Friday, November 27, 2015

1560 Black Friday

1560 Black Friday

If there’s one thing you can say about Black Friday it’s that it’s better than Black Monday.  

Actually, there have been plenty of black Mondays and now there are plenty of black Fridays even though many don’t take place on an actual Friday.

Black Monday, Oct. 29, 1929 is the day the stock market began its crash.  They use also use the term for Oct. 19, 1987 when the stock markets again tanked.  But although we’ve called that a crash, it really wasn’t. And a lot of people made a ton of money in the days that followed.

Black Friday is the day retailers in America finally turn a profit, or so the modern folk tale goes.  Black ink on the ledgers instead of the red ink which shows a loss. It’s hard to believe that no one makes a buck before the day after Thanksgiving.  But that’s the conventional wisdom.

Earnings reports and other indicators tell a different story.  But that’s complicated.  As a society we hate and fear complicated.  Or we can’t be bothered to learn about the moving parts.

Like everything else this century, everything is swollen except our bank accounts.  So it’s not surprising that Black Friday sales started well before today.

As this is being written, people are already setting up tents to be among the first to crash through the doors of Best Buy or Wal-nut or Toys R Us or Sears or Kohl’s.  Well, maybe not Sears.

Little do they know that there are some sneaky merchants who actually had lower prices before Thanksgiving than they will today.  Some places announce that.  Sale! Sale! Sale! Black Friday Begins Tuesday!  Others just lower their prices earlier in the week, then raise them on Friday.

Why?  Dunno. One of life’s great mysteries.

Frenzied buying continues on “Cyber Monday,” a relatively recent addition to the shopping addiction. Internet- only discounts on everything from office supplies to pre-fab steel buildings.
Many of us have always wanted a pre-fab steel building.  Why? Quonset huts remind us of a happier time when all we had to worry about was an invasion and we actually won a war.


Shrapnel:
--A shout out in Wessays™ #1560 to radio 1560, New York.  Once the “high fidelity classical music station,” WQXR was owned by the New York Times, then it became  WQEW with American Pop Standards, then Radio Disney, now WFME with religious programming.  A blowtorch of a signal but you can hear it better in Boston and Philadelphia than you can in Manhattan.

--Anyone remember NYC Mayor de Blastoff’s promise to get rid of those cruel and inhumane horse-drawn carriages the tourists all love?  Could it be that what was behind it had nothing to do with animal cruelty and everything to do with a big campaign contributor’s lust for the land on which the stables stand?  Unimaginable, of course!

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com

© WJR 2015

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