The US economy has benefited tremendously from government investment in technological advancements designed to improve the US military’s firepower, but is it worth it? There are a number of equity considerations around the investments, but the efficiency gains are a bit more obvious. The research is funded by taxpayers, so it begs the question of what is the best use of funds. Adam questions how funds should be used, but essentially proposes viewers consider the tradeoffs that are present in each new advancement
South Park — It’s Gone!
Stan heads to the local bank to put a check from his relative into a bank account, but the South Park Bank is pretty terrible with their investment strategy. Unknowingly, the economy is about to tank and depositors are finding their money is suddenly gone.
Thanks to Zoe Cook-Nadel for the suggestion!
Shawshank Redemption — Crowding Out
In this scene, cheap inmate labor provided by Shawshank crowds out private investment. The Warden ends up getting bribed to make sure he does not bid on a contract that the private investor needs to have. This can be shown to students to talk about how programs that are meant to help the economy can crowd out private investment. It can also lead into a discussion on corruption and greed.
Thanks James Tierney for the clip and description!
A Knight’s Tale — Investing in Training
William Thatcher (Heath Ledger) in A Knight’s Tale convinces his friends that they should take their winnings and invest it in better training so that they can win bigger prizes in the future.