Bob the Builder Lives in a Socialist Society

Filed under Political
Can I over-analyze everything?  Yes I Can!  Just remember that when you read this article.
So Bob the Builder is a children's TV show, depicting Bob as a building "contractor."  I use scare quotes because he doesn't ever formally contract with anyone. The show is broadcast in many countries, but originates from the UK.

One of the things I noticed is completely omitted from the show is the concept of money and economics.  Now, you might say that's fine because it's a children's show, so why complicate it with such ideas?

And you would be correct, except that I'm not talking about the lack of focus on these concepts.  I'm talking about the active and conscious omission of these topics.  Money in specific and economics in general are purposefully removed from the show.

Sure, maybe I'm over-analyzing.  Maybe I see things in a distorted way because of my views.  Not only that, but how does one prove a negative like this?  You can't.  So with that in mind, bare with me.

In "Snowed Under: The Bobblesberg Winter Games," there is a perfect opportunity to depict money or even just a credit card.  Bob checks into a hotel; Spud orders room service and even gets a job.  Yet there's no mention of cost or pay.

In "New To The Crew," the town's folk build all kinds of things out of an old willow tree.  "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!"  There is no association made between how much time it takes to do all these things and what the town's people could have been doing instead.  In economics, this is known as the "marginal alternative use" of resources.
The labor from the rest of the town is being hindered by the disposal of the old willow tree.  That is the marginal alternative use of this labor. Therefore, it is of utmost importance in this sector to be acquainted with the relevant investors and to manage the transaction process ideally.  That process is completely missing.  But it's not just ignored, it's actively omitted.

There are times when lack of labor is depicted.  But usually it is a result of poor character on the part of Bob's workforce (the machines do not represent automation, they represent labor only).  They are usually messing around and have a lesson to learn in the end.  Labor being misallocated never results in a labor shortage.  If there's a chance of labor shortage, Bob just brings in more machines with no explanation as to how they are acquired.

Bob and his team always evaluate the ability to accomplish the task by Bob asking, "Can we fix it?"  His team always enthusiastically responds with "Yes we can!"  But they never ask "Should we fix it?"  A socialist society would never be able to answer a question "Should we fix it?"
Is it better to have a bonfire with the wood from an old tree or have the whole town build random stuff with it?  Is it time to tear down a stricture or repair it?  They don't ever know the answers for sure.  This is because a socialistic society is blind without prices.

You might say that depicting intricate economic concepts like this is beyond children.  Most children's shows skip money.  On the other hand, Bob talks about intricate environmental and ecological concerns all the time.  They depict civics and regulations.  They even depict endless paperwork.  Wait, what?  So why not at least touch on economic concerns then?  Why this and not that?

Instead, economic ideas are purposefully removed.  The desire to simplify can lead to economic illiteracy, which we have plenty of already.  Granted, the show is meant for a world-wide audience.  To depict prices means showing currency, which might tie the show to a specific geographical locale.  But that's a lousy reason to omit something.

Posted via email from Anthony Martin's Weblog

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