Economics in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

In Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, directed by Tim Burton, a young boy named Jacob “Jake” Portman is told – ever since he was a toddler – about the adventurous stories of his grandfather, Abraham “Abe” Portman. In these stories, Abe claims to have known a group of ‘mutated’ human beings called Peculiars: Peculiars are humans that possess strange but unique abilities that allow them to manipulate different elements. However one day, Abe was killed by a group of evil Peculiars led by Mr. Barron – where “Hollowgasts” and “Wights” constantly eat Peculiars’ eyeballs in order to retain their humanity and not turn into mindless and destructive monsters. Jake then enters and saves Miss Peregrine and her Peculiar Children from these antagonists and does so through an economic way of thinking.

Throughout the film, Jake is encountered with countless situations where he needs to determine whether or not the ‘banks’ – in this case the “Hollowgasts” and “Wights” under Mr. Barron’s wing – borrow ‘money’ – which would be the Peculiars’ eyeballs from the Fed, Mr. Barron. Because the ‘banks’ want to borrow a higher amount of ‘money’ due to necessities for living, Mr. Barron – the Fed- has a greater amount of control over the ‘banks’ and can determine what the reserve requirement will be so he can maximize utility for himself. In the movie, Mr. Barron had a relatively low ‘reserve requirement’ that allowed more “Hollowgasts” to ‘borrow money’ from the ‘Fed’ in order to fulfill their own self-interests: in this case ‘borrowing money’ would be taking the eyeballs from Peculiars that Mr. Barron reveals to them so that the ‘economy’ – the relations between the “Hollowgasts” and Mr. Barron and the “Wights” will be relatively peaceful.

In addition, the critical decisions both Jake and Miss Peregrine have to make throughout the film are based on how they will maximize utility and have a higher amount of marginal benefits in comparison to marginal costs. When Jake had to choose whether or not to travel to the Children’s Home on an island near Wales, there were numerous marginal costs: ruining his relationship with his parents even further, not attending school, and more. But Jake valued his grandfather’s belief in Jake to travel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children so that Jake himself will discover the truth of who he truly is and the story of his grandfather.

In what ways can the monetary system be analogous to other situations? And is the monetary system effective in improving the national economy? If not, why?

What do you think?

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