Tis the Season for Gratuitous Consumption
Source: againstcronycapitalism.orgRecently I wrote a piece entitled Boycott Back Friday. Generally it was well received. We being fans of capitalism and the voluntary exchange of goods and services we made the point that it was entirely reasonable to opt out of the buying frenzy from a pro-market perspective. To value time (time is money) with one’s family and more than standing in line to buy things is the very essence of what a free market is all about.
Yet a few readers took us to task for daring to say that the gluttonous consumption of shiny trinkets on Black Friday was a bad thing. We were besmirching capitalism. That the act of not going shopping with the other credit lemmings was practically un-American. One guy basically equated us to socialists. (Which is pretty damn laughable if you’ve read us for any period of time.)
Many people, both pro-market people and anti-market people, don’t understand the difference between just buying for the sake of buying and buying in a deliberate and conscious way.
To be clear people should be able to spend their money anyway they like, and I mean any way. (So long as they are not hurting others.) If people want to descend on WalMart at midnight (now even earlier than that) they have every right to. If they want a hooker on Christmas Eve, so be it. But I think there is much to be said for just turning one’s back on the entire mess. (Or at least much of it. I will be surfing Amazon at some point next month.)
Governments like the gratuitous consumption of Christmas because it fills the tills. Sales taxes during the holiday season are very important to them. Add the multitude of other revenue streams which flow from the private sector to the state in December, and it’s no wonder there is so much concern in government about how much people are spending during December each year. In addition to the sales taxes, think about the gas taxes, the food taxes (a sales tax yes,) phone taxes, and God knows what other taxes which get a big boost at the end of the year. The bureaucracy needs to make its nut. So sell, sell, sell, buy, buy, buy.
Read the full article at: againstcronycapitalism.com
READ: Conscious Capitalism