I know today is "Black Friday," ideally the day when thanks to the post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas shopping crush, businessess go from the red to the black on their ledgers.
I am not sure if the origins are also supposed to be an homage/take off on September 24, 1869 when gold speculators James Fisk and Jay Gould attempted to corner the gold market, and sieze upon the US Government's issuance of money, backed by credit. The thought was the government would buy back the paper money with gold, so by controlling the gold market Fisk and Gould would clearly make a killing, save the government anticipated the problem and put $4 million worth of boullion on the market, causing financial ruin to some speculators, but essentially undercutting the likes of Gould and Fisk.
But, I can never hear Black Friday, without going straight to the opening cut of Steely Dan's Pretzel Logic album.
Either way, I get kind of puzzled with the consumer end of this stuff. For, yesterday is ideally the day that Macy's and JC Penny's and WalMart and all those companies begin to show a profit.
The problem is today is also "Small Business Saturday," when we are all supposed to support the small, local companies that keep the country rolling.
Which kind of amuses me, since as part of the discussion regarding the elimination of the Bush Tax Cuts, there is always a cry that small business needs those cuts and that America is driven by small business.
Well, one thing that the politicos who want to keep the cuts don't mention, is that small business means less than a certain number as owners of the company.
Meaning like Koch Industries, run by the billionaire Koch brothers, David and Charles. Since there are just two of them in control of their huge empire, this qualifies as a "small business."
I do confess that I do buy most of my books through Amazon, not just because it is convenient, but because unfortunately the bulk of small book and record stores, even in the bay area, has virtually disappeared.
Otherwise, though, I like to support my local businessess. Yes, you do pay a little more at a small local business, but, the customer service is always better, and in shopping locally, it is like supporting local politics.
We might not have a lot of control over what politics, or companies do at a national level, but, we most certainly do have a say and thus some input, and even control in what happens in our city or town or suburb.
Now, I realize money is a tight commodity these days, and spending one's dollars at WalMart might help balance the family checkbook better, but, well, if you can tighten up enough to make sure and support the business folks in your neighborhood, do so.
It is truly the American way.