Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'christmas'

Is capitalism making us fat?

As workers emerge from the holidays an average of one pound heavier, weight loss tops every list of New Year’s resolutions. Yet in 2019, physicians are asking politicians to classify obesity as a disease to be treated by taxing sugary foods – and some commentators are blaming our penchant for overindulgence on the capitalist system.    Continue Reading...

The great exchange: How returning Christmas gifts refutes socialism

“It is more blessed to give than to receive,” according to the scriptures – but so many people will return disappointing Christmas gifts to the store for an exchange or refund today that January 3 has sometimes been dubbed “National Returns Day.” While it may deflate our ego to know that our gift choices do not bring our loved ones the pleasure we had hoped, there are economic, political, and spiritual truths embedded in this unheralded holiday tradition. Continue Reading...

Explainer: Christmas 2018 by the numbers

As the most widely observed cultural holiday in the world, Christmas produces many things—joy, happiness, gratitude, reverence. And numbers. Lots of peculiar, often large, numbers. Here are a few to contemplate this season: $75 – Average amount U.S. Continue Reading...

Calvin Coolidge on the spiritual power of Christmas

In his many addresses to the nation, President Calvin Coolidge made a point of routinely redirecting the country’s attention to the “things of the spirit.” In his Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, he encouraged the country to reorient its vision of abundance, progressing not only in material prosperity, but also “in moral and spiritual things.” In his reflections on the Declaration of Independence, he reminded us that ours is a liberty not meant for “pagan materialism,” which would surely turn our prosperity into “a barren sceptre in our grasp.” Years earlier, as President of the Massachusetts Senate, he urged legislators to remember that “statutes must appeal to more than material welfare.” “Man has a spiritual nature,” he continued. Continue Reading...

Explainer: Christmas 2016 by the Numbers

As the most widely observed cultural holiday in the world, Christmas produces many things—joy, happiness, gratitude, reverence. And numbers. Lots of peculiar, often large, numbers. Here are a few to contemplate this season: $50.82 – Average amount U.S. Continue Reading...

The cost of Twelve Days of Christmas: $34,363.49

If you’ve been stuck at the mall listening to a song about ten Lords a-Leaping and eight Maids a-Milking you can blame the Jesuits. Rumor has it they invented the Twelve Days of Christmas song as a catechism in code for persecuted Catholics in 16th-century England. Continue Reading...

An economist’s Christmas: Is gift-giving wasteful?

During a season such as Christmas, where hyper-consumerism and hyper-generosity converge in strange and mysterious ways, it’s a question worth asking: How much of our gift-giving is inefficient and wasteful? For some, it’s a buzz-kill question worthy of Ebenezer Scrooge. Continue Reading...