November 25th, 2011


My tweets

strike, labor, union, class

Black Friday Casualties

Not just a loss-leader -- a blood-loss-leader.
Stores: Mostly Walmart*, including my local store in San Leandro.
Weapons: Guns, knives, Taser, pepper spray, and fists.
Casus belli**: discount electronics
Perps: Crazed shoppers, thieves, and off-duty cops moonlighting as security guards.
Interesting use of language: When a customer maced other people in line to grab a discount XBox, there were 20 injuries. When store security pepper-sprayed unruly shoppers, they did it to "calm"*** the crowd, and the lead sentence didn't mention injuries.****

*Why Walmart and not other stores? Because they advertise huge loss leaders on highly prized consumer goods, but only stock a few per store (sometimes as few as two). In 2008, this strategy resulted in the death of a worker trampled by eager shoppers. Their market is to poor and lower middle-class people, who could not otherwise afford such luxuries. Moreover, these electronic games or entertainment items carry huge emotional weight in our society. If you've got one chance to make your kid feel loved, feel equal to the richer kids in class, you're going to fight like hell to take it. Moreover, their shoppers are more likely to be carrying cash instead of credit cards, so that robbing them is relatively profitable for an unskilled mugger.
**Casus belli: Yes, I Googled this to find out the appropriate plural.
***"The police are not there to create disorder; they are there to preserve disorder."
****This insight provided courtesy [personal profile] housepet.

I recommend Small Business Saturday. Instead of buying at a big-box store that siphons cash away from your local economy, you'll support local small businesses that keep your money in your community. Also, every Saturday can be Small Business Saturday.

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