The Greatest Economics Film Ever

"There will be growth in the spring!"

By SHARE

Let's see, a former Clinton treasury secretary—and some members of Congress—want Uncle Sam to consider a temporary $50 billion to $75 billion tax cut and spending plan to boost the economy. And Alan Greenspan wants the feds to start cutting checks to struggling homeowners. I examined the wisdom and folly of such efforts here. But the 1979 film Being There, about a simple-minded gardener who somehow becomes an influential Washington insider with his gentle wisdom, does it a bit better:

The President: Mr. Gardner...do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives?

[Long pause]

Chance the Gardener: As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.

The President: In the garden.

Chance the Gardener: Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.

The President: Spring and summer.

Chance the Gardener: Yes.

The President: Then fall and winter.

Chance the Gardener: Yes.

Benjamin Rand: I think what our insightful young friend is saying is that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature, but we're upset by the seasons of our economy.

Chance the Gardener: Yes! There will be growth in the spring!

The President: Well, Mr. Gardner, I must admit that is one of the most refreshing and optimistic statements I've heard in a very, very long time.... I admire your good, solid sense. That's precisely what we lack on Capitol Hill.