To Give and to Take

During this recession holiday season, it’s widely understood that creativity and heartfelt sentiment might have to compensate for monetary value when it comes to giving gifts — we might bake our children their favorite cookies instead of dropping iPhones into their stockings; we might cut costs by making cards from cutouts of old magazine covers. For the journalists who used to work for those magazines, Typepad parent company Six Apart is offering laid-off journalists the gift of a free professional blog account (worth $150 annually) to help get them back on their feet; meanwhile, although his campaign promised increased funding for an array of national arts programs — including health care for American artists — the recession will likely prompt Obama to save up for next year and give for now what he gives best: high hopes; finally, In These Times features an excerpt from a new book that shows how some companies have been padding their Christmas-present accounts: by stealing from their workers.