We the Economy

Website review by
Jennifer Sitkin, Common Sense Media
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Short films get kids thinking about the economy.

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Educational Value

Kids can learn about money, globalization, the role of government in the economy, and economic equality. The We the Economy films help raise awareness about economic issues that are often ignored or misunderstood. By watching the films, kids gain an in-depth understanding of economic topics such as the federal reserve, minimum wage, health care, foreign aid, and much more. The We the Economy films and website can open the door for kids to have a dialogue with their parents that will help them make more informed economic decisions.

Positive Messages

Raises awareness, understanding about economic issues. By providing resources to interest teens, filmmakers create an informed citizenry that can form its own opinions. Companion guide will help parents navigate discussions on complex topics with kids. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the purpose of the We the Economy project is to raise awareness and encourage discussion about the economy. The films are intended for high school-age kids, and the use of animation, music, dance, and comedy should increase interest in what is often considered to be dry and irrelevant material. There may be some confusion about the economic concepts addressed in various films that will need to be explained, and not all the films will appeal to everyone. Parents may also be concerned about the political views of some of the filmmakers.

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What's it about?

WE THE ECONOMY is a collection of 20 short films about the economy. The films cover content in response to five questions: What is the economy?, What is money?, What is the role of our government in the economy?, What is globalization?, and What causes inequality? For each question there are four or five films that address key issues. For example, the films on globalization cover trade, human rights, jobs, and U.S.-China relations. Each film lasts between five and eight minutes. The films use a range of techniques to engage viewers such as animation, dance, and comedy. In addition to the films, you can download a lengthy companion guide with discussion questions and much more.

Is it any good?

This film-centric website can be a valuable tool for parents to help their kids become informed about economic issues. Important concepts such as supply and demand, the role of government in the economy, and economic inequality are addressed with humor, music, and stories that teens should find relevant and interesting. The film on supply and demand includes a sales competition between two students who are selling canes to dancers, and an animated film on economic inequality uses a magical land of lollipops and friendship to demonstrate the growing divide in wealth distribution. It should be noted that some of the content does get lost with all the bells and whistles, and parents will need to determine which of the films will be useful in opening up the conversation with their kids. But overall, the films on this site simplify complex content in a way that should be accessible to high schoolers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about individual and family choices about money, spending, saving, and the like. Do you think that sharing details of a monthly budget will help you understand where your money comes from and where it goes?

  • Talk about the role the government plays in the economy. How does its decisions affect your daily lives? Are there ways that taxes, public services, and other items could be handled better?

  • Families can talk about their feelings about and observations of the economic inequalities in their cities, their states, the country, and the world.

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For kids who love economics

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