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Merry Christmas to all.
But this still seems relevant.
I mean it: if I could sign bilateral mutual disgiftament pacts with the various adults around me without causing social ostracism, I would do it in a heartbeat. I was thinking how it could actually be done logistically: someone sets up a centralized website where you create an account, with basically just your name and location, and you list the various adults with whom you’d be interested and prepared to sign disgiftament treaties. Now, they don’t know they’re on your no-gift list unless/until they list you too (or already had) – so, no ostracism, no shame. But if they DO list you too, you are both notified, and both should be happy about this, thus the disgiftament treaty is immediately and permanently triggered, to be enforced by The Honor System. From there on all that remains is to publicize the website, to make sure everyone’s aware of it. Once it catches on I think it could go viral. The boost to our economy (from removing a sizable chunk of the deadweight loss that gifts represent) would be not insignificant.
Because everything I say/write tends to be glazed over with sarcasm (even when not intentional), let me just make this as clear as possible: I actually, sincerely think this is a decent idea for a website. In fact, it may be the best idea I have ever had in terms of how it would help humanity. Again: not being sarcastic!
As an alternative, perhaps a Standard Alternative Gift Tax – a yearly flat fee that one could commit to paying other adults in lieu of the various asinine birthday/holiday gift obligations we now have. If it were reasonable, say $100-300 range, I’d switch over to the SAGT track for many people. Of course, if two adults are on the SAGT with each other, you just cancel them and it becomes de facto mutual disgiftament. Beautiful.
Either way, whether we go with the Disgiftmanet or the SAGT, Merry Christmas! Ho ho ho!
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