I once taught an Econ 101 class to a gaggle of freshman at a premier SUNY school. They gave me a bad evaluation, primarily because, to explain the free rider problem, I read them the Dr. Seuss book “Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose.” In the story, animals learn it’s easier to ride the moose’s antlers instead of walking. At first, the helpful Thidwick doesn’t have a problem with this. Eventually, the weight of the free riders becomes a burden and slows him down. With the approach of hunting season, this places him at risk. The animals he ferries, now accustomed to their costless mode of transportation, actually call Thidwick selfish when he asks them to leave. With the hunters approaching, fate would soon play a pivotal role.

It turns out moose shed their antlers annually. Fortunately for Thidwick, this event occurrs just before the sportsmen arrived. So, instead of Thidwick’s head mounted on the wall in the den pictured on the last page, we see the mounts of all those animals who thought they could ride free forever. Thus ends Dr. Seuss’s allegory against all things Marxist.

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