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.' ]
Essential Dilemma Your students will consider the following questions: In deciding to secede from the Union in 1861, did the South violate its own self-interest and thus disprove the basic economic principle that people seek to further their self-interest in the decisions they make? To get at the question, each student will assume the role of an ardent secessionist. Acting in this role, the students will apply principles of economic reasoning and use a decision grid to weigh the benefits and costs of the South's effort to create a new nation in which slavery and state's rights would forever be guaranteed by law.
According to Gallup, Americans have considered the state of the economy “among the most important U.S. problems” since 2008. The issues frequently debated leading up to any presidential campaign include many economic issues such as improving the economy, how to reduce unemployment, the federal deficit, and taxes. Similar topics have highlighted many of the debates leading up to the 2016 election. During the party nominating conventions in presidential election years, each political party creates a party platform reflecting its values, aims, and principles. These documents frequently give detailed insight into how presidential candidates perceive economic issues and what their priorities are when/if they get elected. This kind of information helps voters better understand the differences between candidates so they can cast their ballots for the candidate who most closely reflects their stance on the major issues.
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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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