Global Warming Can’t Be Real

Cartoon by Barry


Panel 1
The image shows a businessman wearing a jacket and tie and standing on a tiny planet Earth. He is angrily lecturing. In the background we see outer space.
MAN: Global warming can’t be real. Because if it IS real, then profit isn’t always right.

Panel 2
The planet is melting away under him, and he looks nervous.
MAN: Plus, after so many years of calling it a hoax, it would be humiliating to admit global warming is real. WE CAN’T LET AL GORE WIN!

Panel 3
The Earth continues melting away. Only a thin sliver of the planet is left, and the man clings to it desperately.
MAN: East coast elites made up global warming because they hate the American way of life! The only “crisis” is the government trying to take control!

Panel 4
The Earth is gone. The man is gone. We are looking at empty space.

Posted in Environmental cartoons |

Our Exports Include Tragedy And Death

Cartoon by Barry


(This cartoon, like all my color cartoons, is also available in black and white.)

Script of cartoon:

Panel 1: An Uncle Sam sort of figure, wearing a top hat with stars and stripes and a floral Hawaiian shirt, is talking to a cigar-chomping businessman.

Uncle Sam has his hand on a sign sticking out of the dirt. The sign says “NEVER AGAIN!”

UNCLE SAM: 146 workers died in the Triangle Factory fire! We can NEVER let that happen again!
BUSINESSMAN: If you institute safety regulations for my factories, I’ll be forced to raise prices! You play a few cents extra per shirt!

Panel 2
Close-up of Uncle Sam, who is looking very anxious about this dilemma.
UNCLE SAM: A few cents? That’s HORRIBLE! But hundreds of factory workers dying is ALSO horrible! What a DILEMMA!

Panel 3
BUSINESSMAN: I know! I’ll build totally unregulated factories in other countries! So shirts will stay cheap, but we won’t have any more big factory tragedies in the USA!

Panel 4
BUSINESSMAN: That’s capitalism for ya.

We can see that the “NEVER AGAIN!” sign now has a piece of paper taped under it; the paper says “Where we have to see it.”

Posted in Economic cartoons, Labor rights & Unions |

Marriage Fixes Everything!

Cartoon by Barry


Description of cartoon:

The cartoon depicts a young mother and her toddler, in a small and crappy-looking room. The woman is bent double under a load of boxes, trunks and bags, each of which is labeled: Unemployment, Lack of Education, Illness, Bigotry, Exhaustion, Low Wages, Childcare, Looking Poor, and Crime.

Also in the room is a young white guy, wearing a necktie and suspenders, who is grinning happily and telling the woman “I know what’s holding you down! You should be married!”

In a little “epilog” panel at the bottom of the cartoon, the guy continues “…Unless you’re gay.”

Posted in Barry's favorites, Economic cartoons, LGBT cartoons |


Cartoon by Barry


This cartoon has four panels. Each panel depicts two characters, a woman in casual clothing (striped pants, sleeveless shirt) and a balding man wearing a collared shirt and necktie.

Panel 1
WOMAN: So why can’t we address the unemployment crisis?
MAN: Because FIRST we HAVE to do something about government DEBT!

Panel 2
WOMAN: But why can’t we–
MAN (Jumping up and down): DEBT! DEBT! DEBT!

Panel 3
The man’s head has grown to three times ordinary size, as he yells, waving his arms in the air, his tongue sticking out of his mouth. The woman is bowled over by his intensity.

Panel 4
WOMAN: OKAY! Let’s lower the debt. We can raise taxes on the rich…
MAN: Hey, HEY! Let’s not get EXTREME!

Posted in Economic cartoons |

Ten Reasons We’re Against Unions!

Cartoon by Barry


You can purchase a print of this cartoon.

Transcript of cartoon:

Panel 1
Large lettering shows the title: Ten Reasons We’re Against Unions!
Below the title lettering, a group of picketing workers can be seen. Most are just silhouettes, but three people in the foreground are drawn in more detail, and their signs can be read.
SIGN 1: Workers United Against Workers Uniting
SIGN 2: I Prefer Having No Power!
SIGN 3: I (heart symbol) Bosses

Panel 2
WOMAN 1: Unions just want to line their own pockets!
WOMAN 2: Unlike bosses, who have only our best interests at heart.

Panel 3
Man counts off points on the fingers of one hand. The hand has seven fingers.
MAN: Other than weekends, lunch breaks, overtime pay, parental leave, pension plans, higher wages, and sick leave, what good have unions ever done?

Panel 4
Rosie the Riveter, in her traditional showing off the bicep pose, but she’s inanely grinning.
ROSIE: I deserve less pay than men.

Panel 5
Two men with work-uniform vests on. The first man is missing teeth, and an ear, and an eye, and has a hook replacing one hand. The second man has a wooden peg instead of a head.
EYEPATCH MAN: I wouldn’t want the company wasting money making my job safer!

Panel 6
Professorial type with glasses and pipe holds up a crude drawing of a face with fangs and horns, labeled “unions.”
PROF: Speaking objectively, all unions are evil! Eeevviilllll!

Panel 7
CHEERFUL WOMAN: I want the “right to work!” Along with the right to be arbitrarily fired!

Panel 8
White woman speaks in foreground, oblivious to the two Black folks in the background who look annoyed by her words.
WHITE WOMAN: Who cares if unions reduce the pay gap between non-white and white workers?

Panel 9
A businessman flies high in the sky, riding on a giant packet of cash, his necktie flapping in the wind.
BUSINESSMAN: It’s wrong that unions spend money influencing Congress. Only business should get to do that!

Panel 10
Young woman, brimming with confidence, speaks in the foreground. In the background, three other people, one carrying a box, one typing at a terminal – also speak. All four are wearing identical hats and short-sleeved shirts – they’re clearly co-workers.
YOUNG WOMAN: One day, I’ll get rich, and I’ll be the boss. Once that happens, I won’t want some union getting in my way!
COWORKER 1: I’m also gonna be boss!
COWORKER 2: Me too!
COWORKER 3: Me too!

Panel 11
Woman shrugging.
WOMAN: Who’d want more power at work?[

Posted in Economic cartoons, Labor rights & Unions |

The Federal Budget Is Like Your Family’s Budget!

Cartoon by Barry


Two women are talking, who I will call “Black Dress” and “Sneakers,” respectively.

Panel 1
BLACK DRESS: The Federal government’s budget is just like a family budget!
SNEAKERS: Really? Your family prints its own currency?

Panel 2
BLACK DRESS: Well, no.
SNEAKERS: Can your family sell its own super-low-interest bonds to borrow money?

Panel 3
Both women have become a bit annoyed with the other.
BLACK DRESS: No! But when I do my family budget, I can’t spend more than I earn.
SNEAKERS: Then how will anyone in your family ever own a home? Or go to college?

Panel 4
BLACK DRESS: My point is, the government has to cut back! Starting with social security!
SNEAKERS (horrified): Your family saves money by robbing Grandma?

Posted in Barry's favorites, Economic cartoons |

How We Define Unemployment, And Who Benefits

Cartoon by Barry


Two characters are standing on the planet earth. They are giants – they could step across a continent in five steps – but they’re drawn in an adorable tiny-body-cute-head fashion. One of them is wearing a floral-patterned short sleeve shirt and an “uncle Sam” hat; the other wears a business suit.

Panel 1
UNCLE SAM: The economy is awful! How will we fix this mess?
BUSINESSMAN: I know! Let’s measure unemployment with a bizarre definition that makes it look much smaller!

Panel 2
MAN: I can’t find full-time work so I’m supporting my kids with a twelve hour a week job.
BUSINESSMAN (popping in from the side of the panel, in the foreground, and addressing the readers instead of the man, with a manic grin): Not unemployed!

Panel 3
WOMAN: I want to work, but after ten months of looking and no luck, I’ve given up.
UNCLE SAM (again, popping in and not looking at the other character): Not unemployed!

Panel 4
MUSTACHE MAN: I made five bucks by watching my friend’s baby for an hour this week.
BUSINESSMAN: (You get the idea by now, right?) Not unemployed!

Panel 5
PUNK WOMAN: I do chores fifteen hours a week at my parents’ farm, but I’m not paid.
UNCLE SAM: Not unemployed!

Panel 6
STUDENT CARRYING BOOK: I’m taking a month off from job-hunting to take classes to improve my skills.
BUSINESSMAN: Not unemployed!

Panel 7
UNCLE SAM: That was amazing! We cut unemployment in half without doing a thing to help anyone!
BUSINESSMAN: Problem solved!

Sub-panel at the end
UNCLE SAM: Get a job!

Posted in Economic cartoons |

The Minimum Wage Versus The Earned Income Tax Credit

Cartoon by Barry


The cartoon shows two people arguing, a young woman with her hair in a ponytail, and an older man wearing a suit.

WOMAN: We need to help low-income workers, we should raise the minimum wage!
MAN (thoughtfully): The minimum wage is inefficient. To really help low income workers, you’d have to raise the Earned Income Tax Credit.

WOMAN (enthused): Sounds good! Let’s raise the Earned Income Tax Credit.
MAN (angry): NEVER! That would increase government spending!

WOMAN: But you just said…
MAN: What a shame there’s no policy that helps low-income workers without government spending.

WOMAN (annoyed): You mean, like raising the minimum wage?
MAN (enthused): Hey, you know what poor people really need? Tax cuts for millionaires!

WOMAN (enthused): We should raise both the minimum wage and the tax credit!
MAN: Give me a sec to work out why I’m against that.

Posted in Economic cartoons, Labor rights & Unions |

It’s A Matter Of Perspective

Cartoon by Barry

Panel 1
An old man, who is a Senator, wearing a suit and tie, sits behind a large desk. There is an American flag behind the desk.
SENATOR: I love being a Senator. Lots of assistants, comfy chair, the pay is great, and I never lift anything heavier than my laptop.

Panel 2
SENATOR: I could keep doing this job forever!

Panel 3
As it snows heavily, an old man wearing a plaid shirt struggles to life a huge bundle of newspapers out of a truck. Behind him, through the snow, we can see the Capitol Building in the background.

On the front paper of the bundle of papers, we can read the headline: CONGRESS RAISES RETIREMENT AGE. A sub-headline says “Senator: ‘I’ve never met anyone who wants to stop working!'”

Posted in Economic cartoons, Labor rights & Unions |

Copyright Vs. Shakespeare

Cartoon by Barry

(Buy a print of this cartoon on Redbubble.)

This cartoon was inspired by a Huffington Post article by Jennifer Jenkins, in which she quoted Judge Richard Posner:

What happens if these underlying sources are copyrighted? As Judge Richard Posner pointed out, “Romeo and Juliet itself would have infringed Arthur Brooke’s The Tragicall Historye of Romeo and Juliet… which in turn would have infringed several earlier Romeo and Juliets, all of which probably would have infringed Ovid’s story of Pyramus and Thisbe.” You get the point — without a rich public domain, much of literature would be illegal.

Many thanks to my friend Rachel Swirsky, who co-wrote this strip. This is the second “Ampersand” strip Rachel has co-written; the previous one was The Church of Fiscal Conservatism.

Panel 1
Shakespeare, at a writing table, feathery quill in hand, holding up what he has just written to read it aloud.
SHAKESPEARE: “But soft! What light through yon window breaks? It is a lightning bug, and Juliet is the bug’s ass.”

Panel 2
Shakespeare sits, slumps his head into his hands.
SHAKESPEARE (thought): Needs work.
FEDERAL AGENT (from off-panel): HALT, THIEF!

Panel 3
Shakespeare rises and speaks sharply to the Federal Agent who has just walked in. The Federal Agent wears a 20th century suit and dark glasses, and displays a badge.
SHAKESPEARE: SIR! What brings you to my chamber?
FED: This PLAY you wrote, “Romeo and Juliet.”

Panel 4
FED: You STOLE it from Arthur Brooke’s “The Tragical Historye of Romeus and Juliet!”

Panel 5
Shakespeare is using the ol’ “explaining hands” gesture, the Fed points and yells.
SHAKESPEARE: The SEED was Brooke’s, but under my care it has flourished into a DIFFERENT tree-
FED: So you ADMIT it!

Panel 6
The Fed whips off his dark glasses for a panel. He looks so mad that he might eat them.
FED: Answer THIS, smart guy: Why should BROOKE bother writing NEW WORK when second-raters like YOU swipe his stuff?

Panel 7
Shakespeare is beginning to get pissed.
SHAKESPEARE: But sir! Poor Brooke lies beneath the sod. My simple play cannot disturb him now. The ONLY work being stifled is mine own!

Panel 8
FED: YOUR work? HA! Derivative TRASH! If you had any talent, you’d write something ORIGINAL!

Panel 9
SHAKESPEARE: But Brooke’s OWN idea germinated with Matteo Bandello! We are ALL leaves from the same branch, sir! That’s how creativity works!

Panel 10
The FED, who is quite a bit larger than Shakespeare, grabs Shakespeare and shakes him back and forth.
FED: No, that’s how STEALING works! Brooke’s only been dead for THIRTY YEARS. The worms have barely finished digesting!

Panel 11
Shakespeare’s babbling is interrupted when the stern-faced Fed yanks him around to put handcuffs on him.
SHAKESPEARE: But this is MADNESS! Do we not value freedom of THOUGHT? Are IDEAS not the currency of culture? The veritable grist of progress for the social mill? Tell me sir– OW!

Panel 12
Shakespeare, dressed in jailbird’s stripes, sits in a prison cell, loking a bit wistful or confused.
CAPTION: And so Creativity was Saved from a Plagiarist Lout.

(Buy a print of this cartoon on Redbubble.)

Posted in Barry's favorites |