Punchinello’s Chronicles

November 24, 2010

Black Friday is Useless Propaganda

All we hear about these days, just prior to Thanksgiving is how the next day is Black Friday! Ooooh! What amazement! What astonishment! What fireworks and speculation! The entire media world is filled with gleaming stories about how this or that is supposedly the best or worst of something. What? Sheer nonsense, that’s what!

Black Friday, loosely translated, means that this is the period (day?) of the year in which retailers make ALL their money! It’s when they book a profit! But think about this: if the period between the day after Thanksgiving and December 24th (the end of Christmas shopping) is for profit, then what’s the rest of the year?

We’ll use this year and say that Thanksgiving is on Nov 25. Black Friday falls on November 26. From that day until December 24 is 30 days, right? Maybe my math is off, since I’m from an older generation, but that looks about right. Now let’s figure that a typical year has 365 days, from the way I learned things. If we deduct (that’s subtraction, right?) 30 from 365, that leaves…um…uh…335? Maybe?

So for 335 days out of any given years, retailers are losing money. They’re “in the red,” which is why they want to be “in the black.” That’s accounting jargon. “Red” means in debt, “black” means making money.

Can you imagine that? What kind of morons run a large company for almost the entire year without making any money? Can you say “Big Box Store?” Is it any wonder why ecommerce has been growing and tromping those department type superstores? Why?

Usually, the places where people buy and sell online include very small, micro businesses. These are real people, who live in the real world, who have real bills and real costs. They’re people who understand that making money means having money left over after you sell something.

The Big Box Corporate Superstores, on the other hand, are usually run by fantastically smart academic idiots with college degrees. Those idiots likely have never worked in an actual store, have no idea what the real world involves, don’t comprehend the concepts of customer activities, and use accounting nonsense to make a “profit.”

Many of these big retailers are also publicly held corporations. That means they have lots of stockholders “out there,” who theoretically are actual people. In fact, today’s stockholders are vast hedge funds, mutual funds, pension funds, and computers. Real people long-ago left the stock market, and are only stuck with stocks and bonds if they’re stuck in a pension fund of some sort.

So these supposed stockholders want more, more, More, MORE money! Every year, no matter what, publicly held companies must increase their money! Mo’ Money, as the movie goes! How do they do that? They open up more stores! Each store represents more inventory, more “potential” customers and more “possible” sales.

But to open up countless new stores, never stopping, always advancing, those big companies need to borrow money! That means loans, in the English I learned to speak. Lots and lots and lots of loans! Lots of debt! And when those companies go to pay their workers, they have to borrow the money each month to pay that payroll cost.

Have you been following the utter insanity of the Federal Reserve? They claim that Keynesian economics says that “debt is wealth.” They say that if you have more debt, you actually have more money. In an odd way, they’re right. America doesn’t actually have its own money anymore. All we have are Federal Reserve Notes. Just pull some paper money out of your pocket and look at it. You’ll see that it’s a Federal Reserve Note — says so, right on the paper.

We Americans borrow money from the Federal Reserve. We pay them interest for that privilege of borrowing the money we use every day. So the more we borrow, the more money we get. The more we borrow, the more debt we have because we have to pay that money back, OR we have to pay the interest on the never-ending debt. So in a weird way, if we have more debt, that means we have more money.

It’s just that the money isn’t really ours.

So too, retailers have been led to believe that borrowing money is a great way to earn money! The more they borrow, the more they can claim the stuff they buy as “real stuff.” It’s not, of course, it’s just paper stuff. But it looks good and that’s what counts. Can you say Toxic Assets?

And how about that payroll? Is that an “asset?” Is a payroll “real stuff?” Of course not! Only in the Fantasyland of accounting and banking are human beings considered to be assets. Well, in the military too, but that’s a different story. So when a company borrows $1-million per month in order to pay the sales people, stock people, managers, district managers, regional managers and so forth, that’s listed as what…income?

The bottom line is that all these big retailers cross their fingers and hope that somehow they’ll sell enough crap from China to We The People, that they’ll make some extra money.  All in 30 days!

They’ve borrowed millions in order to stock the shelves with that crap from China, and simply storing all that crap costs money. Warehouse space, trucking and shipping, boxing and everything else costs money.

Retailers have borrowed money to buy inventory. They’ve borrowed money to build stores. They’ve borrowed money to invest. They’ve borrowed money to pay their own salaries. In fact, they’ve spent so much time borrowing money that they don’t even understand how to SELL anything, anymore! Have you heard of any Customer Service lately? Of course not!

The only Customer Service we have nowadays is “Total Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back!” Buy something to wear for the holidays, go to a party, puke down the front of whatever outfit you bought, and then return it the next Monday. “Oh, it didn’t fit quite right.”

“No problem. We’ll issue you a refund immediately!” That’s Customer Service. And what happens to whatever you returned? It gets “written off,” which is another accounting term. It’s a “loss,” which means they can count it as an “asset” on their tax returns. So they can pretend they’re actually making money by losing money. See?

(Yeah, I know…I can’t see it either, but then I’m not a Harvard MBA. I’m just an idiot living in the ghetto.)

These big retailers deserve to go out of business! They’re Ponzi schemes, exactly like Wall Street, stocks and bonds, national debt, Social Security and every other damn-fool stupid-ass idea our Great Leaders have foisted on us for the past 50 years! Let them go bankrupt! It was good enough for…a lonnnnng list of stores you used to see, it’s good enough for today’s idiots!

No company that’s supposedly in the “business” of providing goods and services to people can possibly function if they don’t make a profit. You and I can’t run our household finances without having actual money at the end of each week or month or year. None of us could afford to live 11 months by borrowing money, then “hope” to pay it ALL back in December!

That’s Black Friday! You want to know why we now see “Pre Black Friday” sales? Why we see 90% discounts? Why malls are collapsing into empty space everywhere in the country? Just look at how those Real Smart Harvard MBAs have been running all those businesses and banks. And don’t get me started on the fact that almost nobody who ever enters into Harvard ever flunks out of school! Not possible! That’s a whole ‘nuther mystery!

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