Since the 1960's, many Americans eligible to vote have not bothered to do so- not even in presidential elections. Low rates of participation in voting have been worrisome to people interested in preserving our democratic traditions. Economists have tried to explain why people didn't vote. They have suggested that people who chose not to vote were acting rationally in that the costs associated with voting (such as time spent on registration, rearranging work schedules, getting to the polls, and gathering information on the candidates) appeared to outweigh the benefits (influencing the outcome of an election or gaining the satisfaction of being a good citizen). More recently, however, voter-participation rates have gone up again. What has caused the trend to change? Why are more people voting? This lesson will examine factors that affect voter turnout.
Like the state and federal government, local governments offer tax incentives to businesses to help solve economic and/or environmental problems. In this lesson students will explore the web sites of three different cities and determine what incentives are offered and what problems they are trying to solve. They will also be asked to determine if the benefits gained from the incentives offset the costs incurred.
Even the savviest consumer has a problem with a good or service on occasion. It is a consumer’s right to complain when there is a genuine problem. In some situations, it is also a consumer’s responsibility. A problem can’t be fixed if no one knows it exists. In this series of three lessons, students learn how to effectively seek redress for a consumer problem. In the first lesson, they are given tips for seeking redress from a seller of a good or service via personal visits, telephone calls an letters. They write a letter in an effort to resolve a consumer problem they or someone they know has experienced. Lessons 2 ad 3 focus on what to do when a consumer is unable to get a problem resolved with a seller. A variety of options are presented in both the public and private arena. Students must select sources of outside help that would be appropriate in hypothetical situations they are given.
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This publication contains complete instructions for teaching the lessons in Capstone. When combined with a textbook, Capstone provides activities for a complete high school economics course. 45 exemplary lessons help students learn to apply economic reasoning to a wide range of real-world subjects.
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