Billy Paul — Let the Dollar Circulate

I reached out to #EconTwitter and asked what songs they like to use to teach different topics in their classes and the results did not disappoint:

Since I’m not a macroeconomist, I have very little content on the macro side from tv and movies, but apparently music covers a lot of macro topics. The first suggestion was this 1975 Billy Paul song, Let the Dollar Circulate which begs for money to start flowing through the economy and wonders why things have slowed down (Is it all because of Watergate?). Paul notes that “Things are gettin’ higher, makes it hard on the buyers”  (inflation is happening) and “Unemployment on the rise.” The song was released at the end of the 1973-1975 recession. I was curious what unemployment and inflation looked like in the 1970s leading up to the recession, so I went and put together a FRED chart for you:

Thanks to Leo for the song suggestion!

Kiatnakin Bank — Saving for your dream

 

This young Thai kid dreams of being an astronaut and making great scientific discoveries, but he’s got to save enough Baht (Thai currency) to be able to afford to the telescope. For reference, 2500 baht is about $75 US. The young boy is tempted by ice cream, street food, video games and toys, but he maintains his frugalness and saves up enough to buy the telescope. After enough time, he rushes to the store to buy the telescope, only to find out that the telescope now costs 3500 baht. The message is clear, inflation occurs and makes the value of money deteriorate over time. This Thai bank is encouraging savings to help combat that.

Thanks to Peach Tantihkarnchana for the clip suggestion!

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!

The League — Medium of Exchange

Most principles of macroeconomics classes teach the three (or sometimes four) functions of money. The main function is always its ability to be used in exchange for goods and services (use as a medium of exchange). In this clip from season 3 episode 7 of the league, Taco uses Jenny’s underwear covered in stamps in exchange for goods and services.

Source: James Tierney

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