Mexico: Netizens React to “Good Weekend” Initiative

On November 9, 2011, Mexican President Felipe Calderón announced the implementation of the initiative “Good Weekend : ) the cheapest weekend of the year” (El Buen Fin) [es], which will take place between November 18-21, 2011, and is expected to be repeated in subsequent years.

According to official information [es], the “Good Weekend” consists in the application of discounts in all retail stores as well as the advancement of the year-end bonus for government employees. According to this official source, the idea came from the private sector and will promote the welfare of families, as well as boost all sectors of the economy, creating more jobs and economic growth for the country.

Felipe Calderón's announcement has generated diverse reactions among bloggers and social network users in Mexico. Diego from Blog de Blogs [es] says the announced initiative bears some resemblance to Black Friday (implemented in the United States the day after Thanksgiving). He also doubts that businesses will set effective discounts and questions the timing of the initiative:

Hoy el Presidente Felipe Calderón, presento la iniciativa “El Buen Fin” que viene a ser una copia mexicana de el Black Friday (Viernes Negro) que es el dia que las tiendas en Estados Unidos, ponen grandes ofertas al dia siguiente de el “Dia de Acción de Gracias“.

Supuestamente dice que se pusieron de acuerdo con organizaciones de comercio y servicio que ofrecerán, del 18 al 21 de noviembre, los precios y las tarifas más bajas al año.

A ver si los comercios mexicanos, si le siguen el rollo al presidente, por que al modo un dia antes van a subir los precios, para que con el gran descuento que den durante ese fin de semana, nos sigan costando igual.

La idea es beneficiar al comercio y a los consumidores.

Creo que esto es un signo de miopia política con matices electoreros, haciendo las cosas buenas al final, cuando bien las pudo hacer al principio de su mandato. (sic)

Today President Felipe Calderón presented the initiative “Good Weekend” which is the Mexican copy of Black Friday, the day that stores in the United States offer big sales the day after Thanksgiving.

Supposedly he says they agreed with trade organizations and service organizations and they will offer, from November 18 to 21, the lowest prices and rates of the year.

We'll see if Mexican stores follow through with the President's initiative, because they might raise prices the day before so that with the big discount they offer during that weekend we end up paying the same.

The idea is to benefit commerce and consumers.

I think this is a sign of political myopia with shades of electioneering, doing good things at the end, when he could have done them at the beginning of his term.

Querétaro, México. Image by Flickr user broc7 under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) license

Meanwhile, Eduardo S. H. in El Gerundio del Ocio [es], with an apparently more optimistic tone,  predicts the possible results of the implementation of this initiative:

La iniciativa es sin duda interesante, tanto para los consumidores como para los empresarios y el gobierno mismo. Es decir que esto podría darle empuje a la economía interna, ayudar a las empresas y reducir (o por lo menos estabilizar) la tasa de desempleo en México. Incluso cuando no estoy muy de acuerdo en que se promocione el consumismo, creo que una iniciativa como El Buen Fin, en caso de funcionar correctamente, podría traer algunos ligeros beneficios al país. Después de todo, consumistas ya somos, lo único que nos falta para llegar a los niveles ridículos a los que han llegado en Estados Unidos es más poder adquisitivo.

The initiative is certainly interesting, both for consumers and employers and the government. In other words this could give the domestic economy a boost and help businesses reduce (or at least stabilize) the unemployment rate in Mexico. Even when I don't agree with promoting consumerism, I think an initiative like the Good Weekend, if carried out correctly, could bring the country some small benefits. After all, we are already consumerists, all we need to reach the ridiculous levels of the United States is more purchasing power.

Bombusterrestris1 of La Trapaleta [es] took the opportunity to give readers some suggestions for better shopping.

Compara precios, no te dejes llevar por las emociones, establece prioridades como el pago de tarjetas, ahorra y, por ningún motivo, compres más de lo que puedes pagar, porque ello hipoteca el salario del próximo año.

Compare prices, do not get carried away by emotions, establish priorities such as the payment of credit cards, save money, and under no circumstance buy more than you can afford, because that compromises next year's salary

On Twitter, user Celiaalviso (@Celiaalviso) questions the relevance of the initiative at the expense of a culture that encourages savings:

¿Y si Gobierno Federal mejor fortaleciera la cultura del ahorro en lugar de orquestar “grandes ofertas en tiendas del país”? #BuenFin

Why doesn't the Federal Government instead strengthen the culture of savings instead of orchestrating “big discounts in the country's stores”? #BuenFin [#GoodWeekend]

Other users like Gerson Obrajero (@tlalocman) regretted not being public workers and not benefiting from the “advance” of the bonus to take advantage of discounts:

Yo si planeo comprarme algo en el #BuenFin. Lástima que no sea burócrata para tener algo de aguinaldo en noviembre!

I do plan on buying something on the #BuenFin. Too bad I'm not a bureaucrat to get some of my bonus in November!

Kid Buda (@kidbuda) commented on what an actually “good weekend” would be like for him:

no se…llámenme Hippie o comunista…pero un #BuenFin chido, de a de veras, sería un fin de semana lleno de buena voluntad, generosidad…

I don't know…call me a Hippie or a communist, but a cool #BuenFin, in reality, would be a weekend full of good will, generosity…

On the other hand, without losing sight of the current climate of insecurity in Mexico, Hugo Cedeño Tenorio (@sonidototal) said the following about the initiative announced by the President:

Solo espero que ese tan llamado #buenfin no se convierta en el fin de semana mas violento de todo el sexenio.

I just hope that the so-called #buenfin will not become the administration's most violent weekend.

As seen here, Mexicans’ reactions to this initiative are plural and interesting, although we will have to wait until the last days of the month to see if the objectives for the “Good Weekend” are met.

Lastly, it should be noted that  the “Good Weekend” will not happen at the same time as Black Friday, at least this year, because the 2011 Thanksgiving will be celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday of the month of November, one week after the start of “The God Weekend” in Mexico.

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