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The Economics of Harry Potter


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Book 1 Quiz

In the world of Harry Potter, magic can be used to do many things that people would normally do themselves, like washing dishes or cleaning their room.

Magic can also be used to travel long distances in a very short time. Examples are "floo powder" and portkeys. And what do you save when use these magical methods of transportation? Time and money!

Yes, the Weasley family and other people who use "floo powder" to get from place to place probably have to buy the powder. But it's probably cheaper and easier than paying for a bus ride or a cab ride or getting in a car for a drive. You don't have to pay for anything but the powder, and you're there before your vehicle would have eased back into traffic.

(You could, of course, take a magical car, as Harry and Ron did to arrive at Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Don't remember them stopping for a fill-up, do you?)

If you're really going a long way, you can use a portkey. (That's how Harry, the Weasleys, and other people got to the Quidditch World Cup in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.) Then you're really saving some money because you don't have to pay for a long plane or train ride or pay for the gas station fill-ups it would take to get you halfway across the country.

You can also earn wizarding money, however. Arthur Weasley, Cornelius Fudge, and other people who work at the Ministry of Magic probably earn a salary, like Muggles do. But unlike Muggles, these magical people are probably paid in galleons and sickles. (Remember, 1 galleon = 17 sickles!) Harry himself has a small fortune, left over from his parents. And as hard as Arthur Weasley works, he never seems to earn enough to do more than provide the basic necessities for his wife and seven children.

In the world of Harry Potter, money and expenses have a language all their own.

Graphics courtesy of ArtToday

 


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