COMPELLING QUESTION Why do politicians disagree on economic issues—isn’t there one right answer? Students work in small groups and are assigned a version of diary excerpts written by a student intern working for a policymaking legislator. Half the groups read a diary that focuses on stability, security, and equity as broad social goals. The other half read a diary that focuses on freedom, efficiency, and growth. Students determine which broad social goals are emphasized in their reading. During a debriefing, students will discuss broad social goals and identify how trade-offs arise when a society pursues competing social goals. Finally, students choose a current social issue and develop a public policy to deal with that issue, identifying the goals they are attempting to achieve and trade-offs that might arise in terms of other worthy goals.
Seven years into its life as an independent state, Ukraine seems to be lagging behind other post-Soviet countries in economic development. News stories describing living conditions and political infrastructure are indicative of an economy slow to change. Data from the World Bank help identify relationships between economic freedom and economic growth. Read news accounts and fill in the chart below to help identify a course of action for the Ukrainians.
Using poverty rate as a measure of development, students select countries five at a time to compare how resources are allocated to three economic sectors (agriculture, industrial, service). After making comparisons, students will identify patterns in which sector is emphasized by the wealthiest countries, and will look for patterns in the geographic distribution of countries.
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