Invisible Hands: FEE’s Vision of Economics


– Hey, Kevin here. I’m your host for the Foundation
for Economic Education’s new series, “Invisible Hands.” I’m here to guide you through
the incredible and miraculous world of economics. Whoa, whoa, hey, don’t,
don’t go anywhere. I know you might not
think so right now, but I promise economics is
actually really exciting. Like in 1900, when the
electric light bulb was first introduced,
it took 60 hours of work to pay for 10 days
of continuous light. Today, that same amount of work
can keep the lights on for 52– years. Economics can show us
how it’s possible to live in a world where resources
are scarce, wants and needs are unlimited, and yet we still
cut extreme poverty in half just in the last 30 years. Throughout this
series, we’ll talk about the incredible
benefits of trade, what entrepreneurs really
do for the economy, and how incentives
affect people’s behavior. We’ll even talk about the
rules and social customs that help us create awesome
societies people actually want to live in. And what happens when
those rules go away. – Hi everyone. – Whoa, hi, Fiona. – Oh, hello students! – Hi, Professor Ferg Berg. – How’s it going? – So Kevin, we thought
we’d dropped by to help you talk about
these important ideas. – Oh, awesome. So I bet at this point, you’re
wondering why any of this matters. What is learning economics
even going to do for you? You know what? Professor, why don’t
you take this one? – Sure. To quote my good friend
professor Tyler Cowen, economics is everywhere,
and understanding economics can help you make
better decisions and lead a happier life. – Awesome! Wait– what does that even mean? – Well, most of us want a lot
of the same things in life– to be successful at school,
make friends, fall in love, start businesses, or find a
great job to improve our lives and make the world
a better place. – Like ending poverty or
cleaning up the environment. – That’s right, Fiona. But the question is, how do we
all get what we want in a world where resources are limited and
everyone has different ideas about what to do with them? – That is a good question. My friends always seem to know
how to solve every problem, but they’re always coming
up with different answers. I never know who’s right. – Yeah, I know what you mean. Even though most of us want
to see progress in the world, it’s not always clear
how to get there. – But that’s what
studying economics is for. Economists study
human behavior so we can learn how people
can successfully deal with competing goals in
a world where there just aren’t enough resources to do
everything at the same time. – I see. – Consider this– throughout
history only a handful of countries have managed to
raise their living standards to the levels we see in America. And that’s only happened
relatively recently, within the past 200 years. – You mean since the
Industrial Revolution? – Yeah, and economics
teaches us that there are only a few specific
ways for society to escape that kind
of extreme poverty we’ve had for most
of human history. – Like what? – Well, for one thing,
we need institutions that make trading
easier for everybody. And we also need high
levels of social cooperation and tolerance. And we need the kind of rules
that encourage everybody to deal with each other
fairly and honestly. These conditions make
all the difference. – The part about ethics
seems pretty clear. We can’t have a better
society if people are stealing from each other
and hurting people all the time. But what’s the big deal about
trade and social cooperation? – Professor? – All right. Think about all
the things you have that make your life better– computers, smartphones,
stoves and microwaves, comfy pillows, backpacks,
clothes and shoes, and even food. Even the simplest
of those things is very difficult to
make from scratch. Even if you could assemble
something like a shoe, you probably can’t make the
fabric or the rubber, right? – Of course not. – I think rubber comes
from a tree or something. That’s all I got. – In fact, not any one of us
has enough knowledge or skills to make almost
anything that we use. – That’s why most
of us specialize in producing some
things, and trade what we make with
other people who specialize in something else. – So increasing our
standard of living depends on the voluntary
interactions of millions of people all over the world,
coming up with new ideas and producing valuable goods
and services for you and me. I mean, that’s neat. – I think so, but that’s
why commerce is important. And to have commerce, we need
peaceful social cooperation between as many
people as possible. – But how do all these
people know what to make? Doesn’t someone need to be
in charge of the decisions? – Not at all. People around the world
cooperate with each other without anybody telling
them what to do. No single person,
business, or government has enough information
to plan out all of this mind-boggling
amount of activity. – We’ll talk about this
more in another video, but what the good
professor is talking about is called “spontaneous
order,” and it’s one of the most important
ideas in economics. But there’s another benefit to
trade and social cooperation. – Friendship! – Connecting with other
people through commerce makes everyone in the
world more interdependent, and the more we work together
and get to know each other, the more we build trust
and form relationships with people from
all over the world. – Cool. That makes us more
peaceful, right? – Yeah, it totally does. – So, are you saying that
if we trade with each other, everyone would be more peaceful,
no one would have to go to war, and we’d get wealthier? – Yeah, yeah, exactly. And that’s the kind of
thing that we’re going to talk about in this series. Economics cannot only help you
make better decisions and get the most out of your life, it
also helps us understand how to make the world a
better place for everyone. Using sound economics to
improve human well-being is our vision for
a brighter future. – Well now I’m excited. – You ready? – We’re ready. – Let’s go.

72 thoughts on “Invisible Hands: FEE’s Vision of Economics”

  1. Hopefully this channel will put out educational content like this for the economically illiterate part of our populace.

  2. Getting burned by capitalism and swearing off capitalism as a good idea is like getting your hand burned on the stove and swearing off having any heat in your body ever again.

  3. And we are not gonna talk about how free markets lead to monopolys, because then we would have to admit that only good government can realy fix issues…

  4. I wouldn't go so far as to say a central authority has no part in this. What are you doing to do if the neighbouring countries central authority decides to attack and take all your wealth? The USA prior to its centralization, when it was a bunch of warring states, was pretty weak militarily and politically. It's a marvel that they won at all, and the British expected the USA to collapse within weeks.

  5. f.e.e i have a video suggestion,you can talk about ethiopia.
    they used to be one of the poorest nations on the planet a few years ago,now they have one of the fastest growing economies.

  6. I like your channel but videos of people trying to explain things to me with puppets have always rubbed me the wrong way. I feel like I'm not being taken seriously as an adult who can comprehend subjects without them. I know that's not your intention but just something to consider.

  7. This reminds me way too much of that one youtube channel based around teaching kids about sexuality and I don't like it.

  8. "Economics is a superpower. Understanding it is like having enhanced vision. When you look at the world around you—full of human beings working, studying, fighting, falling in love, and just living—economics helps you see things that are invisible to most people."
    Meanwhile, I'm just trying to learn how to stick to a budget.

  9. The puppeteers are making a common beginner's mistake: they're keeping the puppets' jaws still and moving their heads when they talk. This lands the puppets squarely in the uncanny valley, as humans do the exact opposite. Thankfully, this is an easy fix. Just move the jaw up and down while keeping the head still.

  10. My major makes me take an econ class, but I ended up liking it so much I added it as a minor. Highly encourage any other college student to take a year of econ

  11. Not sure who this is trying to appeal to…kids? adults? or adults with kid's brains? Sometimes the message gets lost in the production.

  12. Been a Vsauce fan for a long time. It’s super cool to see Kevin working with FEE!! Can’t wait for more videos.

  13. Great video, and I'm excited for the series.

    I have a tip for the puppeteers. Try moving your thumb, and keep your fingers stationary. It's a less natural hand movement, but a much more natural talking movement. When we talk, our jaw moves down, our head doesn't move up. If you can move your thumb down instead, it looks much more natural and the puppet characters become much more engaging.

    It can also help to move the hand forward slightly as you open the puppets mouth, and then back as it closes.

    Let me know if you'd like any more tips. Sorry for the unsolicited advice, you're doing a great series.

  14. Kevin makes videos for FEE. Seamus also makes videos for FEE. Seamus does comedic impressions of “known white supremacists” Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro.

    Vsauce2 is a Nazi confirmed.

  15. Interesting way of selling economics but if it does not include the freedom to select how you can choose to pay for the selected results of all this mutually beneficial activity, then you are just moving towards being more controlled by 'big money' and Governments!

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