Short Films and Cartoons on Economics

During the process of editing Economics for Everybody, we discovered a treasure trove of old films and cartoons on economics. All of these are available for download on The Internet Archive.

It’s Everybody’s Business (1954)

This little cartoon looks 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.

Make Mine Freedom (1948)

Shows what happens when the government takes control of the economy as it implements various stages of socialism instead of free enterprise. It also explains why America has been so wealthy for so long.

Meet Joe King (1949)

Explains why capital accumulation is so important. This is one of the blessings God has bestowed on our country: that many generations before us worked, saved, and invested in order to build a nation that produces so much. You may find the comparison to China intriguing (as well as a bit dated and prejudiced). Just remember that this cartoon is over 60 years old. China was still recovering from WWII and Mao had only taken control of the country a year before. China was basically a poor, rural country. It wasn’t until the 1980′s that Deng began to push it toward markets in order to achieve some of  the very things talked about in this video.

Going Places (1948)

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.

Banks and Credit (1948)

A simple explanation of how banks work and provide credit. Note that it does not clearly outline the problems with fractional reserve banking.

The Treasury Story (1969)

An interesting look at how much the Treasury Department (and Federal Reserve Bank) had expanded by the late-60′s to include all sorts of governmental agencies and programs. Note how many people are working for the Treasury, and that was 50 years ago…

Understanding the Dollar (1953)

A little vignette that shows how money works as a medium of exchange.  It goes a bit into inflation and the purchasing power of the dollar, but does not explain all the reasons why  purchasing power changes.