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Prof. Scrooge from the U of M: Christmas gifts are stupid, cause global wealth destruction

Joel Waldfogel, an economist at the University of Minnesota, studies gift-giving and says most recipients value gifts about 20 percent less than they cost the giver. Worldwide, that amounts to tens of billions of dollars down the drain every year. The problem in a nutshell is that while we can all shop efficiently for ourselves, most of us just stink at finding good gifts. Waldfogel says if Christmas were a government program, we'd classify the whole thing as a gigantic waste.
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Joel Waldfogel, an economist at the University of Minnesota, studies gift-giving and says most recipients value gifts about 20 percent less than they cost the giver. Worldwide, that amounts to tens of billions of dollars down the drain every year. The problem in a nutshell is that while we can all shop efficiently for ourselves, most of us just stink at finding good gifts. Waldfogel says if Christmas were a government program, we'd classify the whole thing as a gigantic waste.

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