LifeBreaker

  • 12 May 2008 at 5:07 PM
  • Holidays

Markets In Everything: Mothers Day Trading

The real problem with holidays is that they are illiquid. You can’t trade them very well, which is why roses cost so much on Valentines Day and the price of a swiftly-dying severed evergreen increases prior to Christmas Day and drops immediately afterwards. Here in New York City people do manage to trade holidays in some ways—choosing to give up Memorial Day in the summer share house for a random summer weekend while seeking excess profit on the trade by also scoring hard to get restaurant reservations in the under-populated city—but Steve Sailer thinks we’re not going far enough. Smart people, he says, should internally trade comparable holidays.

On Mother’s Day, it’s hard to get a brunch reservation; and on Father’s Day, it’s hard to get a tee time. So, just switch days and celebrate Father’s Day in May and Mother’s Day in June.
Interestingly, doing that violates Kant’s Categorical Imperative, which is a sort of Teutonic philosopher’s version of the Golden Rule (“Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law”). Yet, if everybody switched months, then we’d be right back where we started. But if you switch, then you’re a lot better off and everybody else is a tiny bit better off.

One question would be how to charge others for the positive externality created by switching holidays. After all, we can’t have them free-riding on our holiday trading, can we?
Remember this for next year [Steve Sailer]