Black Friday: Pushing the US Over the Edge
Each year shoppers across the United States take part in the ritual phenomenon known as Black Friday. But these shoppers looking for the best deals ﬁnd themselves in an impossible situation ﬁnancially after they ﬁnish their shopping frenzy. Consumers spent a whopping $602.1 BILLION on Black Friday this year, but the numbers don’t stop there. Not only do Americans spend an average of $646 per person, but they have been spending an incredible 11% more on gifts each year since 2000.
The national average income is an unsustainable $42,693, only $3,557 dollars per month. Unfortunately, as Deedee Anderson ’15 highlights, “living in San Francisco and attending private school, we often have an unrealistic view of the average American income”. Removing the $646 spent on Black Friday leaves only $2,911 per person in the United States. There already is hardly enough money to get many struggling families through the holiday months.
The $602.1 billion we spend annually on Black Friday could be better spent on struggling families rather than ourselves. Patrick Dunne ’14 adds, “since the winter is a time to celebrate community and sharing, why don’t we assist those truly in need?” Corporations are creating a situational paradox that leaves the poor with the short end of the stick. Their endless cycle of bargains lures consumers into spending money they need in other parts of their lives. With rising prices and a rising percentage of money spent on Black Friday, is it really worth it to buy the new Xbox One if you’re forsaking a family at the same time? The easy answer is yes, but people should dig deeper into their soul and ﬁnd a way to turn away from the commercialism. “And not kill other humans during Black Friday,” mentions Nick Sebastiani ’16. Otherwise, we are just like the common lemming following its brethren off a cliff to its demise. Don’t let this holiday season burden another family with hunger and starvation. Make a change.
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