The line wraps all the way around the store. After six hours of shopping, you’re beginning to wonder if this is worth it—an entire day fighting packed crowds just to get a toaster or the latest new toy for your kid.
And Black Friday is just one day in a crazy few days of shopping. Now, the sales start earlier and go later, then we have Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday and other days.
But then you think about Thanksgiving – a day on which you took stock of the most important blessings in your life. Family, country, a roof over your head and food on the table.
As you remember everything you gave thanks for yesterday, Black Friday suddenly falls into a new perspective. You see the prosperity all around you, and you remember that this is one more thing for which to be grateful.
America – and the free enterprise system – made this abundance available. You live in a country where there is no shortage of anything you could need or want. Instead of standing in bread lines, you can shop for quality products that meet consumer demand.
Black Friday is a reminder of the endless choice that exists in America. Whatever you’re shopping for, you are not limited to the one option created by the constraints of market failure or government mandate. Competition has pushed the American spirit to continue innovating, constantly improving goods and services to meet consumers’ specifications.
Black Friday is not only a reminder of the opportunity available to you as a consumer, but also of America’s gifts to entrepreneurs. Many of the thriving businesses you visited today were once startups. Founders from lower-income backgrounds, some of them first-generation Americans, began with nothing but a small space and a vision. But through the free market, these creators were able to provide innovative new services, grow their dreams and work their way to prosperity. The businesses you frequent on Black Friday are reminders that anyone can become successful in the United States.
Black Friday also demonstrates the opportunities that capitalism has created for workers. These businesses were once so small, they could hardly afford staff. Frequently, they started off as family affairs. But as they grew, they created more jobs, providing income for more people. The economy expanded, wealth accumulated and millions of other Americans are now able to feed their own families thanks to these enterprising job creators. And perhaps one day, with the income they are able to set aside from these jobs, these employees will go on to start up successful businesses of their own.
This is a few days in which capitalism and the free-market system operate at their fullest, and while it may be easy to view this day as stressful, it takes on a clearer perspective when viewed next to the Thanksgiving holiday. The things you are doing today are the things you gave thanks for yesterday, and they created the opportunities that have given millions of other families in America reason to be grateful. It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and while the holiday may officially be over, it’s still a good day to celebrate prosperity and the success of the American Dream!