Final Exam Questions

Ok, folks, we’re near the end.  It’s been a rough journey but we’re close.

Here’s what I want you to do for the “final exam”.   I am listing three questions below.  I want you to answer them on your blog by creating a post.  You can either create a single post with your answers to all 3 questions OR make 3 separate posts.  Please Title your post as “Final Exam Responses” or “Final Exam Response 1”, “Final Exam Response 2”,  etc.  Take your time and think about your answers.  There is no time limit per se.  Simply

Question 1:

What is the most (or one of the most) significant, insightful, or helpful comments that a fellow student made. Why? How did it help, change, or open your thinking. Find a comment, post, or book project post created by one of your fellow students and explain to us why you liked it and what you took away from it.  Be sure to link or reference the comment/post/book project in your comment.  Feel free to quote from it.

Question 2:

What is the most significant thing you learned during your readings and thinking in this course. What or how has your thinking changed?  (if you feel you covered this in an earlier reflection post on your blog, feel free to simply edit that post and add “Final Exam Response 2” to the title and be done with this one)

Question 3:

Imagine the future. What do you see as the greatest challenge facing society (related in any way to economic systems) over the coming 10 to 20 years.  Why? How does the system need to change to respond to it? Please take some time to think this through and perhaps go deeper.  For example, suppose you think responding to climate change is the major challenge. In that case, don’t just talk about how threatening climate change might be, but talk about what we need to change in the economic system so that we can respond effectively to it.

That’s it.

 

Last Topic Readings

If you didn’t see it already, here’s the last set of readings to comment on.

Topic 12 (last) – Capitalism & Politics; Critical Perspectives

Please comment.  Again, you can use either your blog or comment/reply here.

There’s one more post coming from me with assignments. That will be directions for the “Final Exam”, which is actually a blog post assignment.

jim

Reflection and Conclusion – Blog Post V

---Originally published by Daoud Esa at ECON 260 Comp Econ Systems – Spring 2017 – Daoud Esa

In the fourth blog I fully explained and I gave a detailed summary of the book I read this semester titled “The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care” by T.R. Reid. However, in the first blog I promised you I would rewatch a movie very similar to that … Continue reading "Reflection and Conclusion – Blog Post V"

Assumptions in Child Support Laws and Obligations

---Originally published by Denae Mongeon at ECON 260 Comp Econ Systems – Spring 2017 – Denae Mongeon

The Office of Child Support Enforcement (OSCE), a unit within the Administration for Children and Families at the United States Department of Health and Human Services collects data and reports that $3.95 of Child Support was collected for every $1 of program expense in fiscal year 2000.  However, over $3 billion was spent on enforcement …

Research Project – Blog Post IV

---Originally published by Daoud Esa at ECON 260 Comp Econ Systems – Spring 2017 – Daoud Esa

The bases of this book, “The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care” , and what I do want all of you to remember is no healthcare system worldwide is perfect. “No matter how good the health care in a particular country, people will complain about it” -Tsung-Mei Cheng Some have their pros … Continue reading "Research Project – Blog Post IV"

Letter to the Michigan Friend of the Court Advisory Board

---Originally published by Denae Mongeon at ECON 260 Comp Econ Systems – Spring 2017 – Denae Mongeon

28 Nov 2016 Good morning, I appreciate your attention to the letter and I hope you find it useful, productive and helpful. My intent is to bring to your attention some common discrimination towards fathers and/or non-custodial parents.  I would also like to recommend a solution to the growing problem I have seen in St …

Book Project Final Post

---Originally published by Brittney at ECON 260 Comp Econ Systems – Spring 2017 – Brittney Baley

For those of you who don’t want to read the past 4 blog posts describing and summarizing the book I chose for my book project, I don’t blame you the first too are very long and overly detailed, I will do a quick summary here. My book was Pig Tales: An Omnivore’s Quest for Sustainable Meat by Barry […]

What Child Support Methodologies/Guidelines are in use and what will work?

---Originally published by Denae Mongeon at ECON 260 Comp Econ Systems – Spring 2017 – Denae Mongeon

In order to formulate a future plan of action it is best to understand the current child support methodologies that are in place and why they don’t work and are creating the child support contraversy we have today.  The current guidelines that are out in world that we will analyze are (Page 60): The simple …

How do you write Child support laws that are equal for all parties involved?

---Originally published by Denae Mongeon at ECON 260 Comp Econ Systems – Spring 2017 – Denae Mongeon

How did we get to the point that all child support laws obviously benefit one parent over the other financially?  How can we fairly differentiate between what money the custodial parent is using on the child versus on themselves? Page 47 in The law and Economics of Child Support by William S. Comanor quotes a …

Creating a World Without Poverty. About the author- Muhammad Yunus

---Originally published by Chibuzor at ECON 260 Comp Econ Systems – Spring 2017 – Chibuzor Ogbonna

Professor Yunus Muhammad is the author of many books including the best-selling book titled creating a World without Poverty. Yunus is a Bangladeshi born native who moved to America in the mid 90’s. He thought at several schools before deciding to move back to Bangladesh and create what is known all over the world as …

America’s Healthcare, Analyzed – Blog Post III

---Originally published by Daoud Esa at ECON 260 Comp Econ Systems – Spring 2017 – Daoud Esa

In the last post I described the four different models that countries around the world utilize. To recap, the four models are Beveridge, Bismarck, National Health Insurance, and the Out of Pocket. However, America was left out for a specific reason because America’s healthcare system is actually quite unique than you might expect. America has a … Continue reading "America’s Healthcare, Analyzed – Blog Post III"

Four International Health Care Models- Blog Post II

---Originally published by Daoud Esa at ECON 260 Comp Econ Systems – Spring 2017 – Daoud Esa

“EACH NATION’S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IS A REFLECTION OF its history, politics, economy, and national values.” In this blog post I would like to talk about one of the four models of the international health care system. Even though there are 200 different countries with different healthcare systems in each, they tend to to follow general … Continue reading "Four International Health Care Models- Blog Post II"

Four International Health Care Models- Blog Post II

---Originally published by Daoud Esa at ECON 260 Comp Econ Systems – Spring 2017 – Daoud Esa

“EACH NATION’S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IS A REFLECTION OF its history, politics, economy, and national values.” In this blog post I would like to talk about one of the four models of the international health care system. Even though there are 200 different countries with different healthcare systems in each, they tend to to follow general … Continue reading "Four International Health Care Models- Blog Post II"

Econ Book Review/ Project/ Discussion Post Number 4

---Originally published by Brittney at ECON 260 Comp Econ Systems – Spring 2017 – Brittney Baley

This last section of the book was the shortest part. Pig 3 “When Pigs Fly” followed farmers that raised pigs in a sustainable way. “The right way” as the called it. The farms allowed their pigs to roam and feed them plant based feed. The pigs were well taken care of and rarely got sick. The […]

Econ Book Review/ Project/ Discussion Post Number 3

---Originally published by Brittney at ECON 260 Comp Econ Systems – Spring 2017 – Brittney Baley

The second half of the book is titled “Life as a Protein Product”.  This section was very long from chapters 4-12, Pgs. 85 to 231. I am only going to highlight some of the more relevant chapters. The section as a whole was about describing how the pigs live on industrial pig farms where they are […]

Topic 12 – Intergenerational and Healthcare

For this topic discussion, we have four readings, two of which are from my blog.  If you listen to major new media and politicians today, you’d think that healthcare and intergenerational economics would be pretty pessimistic or depressing.  In this case, these readings aren’t! You will find some good news.

First has to do with Social Security, the US government intergenerational transfer program that provides the foundation for our senior citizen’s ability to live past their retirement age. It also provides support for those that are disabled and their dependents.  While politicians and the media often claim Social Security is going “bankrupt” (actually an impossibility), the truth is quite different. There is no economic, financial, or demographic reason why Social Security won’t be around for you when you retire. The only threat is if politicians choose to eliminate it.

Next, Our World in Data site reports how life is getting longer around the world.  Which then leads into an article about how spending on healthcare is related to life expectancy.

And that leads to the last reading: why the US healthcare system is so much more expensive than any other developed nation’s system.  It’s insurance forms.

NOTE:  If you’re interested in the Social Security topic or Medicare, an analysis of the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, or Trumpcare (if it happens), you might want to come to the LCC Centre for Engaged Inclusion in Gannon 2nd floor on April 25.  I’ll be giving an hour lecture with half-hour discussion of these topics. It’s open to the campus.

As usual, please read. We are interested in your thoughts and reactions to these readings/video. You may participate by blogging on your own blog (remember to categorize it as ECON 260), creating a new post on the front page of this site, or reply/comment here.

Topic 12 – Intergenerational & Healthcare
Thursday, April 13, 2017

Topic 11

 

For this topic discussion, there are two readings.  We are trying to take a step back here and get a big-picture perspective of the modern US economy.  In particular, these two posts take a look at things that don’t show up in everyday reporting or discussion of the economy or the economic system.

In the first, Umair Haque explores the importance of trust in an economy. He asserts that trust has seriously deteriorated in the US with the result that the US has moved from a constructive capitalism to an extractive capitalism that is essentially devouring itself:

You might think: trust isn’t that important. It’s just soft stuff! You can’t touch it or taste it or smell it, like, say, fresh money, a gleaming new car, apps. But trust precedes all those. Without it, the money doesn’t get spent, the goods don’t get made, the investments don’t happen. Do you spend much of yourself on what and who you don’t trust? Your money, at stores? Your time, with coworkers, Your love, with people? Perhaps you see the point. Trust is a kind of capital that precedes money and effort and ideas, financial and human and intellectual capital.

So there is a link. Somehow, suspicious of each other to the last, the American economy has turned extractive: GDP “grows”, while life expectancy falls. Think about that for a moment — it means that extreme capitalism is eating itself, you, me, democracy, the planet, society as we know it.

Why? What is the link between a loss of trust, an extractive economy, and a collapsing society — one where the government itself is turning authoritarian?

In the other reading, Anil Dash, a software startup CEO, claims that tech in the past 20 years hasn’t actually improved the functioning of markets. Instead it has brought about the appearance of markets that are actually rigged.  To the degree he is right, it means that all the promises of efficiency, growth, and the magic of free market capitalism is an illusion. It means that we’re really just being taken by the tech capitalists for their riches and we don’t become better off.

As usual, please read and watch. We are interested in your thoughts and reactions to these readings/video. You may participate by blogging on your own blog (remember to categorize it as ECON 260), creating a new post on the front page of this site, or reply/comment here.

Topic 11 – Drugs, Social Norms, & Individual Behavior

Is this the way of the world today?

---Originally published by Julia at ECON 260 Comp Econ Systems – Spring 2017 – Julia Voshell

The book I am reading for this economics class is The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins. As I am reading this book I pause to wonder if these ways of cheating, secrecy, lies, manipulation, and cover up, are the ways the united states government runs things today to stay under …

My Book Report (Blog): Guns, Germs, and Steel

---Originally published by Zachary Dowling at ECON 260 Comp Econ Systems – Spring 2017 – Zachary Dowling

The book I’ve been reading and will be blogging about as I read it will be Guns, Germs, and Steel. The reason I’ve picked this book is to look deeper into a question asked by the author towards the beginning of the book, “Why did wealth and power become distributed as they now are, rather than … Continue reading "My Book Report (Blog): Guns, Germs, and Steel"

INEQUALITY IN THE WORK FORCE (PART TWO)

---Originally published by Chibuzor at ECON 260 Comp Econ Systems – Spring 2017 – Chibuzor Ogbonna

People who claim a wage gap doesn’t exist suggests that the reason behind the inequality is because women tend to leave their jobs at their prime when there are better chances of promotions and elevations to have children. A doctoral candidate, Jessica Looze in a study for University of Massachusetts Amherst found women who return to the …

How do you feel about current child support laws?

---Originally published by Denae Mongeon at ECON 260 Comp Econ Systems – Spring 2017 – Denae Mongeon

The Law and Economics of Child Support Payments By William S. Comanor (with information from  13 contributors) “There is an increasing need for further consideration of the child support system.  My goal for this volume is that it provides an impetus for this effort.  The current system cries out for needed change.” (Page XVII) Where …

The Healing of America – Blog Post I

---Originally published by Daoud Esa at ECON 260 Comp Econ Systems – Spring 2017 – Daoud Esa

The healthcare of the fellow American people has been one of the most monumental topics in today’s day and age. With republicans, including our very own President Donald Trump, working on repealing one of the biggest accomplishments of former president Barack Obama, I thought it would be a great topic that I immersed into. This resulted in … Continue reading "The Healing of America – Blog Post I"

Topic 9 – Migration

NOTE:  this post was scheduled for March 23 but I forgot to hit the publish button.  Feel free to comment on this or Topic 10 this week.

This topic deals with migration.  I saw migration because immigration and emmigration are simply two sides of the same movement. Every immigrant to a nation is also an emmigrant from their home country.

The readings for this topic are:

Here’s the presentation I made recently at the LCC Centre for Engaged Inclusion about “Mythbusting Immigration”. Most of the slides are graphs or data. Links to the original articles and sources of those graphs/data are included in each one.

If the embedded slides don’t display, you can access the file in Google Slides at https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1uZeLVGcMYcsnxLKmpNRw9-TcJey5Kcfch6u4fGPrnj0/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000

A last minute addition to the readings from Vox: http://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/3/17/14951590/nas-report-immigration-economy-taxpayers-trump

Topic 10 Environment and the Commons

In this next Topic we discuss the environment and the issues it presents for an economic system. This is not a science course, it’s a social science course. So I’m not so interested here in questions such as how badly polluted the environment is or how much/how fast global climate change is happening. For our purposes here, it is sufficient that we just know pollution or a wrecked environment is indeed possible from economic activity. Our concern here is: in what ways does the economic system contribute to or hinder the maintenance of a healthy environment for humans?

So I will not spend your time with trying to raise your awareness of environmental issues. There is plenty of information available about environmental issues. We may disagree about specific issues such as global warming, the availability of natural resources such as oil or coal, or the specifics of any particular environmental issue.  But what is well established is that the production methods of the 20th century need to change. The technologies and processes that produced the high standards of living for the fortunate 10-15% of the world’s population in the first world industrialized nations cannot and will not produce the same living standards for the entire world. There simply aren’t enough resources. We must make a change to more sustainable methods of production, be it energy production, agriculture, industry or waste disposal.

At it’s core, the environmental issues about sustainability are economic system issues. The economic system and its’ institutions determine what costs are considered when deciding how and what to produce. The economic system determines what the “externalities” are that should be ignored or remedied by government regulation. How, when and whether we move to sustainable production or “green” energy will ultimately be determined by how we change our economic system.

A major issue that is always brought up when environment and the economic system is discussed is the commons. The commons is the term used by economists to describe things or property that are not exclusively private property but may be used by all or many.  The historical example of a commons in the literature (and a source of much poor generalizations about commons) is that of English villages before the 18th century. Villages back then tended to have a pasture that was shared in common by all. In other words, all farmers could graze their animals there since no one farmer controlled it. The question arose as to whether farmers would attempt to graze too many sheep and thus over-graze the commons, ruining it for all. The issue of the commons is whether this lack of private property combined with self-interested behavior by individuals leads to over-use and non-sustainability or not.  As you’ll see in the first reading, the popular conception of the commons as being unsustainable is not really in line with empirical evidence.

The other two readings have to do with whether the goals of growth in an economy conflict with environmental sustainability and how.

After the readings, I’ve embedded a video below about sustainable fish farming that offers another perspective and raises questions of how we organize our food supply.

As usual, please read and watch. We are interested in your thoughts and reactions to these readings/video. You may participate by blogging on your own blog (remember to categorize it as ECON 260), creating a new post on the front page of this site, or reply/comment here.

Topic 10 – Environment & the Commons

Video to Watch:
TED Talk: Dan Barber – How I Fell in Love With A Fish

What It Is About

Chef Dan Barber squares off with a dilemma facing many chefs today: how to keep fish on the menu. With impeccable research and deadpan humor, he chronicles his pursuit of a sustainable fish he could love, and the foodie’s honeymoon he’s enjoyed since discovering an outrageously delicious fish raised using a revolutionary farming method in Spain.

I am not an ecologist or biologist. Dan Barber may or may not be correct in his assessment of sustainability of the particular farm he talks about. But that is not the point here. The point I want you to pay attention to is how Barber describes a different approach to agriculture. Think about that. Think about how we do current agriculture (if you’re not really aware of current agriculture practices you may want to watch Food Inc.). How will these changes affect our economic systems? Will our economic systems produce sustainable production?

How I Fell In Love With A Fish (alt link if embedded video doesn’t display)

INEQUALITY IN THE WORKFORCE (PART ONE)

---Originally published by Chibuzor at ECON 260 Comp Econ Systems – Spring 2017 – Chibuzor Ogbonna

The most common intention to work within people is money. If a female and male employee are working the same job for the same time, it would seem fair that women and men would earn the same amount. However, this is not the case. Women, working alongside with men, are paid less than the men. …