The Economics Behind Turning Twenty (and Gift-Giving in General)



On the 19th of February, I will be turning 20. I’m not one for celebrations. (I was going to treat myself to a spa day. After some quick looking around on the internet, I found out that my wallet is not looking to treat me to a spa day. Why is taking care of yourself so expensive? Biko why?) I’m not going to do anything for my birthday. I was considering making this a Facebook post, but realizing how I wanted to explain this, I thought it might be too long for a Facebook post but it’s not really something I want on my blog. I’ll decide later (I guess by reading this you know what I decided). Since I already said I’m not one for celebrations, you might be wondering, then why am I writing anything at all about it? Let me explain.

A very small minority of you might be thinking of getting me a birthday present. About half of that minority will actually agree in their heads that they’ll get me something and about seventy five percent of that group will end up giving me a gift. Please do not feel any pressure to get me a present, like at all. That isn’t what this is about. This is for the last group of people that will, pay attention (the rest of you can read on for entertainment and whatnot). Thinking about gift-giving, I realized that market failure was a big problem. Think about it, all of you, of all the gifts you get, how many of those gifts were things you wanted, liked or ended up using? Now I’m not saying you didn’t appreciate the gifts, because Lord knows you should appreciate any sort of present. However, wouldn’t it be better if the utility of whoever is receiving the gifts was maximized? I’m reading this book called “Who Gets What and Why” and it’s all about market failure and market design. I’m trying to get rid of the market failure of your gifts being forgotten and so this is my first attempt at market design. A wish list. Specifically my Amazon wish list. Now you can see what exactly Soala wants. This is the link here: . One is not more important than the other. Most of the items on there are books (in fact everything bar one is a book). The books are all different genres and on different subjects, if you want to have a conversation on certain books I want to read, message me. Now, I’m not saying you have to get me something off my wish list (if you are getting me something at all). I just feel that this is a logical solution to a problem with gift giving. Now, you might feel like you know me well enough, and that you can think of a present that I would appreciate and actually use, go for it. But think about it, are you sure? Like really really sure? Personally when I give presents I like to think hard about it and give a thoughtful present. I wouldn’t use someone else’s wish list to be honest. Sha, oh well, do as you will.

One gift not on my wish list that is more than welcome is money. Woo, money is a wonderful gift. In fact, if you’re in doubt, just give me money. I promise to use (most of) the money for the things on my wish list. You can put the money in an envelope and send it to my address (which I would be more than happy to provide). You can venmo it to me. I also have paypal. You can do mobile transfer for Bank of America. Any way you can send money is the right way to send money.


Life update: I’m committed to replacing “What’s good?” in my personal vocabulary with “What’s gucci?” Take all complaints to management (Baba God).

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