More Reality TV Economics

If you're a student of Reality TV Economics, set your TiVo Wishlist for Colonial House. It airs starting Monday night in New York. Similar to PBS's Frontier House, 1900 House, and Manor House, Colonial House is hands-on "experimental history". The "colonists" will arrive on a period tall ship, and be forced to make due with "tools and technology of the era."

Residing in a 17th-century environment cultivated from extensive research, the colonists negotiate personal and communal challenges as they deal with the demoralizing weather, rustic living conditions and backbreaking labor.

ColHouse.jpgI have high hopes that within the few episodes edited for our viewing pleasure we'll be able to glean some small gems of truth on human action. If it's anything like the earlier programs, it will.

Shows of this ilk have huge potential to demonstrate fundamental principles of economics at work. When people in a small, poor community are forced to work to "survive", their decisions and actions carry great weight. Socialism cannot long survive, and the benefits of capitalism are easy to discern. One can't imagine twenty people tolerating edicts of redistribution from someone just as hungry as the rest. But, one can easily imagine twenty people rewarding someone who finds a way to make their lives more bearable.

High hopes. I'm crossing my fingers for the show, but even more so for the genre's potential to illuminate.

Share this

Do you know where it's

Do you know where it's filmed? That looks a lot like Plimoth Plantation.

I believe that's it. Check

I believe that's it. Check the link to the website. Have you been there?

I checked out the link, but

I checked out the link, but didn't see any location info, but here's info on Plimoth Plantation's website:
Apparently it was filmed in Maine, but they had the help of people from the Plantation.

I ask 'cause I grew up in Plymouth and my mom works in the HR department at the Plantation. She mentioned something about it in passing, but didn't go into detail.