Jul 21, 2007

Mr. Weasley is a civil servant

Who has a a stay-at-home wife and a large family, all of whom are attending a very pricey private school. Anyway, the Weasleys aren't poor; they're shabbily genteel. Meagan McArdle finds fault with the economics of Harry Potter.
Why are the Weasleys poor? Why would any wizard be? Anything they need, except scarce magical objects, can be obtained by ordering a house elf to do it, or casting a spell, or, in a pinch, making objects like dinner, or a house, assemble themselves. Yet the Weasleys are poor not just by wizard standards, but by ours: they lack things like new clothes and textbooks that should be easily obtainable with a few magic words. Why?
A magical world where everyone had everything they wanted and were always at their ease would be either a very dull place or an absolute hell.

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