Guns, Butter, and Dr. Seuss: Using Political Cartoons to Teach the PPC

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Political cartoons have often been used in the social studies classroom as a way to deepen students’ understanding of historical topics and provide a creative outlet to develop critical thinking and analytical skills. This paper extends this method to the economics curriculum, specifically the topics covered at the introduction of an economics course: opportunity cost, scarcity, and the production possibilities curve. Students are asked to identify how these fundamental economic concepts are relevant to political cartoons created by Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, during World War II. By analyzing these cartoons in the context of the production possibilities curve, students can enhance their understanding and develop an appreciation of the historical significance of these key concepts.

Sarah Jenyk and Daniel Wakefield