Letters to the editor on Black Friday, Walmart wages

12/04/2013 12:00 AM

12/03/2013 5:22 PM

The true meaning of the season?

Watching the antics of so many Americans fighting over sale items in stores this holiday season might be considered an amusing pastime. But some of us are embarrassed by the tackiness of it all. What must people from less-affluent countries be thinking about us?

I am reminded of the writer Harlan Ellison’s criticism of avarice behavior: “We’ve gorged ourselves on the Forbidden Twinkie from the Tree of Gimme-Gimme in the Garden of Greeden.”

May treasured memories become more precious than that 60-inch TV set many shoppers elbowed and scratched their way across crowds to purchase.



Time for family

I have never gone shopping on Black Friday. Waiting outside in the cold for hours just to get a discount on items that I’ll have to fight people for really isn’t my cup of tea.

This year some retailers moved up their sales to Thanksgiving Day. What about their employees? That cut into their family time. Even if some employees don’t mind working on holidays, most shoppers will most likely overspend because they get overwhelmed with all the deals. So, really, what are you saving?

Instead, why don’t people donate clothing and save the crazy, fist-flying shopping for a day that isn’t a holiday? That’s what a group of volunteers did in Rhode Island this year. They set up a coat exchange to help those in need.



Avoid turmoil

I have never gotten up early to shop on Black Friday, and I do not think that I have missed out. I especially would not miss part of Thanksgiving for it.

After seeing videos of the fights and chaos that break out on Black Friday, I think people should be encouraged to sleep in and avoid the turmoil. Even still, the madness that goes on should be contained to Friday and not extended to the day people should spend with their families giving thanks.



Different models

Regarding “Wages an insult” (Dec. 1 Letters to the Editor): Many people attempt to compare Walmart and Costco to justify raising wages for Walmart workers, but these are two very different companies.

Walmart and Costco have different business models and different clientele. Costco is a place to find bargains and buy groceries. Walmart offers the plethora of products that people need on a regular basis. Because of the large amount of inventory, it needs a lot of employees.

If Walmart were to adopt Costco’s model, it would lead to a loss of product variety. Wait time for checking out would increase as the number of registers decreased. Finally, Walmart would hire fewer workers. Considering that Walmart employs about 1 percent of the American labor force, this would have major societal impact. And the prices that make Walmart competitive and have helped raise the standard of living for many Americans, especially the ones in poverty, would go up, too.

Costco’s model might seem like the perfect poster child for wage reform, but it is not a realistic one for Walmart to adopt.



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