Monday, June 2, 2008
Chronicle of Higher Education: Is Jodie Foster Responsible for Reaganomics?
What was the greatest wealth-creating film of all time? That question was answered by Robert Mundell, a Nobel Prize-winning professor of economics at Columbia University. His answer: Taxi Driver, Martin Scorsese's 1976 classic starring Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster.
Mundell's explanation, according to a report in The Financial Times, works like this: Ronald Reagan's would-be assassin, John Hinckley, claimed he shot the president in an effort to impress Jodie Foster. (The movie features a scene in which De Niro attempts to assassinate a politician.) The wave of sympathy for Reagan in the wake of the shooting deterred Democrats in Congress from voting against his proposed tax cuts. ...
"Taxi Driver is the most important movie ever made from the standpoint of creating GDP," Mundell said. "It's the movie that made the Reagan revolution possible. That movie was indirectly responsible for adding between $5-trillion and $15-trillion of output to the U.S. economy."