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.
On January 26, 2010, the film Avatar officially topped Titanic as the top-grossing film of all-time at the box office. However, the following day, Forbes.com published an article entitled Is Avatar Really King of the Box Office? The article explains how using calculations such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI), one can show how the film Gone With the Wind has grossed more when the value of the box office receipts are adjusted for inflation.
This lesson utilizes the September 17, 2014, statement of the Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to explore the Federal Reserve's twin goals of price stability and full employment. This lesson discusses the tools the FOMC uses to achieve these goals as well as the reasoning behind their use. To begin the academic year, this is a basic lesson which will be built upon as the year progresses.
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