Economics education in Scrooge comics

Larry Giver lgiver at
Sat Dec 6 20:54:49 CET 2008

	On Nov. 30 Leo Schulte asserted that if more Americans and Europeans read 
Scrooge comics, our economies would be in better shape.  Certainly my early 
education in macroeconomics came mostly from Scrooge/Barks comics; I had no 
course in economics until college.
	Consider WDC144: Scrooge hires Donald to spend several cubic meters of 
cash that won't fit in the money bin.  They travel the country spending the 
cash, much of it on luxury items.  We learned that this stimulates the 
economy resulting in increased income for businesses---in particular, 
Scrooge's businesses, and he has several more large sacks of money waiting 
for him at the end of the story.
	Now recall that Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke claimed that if all 
else failed, the Federal Reserve could stimulate the economy out of a 
recession by printing money and dropping it from helicopters.  Some of his 
critics have given him the nickname "Helicopter Ben".  Perhaps relevant 
today, something similar in the extreme happened in WDC126, when a tornado 
scattered Scrooge's 3 cubic acres of cash all over the countryside.  This 
time there's too much stimulus: lots of people pick up millions each, and 
perceiving themselves wealthy they quit their jobs.  Thus the economy comes 
to a sudden halt, and there's not much that the money can buy.
	In fact, in this very story Scrooge states (page 3 panel 4) "I know that 
money isn't worth anything!" That's quite a statement from a character 
who's spent his life relentlessly acquiring more and more of it.  But I 
recall that about 2 months ago the Pope said something very similar about 
	Other Scrooge stories have lessons about the law of diminishing returns, 
and the correlation or lack of correlation of wealth and happiness.  And we 
who buy comic books have certainly learned about inflation.  They cost a 
lot more than the 10 cents price that used to be on the front cover.
					Best wishes,
						Larry Giver.

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