Excellent episode. Should it be titled “In praise of fiat currency?”
This was a great episode. It touches on an almost omnipresent kind of error people make in approaching economics: reification of the concept of “the economy.” The terrible thing is, after sniffing out this fallacy, the writers have exactly inverted how it is being manifested in popular discussion.
The cheif offender in the promulgation of this fallacy is Keynes’ idea of the “paradox of thrift”: that although individuals selfishly want to hoard all their money in a downturn, protecting themselves against potential future losses, the right thing to do “for the economy” is to spend, spend, spend.
South Park’s MO is to expose the idiocy of various popular, irrational crusades or prejudices. And yet in this episode, they wind up extoling raw, unfounded faith in the sphere economics. They are groping toward the idea that economic activity, confidence in any kind of monetary order, is based on people’s expectations that there will be things produced in the future for their money to buy. Of course that is not faith, it is a rational asssessment of human society.
But they have confused this confidence in man’s future productivity with what is really an unfounded faith in fiat money. So in order to carry through their thesis they end up endorsing the doctrine that most embodies the fallacy they are trying to pick apart.
Hilarious! They depicted exactly the solution this administration is using — put it on the kid’s credit card.
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