John Stossel — Rent Control in New York City

John Stossel explores New York City’s decision to implement rent control throughout the city. He covers many of the predictable outcomes associated with inefficient policy controls. Ask students to identify issues as he progresses through the video.  While the references are a bit dated, there aren’t many videos that hit the outcomes as closely as this one does.

NYC Debate — Rent is Too Damn High

Many have seen Jimmy McMillan as a meme, but so few have gotten to see him in the NYC debates. McMillan argues that rent in New York City is too high and should be regulated by the government. This is a good clip to use before a discussion on price ceilings and the normative argument of prices being ‘too high’.

John Stossel — Spontaneous Order

In this Stossel in the Classroom segment, John Stossel analyzes political promises and looks at how government intervention actually can harm business. A good portion of the video focuses on how the invisible hand dictates much of what we see occurring in our lives and how centrally planned economies like the Soviet Union break down.

South Park — Uber and Handicar

The characters are complaining about Handicar, a service provided by Timmy and how it is stealing all of the transportation business. Mimsy, another driver, adds his two sense by talking about competition. He includes an economist’s take on incentives and how a certain producer can gain economic advantages in a competitive market. This is important to economics because it includes the topics of a competitive marketplace as well as the concepts of advantage in that marketplace.

Thank you for the clip and the summary Taylor Campbell.


John Stossel — Price Gouging

Is price gouging evil or is it the sensible economic decision when shortages arise? In this series, John Stossel explores price gouging around natural disasters. This topic is really good for discussing the tradeoff between equity and efficiency.

Ted: Jonas Eliasson: How to solve traffic jams

Traffic jams are often provided as an example of a market failure. Drivers are focused on their own driving and don’t consider how it may impact others. As a result, too many people use road systems and congestion occurs. This Ted Talk highlights how Pigouvian taxes could be used to correct the market failure by instituting congestion taxes. While it’s not presented by an economist, he uses a lot of economics concepts throughout the talk.

Saturday Night Live — Chris Rock on Minimum Wage

Chris Rock explains on Weekend Update how a minimum wage (a price floor) is above equilibrium wage. Firms may want to pay lower wages, but an effective price floor is one that is set above the equilibrium such that firms aren’t able to pay the lower wages. Thanks to Jodie Beggs for finding the Jeopardy reference that led me to finding this video.

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