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Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for the Holidays [Format Kindle]

Joel Waldfogel

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

Christmas is a time of seasonal cheer, family get-togethers, holiday parties, and-gift giving. Lots and lots--and lots--of gift giving. It's hard to imagine any Christmas without this time-honored custom. But let's stop to consider the gifts we receive--the rooster sweater from Grandma or the singing fish from Uncle Mike. How many of us get gifts we like? How many of us give gifts not knowing what recipients want? Did your cousin really look excited about that jumping alarm clock? Lively and informed, Scroogenomics illustrates how our consumer spending generates vast amounts of economic waste--to the shocking tune of eighty-five billion dollars each winter. Economist Joel Waldfogel provides solid explanations to show us why it's time to stop the madness and think twice before buying gifts for the holidays.

When we buy for ourselves, every dollar we spend produces at least a dollar in satisfaction, because we shop carefully and purchase items that are worth more than they cost. Gift giving is different. We make less-informed choices, max out on credit to buy gifts worth less than the money spent, and leave recipients less than satisfied, creating what Waldfogel calls "deadweight loss." Waldfogel indicates that this waste isn't confined to Americans--most major economies share in this orgy of wealth destruction. While recognizing the difficulties of altering current trends, Waldfogel offers viable gift-giving alternatives.

By reprioritizing our gift-giving habits, Scroogenomics proves that we can still maintain the economy without gouging our wallets, and reclaim the true spirit of the holiday season.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 404 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 187 pages
  • Editeur : Princeton University Press (5 octobre 2009)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004EYT8AQ
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°330.596 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Commentaires en ligne

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Amazon.com: 3.8 étoiles sur 5  27 commentaires
48 internautes sur 55 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Finally, Someone Willing to Stand Up and Point Out the White Elephant in the Room 25 novembre 2009
Par Wildness - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Finally, someone willing to stand up and point out the white elephant in the room... This is a refreshing book for its honesty and frankness. I have tried to have this conversation with my family for a few years, but to only find deaf ears on the subject.

In a perfect world, everyone would put a lot of thought and effort into their gift buying decisions. But that doesn't happen; not to belittle the efforts that people make, which are often very much in earnest, but the average person is likely so caught up in their own day-to-day life that they really aren't as in tune with the people they know as they think. Even family members rarely truly know what others like or want - ask any teenager on that one.

As someone who has spent his adult life trying to make very personal gift choices, I have come to learn two valuable things: One, even when I think I know someone well, I still don't live inside of that person's head and thus can never truly look at something from his or her perspective, and never fully know how much or little they appreciated it; and two, since about the age of twelve, I have rarely received gifts that I valued as much as the gift giver probably expected (and most often, I have found the gifts more unwanted than anything and a waste of the natural resources used to make them from my personal world view).

Whether the giver has been family or friend or lover, unless it was something I had already expressly showed a desire for, the gifts have most often missed the mark; and sometimes when asked for specific gift ideas, the buyer chooses a different brand or version (sometimes even a more expensive option) thinking it just as good, when in fact is not what I wanted, which leads to disappointment. I greatly dislike the whole gift idea list as it proves the point - if I have to give you a list (and vice-versa) I am better off just buying it for myself as would anyone I would be buying gifts for.

The best gift is the one that is least expected; one, because since it is not expected, disappointment is not likely; and two, because the gift given unexpectedly is often the one that has had the most thought put into.

Since our society is not likely to reverse course in the foreseeable future and remove the expectations of Christmas gift giving (and return to a celebration of the season as in olden days - we're talking hundreds of years here), I believe that the gift card is the absolute best solution and will be the only thing I list to my family (I only provide the list because ignoring the repeated requests for one is usually more effort than just providing one), and is likely the only gifts I will be giving this year - luckily, I know exactly where my family likes to shop AND they know exactly what they want or need.

There is one other option, and that is addressed well in a great companion book to this one: The Hundred Dollar Holiday by Bill McKibben: Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case For A More Joyful Christmas. In this nice little book, Bill McKibben calls for a less wasteful Christmas that is more focused on the joy of spending time with family and friends and where the gift giving is restricted to a family total of $100 and where handmade gifts are strongly preferred.

In the end, I have changed my entire approach to life and it is centered around Less Stuff, More Experience.

UPDATE: There has been a lot of action in the comments area for reviews for this book, and it has mostly focused on the central theme of the book: whether to give gifts or not. I just wanted to add a little to my review by saying that this book also spends some time analyzing Christmas spending as whole from the use of credit cards to finance Christmas gift buying (as compared to "out-dated" ideas such as Christmas Clubs and Layaway) to whether the thought that the United States is the most consumptive nation during Christmas is true (should I ruin it for you? You might me surprised by the answers to this question). This book is more than a one dimensional look at Christmas.


A Guide to my Book Rating System:

1 star = The wood pulp would have been better utilized as toilet paper.
2 stars = Don't bother, clean your bathroom instead.
3 stars = Wasn't a waste of time, but it was time wasted.
4 stars = Good book, but not life altering.
5 stars = This book changed my world in at least some small way.
13 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 I am on your side Joel! 30 novembre 2009
Par M. Becker - Publié sur Amazon.com
I loved this book! It was a very interesting read. The things that mean the most to us in life, especially as we reach our ending years, are not the gifts we were showered with, but the people who have entered our lives and brought enrichment, from them being who they are. The thought of someone using their hard earned money to buy you a gift, sometimes out of their thought of obligation, is just off kilter to me. I say use your hard earned money and spend it on your own trinkets of happiness, and just give me your friendship, love, and kindness, so to make me a better person; no gift you give me will do that. Your thoughts of wanting to give to me is all the gift I need.
14 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Refreshing Antidote to the Buy Buy Buy Media 1 décembre 2009
Par E. Marks - Publié sur Amazon.com
This book is brilliant. Look around you during the holidays. Most of us are actively trying to get "stuff" out of our lives. Clear the drawers, attic, garage, basement. The issue is not needing more stuff. The issue is needing less stuff. And then people give us more stuff for gifts. Unless the gift giver has brilliant mind reading powers, the "more stuff" they get for us is unlikely to be anything we really want, let alone need. All these gift givers are spending money to buy more stuff in a world that is already overflowing with stuff. (See "The Story of Stuff" on YouTube if you have not seen it before.)

Joel Waldfogel applies economic theory to our intuition in showing that the media and corporate hype around gift giving is misplaced. His book explains on many levels that conventional gift giving creates a huge amount of wasted time and money, both in America and abroad.

Joel says that Store Gift Cards area good solution for people who can use them.

And Joel says that for others, Charity Gift Cards are a great idea. As the creator of TisBest Charity Gift Cards, I am thrilled to see a Wharton professor using economics to back the Charity Gift Card idea - an idea whose time has come.

Thank you Joel for a refreshing book in the midst of holiday consumption hype!
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 About Time... 8 avril 2010
Par Kimberly A. Paternoster - Publié sur Amazon.com
I have one family that we have made a pact NOT to buy gifts for at Christmas, and one family I cannot get to stop buying gifts at Christmas. Every year, I have extreme anxiety over gift buying for the one family, and every year I'm sure I fall short at what I give. Why do people feel the need to buy gifts??? For the person who thinks Christmas is about gift giving and the author missed the point, I think you are missing the point. Christ wanted people to love each other, first and foremost, and Christmas is one time the entire year where I feel MORE love for my community than the rest of the year. And I'm not even Christian! It's not about money - it's about love, friendship, being together, and enjoying family. Thanks for writing this book.
7 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The morning after... 3 décembre 2009
Par Mark J. Conrad - Publié sur Amazon.com
Joel Waldfogel is really onto something with his book, Scroogenomics. The
chapter entitled, Have Yourself a Borrowed Little Christmas really caused
me to reflect on the days when layaway or Christmas Clubs for saving were
common. Those made so much sense, yet today people find themselves feeling
the pressure of holiday gift giving without the forethought to put money
aside ahead of time - hence the morning after regret and heaviness of
debt. When you go on to consider that the value of the gifts you gave is
substantially less, on average, than what you spent, the whole picture
looks rather grim. Where is the "holiday spirit" in that??

Fortunately, Scroogenomics offers a great gift solution: Charitable
giving. One of my family's traditions is to put together donations of
food and miscellaneous necessities for distribution at local food banks.
This is a family project that is festive and fun. I don't know anyone who
has accrued credit card debt for charitable giving - and giving represents
a feel-good opportunity to remember what the holidays are supposed to be
about: a celebration of giving and family. And that's something to feel
good about the morning after!
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