Continuing on with my New Speak rant, I want to comment on the recent news about Black Friday’s successful sales. The news announcement said that there were over $12 Billion in retail sales the day after Thanksgiving. My first question to my wife upon hearing the news was,”how can they know that?” Well drum roll please…the National Association of Retailers of course. What better source than the one benefiting directly from the buzz of habitual compulsive consumption?
Maybe with rampant unemployment, inverted net worth and negative savings, the only thing giving people a modicom of escape is the purchase of a South Korean hi-fi/wi-fi product to adorn their homes. Just shove the one from last year aside, plug in the new and tune in or out.
Last week after a golf round with a good friend who sells super high end autos, I asked him why his customers need to buy such expensive toys. He responded with an answer like, “because they can” or something down those lines. I said that maybe his customers however money’d they may be, are just plain unhappy. Having climbed to the top of the financial mountain, they had not budgeted time to enjoy the view and when they actually did glance out upon a vast empty expanse of used and accomplished goals they felt an emptiness which could only be filled with newer, brighter and faster objects.
So consumerism is alive and well according to the National Association of Retailers but I for one would love to know the real deal. If I could call the VP of credit at Capital One and ask him,”come on, just tell me in confidence how many flat screen TV’s he authorized purchases for last Friday.” I bet the number would be staggering.
The conclusion I am looking for here is one that suggests that we shouldn’t bite at all the buzz and maybe just maybe we should look for ways to satisfy our emptiness not through widgets and gizmo’s but by being grateful that we are alive, healthy and free. Free to give thanks and free to give our time to those who need our time. Family, friends, the poor and the elderly.Give.