Thursday, December 26, 2013

The economics of Christmas

It's not often that someone else writes a post I genuinely envy. But John Carney has put together a brilliant economic satire of various writers and their competing perspectives through the lens of Christmas: 
The Christmas equivalence theorem
By Robert Barro, Wall Street Journal
While it's understandable that young people across America hope that their lives will be enriched by a sudden influx of toys and sugarplums on December 25, it is incumbent on grown-ups to realize the truth about this Keynesian scheme. It has been demonstrated time and again that Christmas cannot add to the store of toys of the nation or even a single household. Households experiencing a surge in gifts on Christmas day compensate by withholding gifts in the future. That is, gifts that are "spent" on Christmas are saved during the remainder of the year. So each Christmas gift isn't really so much given as borrowed from the future. Sorry kids, Santa isn't so much bringing you presents as stealing presents you would have received in the future.

Rudolph's Ruddy Nose (Wonkish)

By Paul Krugman, New York Times
Joe Weisenthal has a terrific take on the growth of unemployment in the North Pole. As is well known, reindeer unemployment has surged. Yet the Very Serious Elves who promised that sleigh austerity would rapidly bring growth back to the Pole have learned nothing.

But it's not just the elves. Even economists, who should know better, go on insisting that we need to shrink Santa's route now despite high reindeer unemployment. Some continue to insist that there just is a skill mismatch in the Pole economy, so that we have no choice but to allow the diminutive Rudolph resources go unemployed. This truly is the dark age of North Pole economics. Imagine for a moment that the pole suffered from an immense foggy night. Everyone would agree in that case that we could put Rudolph's red nose to good use. I know it drives people crazy when I mention that a crisis can be good for aggregate demand—but everyone who disagrees with me is already crazy, so who cares?

The dirty secret of North Pole's success

By Steve Sailer,
There appears to be a silent rule among pundits—all of whom secretly read me—that we not mention immigration and the North Pole in the same sentence. The truth is that the success of Santa's operation up there demonstrates that the accepted orthodoxy on immigration is 100 percent wrong. For as long as anyone can remember, there's been zero immigration to the North Pole—yet the economy thrives, the elves have a thriving culture and there is very little social strife. All that is supposed to be impossible in a monoculture.

But, of course, you're not supposed to notice these hate-facts.

Open Borders: Why should they stop at Christmas?

By Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution
Every year the American government briefly relaxes its stranglehold on our borders to permit the entrance of Santa Claus and his team of reindeer. If this is a good thing on Christmas, imagine how much better it would be if we made this our year round policy? Have you ever eaten in an Elven restaurant? The candy canes are sublime.

While there are some who think that competition with elf workers would impoverish American workers, there is not a lot of evidence to support this. In fact, the toy making of the elves would likely be complimentary to native production. What's more, the wealth generated by elven labor would add to economic growth.
Now that is really funny and very well done. It's a pity he didn't include McRapey, although I suppose it's hard to satirize self-satire.

Santa's Straight, White, Cis-Male Privilege
By John Scalzi, Whatever 
"I’m a jolly old elf. I’m one of those elves who likes to force myself into houses without their owner's consent or desire. The details of how I do this are not particularly important at the moment — although I love when you try to make distinctions about “forced entry” or “legitimate intrusion” because that gives me all sorts of wiggle room — but I will tell you one of the details about why I do it: I like to eat pie.



Anonymous Alexander December 26, 2013 10:45 AM  

Unfair Vox.

If Scalzi is trying to crawl down a chimney, the poor fellow needs all the wiggle room he can get.

Anonymous bob k. mando December 26, 2013 10:46 AM  

you didn't quote the "I prefer that the Fed create a presents futures market" line.

what, are you trying to prove you don't read Scott Sumner?

Scott Sumner. isn't he the guy who wears red glasses?

Anonymous Earl December 26, 2013 11:29 AM  

Santa's Woes with the NSA; by Vox Day of WND.
This year Santa has been unable to deliver the goods. Whether being nagged by his obese wife, or harassed by his Elven Labor Union , he has clearly fallen behind. Although Santa has worked with the NSA in the past to generate his naughty lists, their relationship has been deeply stressed since the NSA skewed all Christians and Republicans onto the naughty list. Santa doesn't have a prayer to complete production and distribution this year; he doesn't have a prayer because God doesn't give a flying frozen falling reindeer shit from the stratosphere about him.

Anonymous scoobius dubious December 26, 2013 11:32 AM  

The whole thing is a riff on Max Beerbohm. Not that that diminishes its coolness, just thought you should be in on the macro-level joke.

Anonymous David of One December 26, 2013 12:12 PM  

Related ...

Continue to Pay Up Rabbiting Rabbits! Six more days to get your fluffy tails used by your illustrious rabbit leader.

At least as rabbits, you are always on all fours anyway ... at least until you decide to stand-up like men and women.


Blogger Glen Filthie December 26, 2013 12:24 PM  

This is an especially appropriate Christmas treat:

Anonymous re allow anonymous comments December 26, 2013 4:24 PM  

maybe he didn't include scalzi because nobody knows who he is, or cares about anything he says, except our host

Anonymous VD December 26, 2013 5:11 PM  

maybe he didn't include scalzi because nobody knows who he is, or cares about anything he says, except our host

Well, there is that too....

Anonymous CarpeOro December 26, 2013 6:14 PM  

Similar to my comment that most times a hacker would break into a major corporation, see the utter chaos and figure someone had beaten him there, parodying Scalzi would kind of seem like a waste of time. It's just that bad. I don't even bother to look at the links to it any more.

Anonymous Luke December 26, 2013 6:21 PM  

Alexander December 26, 2013 10:45 AM
"Unfair Vox.

If Scalzi is trying to crawl down a chimney, the poor fellow needs all the wiggle room he can get."

No problem with the fit (gut or swollen head) for Scalzi.
He just turns into his gaseous form first.

(Reference is to fantasy role-playing games and vampires turning into mist both at will and when grievously injured.)

Anonymous Steve Canyon December 27, 2013 2:32 AM  

Hope he's not wearing his favorite dress when he comes down the chimney...

Don't think anyone wants to see that.

Anonymous David of One December 27, 2013 8:32 AM  


I had only one sip of my coffee and now that mental image! What the heck!?


My you dream about that tonight!

Anonymous Anonymous December 27, 2013 5:08 PM  

And a Colombian take on Christmas


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