Book Review: “M Is For Money: An Economics Alphabet”

Why do we even have money? The answer starts with farmers…

“M is for Money: An Economics Alphabet” by Debbie and Michael Shoulders, illustrated by Marty Kelley
c.2015, Sleeping Bear Press
$16.99 / $17.99 Canada
32 pages

 
There’s a little jingle in your pocket, and you can’t wait to spend it.
 
So what will you buy?  Will you purchase candy or a toy?  Is there enough for a present for Mom or Grandma?  Or, after you read “M is for Money” An Economics Alphabet” by Debbie & Michael Shoulders, illustrated by Marty Kelley and learn a little more, will you put the jingle in your bank?
 
Why do we even have money?  The answer starts with farmers…
 
About 10,000 years ago, when humans decided to stay in one place and grow crops, someone eventually had an (A for) Abundance. In their little (C for) Civilization, then, they were able to trade crops for food and other items. Because it’s kind of hard to carry a bushel of grain in your pocket, money was created as a stand-in.
 
This all has to do with (E for) Economics, which is “the study of how we get things we want and need,” how barter works, and how businesses operate. It’s “the way people obtain items that may be scarce or in-demand.”
 
Let’s say you have (G for) Goods and Services, like lemonade and brownies to sell. The kid next door is selling milk and cookies. You can lower your price to attract customers but you’ll want (I for) Income from your lemonade and brownies, so you won’t want to sell too cheaply. On the other hand, you can raise prices if it’s a hot day and people are hungry. The kid next door can do the same, if she wants – which is a basic definition of a (F for) Free Market.
 
So what do you do if you want more (M for) Money? 
 
You can ask your family, friends and neighbors to pay you for special chores, which makes you a (P for) Producer. You can cut your (S for) Spending, and put your money away for interest, which you get when your bank makes a (L for) Loan to someone. You could try making something at home out of the (R for) Resources you already have, and you’ll have (Z for) Zero Profit Condition.
 
Or you could just ask for a bigger allowance. How easy is that?