Federal Reserve “Comics”
Just ran across these “comics’ from several of the Federal Reserve districts, primarily Boston, Dallas, and New York.
There’s an upbeat tone to the comics, which are geared to kids at several age levels; Wishes and Rainbows (2007) is remiscent of the film Pleasantville in its description of the town of Pebbleton, where the citizens have been “without color their whole lives.” Through exploitation of brightly colored flowers that only grow in Colorland, the Pebblepeople give life to their gray world and grow the flower through “black tears,” which the reader is left to assume are seeds. Wishes and Rainbows and the other comics as a whole illustrate certain canonical Western economic concepts such as demand, scarcity, property rights, and monetary neutrality.
One is left to ponder what is left out of the comics; the comics suggest that one must dig deeper into the secrecy practices of the Federal Reserve system, and its linkages to bank, financial, and trade secrecy. Hopefully parents and teachers will do this.
To read the comics, see the Federal Reserve Publications Catalog.
Also, there’s an interesting “conspiracy theory” approach to the comics at binnall of america.
And, for another much-needed perspective, a recent book by Prof. Trent Schroyer (2009) Beyond Western Economics: Remembering Other Economic Cultures does a magnificent job linking alternative ways of thinking about economics by way of Ivan Illich’s works and Gandhian economics.