A series of four short films were made in 1950 entitled “In Our Hands.” We used clips from this, the second one, in Economics for Everybody since it explains the way the free market system helps coordinate the land, labor and capital to provide us what we need. It’s a fun, quick look at how economics works at a practical level.
It was too close of a match for us not to mention it: a recent report by the AICR received the headline “Study Finds That An Apple A Day Keeps Cancer Away.”
This is the exact example we give in Lesson 4 when discussing the Laws of Supply and Demand. Here’s the specific clip of RC explaining what can happen if a report like this comes out.
This is one of our favorite films from Economics for Everybody. Although a bit dated, it reveals the enormous growth (and regulatory reach) of the US Treasury Department. It has grown even larger by now. Yet, even then, you can see the incredible number of people working for the different branches. Some of our favorite scenes include the IRS mail opener, the early TSA airport search (then just customs), and the guy getting busted for counterfeiting. No one seems to mention that inflation of the money supply is a surreptitious form of legal counterfeiting – but we cover that in Lesson 10.
We used clips from this fun little 1948 cartoon by John Sutherland about a young man with a dream to make soap. It’s a great picture of how entrepreneurs are rewarded for their ideas and hard work, as well as how society is rewarded by the quality goods, competition, and lower prices resulting from entrepreneurs.
When we started thinking about how to make the series, we hit an immediate roadblock: what do you use for b-roll when you’re talking about economics? (B-roll is the coverage footage that goes over the primary footage – in this case, RC. After all, economics can be so very abstract.
Furthermore, as we were writing the scripts, we knew we wouldn’t have an exact idea of what needed covering until after everything was shot. There could be all sorts of things that we could never prepare for. And, finally, we had a minuscule budget. So, what to do?
A few years before starting the project, I stumbled across The Internet Archive doing research. The Internet Archive is like a huge flea market that stretches out endlessly in all directions. You never know what you’re going to find when you’re looking, and although it takes a lot of time to sort through the junk, there are plenty of gems to be found for those willing to look. What’s in the Archive? [Read more...]
This campaign ad for Wendell Willike (1940 Republican Presidential candidate) recounts a decade of higher taxes and a shocking increase in national debt due to out-of-control government spending. Sound familiar? The tax, borrow and spend policies of the New Deal were a disaster to our economy then and are a disaster today. Nothing new here – other than that history does repeat itself.
We’re using snippets from old films in Economics for Everybody. This one in particular does a quick job of looking at how principles of personal liberty and private property combine with entrepreneurialism to grow the economy. It also shows how government intrusion is one of the biggest obstacles to positive growth. (Source: Prelinger Archive)