Economics from 'Leave it to Beaver'
Economic Policy Journal
William Brennan emails:
I came across an old episode of “Leave it to Beaver” from the 1950s that had an underlying economic message that is prevalent to this day. The episode called ‘Water, Anyone’ is set on a hot, summer day. The boys in the neighborhood are doing yard work and odd jobs to make money to buy baseball uniforms. Beaver discovers by talking with water department workers that the water is going to be turned off; as he is also hoping to make a little extra money for a uniform, he stocks up on tap water and begins peddling it around the neighborhood to all the other hard working boys.
At first, the other boys thought it was absurd to have to pay for water, but as their thirst increased, they ultimately succumbed to their desire for water and began purchasing water from the Beaver.
Mr. Cleaver chastised the Beaver for exploiting the other boys in the neighborhood. It reminded me of when the politicians implement price controls following a natural disaster. The Beaver justifies his rationale for charging for the water just as any good Austrian economist would. Here’s a Youtube link if you have a little time: