The Flintstones is one of the most popular cartoons to exist with many spin-offs and reboots over the years. People loved the idea of modernity made in a Stone-Age environment.
The aesthetic changes to the Stone-Age setting and the gags made it so it didn’t perfectly mirror the 20th Century. It also made for unforeseen consequences when you really start questioning the logic of the Hanna-Barbera show to the point some things seem dastardly. Now let’s wake up your inner Baby Boomer and go through 10 ways The Flintstones economy makes no sense.
10 They Have Wood And Fabric But Still Use Stone For Furniture
In many scenes in the humble rocky abode of Fred and Wilma, they populate their living spaces with furniture made of stone. All TVs, sofas, and couches are made of rock. However, looking at the scenes you can glimpse pillows made of saber-tooth tiger fur/canvas and even, get this, wood.
These two elements are used for making modern cushioned furniture and would involve fewer labor costs, and be way less back-breaking. Rock itself would surely be more time consuming to chisel into chairs, even though more common, meaning higher cost. Essentially The Flintstones chose to buy more expensive furniture to keep the whole stone-age look.
9 Petty Jobs in the Dark
One of the common gags in The Flintstones is modern technology done manually. For instance in one episode a man has to sit in the dark inside a closed-off cave and make drinks to hand out like a vending machine.
Imagine that being your job, sitting in the dark alone constantly pouring drinks in the dark to unknown strangers, with no other entertainment but your thoughts. The humidity would be unbearable in the summer or cold and ruthless in the winter.
8 Rocks Instead of Paper
Remember the tickets to the opera in the very first episode of the series, The Flintstone Flyer? The tickets were made of paper, not stone. That scene undermines why they go on to use stone for messages and other paper uses when paper is a common enough commodity to be used as opera tickets in a low population town.
Once again you'd be paying way more for anything made of rock due to the work involved. Even though it's shown that dinosaurs do the message work instantly it's mining and sourcing that will raise the cost. When, again, paper is apparently common enough to be handed out as tickets.
7 Disposable Bowling Balls
You commonly see Barney and Fred bowling as one of their activities. One of the gags is the stone bowling balls breaking as Fred makes a strike. Now think of being the owner of that place, having to source and buy hundreds of stone bowling balls.
Maybe that repeating background wasn't an exaggeration and is actually showing the viewer just how many one time use bowling boulders you need to run a bowling ally in The Flintstones. Don't forget having to clean up all the shrapnel as each one breaks apart, which is a whole separate cost unless you are having the dinosaurs you bought to do it for you. Not to mention the Dino-labor you need to turn hundreds of boulders to bowling balls.
6 The Slate Company
One of the wackier ideas in The Flintstones is the Slate Company which is owned by George Slate the 80,000th.
Doing the math each George Slate would have needed to own the company for only 25 years on the mark before the next one took over. Talk about nepotism in a company.
It’s very obvious that there are severe class divides in The Flintstones going from the order of Business owners, human workers, to dinosaurs.
5 There's A Gas Station
A gas station, how even? That raises so many questions involving how The Flintstones world even works. Most times it's shown that all the passengers and the driver use their feet to move vehicles. Then you could let them roll on the rock at a certain speed or downhill. Gas isn't needed in that system.
A mechanic shop could be possible to repair the wood and rock, but it's doubtful to think Fred is chugging down petroleum. But if that is the case, given that gas is a fossil fuel, it paints a dark picture, considering the Slate company has been mining for 2 million years using dinosaurs as utensils for their operation.
4 Repo Companies have Been Feeding People to The Lions
In the episode 'No Help Wanted' we see Barney lose his job in a consistent theme after Fred complains to Barney's boss that his friend does not make enough and should be paid more.
In short, Barney gets help in a new job as a repo man where a startling discovery is made. His boss introduces pictures of his company throwing people who defaulted on payments being fed to lions. Even if it isn't implied they currently do this, it still implies it's what they did in the past.
Debt may be handed out like candy in The Flintstones, but it's best you don't default on being able to make payments on that brand new back-breaking stone sofa.
3 Sentient Dinosaur Slave Labor
If it's a 20th-century device, it's actually a dinosaur that was bought off the market, trained for a specific purpose against its will, and now does the job a machine.
There are underlying issues in this aspect of The Flintstones including the fact that most of the "Utensils and implements" talk, have emotion, and commonly seem miserable and forced into doing their jobs. You'll also commonly see The Flintstones use them in various ways that cause harm to them, seeming to deny they are living beings that can be hurt.
Being seen as objects you even hear some of the characters talk about buying them from the market. The worst part is when they've met their purpose as a tool or pet, they are probably turned into the very steaks and clothing we see on the show. It is never made to appear whether The Flintstones do upkeep and actually feed and bathe the sentient dinosaurs they force to work for them.
2 Bedrock: Population 2500?
We don't see as many people as we do dinosaurs and animals in the series. That leaves the question are sentient animals considered part of the population, especially since they have the most jobs compared to the people around?
Being essentially second class citizens and seen as not owning houses that would imply debt and financing is only for humans. If that is the case it could be a way to inflate the numbers of the population. This leaves the town of Bedrock in a bad light, a town where most the population is second class while the wealthy control them as toys, pets, and utensils.
1 Endless Debt
Watching The Flintstones one thing is apparent, everything they own is financed, especially the TV. Places essentially give out free items because most of the time Fred can’t pay back the debt. Made obvious everything is financed, from the Dino-Labor to even people’s houses This type of unchecked credit hand out was one of the main factors in the Great Depression.
It’s never said there was a credit score system in The Flintstones meaning the atmosphere of The Flintstones is actually a progressing modernistic culture under a slave regiment system which would mean it will lead to a huge financial crash as cave people overspend on things and beings they don’t need. Meaning a ruined the job market within their own society and lots of homeless or people being fed to lions who can’t pay back the huge bills they racked up.
NEXT: MBTI® Of The Flintstones