Looks like unemployment benefits went up in the week before Christmas. Could this be the result of what I call the modern Christmas bonus? That is, lay offs? Because that has long replaced the Christmas Eve party or the Christmas bonus. Remember the movie National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation? The underlying story line - such as it is - involves Chevy Chase awaiting his Christmas bonus in order to build a new swimming pool. Brian Doyle Murray plays his boss. At one point Chase and his family confront Murray about the idea of not getting a good bonus for Christmas. They got a bonus. Just not a very good one.
But by today's standards, where December is now known as the time when corporations and companies lay off their employees due to tax reasons and fiscal year considerations, Griswold's bonus comes off as quite heart warming. My kids actually have asked if that's real. Did companies really do that in the day?
Yes sons, I say. There was actually a time when it wasn't assumed that December would see endless lines of laid off people as a bonus for their years of service. But this is now. The post-modern era. I don't think it's Capitalism. I think it's the generation at hand. Like the difference between a good driver and a reckless driver. The car is the car. But driven by a maniac, it can be a killing machine. Capitalism, without Christ, is no better than Communism. And a generation at the helm of what is left of the Capitalist ideal, that has embraced the evils and ignorance of the post-Christian West, will likely do more harm than good with either Capitalism, or any economic ideal it has inherited.