The first episode of the Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey
Written by Ken Schoolland
Animation by Joe Kent
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From The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey
By Ken Schoolland
As you may recall, we last left Jonathan Gullible on a remote Pacific island after his boat was blown far off course by a terrific storm.
While Jonathan was wandering along a trail through a thickly wooded area, he was suddenly brushed aside by a gang of men who were dragging a young woman down the trail. Feeling helpless, Jonathan ran up the trail to find assistance.
He finally found a group of people who were gathered around a tree trunk and beating it with large sticks. Jonathan ran over to the person who seemed to be in charge and said:
Jonathan: Please, sir, I need your help in rescuing a woman who’s in some terrible trouble.
Man: That woman who was just arrested? Don’t give her a second thought.
Jonathan: She was arrested? What was her crime?
Man: She was arrested for threatening the jobs of all the men who are working here.
Jonathan: Really? How did she do that?
Man: As you can see, we work at knocking down trees by beating them with these sticks. Sometimes a hundred people can knock down a good-sized tree in less than a month. But this woman came to work this morning with a sharp metal piece attached to the end of her stick. She outraged the others by cutting a tree down in less than one hour—all by herself! Such a threat to our traditional employment had to be arrested.
Jonathan: But won’t her invention of sharp-metal-on-a-stick allow people of all sizes and strengths to cut down trees? Won’t wood cost less to consumers? These workers have arms, legs, and brains—so instead of wasting time beating on trees, couldn’t they spend their time more productively making products from wood?
Man: The purpose of work, in this society, is not to have new products. The purpose of work is to have unchanging and secure employment.
So ends another bizarre episode in the life of Jonathan Gullible. Produced by Students in Free Enterprise at Hawaii Pacific University.