“It’s, well, Christmas all over again. The Grinch is trying to steal our holiday. It’s been so beautiful, the nation comes together, we sing Christmas carols, we give gifts to each other, we have lighted trees, and it’s just a beautiful thing. Atheists don’t like our happiness, they don’t want you to be happy, they want you to be miserable. They’re miserable, so they want you to be miserable. So they want to steal your holiday away from you.” — Pat Robertson, on The 700 Club, gearing up for another War on Christmas.
Maybe the real “war” on Christmas can be found in out-of-control consumerism:
In terms of income inequality and cheap prices at Walmart, “the four Walton’s who rank in Forbes’ list of the wealthiest in the country are worth almost as much as the bottom half of all Americans…. their wealth comes at a price to taxpayers. One study found that California Wal-Mart workers were 40 percent more likely to be on public assistance, which costs taxpayers $86 million a year.”
The protests on Black Friday were an attempt to call attention to how Walmart shoppers contribute to workers low wages — and to their own low pay – by further enriching and subsidizing greedy employers like the Walton family.
- Reuters: Walmart protests draw crowds BUT SHOPPERS UNDETERRED: Protesters demanding higher wages and better healthcare for hourly workers thronged to Walmart stores across the country, though there was no evidence they disrupted operations for the start of the crucial holiday shopping season.
- Businessweek: Wal-Mart Union Protests FAIL TO DETER BARGAIN-SEEKERS: Jamie Walsh faced a Black Friday dilemma: take advantage of Wal-Mart’s deals at the Salem, New Hampshire, store or support union-backed protesters demanding better pay and benefits. In the end, the deals won the day.
- Chicago Tribune: Walmart protests draw crowds, SHOPPERS LARGELY UNFAZED: Dozens of local workers, and hundreds nationally, took advantage of Black Friday crowds and camera crews at major retailers like Walmart to call for wage increases. But there was little evidence that the chanting disrupted holiday shoppers.
After the protests, will people “now link Walmart’s low prices to ‘a circumstance where taxpayers are subsidizing Walton’s billion dollars of profits‘” — and even if they do, will they even care if they can buy another cheap tv?
Where’s the “spirit” of Christmas in Black Friday?