This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal

The students of Western High needed frankfurters for their class wiener roast. So they purchased them, and in doing so took part in the great capitalistic economy of the United States.  

This 1948 instructional video below shows a group of chipper youngsters in debate about what free enterprise means, and to what extent it needs to be protected and regulated by the government. Using the example of the wiener roast, they offer differing opinions on what drives and sustains a free enterprise. 

"We needed weenys," Bill says; "Mr. Brown had weenys. It's as simple as that." 

But Eleanor, a more cynical youth, won't accept that definition of capitalism. "That's not why he's in business," she says. "He's in business to make money."

As the video's intro text states: "It is for you to develop conclusions as to what capitalism means by considering the material presented here."¦ "

{{ BIZOBJ (video: 3771) }}

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.