Capitalism Unhinged: Black Friday Sales Hit the U.S. 

Police shot an alleged shoplifter in Chicago, while a shoplifter shot a shopper in Las Vegas.

The biggest shopping day in the United States, Black Friday, got off to an early start Thursday evening with bargain hunters lining up for hours for malls and chain stores across the country.

Though most of the shopping went off without a hitch, the media focus was on several incidents of violence (some caught on camera) that marred the consumerist frenzy.

Police shot an alleged shoplifter in Chicago, while a shoplifter shot a shopper in Las Vegas.

YouTube videos of mobs of shoppers fighting over electronics began to surface as early as Thursday evening.

There was also controversy this year over early opening times for stores like Wal-Mart across the country.

Many major chains decided to let shoppers in by Thursday evening, meaning that retail workers would miss time with their families.

The earlier opening hours also meant consumers would be tempted to skip quality time at home to line up for bargain prices.

Black Friday was also met with protests at local Wal-Markets around the country, with demonstrators demanding higher wages for employees.

Despite the fighting and the controversy, retail sales are supposed to be up this year compared to last, though sales could come at the expense of profits with retailers slashing prices to attract shoppers.

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