Between the Civil War and World War II, railroads were one of the nation's most important businesses and an integral part of people’s lives. In this lesson, students assume the role of detectives investigating why the rail companies experienced a crisis in the 1960s and what helped the freight transport portion of the business return to profitability later in the same century. Students analyze a set of clues that help them explore the impact of government policies and changes in consumer demand on rail service. They discover that government policies (e.g., regulations, subsidies, and taxes) can have both positive and negative consequences in the marketplace. An interactive activity helps students understand that rail service competes in two different markets—passenger service and hauling freight. Students also learn that railroads and government policies have had to adjust as the transportation industry changed in the second half of the twentieth century.
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.
Hot debate and arguments galore whirl around this question: "Which economic approach is the most efficient and fair to resolve utility issues surrounding the use of common or public property?" This lesson will explore, examine and analyze this perplexing question by engaging in an open-ended role play simulation.
The following lessons come from the Council for Economic Education's library of publications. Clicking the publication title or image will take you to the Council for Economic Education Store for more detailed information.
This publication contains 20 lessons designed to provide an economic insight into topics typically covered in may civics and government classes.
12 out of 21 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.
Focus: Understanding Economics in U.S. History uses a unique mystery-solving approach to teach U.S. economic history to your high school students.
8 out of 40 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.
This publication helps students analyze energy and environment issues from an economics perspective.
6 out of 10 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.