In class yesterday we were discussing the effect on the economy of a vampire army —

See, we’re working on how to respond to text in your research paper or essay. You always have to talk about what previous researchers have said, and in this case the book I had with me was Michael Ian Black’s essays, and one is on the likely economic impact of vampires.

I had the students work in groups to develop a thesis for their imaginary essay on the subject and then figure out how to reference Black in the course of their support for the thesis.

There were interesting outcomes, from the table that said there’d be a fashion-driven upsurge in spending based on the sexiness of vampires to the group that decided that the elimination of stupid people (vampires would kill them off, the table felt) would benefit the economy in a number of ways.

But as we worked on this, I wondered about the whole idea of something benefiting the economy. Isn’t it all just sort of the same money washing around? I mean, if you do something that brings in foreign money, then that could be good for the local economy, in the way that our biker festival is generally held to be good since it brings all these people from Off with their new funds not earned here. And I guess my foreign clients are sending money which I spend locally.

But mostly, if people spend more money on evening clothes and coffins, or perhaps on garlic, then they just spend less on blue jeans and curry powder, right?