The Atlantic is beginning a series of videos called “Economics in Plain English,” writes Derek Thompson of its business news staff.
Thompson writes, “We sifted through more than 300 submissions, which ranged from the super-serious (‘explain monetary policy’s effect on long-term interest rates’) to the super-not-serious (‘why are cupcakes cheaper than Banh Mi sandwiches?’).
“We’ve picked our six favorites across a wide range — from highbrow to lowbrow, trivial to weighty, practical to theoretical — and filmed three-minute videos answering each question in a way we hope is not just watchable and not just informative (although hopefully both of those things) but also just plain fun.
1) Why is bottled water so expensive?
2) Are bottomless drinks actually a good business?
3) Are the machines taking our jobs, and should we be scared?
4) Are the rich hoarding the economic pie?
5) What’s the difference between fiscal policy and monetary policy?
… and, finally, because it seemed like an absurd challenge:
6) What is money?
“Some of these topics naturally lend themselves to a bit more fun than others. We’ll take any excuse to talk business over bottomless mimosas (#2) or visit a northeast D.C. pie shop to discuss income inequality (#4). On the other hand, comparing the effect of tax-based stimulus to quantitative easing (#5) in an accurate and amusing way was a slightly different challenge.”
Read more here.