Narrated by talk show host, Brian Wilson, “Down With Power” a Libertarian
Manifesto, by L. Neil Smith now downloadable as an audiobook!
Number 1,049, December 1, 2019

It takes a lot of money to run a police state

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How Black Friday Stole Xmas — and Thanksgiving and Maybe New Years
by L. Reichard White

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Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

Even Halloween Isn’t Safe

I’m a market kinda guy but as business guru Peter Drucker put it, "Markets aren’t perfect, they’re not even very good, they’re just better than anything else." And so there are downsides.

In particular, my beef this time of year is that " the market" has taken over the holiday(s). Certainly as of 2019 A.D., it’s aced-out the "old" Christmas Spirit.

And since it now starts on Thanksgiving—always a Thursday remember—it’s clear "Black Friday " is engulfing whatever spirit lives there too.

As you may know, the "Black" in Black Friday refers to black ink, theoretically marking the first day of the year that merchants begin making their yearly profit.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a market kinda guy remember. I’m glad profit motivates the folks who stock things close by or send me stuff by mail so I don’t have to travel. You should be too.

But are we really so grateful that we want to give them more thanks than their just profits and let Black Friday overshadow Thanksgiving and maybe Christmas?

I’m old enough to remember when no one but insiders ever even heard of Black Friday. And when I first did, I wondered what-the-heck it was. Hardly sounded appropriate to celebrate in connection with Christmas.

That was just before it killed the "old" Christmas spirit for me.

"Peace on earth good will toward men" became "make sure you buy everyone an appropriately expensive gift. " It’s become difficult or impossible to tell whether you give gifts because you want to or because others expect you to.

If you can’t tell the difference, well, you’ve missed out. Big time.

Maybe you’ve noticed that Christmas decorations start going up in stores even before Halloween, the second most lucrative holiday for merchants—and other sellers. And if Black Friday now starts on Thursday—and for many stores sooner, are Halloween and New Years safe?


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L. Reichard White [send him mail] taught physics, designed and built a house, ran for Nevada State Senate, served two terms on the Libertarian National Committee, managed a theater company, etc. For the next few decades, he supported his writing habit by beating casinos at their own games. His hobby, though, is explaining things he wishes someone had explained to him. You can find a few of his other explanations listed here .

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