Happy Valentine’s Day…I guess??? Every year, this holiday really forces any sort of preference for romance to compete with my economic sensibilities. Let me give you a lesson illustrated by my friend Noah: Noah has recently started a tradition of having a “New Years Eve Eve” party”…he figures that because New Years Eve is a contrived holiday anyway, he can do better by celebrating it a day early. He realized that since people by default plan parties on New Years Eve, it’s very expensive to rent out a bar on that night, especially in New York. He also realized that, because people are for the most part planning New Years festivities, people aren’t generally looking to have parties on December 30th, even though they are often on vacation on that day just as on New Years Eve. Therefore, he uses the mechanism of supply and demand to his advantage and negotiates a really good deal for his party. (In case you were curious, his parties are very well-attended, and I think people are about evenly split with regard to whether they also go to parties on New Years Eve.)
See, now you get a bit of a window into my inner monologue. My parents must be so proud, since they’ve set a similar example with their behavior- the only holiday they celebrate in lovey-dovey fashion is Groundhog Day. Not even kidding. And in case you are curious, yes, Hallmark makes cards for the occasion. (Sometimes they even send me a card.) As a result, I am pretty sure that the last overpriced romantic Valentine’s Day dinner I had was with a friend of mine’s boyfriend (now husband) who was in town for grad school interviews and had to go back home that night. For the record, the chocolate fondue for two was a little awkward to say the least.
While we’re on the subject of hearts, however, I would like to remind you that today is not only Valentine’s Day but also National Organ Donor Day. Economist Al Roth does a lot of research on the market for organs and organ donation, and he would like to remind you of the following:
“February 14 is the 10th National Donor Day — a day to give the gift of life.
Fill out an organ and tissue donation card, register with your State Donor Registry and make sure your family knows you want to be a donor.
Join the National Registry of potential volunteer marrow and blood stem cell donors.
Learn how you can donate your baby’s umbilical cord blood stem cells at birth.
Why be a Donor?
The need is great and growing.
Almost 95,000 people are in need of an organ for transplant.
Approximately 35,000 children and adults in our country have life-threatening blood diseases that could be treated by a marrow/blood stem cell or cord blood transplant.
Every two seconds someone in America needs blood, more than 39,000 units each day, according to the American Red Cross.
Why do it Today?
Valentine’s Day is the day of love and donation is the gift of life. Can you think of a more loving gesture than making February 14 the day you join thousands of Americans in making the donation decision?
National Donor Day was started in 1998 by the Saturn Corporation and its United Auto Workers partners with the support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and many nonprofit health organizations. “
So Happy Organ Donor Day!
Fiiiiiiine…if you really insist on having Valentine’s Day-related material, check out Ben’s Stein’s Lessons in Love, By Way of Economics from a couple of years ago. Or perhaps you would like some pictures, courtesy of someecards:
This one is even econ-related…
Here’s one I have a sneaking suspicion that my readership will appreciate…
Here’s one for Sarah Palin…
I may have sent this one to my mother…