Halloween and its Candy Economy

Some kids left with a far lesser quantity of candy than when they first arrived, but that did not prevent them feeling far wealthier because now what they owned was a much closer approximation to their ideal mix.

As for the other kids, well, they were astounded to discover that their own bags were far heavier than before, that they too felt wealthier ??? and that nobody was complaining to mom about the fact!

Indeed, all children left the table with smiles and happiness, each feeling as if he or she had gotten a great deal.

What a stunning achievement!

After all, the available physical resources were unchanged. Nor had anyone planned or policed the trading. It had all happened spontaneously.

One was left wondering at the true magic of that Halloween ??? namely, at the transforming effect of something as simple as the opportunity for free exchange, for the chance to derive mutual benefit from the difference in tastes between individuals.

Jeff Tucker recounts a Halloween tale, as kids discover the magic of trade (initially with barter, and spontaneously enhanced with the emergence of money).


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