The Moment

Black Friday: New York City

We are all puritans now. over the past two years, Americans have largely stopped spending more money than we had and running up credit-card tabs we couldn't pay off. To a great extent, we've been hectored into behaving more like our parsimonious Pilgrim forebears, whose expression of gratitude we celebrate Nov. 26. But the day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, and it's in need of all the consumption it can get: conspicuous, ridiculous, tasteless or otherwise. It could take a Snuggie Christmas to keep the economy on the mend. Last holiday season, retailers...

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