Valentine’s Day: The Bernie Madoff of Holidays

Valentine’s Day is genius. It’s the pinnacle of American innovation—that is if the definition of “innovation” is “swindling the American public out of billions of dollars so that fat cat CEOs of corporate America can relax until spring.”

Valentine’s Day is nothing but a corporate America earning strategy masquerading as a holiday. But not any holiday—a gift-giving holiday that relies on relationship pressure to ensure every single person goes out and spends an exorbitant amount of money on useless crap, romance-themed dinners and over-priced bottles of merlot.

Is the U.S. District Attorney sure that Valentine’s Day wasn’t part of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme? It should have been. If Madoff had this kind of an air for tricky business he could have just swindled people out of money legally—no jail time. Bernie could have learned a thing or two from Hallmark.

In 2010 the average American spent $122.98 on Valentine’s Day paraphernalia. Applying simple multiplication the 310,775,727 people in the U.S. spent over $38 billion on this romance-riddled holiday.

Corporate America wasn’t the only entity to benefit from this epic showcase of commercialism at its finest. The average sales tax in the U.S. is 7.25 percent. Multiply that by the grand total and the U.S. government made almost $3 billion off of Valentine’s Day last year.

Each U.S. citizen gave $8.92 to the government last year. How touching. Such a romantic gift for President Obama. Did he get Michelle something worth $3 billion, too? It’s only fair.

Basically, the government and the corporate world are benefitting more from the population’s money than the population is from the crappy gifts on display at Duane Reade, Kay Jewelers and K-Mart. It’s enough to make the entire American populace choke on a truffle and cough up those chalking “be mine” candy hearts in surprise.

Valentine’s Day is nothing more than government sanctioned romantic racketeering and the American male is the middleman—women get of relatively unscathed on this lovesick day.

Men are perpetually stuck in a lose-lose situation. Buy the stuff, lose money, don’t buy the stuff and the wife/girlfriend will make Mr. America sleep with the fishes. That is, unless he goes out and buys her last-minute stuffed animals, browning long-stem roses and a bag of red and white M&Ms. Which then still causes a loss in money and a very good day for those on the winning end of an economic upswing.

In a sense, men are paying corporate America and the government to stay out of the dog house in their marital beds without even knowing they’re doing so. There’s such a pressure to please on this commercialized day of courtship that Americans see no problem in swiping credit cards, counting pennies and emptying ATMs.

Bernie Madoff should have gone into retail where scheming is called “product placement” and scamming is called “marketing.” Valentine’s Day is a scam but it’s a genius scam. God bless America.

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