Monday, December 21, 2009

In Defense of Ebenezer Scrooge

I couldn't believe it when I saw it. A defense of that universally-loathed villain Ebenezer Scrooge. I recently came across this exceptionally written piece and absolutely must share it. I should warn you, however, that reading this may well destroy for you what is regarded as a well-beloved Christmas story. It did for me. No more do I have the same opinions of Scrooge or even Bob Cratchit. Actually, although it's caused me to remove this story from favorites list, I'm glad I've read this piece as it has connected my study of economics with my childhood. Written by Butler Shaffer, an excerpt:
It is instructive that Dickens tells us virtually nothing about the nature of Ebeneezer's business. We know that he is something of a banker or financier, but we are told nothing about the nature of his investments. Even if he has not been a creative entrepreneur himself, he has, presumably, been responsible for financing many successful enterprises, which have not only benefited the rest of the community in terms of goods and services they provide, but afford employment to countless individuals, including Bob Cratchit. For all that we know — and it would seem to be beneath Dickens's sensibilities to ask such a question or care about the answer — Scrooge may have provided capital for researchers seeking a cure for the very ailment from which Tiny Tim suffers. (Read the entire thing here.)

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