Moving on from my earlier blog post on the meaning of Christmas, I wonder if The Grinch has got to Ghanaian President, John Atta Mills this Christmas? He’s refusing to accept Christmas presents from well-wishers this year, because he says they may be intended to corrupt him. A spokesman for the President said he felt it was better not to accept them, as the givers may be seeking something in return.
It seems that Mr Atta Mills isn’t the only one with an axe to grind on the giving of presents. Joel Waldfogel has provided an economic argument for not giving gifts this year. His theory – outlined in ‘Scroogenomics’ – illustrates how consumer spending generates vast amounts of economic waste. He goes to far as to say it’s an an orgy of value destruction’.
His senitments are shared by The Maryland Gazette. In the paper’s Editorial, it says: ‘There’s nothing wrong with gift-giving, as long as we don’t let it blind us to the more important things that no one has marked off 50 percent at the mall’. Prospect magazine has gone along with the same line.
Neil Reyolds clearly thinks the opposite. He says there is real economic value in giving.
So where do you stand on this? No doubt many of you will be giving presents to your nearest and dearest this year. Why is that? Do you feel obliged to do so? Are you hoping for great gifts in return? What are your real motives for gift giving? Go on …. be honest!