How to Optimize Hallowe’en: An Economic Parable

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to Trick or Treating during the last 5 minutes. It seems to me that there are many inefficiencies that we could fix to improve the quality of service, security, and economic benefits.

Why We Should Centralize Hallowe’en Treat Distribution

Right now, children have to travel from house to house to get their treats or perform their tricks. In many older established neighbourhoods this is a major drawback. The time taken to travel, on foot, from payout to payout by sidewalk, often having to trudge up long walkways and stairs, is excessive.

Imagine if instead the children could simply go to a centralized location to pick up all of their treats at one time. Quick! Convenient! Safe!

Savings in Manpower Costs for Centralized Hallowe’en Candy Distribution Are Substantial


Think of all the time that could be saved. That’s time that could be used more productively.

  • children could be studying for school or doing chores
  • parents would not have to leave work early in order to rush home to accompany their children from door to door
  • parents could reduce time accompanying children on their rounds—this time could be used instead for household duties or remunerated work

There are some other manpower savings too!

  • Instead of having to stay at home answering the door bell, candy distributors would just have to make a run to the depot to drop off their offerings and to work their “shift” distributing the treats.
  • Only one person would be needed to distribute the treats at the centralized depot. Short shifts could be used to optimize time wasted.

Decreased Nepotism and More Equitable Treats Distribution

There’s another benefit to removing the personal interaction from the distribution of treats. Some people give more treats to family members and close friends. This nepotism is undesirable in any purportedly democratic distribution of handouts. By having treats divided into equal portions at the distribution centre, this problem can be solved.

There will also be an overall reduction in the cost of treats distributed. After all, no one will know who is the cheapskate frugal householder giving only one Chicklet and who is the showoff generous one giving a family-sized Cadbury bar.

Savings in Specialized Clothing and Uniforms

If the children are just collecting their treats from a centralized depot, it’s not really necessary for them to have a new costume each year. After all, no one will be taking their photo or inspecting their costume and asking what they are trying to represent.

Eliminating costumes will also improve safety as masks and other elements preventing safe travel will be eliminated. The number of children shot by security officers who mistake their plastic weaponry for real armaments should also be reduced.

In fact, it is possible to eliminate the ‘uniforms’ of Hallowe’en entirely! Especially if the next suggestion is implemented.

Increase Hallowe’en Savings and Security by Implementing an Unmanned Treat Pickup Location

Now that I’ve given this more detailed study and analysis, I’ve concluded there’s really no reason to have anyone giving out the treats. Instead we could have an unmanned treat distribution and storage centre. Each child would get a key to their own treat box to open and retrieve their Hallowe’en goodies.

Having the treats in locked storage would increase treat security.

  • Treat losses would be reduced by having the transfer of treats from storage to pillowcase happening in a well-lit public area. Fewer treats would end up on the ground.
  • Because parents would not be needed to carry excessively heavy treat-filled bags hear the end of a Trick or Treating journey, “shrinkage” would also be reduced. (It has never been clearly established whether parents drop an excessive number of treats or whether they have been pilfering them while providing baggage-handling services.)
  • The risk of bullies snatching and stealing large bags of treats can be virtually eliminated.

In fact, there’s no particular reason why the children would have to pick up their treats on Hallowe’en at all! They could leave them securely locked up until a more convenient time; perhaps after the hockey game their Father is enjoying watching.

Bonus Idea: Amalgamate the Treats Distribution Centre with Other Systems Requiring Distribution

I’ve just had another fantastic idea! We could allow Canada Post to deliver mail through these SAME locked boxes at the centralized depot! Think of the savings! Think of the convenience! Think of the improved security!

Wow. I’m astonished no one else is writing about this.


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Are you a fan of unmanned centralized lock box delivery distribution centres? Or will you be standing up for a child’s right to ding doorbells and bang on knockers? Please share your views with a comment.

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