A Conservative Letter on Black Friday

Staying true to conservative ideals, and personal fulfillment, on the biggest spending day of the year.

By Mark D. Harris

I hope you had a terrific Thanksgiving, doing typical conservative things like enjoying family and friends, eating well (and probably too much), and giving thanks to God for the amazing blessings that He has given us.

Let’s be sure that we celebrate Black Friday in the same contented, conservative manner:

  1. Don’t spend too much, because we fiscal conservatives are concerned about debt at every level. Fiscal responsibility, after all, starts at home. Proverbs 22:7 reminds us that “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” Individuals, households, companies, corporations, and government at every level and in just about every nation have far too much debt. Economists and policy makers may fantasize that we live in a world in which debt does not matter, but they are wrong. No civilization in history has ever survived unrestrained borrowing. We won’t either.
  2. Don’t spend too much, because the government already takes away too much of our hard-earned money. Purchases come with sales tax. Driving to stores costs gas taxes, and wear and tear on our vehicles results in taxes associated with maintenance and repairs. The government – local, state, and federal – has a thousand ways to dip into our pockets. 
  3. Don’t spend too much, because everything that we buy we then have to transport, store, maintain, use, and finally dispose of. Many things we also have to insure. These activities take our time, our energy, our resources, and our focus, which we could better use having fun with our families, accomplishing important work, and addressing the problems in our communities. 
  4. Don’t spend too much, because stores full of customers requires stores full of employees. These employees therefore can’t be home today enjoying their friends and families. 
  5. Don’t spend too much, because much of what we buy comes from China, and other places that are not our friends. We end up financing those who would do us harm, and threatening our own national security. 
  6. Don’t spend too much, because shopping on Black Friday is stressful. Every year brings tales of customers getting into fist fights (and worse) trying to get the last cheap deal.
  7. Don’t spend too much, because children, other family members, and friends do not need and will not appreciate piles and piles of gifts. Your presence, not presents, is what people need and value in the final analysis.
  8. Don’t spend too much, because even shopping online in our own homes gives windfall profits to Big Tech – companies which are not friends to conservatives, or to average Americans. Our nation and world will do better if we give as little money as possible to billionaires.
  9. Don’t spend too much, because so many things that are good and fun are free or inexpensive. Public libraries, school concerts, local hikes, school and minor league sports are just a few examples.
  10. Don’t spend too much, because our worth is not in the stuff that we have, or don’t have, but because of our position as children of God. 

Enjoy your friends and family. Happy Black Friday.

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Last updated 10 Oct 2022


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Confidence in Hard Economic Times

Hard times are inevitable in every life, but their are ways to weather them.

The chattering class in Washington DC and elsewhere is abuzz with concern about the “fiscal cliff”, involving legislation passed in the summer of 2011 requiring tax increases and spending cuts to decrease the exploding US Federal deficit. The Washington Post suggests that this “fiscal cliff” would raise taxes over $2,000 per year on many middle income families, decrease spending, fray the safety net, and push the US economy into another recession. The “fiscal cliff” is simply the latest in a series of financial troubles that have plagued man throughout history, including such the Dutch Tulip Mania of 1720, the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Great Recession of 2008, and countless others. As always, the media is convulsed with worry, ordinary people differ in their responses, with some feeling helpless, others ambivalent, and a few confident.

Though I have not done formal interviews, those who feel helpless seem to believe that they will lose their jobs, their expenses will skyrocket, and there is nothing that they can do about it. These people wring their hands in fear and impotence and find it harder to function in their day to day lives. Those who are ambivalent usually don’t know what is going on. A few have confidence based on their assumption that everything will turn out fine because it always has in the past.

Continue reading “Confidence in Hard Economic Times”