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Archive for February 6th, 2012

People often ask why I put so much political humor on this site. The easy answer is that I like a good joke.

But I also find that some cartoons and jokes do a very good job of helping people understand economics. I’ve always liked this cartoon, for instance, because it cleverly illustrates the impact of government handouts on the labor market. And looking at that cartoon is a lot quicker than taking a class about labor economics.

Well, you can also skip the class about public finance. Here’s a cartoon that shows the economic burden of government “stimulus” spending.

Very funny and very intellectually sound. Indeed, the only thing that would have made the cartoon even better would have been showing that the jockey became bloated by eating the horse’s food. But I reckon it’s not easy making multiple points with one picture.

Anyhow, I’m disappointed that I didn’t notice it at Reason.com a couple of years ago when the debate on the faux stimulus was taking place. It probably would have helped more people understand that you don’t boost economic performance by draining resources from the productive sector of the economy to finance a larger government.

By the way, if you want to understand in greater detail why the cartoon is accurate, this video on Keynesian economics is helpful, as is this video explaining the failure of Obama’s $1 trillion boondoggle.

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Happy Birthday President Reagan

Ronald Reagan was born 101 years ago today, so let’s celebrate the great man with some videos.

But since I’ve already shared a video highlighting Reagan’s deep understanding of both economics and history, let’s watch a few clips showing his sense of humor.

We’ll start with a look at his use of humor while President.

And if we go back further in time, here are three videos of him participating in Dean Martin roasts.

We’ll start with the show where he was roasted. Here’s his response.

And here he is on the other side, doing roasts of Frank Sinatra and George Burns.

Last but not least, here’s Reagan on the Sonny and Cher Show.

And if you still haven’t gotten enough Reagan, you can look at several policy-related videos at this link, including Reagan’s famous Goldwater speech in 1964, the “tear down this wall” speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, and the two most memorable lines from his debates with Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale.

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