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Technology & Innovation

Valentine’s Day Stimulus

It’s a dismal view, but the main reason why we have Valentine’s Day is to stimulate commerce. However, it’s not obvious that a day created to stimulate commerce really stimulates.

Think about how Valentine’s day encourages you to think differently about buying for that special someone. If I want to buy her a necklace, maybe I’ll wait until February 14. If I want to take her to her favorite restaurant, maybe I’ll wait until February 14. Seen in this light, we cannot say the Valentine’s Day “stimulus” is $16 billion because those necklaces and dinners would have been bought, anyway. Valentine’s didn’t create economic activity, it just concentrated it. If this is starting to sound familiar, it’s only because Washington has been using stimulus policy to create it own little Valentine’s Days for the economy in the last two years.


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