Have you met Jonathan Gullible? In the best Swiftian tradition, The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible is both a primer and a commentary on the value of the free market. It tells the story of a boy who becomes shipwrecked on an unfamiliar island after being swept out to sea in a storm. Having previously lived in a relatively free society, in this new strange land he experiences culture shock as he learns learns of bewildering laws and traditions of the islands inhabitants. The story highlights the absurdities of the laws, the controls imposed on people’s lives, and the economic drawbacks of these laws.
The laws highlighted are recognizable as common to many countries throughout the world. As the story unfolds, the part individuals in society play in political decision-making and personal responsibility is introduced for discussion.
And it’s local! Written by Grassroot Institute member and Hawaii Pacific University Professor Ken Schoolland, Jonathan Gullible actually grew out of a series of economic and political commentaries for KHVH. Since then, it has been published in 45 languages, produced as a play in three countries, been used as an undergraduate economics text, and garnered acclaim from numerous free market advocates, from John Stossel to Milton Friedman. Steve Forbes said of it that, “If policymakers read – and absorbed the lessons of – this book, how much better the U.S. and the world would be. Free markets, with sensible rules of the road, are moral because they unleash the productive, creative powers of people in ways that benefit everybody. This book is particularly timely.”
Want to learn more about it? You can visit the website at JonathanGullible.com or just click here to view (and purchase) the book on Amazon. And below, see the video “trailer” for the book (and hopefully movie) as well as Malia Zimmerman’s interview with Ken Schoolland and his daughter about his efforts to teach others around the world more about economics.