The economics of Christmas

A holiday satire, one that does a good job personifying some of our more prominent online economic commentators:

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.


Is Christmas Deflationary or not?

By Izabella Kaminska, FT Alphaville

As we pointed out quite some time ago, there are serious questions to be raised about the deflationary possibilities of Christmas. 

[The rest of this article is free but you must register with the Financial Times. And later, if you want to read this again, you will have to register again. And again.]


I rode on Santa's sleigh and it was surprisingly comfortable

By Henry Blodget, Business Insider

I have very long legs. The seats are made for jolly old elves. Take a look at all these pictures I took.


Here's what you need to know about this year's big Christmas econ-war

By Joe Weisenthal, Business Insider

[Click to view this 28 page slide show on one page]

Makes a great companion to this list of the 10 least successful holiday specials of all time.

Bob & Carol & Ted & Santa (1973)

This ABC Christmas special featured Santa as a happy-go-lucky swinger who comically wades into the marital bed of two neurotic 70s couples, and also the music of the Carpenters. It was screened for television critics but shelved by the network when the critics, assembled at ABC’s New York offices, rose as one to strangle the producers at the post-viewing interview. Joel Siegel would later write, “When Santa did his striptease for Carol while Karen Carpenter sang ‘Top of the World’ and peered through an open window, we all looked at each other and knew that we television critics, of all people, had been called upon to defend Western Civilization. We dared not fail.”


Noam Chomsky: Deconstructing Christmas (1998)

This PBS/WGBH special featured linguist and social commentator Chomsky sitting at a desk, explaining how the development of the commercial Christmas season directly relates to the loss of individual freedoms in the United States and the subjugation of indigenous people in southeast Asia. Despite a rave review by Z magazine, musical guest Zach de la Rocha and the concession by Chomsky to wear a seasonal hat for a younger demographic appeal, this is known to be the least requested Christmas special ever made.

I'm likely the exception, but I'd watch some of these if they were made.