While Black Friday may be all about the deals and going out after Thanksgiving to work off some calories walking through the mall, the biggest shopping day of the year also plays a role in the overall economy of the United States. We are going to take a quick look at the history of Black Friday so that we can try to come to a better understanding of how the day after Thanksgiving affects other aspects of American life.Short History of Black FridayAccording to various sources, the term Black Friday was first introduced by the New York Times in 1975, referring to the day that retailers were finally in the black when it came to their numbers. However, over the years the day after Thanksgiving was picked up on as something that could be marketed – used to sell even more items. Gradually, price wars came into play, with companies trying to always up the ante and sell more items. This is where we are today.The Effects of Black Friday on the EconomyIn some ways the shopping event is very good for the economy – as long as people pay for the items with cash and don’t rack up expensive credit card charges that they can’t really afford. If too many people extend their credit over the limit buying things they really don’t need, it could have a disastrous effect on the economy of the United States.There is also the question of fraud, which increases with more people shopping. Each year, retailers lose billions of dollars to theft and fraud. Black Friday can have a negative effect on these numbers, causing them to go up, with stores losing more and more money the bigger the day after Thanksgiving gets. This may be changing, however, thanks to the Internet.Enter Cyber Monday – Better Deals?Now, in the 21st century, with the Internet really starting to blossom, more and more people are looking forward to Cyber Monday more than the other shopping day. By being able to shop online, they can avoid all the long lines, all the people, and all the hassles that come with big sales that are hyped up before they happen. In addition, retailers can have a better chance at preventing fraud when people shop online. There are other costs savings as well, which could be passed on to the customers.As you can clearly see, Black Friday affects the economy in many different ways.