From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/25-1
by Danny Schechter
Published on Friday, November 25, 2011 by CommonDreams.org
Today’s the day. It’s “Black Friday” (“black” as in the day our business supposedly go into the black.) This may not have been such a wise use of language since the Wall Street crash of 1929, ushering in the Great Depression, started on a “Black Thursday.”
Throughout America, an advertising-dominated media is plugging all the “bargains” while shoppers, hungry to save a few bucks, in a country where more than half of our families are barely making it, are off to the malls in an annual ritual that each year barely saves the retail outlets but adds costly bills to already squeezed and debt dependent consumers.
The easy availability of credit has created what Robert Manning calls our Credit Card Nation, where we are encouraged to shop until we drop. In the aftermath of the terror attacks of September l1, 2001, recall that President Bush made that point shamelessly when he told the American people that the best way to help in that traumatic period was to go shopping again.
He knew, even if most Americans didn’t, that it is their non-stop consumption that drives the economy. Without it, I guess, the terrorists could have won.
“In fact,” Robert Manning writes in his seminal book on credit cards, “with the ascendance of the post-industrial economy, bank credit cards have become an essential technological and financial tool for commercial transactions as well as an increasingly important macro-economic tool for U.S. policy-makers.”
And that is why this year, lobbyists for the retail shopping industry are begging the Federal Reserve Bank to further cut the costs of debit cards imposed by avaricious banks.
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/25-1