Wednesday December 7th, 2011 Category: The Man's View
Or: How men don’t ask for directions and why it’s hurting the economy. A light-hearted* analysis**
Doom. Gloom. Christmas cheer. Eh? It shouldn’t be possible to be miserable at Christmas, right? And the Christmas season is getting into full swing, we’ve had snow and I’ve had one Christmas dinner already. I love Christmas. But with all the doomy/gloomy talk about the economy (who knows if the euro is actually going to survive? Can George Osborne face a little bit of fiscal loosening? Does anyone really care when there’s Christmas parties and Slade playing non-stop?) is it wise to spend so much money?
There are lots of different surveys flying around, of course there are, but one I read said we’d spend £346 on gifts. Admittedly, it was a Daily Mail survey found during my intensive analysis, but that’s pretty scary. Is that good news? Well, for the economy, yes, but only partly. Because what the economy needs is people to spend, but the danger is that it becomes the ‘broken window’ fix (a man breaks a window, hires someone to fix it, thus creating a job – so the town decides to break all the windows). If we spend our money on rubbish that nobody wants, it gives a short stimulus, but all we’ve got is a lot of broken glass. Or a bag of plastic frogs…
Image courtesy of here.
Gaaah, not that deadweight loss again?!
Going back to one of my favourite pieces of research, there’s the immortal line “gift-giving destroys a third of gift value”. What? What!? That’s right, using my Daily Mail stat, it means why don’t I just give you £230 and burn the rest. Burn nearly £120 in the street, each one of us. Incredible.
Another thing that I came across in my research is that men don’t like asking directions. I also found this incredible – I have no problems asking directions, it’s just I never need to because I’m never lost***. But it seems that some people have this problem. And more research seemed to suggest that it’s not just directions that men struggle with. It turns out men don’t like asking for help with purchases.
A-ha, I hear you say. A-ha indeed. I’ve woven my two strands together neatly and it’s obvious when you think about it. Men don’t ask for directions, instead they prefer to break windows****, and that’s why the economy is in such a state. Something along those lines, anyway. One to ponder…
* I want to stress that again. This is a light-hearted look at the world!
** When I say analysis, what I mean is ‘a good 20 minutes on Google’
*** I just want to mention the ‘light-hearted’ point again – and don’t talk to me about Battersea Park
**** In the stats, friends are actually some of the best judges when it comes to gift-giving, and manage to destroy the least value (poor old grandparents, aunties and uncles are the worst, just awful)
***** If you’ve read this far, why not do something radical and share with your friends? There should be a little button somewhere to do just that