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What's the Economy For, Anyway? (DVD) Review by Amy M. O'Quinn

Bullfrog Films
PO Box 149
Oley, PA 19547

Understanding our economy and sorting out the viewpoints and opinions of all citizens who are just trying to make a living is difficult--even in the best of times. However, throw our current financial situation into the mix, along with finger pointing and the suggested solutions coming in from every direction to "fix" the problem, and you have a tangled and uncertain definition of the term economy and its role in the lives of all Americans.

The DVD What's the Economy For, Anyway?, produced by Bullfrog Films and featuring ecological economist Dave Batker, presents a forty-minute critique of our economic system and current crisis. Mr. Batker focuses largely on the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and whether or not it is a true measure of a society's quality of life, happiness, health, security, etc. He compares the United States to other countries in many economic areas and finds us lacking. In addition, he applies Gifford Pinchot's mission statement ("the greatest good for the greatest number over the longest run") to our economy. Pinchot was appointed first Chief of the Forest in 1905 and he was also the 28th governor of Pennsylvania. His statement was actually referring to the National Forest Service--not to our economy, although I suppose the general idea is universal.

I am certainly no expert, but I do know that our country is facing a tough economic period. I do not pretend to have the knowledge to ask many pertinent questions, but I personally do not believe that more government involvement is the answer to our problems. From what I could understand from this film, the producers favor a "new Neal Deal" and solutions similar to those used in European countries where citizens "share the wealth," more or less. But is egalitarianism the answer? I personally don't think so.

While I do not agree with many things presented on What's the Economy For, Anyway? or the philosophy and ideas behind its creation, I do think the film is well made. I also thought the format and method of presentation were engaging and easy to follow, and Mr. Batker is definitely animated and entertaining. My four- and six-year-old sons thought he was hilarious! The video is designed for viewers in grades 10-12, college, and adults. However, my 13-year-old son had no problem following this presentation.

To learn more about this DVD and other products from Bullfrog Films, you can visit

Product review by Amy M. O'Quinn, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2010