Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Does My Vote Count? Economists weight in.....

With the Presidential election looming in the near future, people are gearing up to exercise their all-powerful ability to vote.  Citizens have been made to believe that each and every vote is important in determining the success of our future.  While voting is an essential part of a functioning democracy, there are some economists that feel that the act of voting is the single greatest waste of time. 

As you read through the articles in the above links, you should answer the following questions:

1) Explain two reasons why you believe that people feel so strongly about voting.

2) Explain the main conclusion that is reached in the article "Should everybody vote?"

3) Explain 3 reasons why economists suggest that people should NOT vote.

4) After reading the articles, do you believe that every citizen of voting age should vote?  Why or why not?

Friday, October 14, 2016

30 Days on Minumum Wage

Today we discussed price floors-legal restrictions on how little may be changed/payed for a good or service..  Minimum wage is a great example of a price floor in our economy.  We know price floors cause harmful surpluses, but do they also do good for the most vulnerable people in our society? 

Watch the film:

Answer 1 of the following questions for class on Monday.  A 1-2 page response is adequate.

1. As you watch the film, keep a running list of challenges and hardships faced by minimum wage earners.  In a well-written response, identify three specific hardships and discuss how they were manifested in the movie.  Describe how these hardships impact the characters economically and/or socially.  How could these negative impacts be mitigated or avoided? 

2. The goal of the documentary was to provide insight into the lives of minimum wage workers.  To what extent do you think the film is realistic and accurate?  Cite specific examples from the film to discuss the ways in which the film was a real and accurate depiction of life making minimum wage.

 3. Some have argued that minimum wage today is a “broken” system and should be changed or done away with.  To what extent do you agree with this statement?  What changes could be made to minimum wage to make the system more effective.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Demand Quiz Practice

1.  Computers and printers are complements.  Illustrate the demand curve for computers as printer prices decline.
2.  Fords and Toyotas are substitutes.  Illustrate the demand curve for Toyotas as Ford prices decline.
3.  Illustrate the demand curve for Fords.  Illustrate the impact of consumers expecting a 10% price reduction for Ford products.
4.  Illustrate the demand curve for Fords.  Illustrate a 10% price reduction for Ford products.
5.  Illustrate the demand curve for ice cream.  Illustrate an increase in consumer incomes.

Law of Demand
Diminishing Marginal Utility
Normal vs Inferior Goods
Elasticity of Demand

Stop by 338 in the AM if you wish!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Chapter 3 Reading Guide (part 2)

1.  Draw the demand curve for trucks, a normal good.  Illustrate the impact of a decrease in the price of the substitute, cars.
2.  Draw the curve for ranch dressing, a normal good.  Illustrate the impact of a decrease in the price of the substitute, Italian dressing.
3.  Draw the demand curve for heating oil.  Illustrate the impact of an anticipated decrease in heating oil prices.

4.  Define "elasticity of demand".
5.  What does it mean if a good exhibits elastic demand?  Provide some examples of goods whose demand is likely to be elastic.
6.  What does it mean if a good exhibits inelastic demand?  Provide some examples of goods whose demand is likely to be inelastic.

Enjoy the long weekend and the holiday if you are observing!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Optional Debate Assignment-Fact Checking The Debate

I'm glad you have taken the time to watch and enjoy last night's debate.  While so many issues were discussed, I would like you to focus on just one economic exchange between the candidates. 

Step 1:  Select an issue from the list below.

1.  International Trade

2.  Income Taxes (as a policy, not the release of candidates' tax returns)

3.  Unemployment rate/jobs/wages

Step 2:  Watch a the debate or review the sections you need

Step 3:  Identify the statements made on the issue by each candidate.

Summarize, in a paragraph for each candidate, the assertions made by each candidate.

Step 4:  Fact check the assertions made by each candidate.  Break down their statements into individual claims. Then, utilizing multiple sources which you will identify, attempt to verify the validity of each claim.  At the end, make a determination in your own view, as to which candidate is being more truthful and justify your explanation. 

Ch. 3 Reading Guide: Part I

1.  Define demand.

2.  Contrast normal goods and inferior goods.  Provide an example of each.

3.  Provide a real life example of the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility.

4.  Create a chart identifying each of the non-price factors affecting demand.  Name each factor, illustrate the impact of an increase in that factor, illustrate the impact of a decrease in that factor.

That's it!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ch. 1 and 2 Review Sheet

In addition to the economic model practice from class today, you should study:

definition and purpose of economics
all other things equal assumption
positive/normative economics
macroeconomic goals
fallacies and logical problems in economics
comparative economic systems
components and relationships of the circular flow