The Great On-Campus Market Crash of 2013

When most students hear about “economic redistribution” or “market crashes,” they likely have misguided or even absent notions of what these terms means, what causes these situations, and how they directly affect the lives of all college students.


With “Jenga-Nomics,” members of the Young Americans for Liberty at the University of Utah had a chance to talk to students about these very topics, giving them insight into the destructive power of government intervention in the economy.


On February 20th, 2013, we greeted passing students, challenging them to remove a block from the Jenga tower for a chance to win a piece of candy. If the students could answer a trivia question about economic liberty, they were also offered a YAL Pocket Constitution.

As students carefully removed their block, YAL members explained that the tower symbolizes a country’s economy and the removing of a block symbolized government programs including economic redistribution. While the tower does get high, members explained, redistribution weakens the base of the economic tower, creating holes in the economy. YAL members explained that rather than actually creating something (which governments cannot do), redistribution and other similar programs simply move the pieces created by free market capitalism.


 After about an hour, the original tower still stood tall, gaining increasing interest from passersby wondering when it was going to fall. Finally, with a relatively sizable crowd surrounding it, the tower toppled to the crowd, turning many heads and giving YAL members a chance to talk about market crashes.

 YAL at the University of Utah utilized the Jenga-Nomics game quite effectively to educate a good number of students on the negative effects of economic redistribution.

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