Top-selling Christmas gifts since 1983

posted by
December 5, 2016
Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey Tucker  
Posted in Commentary

"It's absolutely exhilarating to watch the market in action, especially when you take the long view, such as going back to 1983. At first it seems crazy and random. Why did anyone care about 'Cabbage Patch Kids' or 'Barney' the dinosaur or 'Tickle Me Elmo?' It's all so silly, right? Maybe not. All these products fed the human imagination and enticed people to imagine worlds that could be. They are symbols of the wackiest, most wonderful, most unpredictable aspects of the human personality. None would have been chosen by any would-be central planner, whether on the campaign trail or from the office of some empowered bureaucracy. They could have only emanated from this beautiful, imaginative, productive, and empowering sector we call the market." (12/05/16)  
  • dL

    A bit too much of a religious/aesthetic fetishizing going on***. “A market” is just a means of human agency in a condition of economic scarcity. Yes, one can construct a social theory from trade, whether it be empathy derived from tit-for-tat exchange, technological progress from competitive innovation, social cooperation from Nash-equilibrium games, etc. But libertarianism is a positive science analysis of the political economy that springs from the liberal social theory. And its not all good. Competitive incentives also drive competition compliance, prohibition, the bureaucracy and the state security apparatus. That which is a means of liberty is also an engine of oppression. That’s the undeniable paradox of sorts of the social theory.

    It should also be noted: Without economic scarcity, there is no need of markets as a means of human agency. There is no need of society, peace love and understanding, social cooperation. Personally, I human progress as one day obsoleting the market as means…

    *** I have a bit of a bah humbug when it comes to Christmas. To me, a truly “black friday” celebration of Christmas as a commercial season would entail the feds temporarily suspending all the regulations/prohibitions. Now I could get excited about that. As it is, Amazons’s data analytic sales deals from my spending habits was less than inspirational…I’m not going to complain about it. But I’m also not going to write poetry about it.

Our Sponsors