Economics - Course Description
Thursday, August 1, 2013
After considering the worldwide network of organizations and activities involved in producing a simple product such as a bar of Swiss chocolate, we move to a study of pre-capitalist economics. From there we consider the work of Adam Smith and his idea of a self-regulating free-market system guided by “the invisible hand.” We learn how supply and demand curves lead to an equilibrium point where overproduction and shortfall can be avoided, and about factors that affect supply and demand. Mergers, oligopolies, conglomerates, and economies of scale are also considered in this context. We familiarize ourselves with central economic concepts such as aggregate demand, fiscal policy and monetary policy, and explore the approach advocated by J. M. Keynes for dealing with economic downturns and recessions. This blocks ends with reflections on the contrast between cold war economics (and politics) and post cold war globalization. The benefits and the challenges that globalization presents for many developing countries and their citizens--as well as alternate approaches such as the micro-credit initiatives of the Grameen Bank--are also discussed. Causes of the current economic downturn--such as subprime mortgages--are explored, as well as constructive inititatives for shaping the future.
Faculty: Michael Holdrege, High School Sciences Teacher
Class Dates: November 25-December 20, 2013
Curriculum Area: Morning Lesson Block
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