Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Working holidays should be choice

Working holidays should be choice

(My Clovis News Journal column for November 29, 2013)

To shop, or not to shop. That was the question.

Did you go shopping for early "Black Friday" specials on Thanksgiving Day? If so, what brought you to the stores? The deals or something else? Perhaps your family is unbearable and you'd prefer the company of strangers. Or perhaps they would prefer you find something to keep you out of their hair for a few hours. Or, maybe your family, like mine, sometimes finds another day to be more convenient for the celebration, leaving the official holiday open.

Many people got very upset over stores being open this year. What bothers me about stores deciding to open on Thanksgiving Day isn't that management chooses to open; it's that the employees of those stores usually didn't sign up for this and have other, more important, obligations to fulfill.

Sure, they knew they would have to work according to their boss' wishes, rather than their own preferences, when they accepted the job, but take a job with the knowledge that it is going to be closed on certain days, and when the boss changes his mind, you might not be happy. For good reason.

A business owner should be free to decide how to run the business and when to be open- although that isn't usually the case anymore, anyway. Plus, in a free society there would be plenty of jobs available, and stiff competition for workers, so people would never feel trapped in a job where they feel exploited.

But America is not a free society; it is a society burdened with crony corporatism- "fascism" is the proper term. The arrangement they have entered into with the State allows "bad actors" to escape the consequences of their actions.

In the past, when I wasn't able to be with friends or family, I have chosen to work on holidays. It was better than sitting around feeling lonely. My preference would be to see stores offer employees the same opportunity to choose- or close for the holiday. I doubt anyone would need a fully staffed store on a major holiday, and letting people sign up to voluntarily work that day- perhaps with a financial incentive- would be enough to get things done.

Personally, I probably wouldn't choose to go shopping on either Christmas or Thanksgiving; I have better things to do. If I didn't, I still doubt I would go shopping because I don't want to encourage stores to force employees to work major holidays against their will. I hope people will consider where their choices lead.



  1. Thanksgiving is collectivist bullshit. It was created my a mass murderer named Lincoln to encourage his subject/slaves to worship the omnipotent state.
    Why recognize ANY state created holiday? Create your own!
    The idea of a day to meet with family and friends to give thanks is a good idea, but why do it when the state designates to do so? Pick your own date!
    Hell, why not have it every damn week?
    By the way, I worked "thanksgiving" morning and I was damn sure thankful I did!

  2. I don't think Lincoln created it; he just "nationalized" it. Stuff like "Memorial Day", MLK Jr's birthday, "Labor Day"- those are government created "holidays". Some of the others would still exist whether or not the state recognized them. Those are the ones I like.

    I sorta enjoy celebrating holidays at the same time lots of other people do. I have some "personal holidays" I celebrate alone, and it is just not much fun. There is a connection that is missing. Shared festivals have been understood to be psychologically/socially/emotionally important to humans since the first solstice or ?? was celebrated.

    There are plenty of "holidays" I ignore, and a few I enjoy celebrating. But I certainly am not bothered by people who ignore them all- it's a big part of the reason I think letting people choose would work pretty well.

  3. Loyola prof. Tom Dilorenzo wrote on on the Lincoln scam of nationalizing Thanksgiving in exaltation of the all-powerful State this Thanksgiving day. Enjoy:

  4. rkshanny- That was very good. Thanks for posting that link.