Dear American capitalism, my Black Friday idea is worth $100 million

Here’s a for-reals, not-made-up headline:

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There is nothing special about this photo. Using your metal box, the one that has the World Wide Internetting in it, you’ll be able to find many photos just like this. Come to think of it, you’re reading this, which means you’re already using your little metal box of Interweb. Good for you!

Here’s how it works. You hear on the radio that someone has spent 12 days in line to be first in the store on Black Friday. So you go to your Internet machine and type the words


and, wouldn’t you know, you find a bunch of photos of different people doing just that.

Here’s Mr. Brian McCauley, waiting on his lounge chair in front of the Best Buy. His plan, according to the article, is to buy a $199 TV.


If you are like me (and I’m truly sorry for you if you are) these photos will trigger something I call logicalling. You see, this website is primarily about learnings and sleutherings—or, as they are more commonly known, getting to the bottom of things. And there is only one way to get to the bottom of this Black Friday stuff.

Math Time

This article is about education. Allow me to explain.

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The headline above is pointing out two really big problems. The first is that America is failing at math and science, and the second is that rather than deal with the problem head-on, America’s brats are going straight to the media and blabbering. Which is a totalling bratty thing to do.

As a result of my sleutherings, I’ve come up with an idea that addresses Black Friday and math, all at the same time. And that idea is to use people waiting in line for Black Friday as math problems. Like this.

Mr. Brian McCauley of Greenville, South Carolina, spends 336 hours waiting to buy a $199 television. Applying the state’s minimum wage, calculate the opportunity cost of Mr. Brian McCauley’s foregone time, and use this amount to determine the true cost of this television.

This is both a math and an economic question. It’s also a trick question, because South Carolina is one of the five awesome states that does not have a minimum wage.

So the math could look something like this

336 hours x 0 dollars = zilcho

This assumes that Brian McCauley’s time is worth nothing. And maybe it actually is, seeing that he’s willing to piss away entire days of it to save a few dollars on a TV.

Hm. That seems kind of harsh and unfair, so let’s give Brian a big raise, up to the federal minimum wage of $7.25. I mean, America is the land of opportunity after all, so an infinity percent raise seems like a nice thing to do.

336 hours x $7.25 dollars = $2,436

Okay, but even in hardworking South Carolina, no one is putting in 24-hour days. Carolingians, or Carolininjas, or whatever they call themselves, have to eat and sleep. So let’s treat those two weeks as standard work weeks, subtracting weekends and evenings and breaks. That leaves us with the standard full-time 40-hour work week.

40 x 2 x 7.25 = $580

In other words, Brian McCauley has given up at minimum $580 to wait in a line. Let’s say the TV ordinarily sells for $400 (plus $24 in state sales tax), not $199. That means he could pay full price ($424) and still have $156 in his pocket that he doesn’t have because he waited in a queue instead.

Then again, maybe he enjoys that sort of thing. I myself have never BestBuyCamped, so for all I know I’m missing out on one of life’s special pleasures.

Which leads to my other idea.

Best Buy should open a camping division and charge campers $290 a week

Because, according to Americans, camping at Best Buy is worth $41.42 a day.

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I mean, wake up Best Buy! Some people have been scamming you for free camping for a decade. This is billions of dollars of lost revenue.

Okay, forget about math and science and economics. This is actually a post about business.

Here’s how it works

First, you have no minimum wage, because, come on, who doesn’t want to intern at the Best Buy?

Then, loss leaders—like $199 TVs.

Then, Black Friday Camping Fees.

I have many other money-making ideas just like this, and not only for Best Buy. I figure my camping idea alone is worth making me CEO and giving me a yearly bonus of $100 million.

So, dear American Capitalism, if you want me to share my many money-making ideas (and you totally should), just send me an email or write me a note on a $100 bill. I’m looking at you, Walmart, and wondering why you’re not implementing my WalMart In-store Triage Health Insurance Premium today.

American Capitalism: you can follow me on Twitter and do a leveragy buy-out of my new book


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