Lessons in Dr. Seussonomics
Every year, I have my 500 intro students write vignettes like those in my little book, Economics Is Everywhere. This year, I got one which is the most clever and original of the roughly 2,000 submitted in the past four years. It’s by my student Kourtney Kech, and appears below.
As a small child, I remember quite clearly, a book that my mother read and loved dearly.
The Lorax, by Seuss, a doctor of rhymes, provided us both with some great pre-sleep times.
The idea of scarcity is not that complex and is shown in great detail through Lorax’s text.
There are lots of trees when the Once-ler first shows, the number is set though, they can’t be regrown.
It takes too much time, over 20 long years, for a tree of this type to grow, reappear.
Because they are scarce, there just aren’t enough, for the Once-ler to make these thneeds, oh how tough.
Unlimited wants shot down by no trees, it’s scarcity’s best, leaving no room for thneeds.
Sadly it takes one tree for one thneed; the opportunity cost is quite high, yes indeed.
In order to make a whole bunch of these thneeds, the Once-ler must cut down a whole bunch of trees.
At first things are great, the factory grows, economies of scale appear within prose.
With size and his family moving in quickly, a good situation becomes very sticky.
With a super-ax hacker, a complex machine, the forest soon comes to a desolate scene.
This hacker, advanced, can cut down more trees, all of the Trufflas that the rich Once-ler sees.
With this expansion and technology growth, the thneeds produce quickly and cost drops, I’d say both.
Because of location, monopoly shows, and the thneeds are sold everywhere as the factory grows.
From the great state of Texas to lone Timbuktu, thneeds were wanted world-wide; this monopoly true.
With oh so much power, the Once-ler can be, the king of the thneeds, what everyone needs.