Santa Claus Economics

As long as the gifts are duly wrapped, delivered and tucked under the tree, children can happily go about their holiday bliss with no thought whatsoever about Santa’s completely undisclosed sourcing for raw materials. Neither need they give pause to wonder about the North Pole’s CSR position. What child stops and considers the wages and living conditions that elves receive in remunerative compensation? Since Santa’s revenue stream seems minimal (warm milk and cookies does not monetize to scale), there arise serious uncertainties about his corporation’s employee care policies. Indeed, Santa’s drive to undercut all competition leaves any thoughtful observer to only speculate at the true externalities.

A thorough calculation might leave some people to wonder if North Pole Corp is in fact a fraudulent institution that merely pads the belly of it’s CEO at the expense of its workforce. (Santa is the 1% – #occupynorthpole) But of course, Santa’s global marketing team has successfully squashed every rumor of his operation’s unethical behavior by spinning his image as a benevolent philanthropist for children around the world. This branding campaign of pediatric concern is unparalleled in its success, especially considering that even the metrics used to determine Santa’s gift payout scheme program for moral behavior — known simply to outsiders as the “nice list” — has never been made available for an ethics committee to scrutinize.

No, there’s a plain explanation for all of this: it’s just magic. Christmas magic. So forget about it. Holiday cheer, my friends, joyous Noel!

However, if you think Santa Claus is a thing of mythology, legend, and fairy tale, do you dare to ask yourself where all this stuff actually comes from?

Only if Santa’s magic were true could we celebrate this holiday with a clear conscious. (And what’s really more ridiculous: a benevolent man with a flying sleigh or a society that builds its entire retail economic vitality on a yearly shopping event?) Thankfully, as long as we keep believing the fairy tale of Santa Claus economics we avoid the need to investigate the actual consequences of this annual materialistic rampage.