Shawshank Redemption — Cigarettes as Money

In this short scene, Red pays an inmate to smuggle contraband with cigarettes. Cigarettes are used as money a lot in prison and it is shown throughout this film. This scene can be shown to talk about medium of exchange, commodity money, bartering, etc.

Thanks to James Tierney for the clip and description.

Always Sunny — Circular Flow

Mac and Dennis come up with a plan to create Paddy’s Dollars in order to stimulate their bar’s revenues, but they have the system a bit backward. They decide to give away a bunch of vouchers that could be used to buy beer to local homeless people. Unfortunately, there’s no incentive for those individuals to come back and buy more Paddy’s Dollars later. This would also be a neat example when teaching circular flow diagrams.

Always Sunny — Internal Economy

While visiting a Dave and Buster’s, Mac and Dennis decide to create Paddy’s Dollars to promote their bar, based on the Dave & Buster’s Power Card. They believe that by giving out Paddy’s Dollars they can get people to come back to their store and spend more money there. They want to require people to buy Paddy’s Dollars using real dollars.

This could be a cool introduction to the Capitol Hill Babysitting Co-op.

Last Leg — David Mitchell on Tax Avoidance

The Last Leg is a British comedy and late night television talk show similar to the Late Show or The Tonight Show in the United States. The economist David Mitchell was a guest one night and opted to talk about taxes, tax evasion, and tax avoidance. He notes that people who have a conscious and try to pay their “fair share” of taxes are actually being taxed at a higher rate than those who are trying to avoid paying taxes. This is backwards from the traditional notion that governments should use taxes to discourage bad behavior.

Thanks for the clip Chris Neill.

The Simpsons — Bank Run

Bart must have recently seen It’s a Wonderful Life because he incites a bank run reminiscent of the old classic. The banker tries to explain that the bank doesn’t actually hold everyone’s money, but its instead loaned out to the town. You can see the original clip here on Econ Media Library as well!

It’s a Wonderful Life — Bank Run

With things headed in the wrong direction economically, George tries to head to the bank to convince the town members that they shouldn’t withdrawal all of their money from the bank at once. He quickly recognizes that a bank run would cripple the economy

Rick and Morty — Devaluing the Intergalactic Currency

One of the main characters just changed the value of the international currency to be zero which has the effect of causing all money to be worthless. The clip focuses on the president of the galactic federation and his aides discussing what to do about the sudden lack of money when the aides realize that without any money they won’t get paid and that they refuse to work for nothing. The president comes up with a solution that involves blowing his brains out with a handy space pistol.

Thanks for the summary and clip Ben Kupp!

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