November 24, 2012
Once again I am confused. It happens to me every Holiday season. In my life I can say, I’m not exactly what most would consider normal, as it deals with Material Culture. You see, I don’t worry about things like grease spots on a shirt, or water spots on silverware. In my life, situations like an overflowing toilet, are not what I consider a crisis. It won’t ruin my day, or cause some kind of Drama trauma. I also, in my reasoning, don’t hunger for the latest, in vogue, electronic gadget. These things have little importance to me on the grand scale.
Having these beliefs and ways, I come into conflict with the programmed consumerism, that’s exaggerated this time of year. It’s a sad spectacle for me, not understanding the drive. Black Friday participation, seems more like a programmed Borderline personality disorder of the consuming public, to me. In this manifestation, the retail businesses are simply the enablers. Businesses who put a small number of crazy low-priced goods, know what they are stimulating. They desire the feeding frenzy, of consumers driven temporarily insane. They need those who are willing to stand in line, and wrestle around for overpriced plastic or electronic goods, to pump their bottom line for stock holders. Goods manufactured abroad. Products that have possible directly or indirectly taken the job of a friend neighbor or family member who’s struggling to find work or stay in their home.
The once a year manufactured buying frenzy, not only has caused a portion of the previously mentioned jobs housing issue, but it has also caused a loss in perspective as to the true nature of such holidays. Here I’m not talking about the religious connections, but the connection of people, as they gather together in warmth and friendship, peace and love.
I hate to say this during the holidays, and considering difficult economic times with large unemployment figures and massive private debt, although that’s seems to be slowly being whittled away, but this massive frenzied consumerism of foreign-made goods, with built-in planned obsolescence, is only taking the unemployed, under employed, and blue-collar union workers, whose jobs are being shipped overseas, is only serving to shoot those groups in the foot. Hobbling their own futures.
In this annual, traditional, manufactured insanity, I believe the consumer forgets they have a vote here, within this insanity. Forgotten or unknown to shopper, is the ability to vote with their dollars. They forget this power, or simply ignore it to their detriment. You see in this craze, there are moral and ethical choices to be made. The chance to not buy from companies who utilize slave or child labor, is only one. To say with a purchase of one manufacture goods over another, that you approve of the higher standard of business ethics they keep over, above, and beyond their competitors, is another. I also don’t think basic workers rights, or the opportunity to buy goods manufactured in your own country, can be ignored either. And these are only a few ways to vote with money.
There is nothing wrong with being a consumer, we all are. There is an issue with being an ignorant consumer, that cuts their own future fiscal throat. The rights or wrongs are not mine to judge, I merely opine here on the present condition. I do think however ,that during the Seasonal Shopping Wars, that an ignorant consumer is tantamount to cannon balls, shot at our nations economy. Economic traitor, who needs consumer re-education. So they too may realize their own folly, in causing themselves economic damage. I’ll add to that also, so they quit shooting those who are already educated, thinking shopper, in the damn foot. Hobbling to an extent, our own economies growth and job production.
My wish only wish for the consumer portion of the holiday, is that there are more of us doing the right thing when it comes to Voting with our seasonal shopping dollar.