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Calendar Item: Orange County In The Red on December 6, 1994


Federal Budget Lesson Plan and Fiscal Ship Student Game

What are the tradeoffs that policymakers face when steering the federal budget? To answer this question, students will grapple with the complexity of federal budget choices as they play The Fiscal Ship, a game created by the [EEL-link id='5124' title='Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution' ] and the Serious Games Initiative at the [EEL-link id='5131' title='Woodrow Wilson Center.' ]

Grades: 9-12
Published: 07/27/2016

Economic Freedom, Political Freedom: Their Meaning, Their Results

The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the first ten amendments to the Constitution (the Bill of Rights) reflect the United States founders' desire for individual freedom and their opposition to the centralization of power. The Declaration contains the founders' belief that there are certain truths: that we are all created equal, that we have the unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and that the right to govern comes from the consent of the governed. The Constitution spells out the separation of power among the administrative, legislative, and judicial branches of government and provides a system of checks and balances among these branches. Specific civil liberties and rights not mentioned in the Constitution are spelled out in the Bill of Rights. The ninth amendment in the Bill emphasizes that rights not mentioned in the Constitution shall be retained by the people. Finally, the tenth amendment specifies that powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states or to the people. With provisions already enumerated in the Constitution, the tenth amendment establishes a system of federalism, the separation of power between the state and national governments. These documents reflect the founders' fear of centralized power and their desire to preserve individual political freedoms. Among these freedoms are the freedom to worship, a free press, free elections, the right to organize, and the general notion that government must protect the basic freedoms of individuals. We also enjoy substantial economic freedom: the freedom to choose one's occupation and change that occupation, the freedom to join labor unions, the freedom to spend our resources, the freedom to divide one's time between work and leisure, and so on. The dimensions of political and economic freedom go far beyond what is enumerated here. It is important to note that the United States is relatively unique in promoting these freedoms. They have served us well and have certainly contributed to the economic prosperity we have enjoyed throughout our history. It is also important to note that throughout the world today, many countries are moving from central control to economies that allow much more economic freedom. Their hope is that they will also enjoy the benefits that market economies seem to bestow upon their citizens.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 05/25/1999

Free Trade

Compelling Question: In addressing the compelling question “Is free trade worth the price?” students will work through a series of supporting questions, performance tasks, and sources in order to construct an argument with evidence and counterevidence from a variety of sources.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 08/29/2016

Related Publications

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.


Focus: Globalization

This publication contains 12 lessons to help you integrate globalization concepts into your Social Studies, Economics, or Global Studies course.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 2006

9 out of 16 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.

Capstone: Exemplary Lessons for High School Economics - Teacher's Guide

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.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 2003

7 out of 45 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.

Focus: Understanding Economics in U.S. History

Focus: Understanding Economics in U.S. History uses a unique mystery-solving approach to teach U.S. economic history to your high school students.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 2006

6 out of 40 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.