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The Candle Makers' Petition in the Simpsons

by AdrianFohr

From the episode Who Shot Mr. Burns, comes an almost perfect representation of Bastiat's Candle Maker's Petition. In the episode, Mr. Burns laments the fact that, though he is a monopoly owner, the sun still provides his customers with free energy, power and light. Mr. Burns reasons correctly that if he blocks out the sun, that he will shift his demand curve outward. He then proceeds to block out the sun. Similarly, Frederic Bastiat wrote a satirical letter to French Parliament. In it he said, if you take arguments for the restraint of trade to their logical conclusion then you should also protect candle makers from a fierce foreign competitor. He declares that the law should prevent people from opening shutters or moving around outside during the day.


The Petition, in full, here:,%20Ch.7,%20A%20Petition


If you have any suggestions for videos or rephrasing of the language used here, email


Hall, Joshua. "Homer Economicus: Using the Simpsons to Teach Economics." The Association of Private Enterprise Education. The Associaton of Private Enterprise Education, n.d. Web. 03 Aug. 2013.

by AdrianFohr

The Candle Maker's Petition

This clip is taken from part one of the Simpsons Episode: Who Shot Mr. Burns?. This episode draws an almost perfect parallel with Bastiat's Candle Maker's Petition.

from The Simpsons (1995)
Creator: Matt Groening
Distributor: DVD
Posted by AdrianFohr