Economics is the study of how people allocate their limited resources to satisfy their unlimited wants. The ultimate purpose of economics is to understand the choices we make. Macroeconomics is the part of economic analysis that studies the behavior of the economy as a whole. It deals with economy-wide phenomena such as changes in unemployment, the general price level and national income. Microeconomics is the part of economic analysis that studies decision making undertaken by individuals (or households) and by firms. Our topics this semester are divided into five parts. Those topics are listed below and can be found on the pages linked above. Too, I have included a really good summary of most of the topics in this course on the Macro Review page linked above. It might be worth your time to look at that review before starting the course ... it will give you a good overview of where we're headed.
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Time Magazine’s The Economy's New Rules: Go Glocal (August 20, 2012)
Globalization used to be a one-way street that led away from America. Now high energy prices, political risk and technological shifts are bringing opportunity back home. Welcome to the era of localnomics.
Until quite recently, globalization was seen as a one-way street. American companies, which led the charge four decades or so ago into growing global markets, were its ambassadors, and American workers, whose wages and upward mobility were flattened, were the victims. The core idea was that globalization, technological innovation and unfettered free trade would erase historical and geographic boundaries, making the world ever more economically interconnected and alike. (Foreign-affairs writer Tom Friedman famously encapsulated this notion with the title of his book The World Is Flat.) In this vision, all nations would be on an even playing field, and the US would come under more and more competitive pressure from eager upstart nations. It worked something like that from the mid-1980s to 2008, a period of unprecedented market calm that economists call the Great Moderation. Not so much anymore.
The truth is that the world was never as flat as we thought, and it's getting bumpier. The flaws in the premise are coming into focus. Consider the following: when energy prices and political risk go up, far-flung global supply chains make less economic sense. Low-wage workers in China look attractive -- until robots operated by highly skilled laborers at home are able to do their jobs even more cheaply. Unfettered free trade seems great until the world's fastest-growing economies won't play by the rules of the game. Read the rest…
Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy? GDP, jobs and other indicators have all risen faster under Democrats for nearly the past century.
Consumer Expectations vs. Reality
Commanding Heights: excellent film series
Financial Globalization: A Controversial Issue (03:27)
Prelude: Uneven Legacy of NAFTA in Mexico (02:04)
Costs and Benefits of Government Regulations (04:52)
Measuring National Success: GDP, HDI and Gross National Happiness (03:47)
Function of Federal Reserve (04:33)
International Monetary Fund (IMF) (03:14)
Gross Domestic Product (04:08)
Comparative Advantage (02:03)
Adam Smith: The Invisible Hand (Online Video, 42 min): mislabeled as video on Mill so ignore label
The Ascent of Money (2008) BBC (Online Video)
Creature from Jekyll Island: The Origins of the Federal Reserve (1998) (Online Video)
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s College Lecture Series began March 20, 2012. Transcripts and video recordings for each lecture are available at the site. Each lecture lasts about 50 minutes.
Introduction to Macroeconomics and Microeconomics (MP3 audio download, 35 min)
Economic Analysis: Macroeconomics (online course, varying lengths)
Economics Video and Audio Lectures
Learn Out Loud Economics Audio and Video
Capital: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production, Volume 1 (MP3 audio download, varying lengths)
Economic Policy Challenges: Macroeconomics and Fiscal Policy (online video, 114 min)
The Fed's Monetary Policy Rule (online video, 76 min)
Introduction to Economics (online course, varying lengths)
The Strategic Importance of Global Trade (transcript)
The Wealth of Nations (MP3 audio downloads, varying lengths)
Check out the 6 minute video from You Tube titled Did You Know: Shift Happens ... Globalization and The Information Age. It’s a little out-of-date but still fairly accurate. I think you’ll be quite surprised by most of the statistics.
Just for the fun of it, check out Yoram Bauman’s 5-minute You Tube video, Principles of Economics Translated. It’s a hoot! You might also enjoy Every Breath Bernanke Takes, Columbia Business School’s Spring 2006 Follies spoof on The Police's Every Breath You Take featuring Dean Glenn Hubbard and aimed at then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.
For a completely different (and conspiracy-theory-oriented) take on the Fed, watch the following.
CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf held a news conference on the projected economic outlook and budget deficit for fiscal year 2012 at 2012 Economic Outlook (74 min).
Just for fun: Personal Finance Worksheets
Monetary Policy and the Economy in 2012 (3-hour video): Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified on the US economic outlook for the year and the future of economic growth.