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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The blackest Friday of all, in these our darkest hours

They call the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday. It's supposed to be the biggest shopping day of the year. You'll see just about every retailer in the nation advertising sales, slashing prices, offering doorbusters, and of course playing non-stop Christmas music. What you won't see will be empty parking spaces. Before you ever walk through those doors you're already going to be irritated. Merry Christmas? I don't think so.

Every year you'll also see people like me, railing against the hypercommercialism of this the most holy of holidays. It's not supposed to be this way, and I think we all know it. What happens though? Even though we know it’s morally wrong we justify it as somehow good for the economy. So rampant greed—symbolized by a tree and a jolly fat guy with a big sack full of loot—has replaced the Christian symbols of Jesus born in a manger, the Christmas Star, and the Three Wise Men. Please take note of the fact that the very first gifts given on Christmas were for Jesus and He alone in all the world. These gifts were given in those first days to glorify Jesus. What will be the purpose of your gifts in these last days?
2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
The Bald Eagle is our national symbol. What better symbol of our unparalleled power across the world, our unimaginable freedom, and our farsighted and sagacious Constitutional rights, than the majestic Bald Eagle? Well this choice was decided by men far wiser than you or I. We once looked upon this symbol of our American spirit with unabashed pride. Until we poisoned it. Until we caged it. Until we fed it on nothing but slime and offal. Until we clipped its wings and bound it tightly with a million yards of red-tape. Until we papered its cage with money not worth the paper it's printed on. This prophecy of Revelation has never been clearer. We are the fallen Babylon. We are the home of every foul spirit and our national symbol and our nation itself has never been in a sadder and more hateful state than we find it today.

Christmas is not supposed to be about implementing another sisyphean round of Keynesian economic stimulus policy. If your argument is that it's okay because it's good for the economy then you lack a basic understanding of capitalism. This argument is flawed at its heart. Artificially increasing demand during a particular season of the year by using social pressure and hypercommercialism is in actuality very bad for the economy in the long term. This boom and bust cycle every year increases market volatility, which in turn heightens investor fears, which in turn causes further market volatility, which in turn causes far greater and far more damaging boom and bust cycles.

If you spend Black Friday pushing your way through some crowd, angrily searching for material things, then I don't imagine that you were properly thankful on the day before it, for the incredible gifts that you've already been given.

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