Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sounds Like Economics...........

Have you ever realized how many popular songs of all genres relate to economic themes?   Country, rock, rap, and folk each have scores of hits dedicated to wealth, poverty, economic struggles and successes, celebrations of capitalism and scathing critiques.  Your job today is to mentally search your own music library to find a song that fits the bill and perform some interpretative tasks.

1.  Identify the song title, artist, genre of music, and year of release.

2.  Find an online link to the song you selected and include it in your post.  Alternatively, you can upload the song as a file.  You must select a portion of your song (no longer than one minute) and note the start/end time in your post.

3.  Identify and write-out what you believe are the important lyrics you wish to analyze.

4.  What do you believe the singer/songwriter is trying to convy through these lyrics and through the song in general?  What is the message?

5.  Do you think the song is effective in conveying this message?  Do you think it could be misinterpreted by the listener?  In what way?

Unique, older, and lesser-know selections strongly encouraged!  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Free Trade = Happy, Prosporous Country??????????????

Economics courses, including ours, place a great deal of emphasis on Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage.  But is it really the authoritative voice on international trade?  Does trade in all cases make the world a better place and raise standards of living for everyone?  Are there other factors to be considered when making trade policy?   Read below and respond.

Also, bring to class on Friday 3 open-ended questions to facilitate our blog discussion. 

From Whelan's Naked Economics:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Were you hoping I forgot to put the ch. 15 reading guide up? Sorry!

Ch. 15

1.  Skim ch. 15 to page 280.

2.  Identify each "tool" of the Fed.

a.  Open Market Operations

b.  Discount Rate

c.  Reserve Requirement

3.  Under what circumstances would an "easy money" policy be utilized?

4.  Under what conditions would a "tight money" policy be utilized?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Should the US return to the gold standard?

Yesterday we watched a video that listed some pretty hefty criticisms of the Federal Reserve and fiat money system in general.  Most Americans would probably interpret that film as a bit, well, out there!   The extreme nature of the Zeigiiest film belies the fact that a movement to return to a gold standard for the US dollar does have some legitimate support.  In fact the Republica party included exploring the issue in their 2014 presedential platform.

Read the articles below and see what you think.  In your blog post you should address some of the suggested questions.  Also, write two open-ended questions for tomorrow's socratic seminar in class.

1.  Is our money really "worthless" paper?  Would a god standard change that?
2.  Who would benefit/be harmed by a return to gold?
3.  How, when, and why was the gold standard abolished?
4.  Who is currently pusing for a return to gold?  What are thier arguments?
5.  How might life be different for you if we returned to a gold standard?
6.  Are any nations currently using a gold-backed currency?

Atlantic Monthly (anti gold):

America Spectator (pro gold)


Monday, March 3, 2014

Ch. 14 Assignment 1

We will be skipping around in this chapter so note the page numbers.

1.  Identify the following: 252-253
a.  Reserves
b.  Receipts
c.  Money Supply

2.   Explain the two goals of commercial banks. 260

3.  Contrast excess reserves with required reserves.  260

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ch 13. Review

3 Functions of Money
4 Characteristics of Money
Fiat vs Commodity Money
Calculating M1, M2,M3
The Money Market - Factors Affecting Dm and Sm
3 types of Money Demand:  Dt, Dp, Da
Origin of the Fed:  Responsibilities, Structure, a-political nature, criticisms

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ch. 13 Assignment Due 2/26

 1.  What historical factors were the impetus for the Federal Reserve's creation?

2.  The Fed is considered "a-political" or independent of politics.  Explain how.

3.  The Fed. has a complex structure.  Explain the role of:
a.  The Board of Governors
b.  The Federal Open Markets Committee
c.  The 12 Member Banks

4.  Study the map of the 12 Fed. districts.  What do you notice about the locations of the banks?  Why do you think this is so?