Economics Lesson in the Christmas Story

Here is a different take (one I’ve heard before) on the Christmas story from two economists writing in Forbes recently:

The Bible does not name an innkeeper. There is no record of anyone complaining at the time, nor apparently were Mary and Joseph charged for the use of the stable. The town was overflowing because of the census, which was ordered for the purposes of taxation. Small towns all over were packed as people returned to their ancestral homes. In other words, the problem, if you can call it that, was caused by the unintended consequences of government policy.

It’s an interesting economics lesson to keep in mind this Christmas. But don’t let it distract you from the real reason for the holiday: the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas!

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