Ryan Smith works as infrastructure project manager. He had a crush on Elizabeth in high school and they married right after his graduation. They were initially happy. He studied engineering at the same university as George and Chris.
Every morning, he religiously reads the daily newspaper while watching the Morning TV Show. He always has an opinion about everything. He considers himself to be a 'Can do' type. He leans to the Right without knowing it.
Elizabeth Smith (née Jenkins) studied anthropology as an undergraduate and was always interested in social issues even though she grew up in a wealthy family. Although she doesn't know much about economics, she is keen to learn more because she thinks it is important for solving the challenges of climate change.
She thinks of herself as progressive and gets annoyed with Ryan's constant Right-wing opinions. They used to be happy but frictions have developed.
She now works at international department of a large multinational trading company and regularly interacts with colleagues abroad. She is particularly friendly with Mariko, who works in the company's Kyoto office and regularly discusses current affairs with her.
Emma is the youngest in the family and very energetic. She loves to climb trees and hopes to become a doctor when she gets older. She also wants the family to become vegan after she failed to get an answer to her question as to why loving pets but killing animals for food is consistent.
She is very bright and often asks questions that the adults around her cannot convincingly answer. Her youthful innocence allows her to see things as they are even if she doesn't fully understand things.
Kevin is in the final year of high school and wants to be a musician. He loves playing guitar and his hero is Jimi Hendrix. He is also very concerned about climate change and writes songs about the damage humans are doing to Mother Earth.
He came across a blog about economics by an economist who also plays guitar in a band and that is how he encountered Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). He spends his free time (most of his time) learning guitar riffs and reading blog posts and watching YouTube videos about MMT. He thought it was really cool for a guitar player to also be an economist and so he decided to pursue economics when he goes to university next year. He regularly creates arguments in the household over his father's right-wing views about economics.
Tom is Elizabeth's father and built a career working for an coal mining company as an engineer. Even though he retired a few years ago he continues to advocate the use of coal for energy production and is suspicious of renewable energy. He doesn't read books and watches 'Sky News' every day, which he considers to be informed reporting.
He is set in his ways and has regular conflict with Elizabeth over her efforts to persuade Ryan to install solar panels at their house. Tom always sides with Ryan on economic matters.
Laura is Elizabeth's mother and has been married to Tom since they met as graduate interns at the coal mining company. She is a polar opposite to Tom - 'opposites attract' - and loves reading books, listening to podcasts and adopts an open position on most things until she has taken time to look into them.
She loves her grandchildren and recently has become very interested in Kevin's reports on his blog reading and YouTube video watching. She is intrigued by MMT but still cannot get her head around it. Tom dismisses her whenever she suggests that may 'taxpayers do not fund government spending' - even if she hasn't quite understood why not.
Aaron is Ryan's older brother and runs a small financial investment company. His favourite movie is 'The Wolf on Wall Street' and he regularly tells people that "Money can solve everything". His other conversation topic centres on people he calls 'losers' who he asserts are 'poor because they are lazy'.
Other than constantly checking the financial markets on his phone, his other preoccupation is scanning dating sites in search of his perfect partner. So far he has been a dismal failure and women soon tire of his boorish ways. He has constant conflict with Ryan because although he shares his right wing leanings he is envious that Ryan has a family and a life outside work.