Wanted: Economic Advice from Students (Reward!)

NPR recently asked kids to weigh in on the economy. Now the Fraser Institute is asking the older set in its 2009 Video Contest. The institute is offering cash prizes to the high-school and post-secondary students who provide the best answer (in video format) to the question “What is the appropriate role of government in the economy?” Entries are due November 30. For some inspiration, try here — and maybe here. [%comments]


How is something like this judged? On presentation quality? Or how closely the opinion of the student fits your own opinions? I'm opting for the latter.


Ours is the only time in history where we ask the inexperienced youth their opinions on macro issues while telling the wise eldery to "go play".


Is this ridiculous. And I tend to agree with Brent...It's hard to imagine a well-reasoned (or entertaining) video that advocates Communism running away with first place.

Nevertheless, the only legitimate "concept" that comes to mind is some labyrinthine mess of unintended consequences. Fact is, no one can answer this question without appreciating the myriad negative externalities that are implicit at every stage of government involvement. What may promote economic expansion domestically might have deleterious impacts to the environment...to global trade...to African peasant farmers, or displaced blue-collar mid-Westerners...to individuals' health or quality of life...or their deteriorating sense of resposibility.

Indeed, there are no right answers, only clever ones. Or comically ridiculous ones...

Matthew R.

#2, your point is well taken, and my first thoughts were along those lines.

On the other hand, we may get a bunch of children espousing very simple but nevertheless profound ideas. I tend to find that the solutions to (and prophylaxis for) many of the world's problems are simple -- not "easy," but "simple." There's a critical difference.


Perhaps a student could explore what role the government has to ensure that people (legal entities) keep their promises.

Examples could include regulation to ensure banks can keep their promises or Fed policy to ensure the promise that money hold it's value. Contract law is all about dealing with promises.