April Freeman Banner 2014


ATTENTION All Holiday-Loving Econ Nerds!


Let me start by saying that I am an over-the-top holiday lover. I love every second from Thanksgiving to January 1. From the holiday-themed drinks at Starbucks to the cheesy Christmas music that plays over the speakers of every single store, I can’t get enough. But the best part is the plethora of holiday films that seem to play on repeat during the entire month of December. 
I am also a bit of an econ nerd. So that means every time I turn on one of those movies I can’t help but think of all the economics themes running through their snow-covered storylines. Take my all-time favorite movie: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. (If you’ve never seen it, check out this 30-second clip to get the rundown.) 
At first glance, Rudolph is about a lovable-but-misunderstood reindeer that just wants to fit in. But because of his shiny nose, everyone rejects him.  Also in the lineup of rejected characters are Hermie, the elf that just wants to be a dentist, and the Abominable Snow Monster, whose great stature makes him scary to everyone 
But take a deeper look. It becomes clear that the entire movie is about the economic principle of subjective value. When there is a snowstorm and Santa needs to deliver his toys, Rudolph’s nose becomes valuable in guiding the way. Hermie’s dental skills become valuable when the characters need to stop the Snow Monster from attacking. And finally, the Abominable Snow Monster’s height is suddenly perfect when they need someone to put a star on the tree. Sounds like the “circumstances of time and place.” Does that ring any bells?
In the spirit of holiday-econ nerdiness, let's kick off the season right! What are some of your favorite holiday movies or songs that demonstrate economic principles? Submit a short paragraph in the comments about it and you could be featured on our blog this holiday season. 



Anna Ridge is the Director of Programs and Alumni Relations at FEE.

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April 2014

Around the world, people are struggling to throw off authoritarianism, with deeply mixed results. From Egypt to Venezuela, determined people build networks to overthrow their regimes, but as yet we have not learned to live without Leviathan. In this issue, Michael Malice and Gary Dudney discuss their glimpses inside totalitarian regimes, while Sarah Skwire and Michael Nolan look at how totalitarian regimes grind down the individual--and how individuals fight back. Plus, Jeffrey Tucker identifies a strain in libertarianism that, left unchecked, could reduce even our vibrant movement to something that is analogous to the grim aesthetic of architectural brutalism. The struggle for our lives and freedom is a struggle for beauty; it begins inside each of us.
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