The Grinch saves Christmas
In "The Grinch saves Christmas," Christopher Shea asks if the country would be better off if Christmas shoppers stayed home. Does it make sense to support retailers by buying your friends and family gifts they might not want?
I believe the country would be better off if we did curtail retail spending. I agree that a dollar spent on anything boosts the economy. However, there are a couple of glitches. As we know, most of the jobs created by our holiday spending are overseas. Thus, the US economy reaps a diminished advantage. In addition, since we choose to purchase "junk" , we support a "junk economy". People are not paid well to make and move trinkets. There is little R&D investment. We pay an opportunity cost in relation to the goods we do not purchase, the quality goods and new inventions we do not encourage. Personally, I would like to see higher taxes, lower government debt, and spending on programs which benefit the poor. These programs would create jobs for people. Medicare and Medicaid have financed the country's health care system. Defense spending financed the country's high tech and aero sector. Eisenhower's defense highways built Detroit. Bush and others need to realize that we need a national policy, not a makeshift economic policy. The dollar is weakening because other nations understand this and use their monetary and fiscal policies in support of national goals. In the USA, we get caught up in materialism and are blind to all we are losing as a nation.
You have to buy your friends and family something, and you try your best to give them something they want. It doesn't make sense to spend beyond your means though. If you can only afford a $25 gift or a $10 gift then that's how much you should spend. The government is partly to blame for the over-spending. People follow their leaders. Since our leaders are overspending on everything from the Big Dig to the Hubble Telescope, it follows that the people also overspend. A suitable replacement for that worn-out highway should have cost 10% of what we actually paid. Ditto for the space telescope. If we got rid of the unfair income tax, government spending would drop accordingly, and so would consumer spending. There was an accepted medieval doctrine that "The King may not rule his people by other laws than they assent unto, and therefore he may set upon them no imposition, i.e. tax, without their assent." The people will eventually want to get rid of the income tax, and according to that doctrine, away it goes. We should create a museum to preserve for future generations how the tax system was in this half-century. In the lobby of the JFK building there were hundreds of different tax forms. That display should go into the museum. Any other ideas for the museum?
Shoppers should not "stay home", per se, but rather curtail their spending to include only those gifts deemed particularly thoughtful or necessary. This notion of "spending as much as so-and-so spent on my gift" is not what the holiday season is about.
What a great question! Just what America needs to ask themselves at a time like this. This is a perfect example of a corporate media feeding America with violent garbage. Can we all see the manipulative writing going on in this article? More xmas shopping = better economy = more jobs....??If people dont have jobs how can they spend more money?? And to mention this insanity of buying more to make more is very naive. This is not logical. An economy means nothing unless you explain what kind of economy you're dealing with. Christopher Shea is making our world seem very small when he generalizes about logic and how we should perceive capitalism. This is not insightful at all. There is nothing to be learned from this article. This is nonsense that everyone already knows about. Christopher Shea should get some culture and learn something new. Get out of the corporate world and get a life!
I think that the only person that we should buy gifts for is the great economist Dan Demille. His message of consumerism for the sake of consumerism is at the heart of nation's economic well being. Where would America be with out more stuff. A gift for Demille is a gift for America!!!
Yes, I bevieve that everyone should stay home with tere family. We should all not become targets for the Al Qaeda
Christmas season is the most beautiful time of the year. The TRUE meaning of Christmas is giving. Hence the old addage Tis better to give than receive. It's the thought that counts NOT the quantity. Most important of all PLEASE remember those who would have nothing if not for you! A small toy or can of food. Perhaps that extra turkey you received from work. What will you do with two birds? Unfortunately the season has become TOO commercialized!! Exchange gifts, but DON'T overspend. Forget the commercialization and purchase what YOU feel appropriate. ONLY spend what you CAN afford. DO NOT CHARGE IT!!! If you are unable to pay cash, DON't buy it!!! DON't pay for your generosity for the entire coming year!!! Teach the little ones the TRUE meaning of this beautiful holiday. Wishing all of you a Very Merrry Christmas and A Happy New Year.
Buying anyone anything they might not want doesn't make sense. How lazy can we be? It doesn't take that much to go to an independent local retailer who will greatly benefit from your spending, rather than the Big Box retailers who will only marginally benefit from your spending. And if you don't know what they would want, why are you shopping for them anyway? Spending money on someone just because you think it helps the economy is foolish. Find a nice card and put a check in it, and don't waste your gas and theirs driving to the mall!
I firmly believe that too much is spent for gifts and that people should stay home for the Holidays. Terrorist threats should be taken serious as one more attack will be devasting to our economy. Staying off the roads and planes will provide the safety required for all of us to combat the worldwide menance.
The act of giving, not the gift, is the sentiment of the holiday. It is shameful that we replace true sentiment with handing each other trinkets and gift cards. Retailers have successfully brainwashed us. Friends/family likely do not really want or need what you get them anyway. That is why I shop at Job Lot and not the Atrium. And it does not make sense to shop for the sake of retailers - the retail economy is not suffering. Mall parking lots are crammed year-round.