Money Matters


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What is Money?

Here is a video of the Monty Python Money Song. It does not tell us much about economics, but it is entertaining. Which currencies mentioned in this video no longer exist and why? Is there anything as wonderful as money?

A cartoon and song from School House Rock explains barter and why money replaced it. One quibble--it says that coins were invented in Mesopotamia. Most sources say it was Lydians, inhabitants of an area in what is now western Turkey.

Assumptions of the Quantity Theory

Duck Tales Inflation is an old cartoon (with some commentary added in this version--I could not find a clean version) in which the nephews of Donald Duck get access to a machine that will duplicate anything. They use it to create massive amounts of money, illustrating that the value of money depends on its amount.

You might wonder why they used the machine only on money. What would have happened if they had used it on goods rather than on money?

Irving Fisher was one of America's best economists at a time when British economists dominated the profession. Many of his ideas are still in use today. However, he made some stock predictions, which are shown in this clip, that were wrong, and those predictions have had a disproportionate weight on his reputation. Do you notice how poorly he fares on video? Do you think he was better lecturing?

These links were checked on May 24, 2009.
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Copyright Robert Schenk