Welcome to Comparative Economic Systems, ECON 260. I’m Jim Luke, the professor for this course and this is the 2016 incarnation of this course. I’m looking forward to our online “conversations” about economic systems.
This course is a bit different from most of the courses I teach. Normally, I teach Econ 201 and Econ 202, the Principles of Micro-economics and Macro-economics courses. In particular, I teach a lot of ECON 202 Macro. Those courses are chock-full of models and theories – and most of it mainstream neo-classical/neo-liberal market economics. There’s a lot of material to cover in each of those courses because, frankly, 4-yr universities require that we cover all those theories and models. The principles courses involve a lot of math, graphs, and analysis. As a result, sometimes in those courses we spend more time “studying the trees” and we don’t get to “study the forest”, the big picture.
In this course, we look at Comparative Economic Systems. We look at the ways different societies address the fundamental economic questions of what to produce, who produces it, how to produce it, and ultimately who gets that production and why. One of the best parts of this course is that it tends to be a smaller class and therefore we can handle it like a virtual seminar.
This course is also where I get to do some pedagogical experimentation. This course is also a “connected course”. That means that while there’s substantial “content” and information that I as the professor am trying to convey to students, it’s primarily about a shared journey of discovery and reflection by the whole class. I want you to bring stories, links, articles and other information you find to the course and connect it to what we’re discussing. With exception of grading feedback, the whole course is being conducted in public here on the open Web. The second feature follows from that open Web. I’m trying to encourage students to develop their own unique voice and perspective. To that end, students don’t participate in closed discussion groups behind some closed Learning Management System and create disposable written papers that will be read by one person and then disappear into the abyss. Instead we all participate in a group blog.
If you are a member of the general public, you’re welcome to browse and read all the material here. However, keep in mind that the course is intended for registered students of Lansing Community College. For that reason comments are limited to those LCC students who are registered for the class.
The syllabus for the current/most recent Spring 2017 semester is here: Syllabus