Friday, December 11, 2009

'The red tornado is Santa Claus'

I saw this book cover photo by the Associated Press on the wire, smiled, then wished I had it to review.

Not only am I feeling a little Scrooge-like (which will happen when you have a secondary job in retail during the holidays) at this point in time, but I also agree with the author's premise: That a lot of the gifts we give just become clutter in someone else's closet.
From The Associated Press' Bookshelf Roundup:

TITLE: Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for the Holidays

AUTHOR: Joel Waldfogel

PRICE: $9.95

SUMMARY: This 186-page pocketbook measures just 4 by 6 inches in size, and invites readers to think just as small when it comes to holiday excess. Joel Waldfogel, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, goes beyond the obvious in arguing against habitual gift-giving.

Buying a tie that Dad will never wear or a toy that a child may use once, will hurt more than just your pocketbook and add to household clutter. Waldfogel argues all those ill-chosen gifts damage the economy, whether they're purchased using credit or not. He calculates waste of $85 billion each winter from holiday gift giving's failure at "allocating resources" — getting stuff to the right people who can actually use or enjoy it.

QUOTE: "The red tornado is Santa Claus. And despite the warm feeling he evokes in children, his tornado of giving does a perennially poor job of matching stuff with people. In so doing, he destroys a lot of value."

PUBLISHER: Princeton University Press

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