Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Spirit of the Season

Rasmussen Reports published today that most people prefer stores greet them with "Merry Christmas" (69%) versus the 24% preferring Happy Holidays.

Very few Americans are offended when someone wishes them a "Merry Christmas," but most are more likely to say "Happy Holidays" to someone else rather than risk offending them.
Also, few who don’t celebrate the holiday are offended when an acquaintance wished them "Merry Christmas."
Wishing someone a "Merry Christmas" is an externalized benefit (people prefer it more) at a small risk of an internalized cost (offending someone...which is also an externalized cost but I figure if you're going to bother to say anything in the first place, you have sympathetic preferences). According to these reports, as economics predicts, we have too few "Merry Christmases" because (drum roll please), people are taking their niceness too far! It's a strange world when a selfish Scrooge can teach us about spreading some Holiday Christmas cheer.

Merry Christmas.

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