(c) 2016 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Shopping on Thanksgiving kills poor workers’ holidays

Today's post was shared by Steven Greenhouse and comes from

But labor gets short shrift in too much of the coverage of encroaching commercialization

Perhaps I’m feeling a little wistful as I prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving outside the U.S. for the first time.

As I told Brooke Gladstone this weekend on On the Media, it’s my favorite day of the year. You know, turkey and dressing, pumpkin pie, grandma’s house, backyard football, crisp autumn air—all that bit.

Just as important: It’s been the last holdout from the hyper-commercialization of the American culture. The marketers have commandeered Christmas, Easter, and the Fourth of July, and blue laws are mostly a thing of the past. They even figured out a way to exploit President’s Day. Abe Lincoln wants you to buy a Lincoln, see.

But in an America obsessed with both work and consumption, there’s been nothing much to do or to buy on Thanksgiving. Cook, eat, talk, nap, maybe watch a little football. And just about everybody but Waffle House and Walmart workers got the day off.

That’s changing as Black Friday sales become Thanksgiving Night sales. More retailers than ever will open this year on Thanksgiving Day, a phenomenon that has led to quite a bit of hand-wringing in the press—and rightly so.

It’s revealing, though, that the hand-wringing is largely about us—the folks who are fortunate enough to not have to work Thanksgiving. In this narrative, the sales are invading our sacred family time and screwing up our schedules:...

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