It's Thanksgiving, a day used to be about feeling grateful for what we had but has increasingly become a day about what we're supposed to buy. A number of retailers are opening today, hoping to lure shoppers looking for deals. This has led some to call this a "War on Thanksgiving," insisting that employees are happy to work in the store. As Michael Moore says, "The Thanksgiving Day grinches: Kmart. Old Navy. Toys R Us. Walmart. Best Buy. Sports Authority. J.C. Penney. Kohl's. Macy’s. Sears. Target."
Three states have banned Thanksgiving shopping. The AP reports, "While in other parts of the country retailers will offer holiday deals starting Thursday, most big stores in Rhode Island, Maine and Massachusetts are barred by law from opening on the holiday. It's the legacy of so-called 'blue laws,' which prohibit large supermarkets, big box stores and department stores from opening on Thanksgiving." Still, the vice president of Retailers Association of Massachusetts Bill Rennie said that the closed stores are losing Thanksgiving Day business to neighboring states, "Why not give stores in Massachusetts the option?"
But in the 47 staters where Thanksgiving Day shopping is happening means that millions of people are working. A staggering 71% of Walmart employees will be on the job—it's unclear how many of them need food drives because they are paid so poorly.
According to the LA Times, Walmart says associates working today will get "an additional day's pay, which will equal the worker's average daily pay in the 12 previous weeks." One Walmart store manager in Porter Ranch, CA, where 95% of associates are working, said there will be turkey, sides and desserts in the break room as a meal, "Associates really enjoy that."
There are Black Friday protests are numerous Walmart stores across the country tomorrow. And Pope Francis, in his apostolic exhortation, noted, "The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades."