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Ellen Degeneres as a Modern Bastiat

Summary:
For fairly obvious reasons, I’ve been watching more YouTubes lately. I came across comedian Ellen Degeneres’s first appearance on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. It was back in November 1986. Yikes, I’m getting old. The whole thing, about 6 minutes long, is quite good. I especially liked the line about kindergarten. At about the 3:35 point, she calls God to ask why there are fleas: they seem to have no obvious benefit. The whole conversation is quite good. The part in which she’s a modern Bastiat versus God as the entity who believes in the broken window fallacy is at about 4:35. Of course she doesn’t directly challenge him–he’s God, after all–but you can see from context that she thinks his reasoning is flawed. Indeed, many in the audience wouldn’t have laughed if

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Ellen Degeneres as a Modern Bastiat

For fairly obvious reasons, I’ve been watching more YouTubes lately. I came across comedian Ellen Degeneres’s first appearance on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. It was back in November 1986. Yikes, I’m getting old.

The whole thing, about 6 minutes long, is quite good. I especially liked the line about kindergarten.

At about the 3:35 point, she calls God to ask why there are fleas: they seem to have no obvious benefit. The whole conversation is quite good.

The part in which she’s a modern Bastiat versus God as the entity who believes in the broken window fallacy is at about 4:35. Of course she doesn’t directly challenge him–he’s God, after all–but you can see from context that she thinks his reasoning is flawed. Indeed, many in the audience wouldn’t have laughed if they hadn’t seen the fallacy in God’s argument for fleas.

David Henderson
David Henderson is a British economist. He was the Head of the Economics and Statistics Department at the OECD in 1984–1992. Before that he worked as an academic economist in Britain, first at Oxford (Fellow of Lincoln College) and later at University College London (Professor of Economics, 1975–1983); as a British civil servant (first as an Economic Advisor in HM Treasury, and later as Chief Economist in the Ministry of Aviation); and as a staff member of the World Bank (1969–1975). In 1985 he gave the BBC Reith Lectures, which were published in the book Innocence and Design: The Influence of Economic Ideas on Policy (Blackwell, 1986).

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