Barks, Scrooge and economy (WDC 144) olaf.solstrand at
Thu Aug 4 23:32:37 CEST 2005

Daniël wrote:
> There's a Barks 1950s ten-pager about Scrooge spending money to get rid
> of it (WDC 144), a plan that fails because Scrooge unconsciously spends
> it to his own factories and businesses, so that he gets almost the same
> big surplus of money at the end.
> Would this model work that way in real life, or did Barks use a huge
> artistic liberty to tell the story? If one would spend money at his/her
> own business, then a lot of money would be spend in the costs of the
> production, wouldn't it? Then how can Scrooge get almost the same money
> at the end?
> Can someone explain this?

Piece of cake!

1. Most of the money in page ten comes from Scrooge's shopping spree, but
probably not all of it. With all his businesses around the world, it would
be odd if he didn't recieve big money from many other parts of the world
at the same time.

2. "A huge pile of money bags" is not an accurate measure. We don't really
get a good look on exactly how much money it is, and the pile in page ten
could easily be much smaller than the pile in page one. Also, what if the
money on page one is mostly thousand dollar bills while the money on page
ten is mostly dimes and nickles?

3. Scrooge is the incarnation of greed. He uses cheap labour and cheap
material. So, although some money disappears in costs of production,
that's not a very big slice, as Scrooge's profit most likely is huge. And
don't forget that the business in question here is not milk or bread or
electricity, but expensive luxury articles. Many of these shops are
probably made especially for those rich enough to don't care about price
as long as they get what they want, so Scrooge could easily add a few
extra zeroes to the price tag without that many complaints.

In conclusion: Scrooge wouldn't get back all the money, but he would get
back most of it, and he would at the same time get a lot more money from
his other businesses. Put this in to the very inaccurate measure "a huge
pile of money bags", and I have no problems at all seeing how the piles
can be approximately the same size.

Olaf Solstrand

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