By Raynard Jackson
As we celebrate Thanksgiving, most of us will use this time to reflect on the current state of our lives and the things we are most thankful for.
Unfortunately, an increasing number of people are using this day to complain about having to work on this holiday. I am totally confused by this feigned outrage at having to work on a U.S. holiday. These protesters seem to be focused on big box retail stores such as Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc. I don’t think it is coincidental that these stores are all non-union stores. It has been alleged that many of these protesters are merely fronts for various unions.
A California Target employee started an online petition against her employer and has received more than 100,000 signatures so far. The employee stated, “I currently work two jobs, substitute teach and work Target at nights and weekends, so having Thanksgiving off really does give me that one day to relax and visit family I otherwise have no time to see.”
What does Target have to do with this? No one is forcing this person to work two jobs. We have freedom of choice, not freedom from choice. Not making a choice is a choice in itself.
So this person wants a business to alter their store hours so that people like her can spend time with her family? Really? A business’s first obligation is to make a profit. Without this, employees will have more than enough time to spend with their families because they will be unemployed.
I am really fed up with employees trying to dictate the terms under which they will allow a business to employ them. According to the Economist, retailers make 25 percent of their yearly sales and 60 percent of their profits between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Americans have become so spoiled and so ungrateful. There was a time that a person would be thankful just to have a job; now we have people complaining that their job doesn’t accommodate their lifestyles.
The poorest person in America lives better than the poorest person in Asia, South America, Africa or Europe. In America, we have trash cans to throw away perfectly good food; we have multiple TVs in our homes (all with cable or satellite channels); and many have multiple cars—and we complain simply because we have to work during a holiday.
Those who complain during this time of thanksgiving should be reminded that they always have a choice not to work or to create their own business so they can choose to work whenever they want.
These are the same people who complain about not being paid enough to raise their families, but yet they are willing to turn down the opportunity to work on a holiday where they receive time and a half or double time pay for doing so.
With more than 13 million Americans unemployed, those with a job should indeed be thankful. Business owners want to pay their employees a fair wage, not a livable wage.
A fair wage is a wage that is based on the free market principles of supply and demand. When a business owner is forecasting his or her payroll budget, there is absolutely no consideration given to the number of kids a prospective employee has. The only consideration is the value a prospective employee can bring to one’s business.
So, during this week of Thanksgiving, maybe, just maybe, these Americans who feel the need to complain about working should think about the 13 million Americans who are unemployed.
America is far from being perfect, but we do have a pretty good system here. Our worst day here is better than most people’s best days in other countries and for that, we should all be thankful.
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Web site, www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at raynard1223.