On Thanksgiving night, I ventured to my local Walmart for the Black Friday deals. You know, the Black Friday deals that started before Friday. I had no intention of buying anything that night, but a few friends and I just wanted to see what the fuss was all about.
The store was a complete madhouse, as I found myself struggling to navigate just a single aisle; and I wasn’t even throwing picture frames to try and claim a cheap coffee maker like the showdown that happened in the store that night.
While I think that waiting outside of a Target for six hours in the cold just to save a few bucks is a bit ridiculous, I applaud those
Black Friday shoppers who spend days meticulously scanning the Internet and newspapers searching for the best deals.
Why? Because these people are the reason American capitalism is the success story that it is. That’s right, I’m talking about the American capitalist system that is currently under attack.
It is under attack by those of the left wing, who think mandating that we purchase health insurance is somehow constitutional, rather than letting individuals make their own decisions.
Most notably, as of right now, capitalism is under attack by the Occupy Wall Street crowd that seems to think capitalism sucks; all while they sleep in their fancy camping tents and spend their days Tweeting on their iPads.
My thinking is, if you don’t like capitalism, then don’t go out and buy presents for your family and friends this Christmas season. Think about it. I don’t agree with the Democratic Party platform, so I don’t vote for Democratic candidates. I don’t like the University of Virginia, so I didn’t apply to that school.
Nobody forced me to do any of those things. Additionally, nobody is forcing anybody to buy goods in this economic system that we have. Quite frankly, it’s kind of hypocritical to attack capitalism but then go shopping for the latest trends or gadgets.
Capitalism is the reason we have so many goods and services available to us in America, and that is no more apparent than during the holiday shopping season. People don’t like that corporations are profit-driven because they somehow exploit people.
But what else, besides the ability to make money, drives innovation? Did Steve Jobs invent the iPod because he feared college students were too bored riding the bus to campus each day without it? Does Balfour sell class rings on our campus so that the stakeholders can feel all warm inside when Virginia Tech students get their rings at Ring Dance?
Of course not. They do these things because they want to make a profit. But it is because of that profit seeking that we now have iPods and our proud ring tradition. Corporations are not inherently evil. However, if you think they are, you can certainly choose not to shop at the likes of Walmart, Target or Best Buy.
Capitalism isn’t an unfair system either. What’s unfair is the fact that we have thieves who drive up the cost of goods, and that we have protesters in Zucotti Park who think their ability to count to 99 means they’re true economists.
If you disagree with capitalism, then nobody is making you participate in our consumerist society during the holidays. I, for one, will be milking the Christmas season for all it’s worth, buying presents for my family and friends. And that will make me a benefactor of … wait for it … consumer capitalism.