Monday, November 23, 2015
That Thanksgiving Shopping Thing
Anticipating another fuss about people having to work at Wal-Mart (and other stores) on Thanksgiving, I remind everyone of my comments several weeks ago: companies don’t create jobs and governments don’t create jobs – although governments can make the environment more favorable for jobs to be created. No, customers create jobs.
It follows that if someone objects to people having to work at Wal-Mart on Thanksgiving, don’t be customers. They wouldn’t open a store and pay a lot of workers to stand around at vacant cash registers waiting for the business to happen. For that matter, if you object to Wal-Mart’s business practices, don’t shop there at all. Remember, though, there are some people who are very happy to have a job at Wal-Mart and even some people who are willing and able and happy to give up Thanksgiving to make a little extra needed money.
No, if you don’t want to see people working at retail stores on Thanksgiving, stay home and watch the football games. Don’t be the least concerned about the number of people it takes to participate in and broadcast a game, many of whom are not only working, but working far away from their homes on Thanksgiving. And if you are lucky enough to attend one of these games and would like to buy a hot dog and a beer, keep in mind that it would be impossible if the people who worked in the concession stand insisted on having Thanksgiving off. You also may hope that a gas station is open on the way home. Many people like to be righteous, but only when it fits their lifestyle and convenience.
Face it, many people have to work on Thanksgiving and some of them have jobs that pay little more than working at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart seems to be a sort of symbol for this kind of protest – big, evil Wal-Mart. Personally I wouldn’t care if the Wal-Mart down the street from me just disappeared, but I know there are many people who are glad to work there and many people who are glad to shop there so for their sakes I hope it doesn’t.
Remember the economy is not just a bunch of numbers reported in the news. The economy is you and I making choices every day, choices that affect many other people. In turn the choices of others can come back to help us or haunt us.