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There are so many stressful moments and fun distractions during the holiday season that it can be easy to forget what it’s really all about: using your hard-earned money to purchase goods and services that will stimulate the economy in a sluggish fourth financial quarter. Some people will say that Thanksgiving is about coming together to be grateful for the people in our lives, and the blessings that we have, but they are sadly misguided.
It is about gratitude, yes, but gratitude for a certain kind of magic that passes undetected through the air. I’m talking about the magic of the Invisible Hand, which not only guides supply and demand to equilibrium but also pats us on the head and insures that we all remain perfectly happy within our capitalist system. One day I hope to meet the Invisible Hand, and shake his or her hand, assuming that he or she has one to shake.
Until then, all I can do is honor holiday traditions by paying slightly more for things before Black Friday and slightly less for things on Black Friday. This year, I’ve got my eye on a number of items: a pair of shoes that are similar to but a bit different from some shoes I already own; a balaclava with a pompom on top, so it doesn’t look like I’m about to rob a bank when I wear it; and a pair of dark-purple corduroy trousers that I’m fairly certain I can pull off. If anyone wants to make me—and, concurrently, the economy—very happy, please feel free to purchase those items and send them to me, with gift receipts in case I change my mind.
If you’re taking a break from trying to figure out which pair of shoes you’d like to get for me on Black Friday, maybe you’d like to pass some time looking at these cartoons about the wonder of the shopping season.