Trading a Paperclip for a House


Kyle MacDonald started with a red paperclip and ended up with a house. Trade and barter requires a double coincidence of wants, but Kyle was able to find people willing to give up something he valued more than his holdings. Mutually beneficial exchange makes both parties better off. This is a great clip to start the process of discussing why trading can grow an economy and why centrally planned economies are harder to coordinate.

Thanks to @AlcovyEconomics on Twitter for the clip!

Rick and Morty — Bartering for Bread


The clip shows a good example of the double coincidence of wants and how a barter system is difficult to maintain. The seller of bread needs somebody to take care of his kids and the guy who can take care of his kids wants extra bread. They need what the other has and have what the other wants. The trouble is determining how much work is appropriate to get a loaf of bread and then managing the system to make sure everyone gets paid.

Thanks to Mathew Abraham for the suggestion

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.

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