Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for the Holidays

Book - 2009
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Economist Joel Waldfogel illustrates how Christmas consumer spending generates vast amounts of economic waste--to the tune of $85 billion each winter, arguing that it's time to think twice before buying gifts for the holidays.
Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2009
ISBN: 9780691142647
Branch Call Number: 339.47 W163s 2009
Characteristics: 173 p. ; 16 cm


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Chapel_Hill_KenMc Dec 14, 2014

I think there are better arguments for toning down the commercialism and consumption around Christmas. Waldfogel, an economist, brings in abstract concepts such as "satisfaction value," and attempts to quantify some rather intangible characteristics of gift giving. This just proves that economists aren't like the rest of us. But on his argument's own merits, he completely misses the value that giving gifts bestows on the giver--even if the gift itself isn't something especially desirable to the recipient. The book does have some intriguing facts about holiday consumption, and some interesting history. D you think that this over-consumption is something new? "There are worlds of money wasted, at this time of year, in getting things that nobody wants, and nobody cares for after they are got." That's Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1850!


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