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Stingy News Article Link

What I like about Scrooge
12/21/08 Permlink | Christmas
"Here's what I like about Ebenezer Scrooge: His meager lodgings were dark because darkness is cheap, and barely heated because coal is not free. His dinner was gruel, which he prepared himself. Scrooge paid no man to wait on him. Scrooge has been called ungenerous. I say that's a bum rap. What could be more generous than keeping your lamps unlit and your plate unfilled, leaving more fuel for others to burn and more food for others to eat? Who is a more benevolent neighbor than the man who employs no servants, freeing them to wait on someone else?"



More articles on the same topic . . .

Where value investors are donating
12/18/13 Permlink | Stingy Investing Christmas
"A sleigh full of holiday cheer was brought to a West Coast pancake house this month. The well-aged regulars were treated to flapjacks by an anonymous benefactor who picked up the tab. He had the staff wish them a merry Christmas and asked if they could pay it forward."

Merry Christmas!
12/25/12 Permlink | Christmas
"Merry Christmas! Oh, and a "Bah! Humbug!" to all. ;-)"

A Christmas Carol
12/24/11 Permlink | Christmas
"Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail."

What I Like About Scrooge
12/23/11 Permlink | Christmas
"In this whole world, there is nobody more generous than the miser - the man who could deplete the world's resources but chooses not to. The only difference between miserliness and philanthropy is that the philanthropist serves a favored few while the miser spreads his largess far and wide."

Thoughts on Ebenezer Scrooge
12/23/11 Permlink | Christmas
"The story goes that Charles Dickens was visiting Edinburgh to give a public reading of his work in 1842, and spent some time looking around the Canongate church graveyard. He saw one grave that made him shudder. The name on the grave was Ebenezer Lennox Scroggie--mean man.' According to Peter Clark, a British political economist who seems the starting point for this story, Dickens misread the inscription. It actually said 'Meal man,' because Scroggie was a corn merchant."

Escaping the well-lit prison
12/23/11 Permlink | Christmas
"The focus on gifts is something we're all supposed to feel vaguely guilty about, according to certain grim people with very strong views about the Evils of our Commercialized, Materialist Society. In lieu of presents these people give things like certified carbon offsets and donations in your name to International A.N.S.W.E.R. Their kids get seaweed gummy kits and "Peace in Our Time" cooperative board games from the Catalog of Socially Responsible Gifts, and exact revenge by growing up to become arbitrageurs. On the other end of the spectrum are the market ideologues. These are the folks who write earnest monographs on how everybody has the wrong idea about Ebeneezer Scrooge, who was really a thrifty capitalist hero. Their idea of a neat Christmas present is something like a "Who Is John Galt?" doormat - except there isn't one, because John Galt was nobody's doormat, dammit, so instead you get a book on Basel bank-capital requirements and a bookmark in the shape of Ludwig von Mises. Which is not to say that either group is wrong, mind you - merely that, like the madman in Chesterton's "Orthodoxy," they are "trapped in the well-lit prison of one idea...sharpened to one painful point." You want to say to them, look: If British and German soldiers could sing carols together at Ypres in WWI, then the rest of us are entitled to give politics a break for one lousy day. Here, have some peppermint bark."

In Defense of Scrooge
12/22/11 Permlink | Christmas
"It's Christmas again, time to celebrate the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge. You know the ritual: boo the curmudgeon initially encountered in Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, then cheer the sweetie pie he becomes in the end. It's too bad no one notices that the curmudgeon had a point - quite a few points, in fact."

Do not buy dad a tie
12/21/11 Permlink | Christmas
"Christmas is not the most wonderful time of the year for economists. The holiday spirit is puzzlingly difficult to model: It plays havoc with the notion of rational utility-maximization. There's so much waste! Price-insensitive travelers pack airports beyond capacity on Dec. 24 only to leave planes empty on Christmas Day. Even worse are the gifts, which represent an abandonment of our efficient system of monetary exchange in favor of a semi-barbaric form of bartering. Still, even the most rational and Scroogey of economists must concede that gift-giving is clearly here to stay. What's needed is a bit of advice: What can economics tell us about efficient gifting so that your loved ones get the most bang for your buck?"

Merry Christmas!
12/24/10 Permlink | Christmas
"Wishing you, your family, and friends the best of the season."

Merry Christmas!
12/24/09 Permlink | Christmas
"A collection of links to help inspire a little Christmas cheer."

Merry Christmas!
12/25/08 Permlink | Christmas
"A collection of links to help inspire a little Christmas cheer."

So, Scrooge was right after all
12/21/08 Permlink | Scrooge Christmas
"It's a little-known fact that the first economic rationalist was Ebenezer Scrooge. That's because economists simply can't understand why people would do something as stupid as giving presents at Christmas. Conventional economics teaches that gift giving is irrational. The satisfaction or "utility" a person derives from consumption is determined by their personal preferences. But no one understands your preferences as well as you do. So when I give up $50 worth of utility to buy a present for you, the chances are high that you'll value it at less than $50. If so, there's been a mutual loss of utility. The transaction has been inefficient and "welfare reducing", thus making it irrational. As an economist would put it, "unless a gift that costs the giver p dollars exactly matches the way in which the recipient would have spent the p dollars, the gift is suboptimal". This astonishing intellectual breakthrough was first formulated in 1993 by Joel Waldfogel, an economics professor now at the University of Pennsylvania, in his seminal paper, The Deadweight Loss of Christmas."

The case for Ebeneezer
12/21/08 Permlink | Scrooge Christmas
"As I became older, I decided that Mr. Dickens had given Ebeneezer Scrooge an undeserved reputation for villainy, placing him in such company as Uriah Heep, Iago, Dr. Moriarty, or Snidely Whiplash, to name but a few. It is my purpose, in making this holiday defense of my client, to present to you a different interpretation of the story, that you will see the villainy not in my client's character, but in Charles Dickens' miscasting of the true heroes of the time of which he wrote, namely, the industrialists and financiers who created that most liberating epoch in human history: the industrial revolution."

In defense of scrooge
12/19/08 Permlink | Scrooge Christmas
"It's Christmas again, time to celebrate the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge. You know the ritual: boo the curmudgeon initially encountered in Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, then cheer the sweetie pie he becomes in the end. It's too bad no one notices that the curmudgeon had a point - quite a few points, in fact."

The Queen's 2007 Christmas message
12/25/07 Permlink | Christmas
"The Queen used her 50th televised Christmas message Tuesday to urge people to spare a thought for the vulnerable and disadvantaged living on the edge of society."

A Child's Christmas in Wales
12/25/07 Permlink | Christmas
"Hear Dylan Thomas' recollection of the sounds and smells of a long-ago Christmas in the seaside town of his youth from the Harper Audio release "A Child's Christmas in Wales.""

A Christmas Carol
12/25/07 Permlink | Scrooge Christmas
"I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it. Their faithful Friend and Servant, C. D."

Scrooge a man for our times
12/14/07 Permlink | Scrooge Christmas
"Christmastime is inevitably accompanied by allusions to Ebenezer Scrooge. As portrayed in Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," Ebenezer is a thoroughly disagreeable, curmudgeonly, miserly misanthrope. I sympathize. And not just because similar contentions are routinely made about me. Enough is enough. It's time to move on, as they say, from the conventional view of the man as "a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster." We as a society have come a long way in the 160 years since Dickens wrote his story. We're kinder and gentler and infinitely more accepting. Ebenezer would be perceived much differently today."

The corporate Scrooge contest
12/24/06 Permlink | Scrooge Christmas
"Our appeal for corporate Scrooges - tales of office parties canceled, miserly bonuses, and pathetic gifts - generated a generous response. Nearly 200 Slate readers wrote in, providing enough fodder for several episodes of The Office. We heard from employees of car dealerships, doctors, and small law firms, but also from blue workers at blue chips, including Burberry, Dow Jones, Goldman Sachs, Disney, Wells Fargo, and Wal-Mart."

Fa-la-la-la-lawsuit
12/06/06 Permlink | Christmas
"The Christmas season is upon us, and that means invites to the office holiday party, open houses, and preschool-benefit auctions are starting to pile up on the table next to your front door. You're probably starting to get anxious - wear velvet headband or diamond clippie? bring potted plant or midrange merlot?.and yet you are likely ignoring the most important holiday question of all: Who are you going to sue this holiday season, and, more vitally, who is going to sue you?"

Have a tightwad's Christmas
11/09/06 Permlink | Christmas
"Try these ideas for keeping holiday spending under control, finding alternative gifts and making your hard-earned dollars go farther this year."

The Queen's Christmas message
12/25/05 Permlink | Christmas
"The Queen's Christmas Day speech focused on the natural disasters and acts of terrorism that dominated 2005. In her speech to the Commonwealth, she praised the response by people of all faiths to the tragedies of the past year."

In defense of the Grinch & Scrooge
12/24/05 Permlink | Christmas
"After attacking corrupt politicians with his biting cartoons, and practically inventing the Republican elephant and Democratic donkey -- Nast drew his Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in the 1860s. The benevolent 4th century Turkish St. Nicholas was now transformed into a chubby pipe-smoking red-suit wearing, gift-toting American icon, and it didn't take advertisers long to catch on. Victorian era ads, though larger and more visual, still proffer conservative gift choices for Christmas. How about a nice pen set, or some chocolates? By the turn of the century Santa is seen hawking Victrolas, Kodaks, bicycles and sleds. By the 1930s a highly commercial Saint Nick, fashioned from Nast's caricature, is seen swilling Coca-Cola and puffing on Lucky Strike cigarettes. In American, Santa even gives away lung cancer."

In defense of Ebenezer Scrooge
12/24/05 Permlink | Christmas
" No businessman in the history of literature has been as misunderstood as Ebenezer Scrooge. His very name is now a synonym for pinch-fisted churlishness and humbuggery."

A Christmas Carol
12/04/05 Permlink | Christmas
"MARLEY was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail."

Christmas movies and bad economics
12/04/05 Permlink | Christmas
"But let's talk Christmas turkey. The engine driving the "commercialization" of Christmas is, quite simply, children's desire for presents. As every parent soon discovers, it is not the thought that counts for young children, but the goods. They want nice toys, which do not come free. They have to be made, and the cost of making them has to be recouped."

True cost of Christmas: $18,348.87
12/03/05 Permlink | Christmas
"Avian flu is making it even more expensive for true loves to make the ultimate romantic holiday gesture -- buy every item mentioned in '12 Days.' With repetitions? Make it $72,608.02."

Queen's message in full
12/25/04 Permlink | Christmas
"The Queen has appealed for tolerance and understanding between cultural and religious groups, in her Christmas message."

Pope's Christmas Day message
12/25/04 Permlink | Christmas
"Christus natus est nobis, venite, adoremus! Christ is born for us: come, let us adore him!"

In defense of scrooge
11/28/04 Permlink | Christmas
"Maligned for his thrift, besieged by home invaders, the old guy gives in to terrorists. This is the message of Christmas?"

15 worst holiday gift ideas
11/28/04 Permlink | Christmas
"You're sweating, panicked. You're about to recycle an old gift, buy a weight-loss book for Aunt Josephine or grab the Victoria's Secret catalog. Stop! Break the cycle of Holiday Gift-Shopping Syndrome!"

Scrooge defended
12/21/03 Permlink | Christmas
"It's Christmas again, time to celebrate the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge. You know the ritual: boo the curmudgeon initially encountered in Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, then cheer the sweetie pie he becomes in the end. It's too bad no one notices that the curmudgeon had a point"

Is Christmas inefficient?
12/19/03 Permlink | Christmas
"Yale University's Joel Waldfogel, writing in the American Economic Review, condemns what he calls "The Deadweight Loss of Christmas." Once you cut through the calculus and graphs, his conclusion is clear: though Christmas generates a $50 billion gift-giving industry, a tenth to a third of that is sheer loss. Why? Because the recipient doesn't always get what he wants. Given the chance, the recipient would have purchased something else."

Santa Claus vs. The Marketers
12/25/02 Permlink | Christmas
"When Santa Claus finds his popularity waning, the directors of Claus Inc. vote to bring in a group of marketers on board to refine his 'brand' and improve his business processes. But the cure can be worse than the problem, and when problems with CRM, privacy issues, and copyright infringement may make Claus Inc. miss the Christmas shipping deadline, Santa launches an undercover project to get the gifts out on time."

The economics of Santa's workshop
12/22/02 Permlink | Christmas
"The physical impossibility of Santa got me thinking about the economics of the old boy's operations. After all, he is not paid for the goods he delivers, and it would be improper for him to send a bill the next morning. Nobody asked him to leave the stuff, or contracted with him to do so. But that means he gets no feedback from the consumer, much less a clear indication of profit or loss."

A capitalist Christmas
12/15/01 Permlink | Christmas
"It's the most pro-capitalist of all holidays because its temporal joys are based on private property, voluntary exchange, and mutual benefit."

The Stingy News Weekly

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