Left-leaning media and pundits are so biased against corporate America and the profit motive that they will concoct ridiculous theories of wrong-doing just to bombard the ears of listeners with accusations about how cruel, crass and greedy the nation’s employers and retailers are. There is no ethical basis on which to criticize Walmart, Target, Macy’s or any of the retailers who chose to lure shoppers this year by “Black Friday” sales that reached into Thanksgiving. None.
Yet sitting in my Baltimore hotel–meanly open for business over Thanksgiving because the Scrooge-like owners were determined to wreck the family gatherings of their employees in order to make their filthy profit—while waiting to join my extended family at a downtown restaurant (that outrageously chose to ruin its employees’ Thanksgiving by staying open to make a few more stinking dollars), to which we were delivered by a taxi—driven by a beleaguered and exploited cab driver forced by our needs to neglect his family so we could dine with ours—I watched angry TV pundit after pundit condemning these stores and consumers (for taking advantage of the hypnotic sales)…even though the complaining pundits were working on Thanksgiving, and their networks were operating on Thanksgiving, in many cases happily and enthusiastically broadcasting football games (that are normally played on Sundays) intentionally scheduled on Thanksgiving, forcing players, coaches, concessionaires, refs, cameramen and announcers to miss Thanksgiving dinner.*
But what does consistency matter when there is a chance to take cheap shots at capitalism?
When these enraged dictators of acceptable economic activity (guess which political party they embrace?) were challenged with the fact that many, many businesses and service providers have operated on Thanksgiving for decades without any complaints, the best retort they could come up with was “Yeah, but it’s always been that way.” This, of course, is a rarely seen variation of the invalid “Everybody does it” rationalization: the same conduct that is unethical for a new participant is ethical for others since they have been doing it for a long time. This is a rationalized “grandfather clause” for ethics. It, like the other aspects of the “Black Thanksgiving” critics’ lament, is neither ethically coherent, logical nor fair.
The next shoe to drop will be the suggestion that the government prohibit merchants from making money on Thanksgiving. Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island actually do this, harkening back to those states’ “Blue Laws,” of times past, which similarly expressed their disapproval of any business daring to give citizens a choice by staying open on Sundays. Such legislation is absurd and paternalistic. Consider:
- The nation is still struggling with high unemployment, yet the critics condemn retailers for employing workers.
- Many of the same pundits who criticize “Black Thanksgiving” routinely attack businesses for laying off employees, as if the extra income generated by these sales won’t help make such lay-offs unnecessary.
- Millions of Americans want to shop, as indicated by the fact that millions of Americans DID shop yesterday, yet critics are so contemptuous of commerce that they find the fulfilling of consumer wants and needs wrongful conduct.
- Retailers who make working on Thanksgiving voluntary report that there are usually more employees who want to work (at higher holiday rates) than they can accommodate.
Me, I wouldn’t be caught dead in a Target or Macy’s at any point this week—but I’m glad I have a choice, glad my neighbors have a choice, and happy that more money is being injected into the economy because they have that choice. I also think that when pundits’ reflex contempt for free enterprise makes them spout complaints this irrational and unfair, it is time they examined their underlying beliefs.
Bias is making you stupid, guys, as it usually will
* I know. Long sentence. 153 words! This is, in fact, the longest sentence ever to appear on Ethics Alarms. Never mind: I like it. ( Bite me, Hemingway.)
Source: Mail Online