THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT

Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, the Winter Solstice, or some other spiritual and cultural occasion that you’re celebrating this month – never forget what the Powers That Be expect of you: shop, purchase, consume, spend!

Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, the Winter Solstice, or some other spiritual and cultural occasion that you’re celebrating this month – never forget what the Powers That Be expect of you: shop, purchase, consume, spend!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, there’s church, family, love, the spirit of sharing, and all that, but the modern measure of a holiday well spent is not your spiritual satisfaction, but whether you’ve maxed out your credit cards. After all, Wal-Mart is counting on you to buy all that stuff it brought from China to fill its stores.

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You want holiday spirit? Take the Old English song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” It’s a statement of love, a fantasy expression of how much one person loves another. So, leave it to a bank to reduce the value of love to price. The giant banking conglomerate, PNC, calculates that the Partridge in a pear tree, the six geese a-laying, the 10 lords a-leaping, etcetera can be a gift for your loved one – if you’ve got $78,000 to spend. The bankers note that the tab for all 12 items is up 4 percent from last year, thanks to inflation. For example, it blames the recent hike in America’s minimum wage for a six-dollar rise in the cost of eight maids a-milking.

You want holiday spirit? Consider this year’s must-have item for the luxury class. His and her helicopters? No. This season it’s a plastic surgery gift card! Yes, the loving present that says, “Here, honey, go get your looks fixed.”

You want holiday spirit? Check your latest credit card bills. Even though American families are already burdened by record credit card debt, the card companies are slipping a little surprise into your mailboxes just as you’re being urged to do more shopping: a rise in your interest rates. That’s the kind of thing that makes Jolly Old Corporate Santa say: Ho Ho Ho!

“Cost to buy Partridge, maids a-milking goes up 4 percent,” Austin American Statesman, November 26, 2007

“Holiday Shopping? How About a Plastic Surgery Gift Card?” www.alternet.org, November 29, 2007

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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