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Author Topic: Black Friday  (Read 3081 times)

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Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Black Friday
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2011, 12:28:10 PM »
As a former EMT i hated having to work on EVERY major holiday. That said Thanksgiving and Black Friday were the worst! Accidents, heart problems, and trample injuries galore on BF, and every year we'd have a make shift Thanksgiving down at  our station and every year no matter what time we had it we'd get called to the same stupid jack@$$ who knew she was allergic to turkey but had to eat it because "it's Thanksgiving, and what do you care you get paid to be here!" BTW I was a volunteer the paid service had those holidays off. Sorry for the rant but Lollipop's post was almost challenging me lol.  :-) And for the most part we usually do complain to each other.

Ramman - my sister is currently an EMT/paramedic.  I get to hear all her stories like this.  Let me personally thank you for having done what a lot of people couldn't.  :-) 

And seriously - it's very possible to eat an entire plateful at most Thanksgivings without putting a morsel of turkey on your plate.  I've had vegetarian friends over in the past who left - erm - stuffed.  The vegans have a little more trouble because I do tend to channel Paula Dean a bit that day.

Online Vekseid

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2011, 04:11:49 PM »
Vekseid,

I think you take far too much license with my words. If say a business ignores occupancy limits, or fire codes, then by all means they should be held responsible for their actions, or inaction.

But that by no means excuses the actions of an arsonist or the frenzied behavior of someone pepper spraying a crowd of shoppers.

You are placing, first and foremost, the blame at the instigator, with a seeming laser-like focus, and denying the possibility that social measures (reinstitutionalization, regulations, etc) and preventative measures (raw security, and also regulations) can have an effect.

Regulating damage control to a purely after-the-fact concern is a losing game.

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And yes, it is my responsibility to put food on the table and look after my loved ones, not the government. And that is where we depart ideologies.

I would kindly ask you to not claim I hold ideologies which I in fact lack.

I believe the government can have a role in ensuring that you are capable of doing so. It can and has done a rather amazing job of making sure you will never have too much issue with putting food on the table. The prices you pay for food at a supermarket in the US only rose slightly, compared with the food riots that led to the so-called Arab Spring. How did that come to be? It wasn't because of private interests. It involved a massive postwar effort of subsidizing and regulations - many of them bad from the start and some of them outdated, yes - that ensured that the US would be the world's sole agricultural superpower. You benefit from this every time you buy something that comes from a cow, or includes corn or soy. And in some cases, yes, suffer from it.

If you're referring to my desire for basically what amounts to a national food-stamp credit, that's more because such programs work to increase the 'bottom' of the economy with relatively little overall burden, and massive social benefits. You want money to move fast, and nothing moves as fast as necessities, and things become extremely unstable, fast, when necessities aren't met (see: above mentioned food riots, which have toppled the governments of a few nations and earned massive concessions from others). And yes, you being lower middle class would probably get more in benefits than you spend on it, at least until the GINI curve flattened out a bit. I don't think that's less of a sin than the company farms who basically sit on subsidies and reap their profits off of the government tit. If it really bothers people, it could be tied to overall economic state as a Keynesian reaction.

No argument on that point, but please show me a point in time in recorded human history when human beings were not stressed. The 50's, with rampant racism and sexism? The 19th century, when human beings were still kept as slaves? The 14th century....bubonic plague in Europe?

Ramman's comment on wishing for the "good 'ol days" is merely a rose-colored glasses view. It never existed in the first place. Those "good 'ol days" weren't so good for everyone.

People were, in fact, less stressed in the past. You even commented in that thread!

Actually, commenting about 14th century Europe is rather relevant. People had really short workweeks until cannons came along and suddenly, peasants needed to work much harder to make sure their lords could fight battles, and this eventually led to the destruction of the class system continent-wide. The less free time people feel they have, the more unstable their society is. It's hard to know what the tipping point is, but it's certainly there.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Black Friday
« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2011, 04:31:12 PM »
No matter how you look at it there is a finite amount of money to spend and a finite amount of goods on the shelves.  Whether the stores stay open 24/7 or from 9 am to 9 pm six days a week the same amount of money will be spent.  Yes, you need to pay for more man hours if you stay open 24/7 but most of those can be moved to the 9/9 schedule and the there are savings in overhead.

I just can't feed the rampant greed mentality that is killing everything good in life.

Offline Torch

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Re: Black Friday
« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2011, 04:55:58 PM »
People were, in fact, less stressed in the past. You even commented in that thread!

I did comment in that thread. And nowhere did I ever make the supposition that human beings are in general not better off in the present than we were in the past. I made the comment that we have expenses today that we did not have in the past. Which is true. And for some people, certainly not a majority, those expenses could mean the difference between eating and not eating.

Of course, I would assume anyone in such financial straits would make the decision to buy food before they paid their cable and cell phone bill. Can people live without cell phones and cable? Sure they can. Can people live without food? No. Seems like an easy choice to make, IMO. 

In any event, my comment is not at odds with the notion we are still better off today than in the past.

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Actually, commenting about 14th century Europe is rather relevant. People had really short workweeks until cannons came along and suddenly, peasants needed to work much harder to make sure their lords could fight battles, and this eventually led to the destruction of the class system continent-wide. The less free time people feel they have, the more unstable their society is. It's hard to know what the tipping point is, but it's certainly there.

Free time? Short workweeks? Really?

We are obviously looking at the situation from completely different perspectives. As a parent and as a woman, I personally cannot imagine living at a time when I would be considered a man's property, be forced into marriage, be forced into constant and unending childbearing (assuming I even lived to adulthood, a very big assumption in the Middle Ages), be forced to watch my children die because of a simple lack of modern antibiotics, and face my own mortality in my 30's.

No thank you. I'll pass on that. Again, the presumption that the "good 'ol days" are somehow better than life today is a false notion.

Online Vekseid

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2011, 11:03:12 PM »
I did comment in that thread. And nowhere did I ever make the supposition that human beings are in general not better off in the present than we were in the past. I made the comment that we have expenses today that we did not have in the past. Which is true. And for some people, certainly not a majority, those expenses could mean the difference between eating and not eating.

Of course, I would assume anyone in such financial straits would make the decision to buy food before they paid their cable and cell phone bill. Can people live without cell phones and cable? Sure they can. Can people live without food? No. Seems like an easy choice to make, IMO. 

In any event, my comment is not at odds with the notion we are still better off today than in the past.

Yet it is not necessarily the case in the US

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Free time? Short workweeks? Really?

We are obviously looking at the situation from completely different perspectives. As a parent and as a woman, I personally cannot imagine living at a time when I would be considered a man's property, be forced into marriage, be forced into constant and unending childbearing (assuming I even lived to adulthood, a very big assumption in the Middle Ages), be forced to watch my children die because of a simple lack of modern antibiotics, and face my own mortality in my 30's.

No thank you. I'll pass on that. Again, the presumption that the "good 'ol days" are somehow better than life today is a false notion.

You seem to be tying social and scientific progress with economic regression, that for some unfathomable reason we can't have all three. There's no physical reason America can't move to a 20-hour workweek and retain its current productivity. The mechanism blocking (or rather, preventing us from returning to) that is political.

No matter how you look at it there is a finite amount of money to spend and a finite amount of goods on the shelves.  Whether the stores stay open 24/7 or from 9 am to 9 pm six days a week the same amount of money will be spent.  Yes, you need to pay for more man hours if you stay open 24/7 but most of those can be moved to the 9/9 schedule and the there are savings in overhead.

I just can't feed the rampant greed mentality that is killing everything good in life.

There is such a thing as opportunity losses. If I'm working nights (and on E, that happens a lot), and want to grab something at 3 AM... my choices are a bit limited, and stores not open do lose out. Probably not enough to count for much, but still.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2011, 12:08:58 AM »
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There's no physical reason America can't move to a 20-hour workweek and retain its current productivity. The mechanism blocking (or rather, preventing us from returning to) that is political.

 I'd say it's more than political. No, or at least, most companies would not increase wages to compensate for dropping employees to a 20 hour work week. They'd very likely keep the wages at the same level, and maybe hire new people, or more likely, fire the people who demand a 20 hour work week and hire people at lower wages (they are just starting now) to work 40 hours. Or if they did let them drop to 40 hours, they could now be called 'part-time' workers and be able to drop a LOT of benefits.

 A 20 hour work week doesn't seem to be a very win/win case. More like a /win/lose or lose/lose in most cases.

Offline Torch

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Re: Black Friday
« Reply #31 on: November 28, 2011, 06:25:11 AM »
Yet it is not necessarily the case in the US

At the risk of quoting a certain Coke Zero commercial.....and?

If you'd like to show me exactly when we as a global society were better off in the past than we are today, I'm all ears. Otherwise, this discussion has veered wildly off course from the board topic and as such, I'm done.

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You seem to be tying social and scientific progress with economic regression, that for some unfathomable reason we can't have all three. There's no physical reason America can't move to a 20-hour workweek and retain its current productivity. The mechanism blocking (or rather, preventing us from returning to) that is political.

I didn't tie anything. You brought up the 20-hour workweek and the supposed "stress" of modern day living in the US, which I find a bit laughable when compared to say....a Jew living in Poland in 1939. I'm quite sure that situation beats any stress any American has about paying his or her cell phone bill in 2011.

Again, way off board topic, etc. etc.


Offline RubySlippers

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #32 on: November 28, 2011, 08:00:30 AM »
One is only as stressed as they allow themselves to be stressed, I find many people worry about what can't be helped and don't bother to reduce stress where they can do so.

For example I hate job stress that is working for someone else and having to worry about this or that regarding jobs, so I opted to work that is be employed at money making doing things I ENJOY doing and include in that volunteer work. A human being should be productive to stay fit in body and mind and to make their community better that doesn't demand a job. So by doing things I enjoy and voluntarily living simply I avoid a good deal of everyday stress. The rest cannot always be helped but I can make my own stressers less.

So I opt not to waste money or time shopping on Black Friday, and find it amusing so many people base their sense of self on STUFF and usually STUPID STUFF that could be gone in one hurricane here in my area.

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Black Friday
« Reply #33 on: November 28, 2011, 08:13:33 AM »
If you'd like to show me exactly when we as a global society were better off in the past than we are today, I'm all ears. Otherwise, this discussion has veered wildly off course from the board topic and as such, I'm done.

Actually, it veered way off of the initial commentary of supporting small businesses instead of megacorps, (as small businesses are better for the economy) somewhere back on Page 1.

Offline Torch

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Re: Black Friday
« Reply #34 on: November 28, 2011, 09:13:26 AM »
Actually, it veered way off of the initial commentary of supporting small businesses instead of megacorps, (as small businesses are better for the economy) somewhere back on Page 1.

Guilty as charged. At least there were some good points made amidst the yammering about Black Death, 20-hour work weeks and pepper spray.  :P

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Re: Black Friday
« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2011, 02:04:15 PM »
I'd say it's more than political. No, or at least, most companies would not increase wages to compensate for dropping employees to a 20 hour work week. They'd very likely keep the wages at the same level, and maybe hire new people, or more likely, fire the people who demand a 20 hour work week and hire people at lower wages (they are just starting now) to work 40 hours. Or if they did let them drop to 40 hours, they could now be called 'part-time' workers and be able to drop a LOT of benefits.

 A 20 hour work week doesn't seem to be a very win/win case. More like a /win/lose or lose/lose in most cases.

I'm referring to the level of waste inherent in our own productivity. A third of it goes to the financial sector, which clearly isn't worth much. A sixth goes to various forms of physical security and its costs, which can arguably be reduced through better socioeconomic planning. Still more gets wasted in legal confrontations and the vast apparatuses that have sprung up to support them. Still more gets wasted by various enforced middlemen like Realtors and other people who choose to stand between producer and consumer to make a buck. More gets wasted on a lack of proper preventative health care. More gets wasted on insufficient treatment due to poor or bad insurance. More gets wasted - and we have at least two dead members because of this - because of incompetent or overworked hospital staff effectively removing productive people from society.

Another way to look at it, is we could easily be producing twice as much as we do now. The thing is, if you broke all of the entrenched power bases to make that actually possible... would people want to? I mean, sure, some would. But this wouldn't be an era where people would answer to corporate masters where 'most companies' basically consist of the Fortunate 5000 and everyone else. It'd be one where being self employed did not put you at odds with the parties in power, as it often does now, and the labor market would actually approach something that followed the Market Hypothesis, with millions of employers competing for labor.

At the risk of quoting a certain Coke Zero commercial.....and?

If you'd like to show me exactly when we as a global society were better off in the past than we are today, I'm all ears. Otherwise, this discussion has veered wildly off course from the board topic and as such, I'm done.

This is called 'moving the goalposts', a fallacy of demanding ever-increasing standards when lesser standards are clearly met.

It is dishonest, and not appreciated.

I have clearly pointed out that discretionary income has fallen in the United States, as has health care. You are now demanding that I show a clear, universal, global decline (presumably not counting the one we've been in since 2006-2007).

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I didn't tie anything. You brought up the 20-hour workweek and the supposed "stress" of modern day living in the US, which I find a bit laughable when compared to say....a Jew living in Poland in 1939. I'm quite sure that situation beats any stress any American has about paying his or her cell phone bill in 2011.

And then you choose to Godwin the discussion. A reflection that people in this country are worse off economically than they were thirty years ago, gets taken by you and turned into some social cause. In a nation with two million homeless, and nineteen million empty homes, you equate people living in Central Park, some of home have to let their children die because they can't afford a tooth extraction, with a one-off comment about 'struggling to pay a cell phone bill'. As if that compares. Of course even that doesn't compare to the Holocaust. Why should we ever contemplate stooping so low again? People have compared the modern-day US to the Wiemar Republic (though, thankfully, with a much stronger Constitution).

But there have always been people in horrific circumstances. In the 2000's there is Darfur, Myanmar, Iraq, Afghanistan and now Syria, in the 90's there was Rwanda, in the 70's, Pol Pot and Bangledesh, in the 60's, Vietnam, in the 50's, the Great Leap Forward. I'm missing a few.

"They went through a genocide" is not an excuse for allowing situations to decline. I mean, for crying out loud, that's how some genocides came to happen in the first place, including the Holocaust you referenced.

Because many were worse off in many ways half a century to centuries ago means that the suffering we have now in this country compared to the recent past is 'okay'. Things are in fact better for a few select groups - gays and lesbians. They are still horrific for transexuals, and hispanic and black minorities are losing the progress they made through the 70's, as are most people living under $70k per year.

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Again, way off board topic, etc. etc.

Here's a thought. Would Black Friday be so bad if people were in fact not so desperate to save ~$50, as a whole?

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Black Friday
« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2011, 02:16:13 PM »
Ahem.

Thank you.

Vekseid, et alia:  If you want to discuss the quality of life today v. centuries past, please take it to another thread.

Offline Serephino

Re: Black Friday
« Reply #37 on: November 28, 2011, 06:10:14 PM »
First responders work on holidays because crime and medical emergencies don't take holidays off.  I'm sure it sucks, and I do appreciate the fact that they're there.  However, my boyfriend works at Walmart.  If he gets the day off, the worst consequence is someone doesn't get an x box at a discount.  The two don't really compare.

And not having Black Friday would probably make it easier on the police.  They wouldn't need to be called out to break up fights and arrest the few shop lifters that actually get caught.  It would be easier on everyone.