Oh, leave it to the bureaucrats and they'll figure out new ways to make you buy more and more.... But there was only one way the poor consumer could rise up in his wrath.
ving-sets; burning them down to smoke and golden-glowing puddles under the ashes of the Potlatch Pyre. Then the fireworks, Mr. MacHenery. The fireworks! The BSG-man touching a flaming torch to the fuses of the mortars; a sizzle and a burst; the Japanese star-shells splitting the sky, splashing across the night's ceiling, scattering from their pods, blossoming into Queen Anne's Lace in a dozen colors of fire."
"Fire and destruction," MacHenery said. "There's your holiday for children--fire and destruction!"
"You missed it, sir," Winfree said. "You don't understand. Potlatch is a wonderful day for children, a glorious introduction to the science of economics. The boys light Roman candles, shooting crimson and orchid and brass-flamed astonishers into the clouds. A soft fog of snow makes fuzzy smears of the pinwheels, of the children racing, sparklers in both hands, across the frozen lawn. Dad lights the strings of cannon-crackers--at our house they used to dangle from a wire strung across the porch
A satire, I suppose. The military has been given authority to enforce the Prosperity Laws that require gifts of a certain value be purchased and given on Xmas, Mother's Day, and Father's Day, and to supervise the burning of outdated presents in the Dec. 24th Potlatch bonfire.
The writing is okay, the plotting good, the characters flat--there's nothing really wrong with the story except it struck me as silly.