A few choice quotes from this article, about Change.org petitions against starting Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving:
“This says less about the retailer and more about society as a whole. Target, Sears, Kmart and others are all doing what they need to do maximize sales and profits” -Rich Milgrom, CEO of Beyond.com
“Just as consumers are driving the demand, employees are choosing to work in the field, leaving companies with little choice but to take advantage of every opportunity in the marketplace,” -Billl Peppler of staffing firm Kavaliro.
Notice they shift blame onto the people at the bottom rung, ignoring the reality that companies like Wal-Mart, K-Mart, et al entirely dictate conditions such as “being open on Thanksgiving,” or “Black Friday sales.” This change towards naked consumerism was positioned by these companies for their profit!
Take a look at that second quote: “employees are choosing to work in the field, leaving companies with little choice but to take advantage of every opportunity…” The key phrase in that statement is “little choice,” as if their hiring of employees is somehow an undue burden upon them, rather than how this whole capitalism thing works. You know, paying people to do the work you need/want done.
Protesting that the (largely minimum wage) work force you hired is forcing you to do things like set up conditions upon which they work holidays–to say nothing of the annual trampling deaths of said workers as a result of Black Friday–is arguing that it’s the trailer that pulls the truck.
Mind you, I’m not against retailers trying to squeeze every last buck they can. I’m not. What I’m against is the blatant exploitation of workers and the, frankly, fascist attempts to turn them into expendable drones to further their own profits. I’m against the turning of customers into rabid locusts swarming the aisles. I’m against companies attempting to turn people into context-free numbers. Further, I’m against the hypocrisy of the above quotes, used by (of course) CEOs and other executives to distance themselves from blame. It’s not THEIR fault they’ve exploited you, it’s YOUR fault for being exploited!