according to WND four people were shot around the country during the Black Friday “festivities”…
One shooting happened on Thanksgiving Day in a Walmart parking lot in Nevada, apparently as a result of a dispute over a parking spot.
In New Jersey early Friday, two people were shot, one fatally, in a parking lot outside a Macy’s store at the Hamilton Mall, the New York Post said.
Also early Friday, in Tennessee, a man was hit and injured when shots were fired at Wolfchase Galleria Mall in Memphis.
Personally, I don’t understand why people would want to deal with all of this mayhem just to save a few bucks on mass-produced trinkets that they and their families probably don’t even need.
Fortunately, a lot of people are starting to reject Black Friday altogether. For example, one group is now promoting the day after Thanksgiving as “Buy Nothing Day”…
“Buy Nothing Day isn’t just about changing your habits for one day it is about rediscovering what it means to live freely,” according to Adbusters. “Join millions of us in over 60 countries on November 25, 2016, for Buy Nothing Day and see what it feels like to take a stand against corporate domination.”
And I am a big proponent of buying nothing on the day after Thanksgiving as well, but for different reasons.
Thanksgiving is one of the few holidays that virtually everyone can agree on, and it is one of the only times of the year when families all over the country gather together.
Ultimately, the experience of spending time with family and friends is far more valuable than any “deals” you may be able to pick up at the stores. If I was going to be the next president, I would strongly consider making the entire four-day period over the long Thanksgiving weekend a national holiday. But the only way that I would do that is if I could pass a law that the stores must shut down as well.
Because the truth is that the vast majority of us do not need any more stuff, but without a doubt we could all definitely use some more love in our lives.
It has been said that “he who dies with the most stuff wins”, but that is a total lie.
Some of the most miserable people in the world are also some of the most wealthy. And there are lots of people out there that “make a lot of money” that are some of the coldest, cruelest people that you would ever want to come across.
Success in life is not measured by how much money you make.
Rather, it is measured by how much love you give.
And the more love you spread to those around you, the more likely it is that you will be loved in return.
Sadly, in our day and age love has become heavily linked with sex. But having a sexual relationship with someone does not mean that you are loved. Just ask any prostitute.
Others feel like they aren’t loved because they are not in a romantic relationship at the moment. But that is not what love is all about either. In fact, some of the loneliest individuals on this holiday are people that are actually married.
And even if you don’t have any family at all this holiday, that doesn’t mean that you have to miss out. Some people have deeper and more meaningful relationships with close friends than they ever had with their family. And even though I am very thankful for my family, I have friendships that I have cultivated over the past couple of years that I consider to be on the same level because I love those individuals so dearly.
Look, you can run out and buy stuff at Wal-Mart any time.
But how many times a year do you get to spend concentrated time with those that you love in a quiet, peaceful environment?
The long Thanksgiving weekend should be a time to live, to laugh and to love.
Unfortunately, many Americans have become completely blinded by greed and they have forgotten what really matters…
Has the next Lehman Brothers moment arrived? Late Thursday night we learned that the British people had voted to leave the European Union, and this could be the “trigger event” that unleashes great financial panic all over the planet. Of course stocks have already been crashing all over the globe over the past year, but up until now we had not seen the kind of stark fear that the crash of 2008 created following the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The British people are certainly to be congratulated for choosing to leave the tyrannical EU, and if I could have voted I would have voted to “leave” as well. But just as I warned 10 days ago, choosing to leave will “throw the entire continent into a state of economic and financial chaos”. And “Black Friday” was just the beginning – the pain from this event is going to continue to be felt for months to come.
The shocking outcome of the Brexit vote caught financial markets completely off guard, and the carnage that we witnessed on Friday was absolutely staggering…
-The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 610 points, and this represented the 9th largest one day stock market crash in the history of the Dow.
-The Nasdaq was hit even harder than the Dow. It declined 4.12 percent which was the biggest one day decline since 2011.
-Overall, Black Friday erased approximately 800 billion dollars of stock market wealth in the United States.
-Thursday was the worst day ever for the British pound, and investors were stunned to see it collapse to a 31 year low.
-Friday was the worst day ever for European banking stocks.
-Friday was the worst day for Italian stocks since 1997.
-Friday was the worst day for Spanish stocks since 1987.
-Japan experienced tremendous chaos as well. The Nikkei fell an astounding 1286 points, and this was the biggest drop that we have seen in more than 16 years.
-Banking stocks all over the planet got absolutely pummeled on Black Friday. The following comes from USA Today…
Stocks of some British-based banks suffered double-digit losses in heavy U.S. trading. Barclays (BCS) shares plunged 20.48% to close at $8.89. HSBC (HSBC) shares closed down 9.04% at $30.68. And shares of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) plummeted 27.5% to a $5.43 close.
Top U.S. banks also suffered from the Brexit fallout, although not as badly as their British counterparts.
-Friday was the best day for gold since the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
-George Soros made a killing on Black Friday because he had already positioned his company to greatly benefit from the Brexit vote ahead of time.
But please don’t think that “Black Friday” was just a one day thing. As I warned before, the Brexit vote “could be the trigger that changes everything“. And if you don’t believe me on this, perhaps you will listen to former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. This is what he told CNBC on Friday…
“This is the worst period, I recall since I’ve been in public service,” Greenspan said on “Squawk on the Street.”
“There’s nothing like it, including the crisis — remember October 19th, 1987, when the Dow went down by a record amount 23 percent? That I thought was the bottom of all potential problems. This has a corrosive effect that will not go away.”
I completely agree with Greenspan on this point. This “corrosive effect” on global markets is not going to go away any time soon. Sure there will be days when the markets are green just like there were after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, but overall the trend will be down.
Important British trading partners — including India and China — indicated they were worried that an exit would create regulatory and political volatility that could harm the economies of everyone involved.
The U.K.’s Treasury itself reported that its analysis showed the nation “would be permanently poorer” if it left the EU and adopted any of a number of likely alternatives. “Productivity and GDP per person would be lower in all these alternative scenarios, as the costs would substantially outweigh any potential benefit of leaving the EU,” a summary of the report said.
This threat even extends to the United States. CNN just published an article that lists four ways the U.S. could be significantly affected by all of this…
1. Fears that the EU may be falling apart
2. Volatile markets slow down the engine of U.S. growth
3. Brexit triggers a strong dollar, which hurts U.S. trade
4. Brexit forces the Fed to rewrite its rate hike playbook
Fortunately we are now heading into the weekend, and that might have a calming effect on the markets.
Or it might just cause financial tension to build up to an extremely high level which will subsequently be released on Monday morning.
Strategies designed to mitigate risk will actually add to downward pressure in the S&P 500 over the next week as computerized selling ramps up to keep pace with falling prices. It reminds Cheong of the rapid stock selling that roiled markets in August, when the S&P 500 fell 11 percent to a 10-month low while facing similar behavior from algorithmic traders.
“The bigger the down move today, the more they have to sell, which would basically create a vicious cycle,” Cheong, head of Americas equity derivatives strategy at UBS, said in a phone interview. “We’ll see front-loaded selling in the range of $100 billion to $150 billion over the next two to three days. It could be very similar to August in terms of model-based selling.”
Personally, I am hoping for calm when the markets open on Monday. But without a doubt, something has now shifted as a result of this Brexit vote, and things have suddenly become a whole lot more serious.
So what do you believe we will see happen next week?
Please feel free to tell us what you think by posting a comment below…
*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*
Once upon a time, “Black Friday” was a major event in the United States. Yes, the mainstream media is still endlessly hyping it up, and major retailers are still rolling out their “incredible deals”, but it appears that most Americans are tiring of this particular gimmick. Or perhaps it is just that U.S. consumers don’t have as much discretionary income as they once did. As you will see below, retail traffic this Black Friday was “much, much slower” than anticipated. And expectations were not great anyway – the number of shoppers was down last year, and it was being projected that there would be another decline in 2015. Yes, there were still a few fights on Black Friday, but mostly the “holiday” was marked by giant piles of unsold merchandise sitting around collecting dust. The inventory to sales ratio in the U.S. has surged to levels not seen since the last recession, and so the truth is that most retailers were hoping for much more contrived chaos on Black Friday than we actually witnessed.
Personally, I wish that this whole phenomenon would just simply disappear, because it definitely doesn’t bring out the best in the American people.
Who wants to see fellow citizens trampling one another and fighting with one another for cheaply made electronics that aren’t even manufactured in this country anyway?
Black Friday was always a disgusting spectacle, and now it appear to be fading.
Let’s start with Thanksgiving sales. More stores than ever are opening on Thanksgiving Day itself, and according to SunTrust that was a total “bust” this year…
We believe Thanksgiving shopping was a bust. We note that traffic seemed below last year both on- and off-mall. Members of our team who went to the malls first had no problem finding parking or navigating stores. Crowds were tame and, with some exceptions there seemed to be more browsing than buying and less items purchased. We heard many people discussing that deals were not that compelling compared to years past. Interestingly, many retailers closed at midnight- which contributed to a sharp decline in traffic shortly thereafter. Off-mall, members of our team visited Walmart and Target for the openings and had no problem finding parking. Customers at both were focused on electronics. Lines, even early, were about half of what they were last year and quickly dissipated. The only off-mall big box retailer we visited with consistently long lines and customers making multiple item purchases was Kohl’s — where buys were focused on deals not available online.
At the Mall of America in Minneapolis, the largest in the country, Edward Yruma, managing director at KeyBanc Capital Markets, said he’s seeing less traffic than years past as well. He was there from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. last night and arrived again at 8 a.m. this morning.
“It doesn’t look much busier than an average Saturday morning,” said Yruma.
Jeff Simpson, a director at Deloitte Consulting LLP’s retail practice, surveyed shopping centers in North Carolina and saw smaller crowds than expected for Black Friday.
“Across the board, much less traffic than was anticipated,” he said. “Much, much slower.”
Of course this wasn’t much of a surprise. A global recession has already begun, and investors were dumping retail stocks ahead of Thanksgiving in anticipation of a horrible shopping season. The following comes from the New York Post…
Wall Street, fearful that consumers are running out of cash heading into the crucial Christmas retail season, are selling off retail stocks and everything else sensitive to consumer spending.
Just look at what is happening to healthcare costs. It turns out that employees that work for medium and large companies in the U.S. are now paying more than double for health insurance than they were a decade ago…
Employees of midsize and large companies in 2015 paid an average of $4,700 for their health insurance, up from $2,001 in 2005, according to recent analysis from Aon Hewitt.
In China, equities saw a significant sell off as a result of investigations by the Chinese securities regulatory body into several brokerages for breaking regulations. The Shanghai Composite closed 199 points, or 5.48 percent, lower; the Shenzhen Composite closed 6.1 percent lower, the Chinext was down 6.1 percent, and the CSI300 Index saw a decline of 5.38 percent.
Chinese brokerages took major hits, with Citic Securities, Founder Securities, and China Merchants closing 10.1, 10, and 9.98 percent lower after news broke that the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has launched investigations into these firms to weed out short selling and speculation.
I hope that you enjoyed this Thanksgiving as much as you possibly could, because all of the underlying economic numbers are absolutely screaming that hard times are ahead.
This year, Americans are going to spend an average of $130 on “self-gifting” and more than $800 on the holiday season overall. People are spending money that they don’t have on things that they don’t need, and meanwhile very few of us are actively preparing for what promises to be a very challenging 2016.
So yes, let us enjoy the time that we have with our families, but let us also not be completely oblivious to the huge changes that are literally happening all around us.
Americans are going to spend more than 600 billion dollars this Christmas season, and on Friday we got to see our fellow citizens fight each other like rabid animals over foreign-made flat screen televisions and Barbie dolls. As disgusting as this behavior is to many of us, there may soon come a time when we will all fondly remember these days. Most Americans are completely unaware of what is currently happening in the financial world, but right now there are deeply troubling signs that we could be on the verge of another major global financial collapse. If the next great economic downturn does strike in 2015, that could mean that we may have just witnessed the last great Black Friday celebration of American materialism. As you read this, stock prices are approximately double the value that they should be, margin debt is hovering near all-time record highs, and the “too big to fail” banks are being far more reckless than they were just prior to the last major stock market implosion. So many of the exact same patterns that we witnessed back in 2007 and 2008 are repeating right now, and as you will see below, this includes a horrifying crash in the price of oil. Anyone with half a brain should be able to see the slow-motion financial train wreck that is unfolding right before our eyes.
Every year, it has been my tradition to write an article about the mini-riots that erupt in retail stores all around the country on Black Friday. This year things were a bit calmer because so many stores opened up on Thanksgiving itself, but there was still plenty of chaos. For example, in the video posted below you can see women viciously fighting one another over discounted lingerie and underwear…
But instead of launching into another diatribe about how we are committing national economic suicide by buying hundreds of billions of dollars of foreign-made goods with money that we do not have, I want to focus on what is coming next.
You see, I believe that in the not too distant future many of us will be wishing for the days when the debt-fueled U.S. economy was healthy enough for people to be wrestling with one another on the floor over good deals in our retail establishments.
The next great financial crash (which many have been anticipating for years) is rapidly approaching. So many of the same things that happened last time are happening again. As I noted above, this includes a crash in the price of oil.
In the months prior to the last stock market collapse, the price of oil began plummeting dramatically in the summer of 2008. This was an “early warning signal” that something was deeply amiss in the financial world…
Many people assume that a lower price for oil is good for the economy, but the exact opposite is actually true. The oil industry has become absolutely critical to the U.S. and Canadian economies. And in recent years, the “shale oil boom” has been one of the only bright spots for the United States. If the shale oil industry starts to fail because of lower prices, a lot of the boom areas all over the nation are going to go bust really quickly and a lot of the financial institutions that were backing these projects are going to feel an immense amount of pain.
And it certainly does not work at 70 dollars a barrel.
As I write this, U.S. crude is sitting at about 66 dollars a barrel due to OPEC’s recent decision to not cut output.
That is the lowest price for U.S. crude since September 2009.
So just like we saw during the summer of 2008, crude oil prices are collapsing once again. The chart below comes from the Federal Reserve, but it is a few days out of date. Now that the price of crude is down to about 66 dollars, you have to imagine the price actually going below the bottom of this chart…
Needless to say, this price collapse is having a huge impact on the stock prices of oil companies. The following information about what happened in the markets on Friday comes from Business Insider…
Here were some of the biggest losers on Friday:
BP (BP), down 5%
Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), down 6%
Total (TOT), down 5%
Statoil (STO), down 14%
Exxon Mobil (XOM), down 5%
ConocoPhillips (COP), down 9%
Marathon Oil (MRO), down 13%
Occidental Petroleum (OXY), down 7%
Anadarko Petroleum (APC), down 14%
Linn Energy (LINE), down 13%
Whiting Petroleum (WLL), down 28%
Oasis Petroleum (OAS), down 32%
Kodiak Oil & Gas (KOG), down 28%
And this list goes on.
But this could just be the beginning of the oil price declines.
The most powerful oil official in Russia believes that the price of oil could fall below $60 next year…
Russia’s most powerful oil official Igor Sechin said in an interview with an Austrian newspaper that oil prices could fall below $60 by mid-way through next year.
Sechin, chief executive of Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil producer, also said U.S. oil production would fall after 2025 and that an oil market council should be created to monitor prices, the same day the OPEC cartel met in Vienna and left its output targets unchanged.
“We expect that a fall in the price to $60 and below is possible, but only during the first half, or rather by the end of the first half (of next year),” Sechin told the Die Presse newspaper.
And one oil industry analyst just told CNBC that he believes that the price of oil could ultimately plunge as low as $35 a barrel…
“When you look at the second half of 2015, that’s when you see oil beginning to dwarf demand by about a million, a million and a half barrels a day,” he said. “Thirty-five dollars is a possibility if they don’t get an agreement next spring because that’s when the oil really starts to build and you can have a billion barrels of oil with really no place to put it.”
It has been called “America’s most disturbing holiday”. Black Friday is the day when millions of average Americans wait outside retail stores in the middle of the night in the freezing cold to spend more money that they do not have for more cheap Chinese-made products that they do not need. It is a day when the rest of the world makes fun of Americans for behaving like “rabid animals” and “zombies” as we indulge in a tsunami of greed. It truly is a shameful orgy of materialism for a morally bankrupt nation. It is being projected that approximately 140 million Americans will participate in this disgusting national ritual this year. Sadly, most of them have absolutely no idea that they are actively participating in the destruction of the economic infrastructure of the United States. If you don’t understand why this is true, please be sure to read this entire article all the way to the end.
The amount of merchandise that is purchased on Black Friday is absolutely staggering. For example, just consider how much stuff is sold at Wal-Mart alone…
Wal-Mart said it recorded more than 10 million register transactions between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Thursday in its stores and nearly 400 million page views that day on walmart.com. It sold 2.8 million towels, 2 million televisions, 1.4 million tablets, 300,000 bicycles and 1.9 million dolls. Big-ticket electronics like big-screen TVs and new videogame consoles were among the top sellers.
But each and every year, Black Friday also seems to bring out the worst in many people, and this year was certainly no exception. The following are just a few of the national headlines about the rioting and the violence that we witnessed…
And sometimes the violence extends out into the parking lots and into the surrounding neighborhoods. In Las Vegas, a man that was carrying a big-screen television home from Target was shot in the leg…
According to police, a man purchased a big-screen television from the Target store near Flamingo Rd. and Maryland Pkwy. While he was walking to a nearby apartment complex, a man approached and fired a warning shot, causing the victim to drop the television, police said.
Officers tell 8 News NOW the gunman then took the television to a nearby car that was waiting, where a second man helped the gunman load the TV into the car.
The victim approached the two men and tried to get the television back. That prompted the gunman to fire several more rounds, shooting the victim in the leg.
Every year I go over to YouTube to check out the madness that breaks out on Black Friday night all over the nation. Posted below is the best compilation video from Black Friday that I could find. In particular, I love how this video compares American shoppers to zombies…
And there is one more video that I wanted to share with you. In this video, activist Mark Dice dresses up like Santa Claus and mocks Black Friday shoppers for being “parasites” and for ruining Thanksgiving…
Meanwhile, as retail stores all over America actively encourage this zombie-like behavior, police are actually cracking down on other groups of Americans that are actively trying to make this country a better place. For example, a Christian group in Lake Worth, Florida was kicked out of a public park for trying to feed the homeless on Thanksgiving. Of course this kind of thing happens all the time. In fact, dozens of major cities all over the country have now passed laws that make it illegal to feed the homeless. For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “One Lawmaker Is Literally Smashing The Belongings Of The Homeless With A Sledgehammer“.
At the beginning of this article, I stated that those who go shopping on Black Friday “are actively participating in the destruction of the economic infrastructure of the United States”.
How could that possibly be?
Aren’t they helping the economy by spending their money?
Actually, it isn’t that simple.
Just think about it for a moment. Where are most of the “advertised specials” that people go crazy over on Black Friday actually made?
If you guessed “China”, you would be correct. In fact, it is very difficult to find any “Black Friday specials” that are actually made in the United States.
Because the American people are not supporting American businesses, our formerly great manufacturing cities are being transformed into rotting, festering hellholes. Just take a look at Detroit. At one time Detroit had the highest per capita income in the entire nation, but now it is a dying, bankrupt ghost town.
And of course this is happening to manufacturing cities all over the nation. Since 2001, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the U.S. have permanently shut down and we have lost millions upon millions of good paying manufacturing jobs.
Back in the 1980s, more than 20 percent of the jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only about 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.
Good job America. And the following are some more facts from one of my previous articles about how our massively bloated trade deficit is absolutely killing our economy…
-There are less Americans working in manufacturing today than there was in 1950 even though the population of the country has more than doubled since then.
-When NAFTA was pushed through Congress in 1993, the United States had a trade surplus with Mexico of 1.6 billion dollars. By 2010, we had a trade deficit with Mexico of 61.6 billion dollars.
-Back in 1985, our trade deficit with China was approximately 6 million dollars (million with a little “m”) for the entire year. In 2012, our trade deficit with China was 315 billion dollars. That was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.
-According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.
-According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades if current trends continue.
Unfortunately, most Americans never stop to think about what happens when we buy stuff from China.
When we buy stuff from them, our money goes over there.
At this point, they are sitting on trillions of our dollars and they have purchased more than a trillion dollars of our debt.
Up until now, Chinese demand for our dollars has helped keep the value of the U.S. dollar artificially high. This is one of the reasons why Wal-Mart can sell you those Chinese imports so inexpensively.
And up until now, Chinese demand for our debt has helped keep long-term interest rates artificially low. So the U.S. government has been able to borrow money at ridiculously low interest rates and U.S. home buyers have been able to get mortgage rates that are well below the real rate of inflation.
So enjoy those super cheap “Black Friday specials” while they last. That era is rapidly coming to an end.
Now that the Chinese have stolen tens of thousands of our businesses, millions of our jobs and trillions of our dollars, perhaps they feel that there is not much more looting to be done. Our economic infrastructure has been essentially gutted at this point. Moving forward, China can afford to let the value of the U.S. dollar fall and the value of their own currency rise because even Barack Obama admits that “those jobs are never coming back”.
And every single American that went shopping on Black Friday and bought Chinese-made goods actively participated in the ongoing destruction of the U.S. economy.
Good job America. You are a nation that is utterly consumed by materialism and greed, and you don’t even realize that you are destroying yourself with your own foolishness.
If Americans will trample one another just to save a few dollars on a television, what will they do when society breaks down and the survival of their families is at stake? Once in a while an event comes along that gives us a peek into what life could be like when the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is stripped away. For example, when Hurricane Sandy hit New York and New Jersey there was rampant looting and within days people were digging around in supermarket dumpsters looking for food. Sadly, “Black Friday” also gives us a look at how crazed the American people can be when given the opportunity. This year was no exception. Once again we saw large crowds of frenzied shoppers push, shove, scratch, claw, bite and trample one another just to save a few bucks on cheap foreign-made goods. And of course most retailers seem to be encouraging this type of behavior. Most of them actually want people frothing at the mouth and willing to fight one another to buy their goods. But is this kind of “me first” mentality really something that we want to foster as a society? If people are willing to riot to save money on a cell phone, what would they be willing to do to feed their families? Are the Black Friday riots a very small preview of the civil unrest that is coming when society eventually breaks down?
Once upon a time, Thanksgiving was not really a commercial holiday. It was a time to get together with family and friends, eat turkey and express thanks for the blessings that we have been given.
But in recent years Black Friday has started to become even a bigger event than Thanksgiving itself.
Millions of Americans have become convinced that it is fun to wait in long lines outside retail stores in freezing cold weather in the middle of the night to spend money that they do not have on things that they do not need.
And of course very, very few “Black Friday deals” are actually made in America. So these frenzied shoppers are actually killing American jobs and destroying the U.S. economy as well.
The absurdity of Black Friday was summed up very well recently in a statement that has already been retweeted on Twitter more than 1,000 times…
“Black Friday: because only in America people trample each other for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.”
It has gotten to the point where it is now expected that there will be mini-riots all over the country early on Black Friday morning each year. The following are a few examples of the craziness that we saw this year…
Fortunately, many Americans are starting to get fed up with Black Friday. In fact, one activist named Mark Dice actually went out and heckled Black Friday shoppers this year. I found the following You Tube video to be very funny, and I think most of you will too…
In the end, it is not that big of a deal that people want to fight with one another to save 50 dollars on a cell phone.
But this kind of extreme selfishness and desperation could become a massive problem someday if society breaks down and suddenly millions of extremely selfish and desperate people are scrambling for survival.
With each passing day our economy is getting even weaker, and the next wave of the economic collapse is rapidly approaching. What are people going to do when the next spike in unemployment hits us and nobody can find work?
To get an idea of where things are headed, just look at Europe. In both Greece and Spain the unemployment rate is over 25 percent and civil unrest has become almost a constant problem in both of those countries.
So what kind of riots will we see in the United States when the economy gets much worse than it is now?
Already there are signs of social decay all around us, and most Americans are completely unprepared for what will happen if a major disaster or emergency does strike.
Sadly, the reality is that most Americans live on a month to month basis. Most families do not have any emergency savings to speak of, and one recent poll found that 55 percent of all Americans only have enough food in their homes to survive for three days or less.
To me, that is an absolutely insane number.
We just came through a summer of extreme drought and global food supplies have dropped to a 40 year low. Our world is becoming increasingly unstable, and the global financial system could fall apart at any time. Most of us just assume that there will always be huge amounts of very cheap food available to us, but unfortunately that simply is not a safe assumption. The following is from a recent article in the Guardian…
Evan Fraser, author of Empires of Food and a geography lecturer at Guelph University in Ontario, Canada, says: “For six of the last 11 years the world has consumed more food than it has grown. We do not have any buffer and are running down reserves. Our stocks are very low and if we have a dry winter and a poor rice harvest we could see a major food crisis across the board.”
“Even if things do not boil over this year, by next summer we’ll have used up this buffer and consumers in the poorer parts of the world will once again be exposed to the effects of anything that hurts production.”
When I watch my fellow Americans trample one another to get a deal on a television or a video game, it makes me wonder what they would be willing to do if they went to the store someday and all the food was gone.
Desperate people do desperate things, and someday if there was a major economic breakdown in the United States I think the level of desperation in this country would be extremely frightening.
So what do you think? Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…
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.
This year, Black Friday violence included robberies, gunfire and shootings, but the most shocking incidents actually happened inside the big retail stores.
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.
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.
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?
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.
It seems with each passing year the madness on Black Friday gets even worse. This year, there were reports of fights and rioting from coast to coast. It was estimated that over 180 million U.S. shoppers headed for the stores on Friday, and whenever you get that many people together there are going to be problems. But just how crazed ordinary Americans are getting over saving a little bit of money is deeply disturbing when you really start thinking about it. If people will go this wild just to save 40 percent on a television set, then what in the world are they going to do when they have been without food for a couple of days? If Americans will act like psychotic animals just to save 50 bucks, then what in the world will they do when they have lost everything and are desperate to survive?
All of us had better hope and pray that an economic collapse does not happen any time soon, because it is becoming increasingly apparent that the American people are not morally equipped to be able to handle one. Greed and selfishness have become so rampant in America that large segments of the population have totally forgotten how to be any other way.
If the United States ever experiences a really, really bad economic downturn, this nation could very quickly start looking like New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina from coast to coast. Most Americans would simply not know how to handle it.
The following are 9 shocking examples of Black Friday violence that should make all of us wonder what is happening to America….
#1 At a Target store in Buffalo, New York the crowds waiting impatiently outside suddenly became a chaotic mob once the doors opened at 4 AM on Friday morning.
One man that was lying on the ground remembers thinking “I don’t want to die here” while he was being trampled by crazed shoppers….
#2 Crowds were becoming so violent at a Wal-Mart in Sacramento, California that the police actually evacuated the store early Friday morning.
#3 Three women from West Palm Beach, Florida said that $1,000 in presents that they had just purchased at Best Buy were stolen from their vehicle on Friday morning within minutes of being purchased.
#4 One U.S. Marine reservist that was collecting toys for children was stabbed with a knife when he attempted to stop a shoplifter in eastern Georgia on Friday.
#5 Blogger Lynne Elder-Blau has posted about overhearing police officers describe a huge brawl that erupted this year at one well-known store on Black Friday….
Well, the girls and I were in a popular convenience store in Garden City last night while a store employee and a Garden City Police Department Officer were visiting. They were conversing about a large group of customers who got into a knock-down brawl at a nationally-known variety store in Garden City yesterday morning. Several police officers were brought in to break up the ball of adults who were pulling and tugging at products and actually punching other customers in their faces and stomach areas! We’re not just talking about a few people who were involved in this violent non-sense. The officer said that there was a large amount of people involved in this particular altercation. Ridiculous!!!
#6 A 21-year-old woman from Middleton, Wisconsin was arrested when she threatened to shoot other shoppers while waiting to get into a Toys R Us store for Black Friday. The other shoppers had objected when she attempted to move to the front of the line.
#7 The following is video of customers literally tearing apart a store display at a Wal-Mart in Douglasville, Georgia as they pushed and shoved each other in an attempt to grab the best deals….
#8 The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department actually “locked down” a section of a Cerritos, California shopping mall after a wild fight broke out in the food court. There were even reports that some people were flinging chairs at other customers.
#9 At one Wal-Mart in Texas, a near-riot broke out right in the middle of the store as a huge crowd of customers pushed and shoved each other to get a handful of Black Friday deals that were being wheeled out to the floor….
If you want to see even more videos of Black Friday craziness, check out this and this.
Remember, the products that these Americans are fighting over are not free. This is how crazy people are willing to go just to get a deep discount on an item.
So what is going to happen someday when people are desperate for food or shelter?
If this is how people act when the sun is shining, how are they going to behave once a really bad storm arrives?
In America today, fewer and fewer people are treating others the way that they would like to be treated themselves.
Instead of showing others kindness and respect, in 2010 most Americans would seemingly rather trample anyone who is in the way of getting what they want.
So what do you think? Are Americans becoming more greedy and more selfish or are they basically “good” and “decent” people most of the time? Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion….
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….
*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.
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 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.