I like money. Indeed, I’m a born-and-bred consumerbot like a lot of Americans –– buying something I want, even if it’s just a movie or an album, gives me a little rush of adrenaline every time. And generally speaking, I’m not a big fan of business boycotts. They have a way of backfiring and making the boycotters look ineffectual, their cause trivialized in the process. All that said, there are some pretty good reasons to stay away from the big corporate retailers this Thursday (Turkey Day) and Friday (Black Friday). Chief among those reasons –– already underpaid retail workers are losing time with their families and friends by being forced to participate in the nonsensical trend of an ever earlier holiday shopping season.

There are a variety of boycotts and protest petitions circulating on the web that encourage consumers to stay away from stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Some petitions target specific retailers with highly questionable labor practices, like Walmart; others ask people to save their dollars for Saturday and spend them only at locally owned, independent retailers. Unlike a lot of boycotts, the anti-Black Friday movement has a limited focus and a fairly achievable goal. Just don’t shop at “x” for one 24-hour period.

Again, I like many aspects of capitalism. But that doesn’t mean it has to control every moment of our lives. Does it?


  1. The thing is, us underpaid retail employees aren’t helped by boycotts, we’re actually punished by them, since we lose hours when our stores don’t make sales. Thanks to Black Friday, I have almost forty hours this week, while next week, thanks to not making sales recently, I only have twelve.