August 23, 2011

Help, Mom! There Are Communist Environmentalists Under My Bed!

bob_builder_yeswecan.jpgLeftist subversives are using their "stranglehold" on the Liberal Children's Media to unleash their ungodly "political indoctrination" of sharing, cooperation, and environmentalism on your vulnerable children! If only the Liberals didn't control the rest of the media, too, maybe someone would take note of this terrible, anti-American conspiracy!

Oh hi, Motoko Rich in the New York Times!

For the most part, the economic concepts conveyed in the books reflect values like generosity and equity rather than competition. Raymond Fisman, an economist at Columbia University, said his 3-year-old daughter's favorite books teach the importance of sharing and gift-giving, values that might not lead to the greatest wealth in the real world.
And you, too, Marta Mossburg at the Baltimore Sun? Never heard of you, but go ahead!
Most are cartoon depictions of a progressive utopia without money, winners or losers, or consequences for one's actions. And, of course, most characters live in cities or planned communities where everything is accessible through public transportation or walking. SUVs are not just bad; they do not exist.
And it's not just any kind of anti-individualist anti-capitalism: it's environmentalism! Which is anti-capitalist! Did you see what I did there? Marta again:
But each lesson revolves around the theme "Working together, they get the job done." Occasionally characters go it alone...Young viewers also never see Bob [The Builder] quote a price for a job, make payroll, fire anyone for sloppy work or pull up to a gas station to fill up his heavy equipment. And he is obsessed with recycling. "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" is the show's mantra. If I were a child, I would think "Sunflower Valley" sprang, sui generis from repurposed plastic bottles and that adults volunteered for a living.
If I were a child, I would not be using sui generis in a sentence. I guess that makes me one of the losers.

But we knew that already. What we don't know is what several random economists hate about children's books. Motoko?

Sometimes, economists think that children's books get things wrong. Dr. Seuss's "The Lorax," about the destruction of a forest by a greedy industrialist, "assumes that there is no economic system in place," [Dr. John] Conant [director of the Center for Economic Education at Indiana State University] said. In a modern capitalist economy, he said, the trees "would get very valuable as they got scarce, and the person with the property rights would harvest them at an economically reasonable rate."
Really? No economic system? Tell that to the buffalo, or to that crying Indian overlooking the freeway before the EPA was created. I can't believe someone with a PhD in economics pretends not to know what a negative externality is. Anyway, I think it's pretty clear that the Koch Brothers speak for the trees now. So as soon as they launch their children's book imprint, this'll all be taken care of.

Children's TV: last bastion of liberal utopia [baltimoresun via dt capitalist reader matthew]
Fairies, Witches and Supply & Demand [nyt]

1 Comment

Coming soon from the creators of Fox News, the Fair and Balanced Kids Channel, with programming like:

* Ayn Rand's Fountainhead: the Animated Series
* Kids Incorporated Capitalist Edition
* The Milton Friedman Variety Hour
* Coco the Canary (about a coal mining cartoon bird who is out of work because of the Obama administration's oppressive regulatory regime)

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