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American Dilemmas Models and Economic Approaches. 1/24/2012. Learning Objectives. Critically analyze social problems by identifying value perspectives and applying concepts of sociology, political science, and economics;

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learning objectives
Learning Objectives
  • Critically analyze social problems by identifying value perspectives and applying concepts of sociology, political science, and economics;
  • Use knowledge and analyses of social problems to evaluate public policy, and to suggest policy alternatives, with special reference to questions of social justice, the common good, and public and individual responsibility.
opportunities to discuss course content
Opportunities to discuss course content
  • Today- 11:45-2:00
  • Wednesday- 10-2:00
paper proposal
Paper Proposal
  • Due in class on 2/7
  • 5% of your final Grade
  • Involves submitting 2 Parts
    • Worksheet
    • 2 page paper
what are perspectives models
What are Perspectives/Models
  • Methods that each discipline uses to understand social problems
  • Simplified representations of some aspect of the real world
    • Simplify and clarify difficult problems
    • Help understand what is important and unimportant
  • Cost- benefit
  • Cost Effectiveness
  • Risk assessment
cost benefit analysis
Cost Benefit Analysis
  • What is it?
  • How Do you Conduct it?
  • How do you put a value on Human life?
cost benefit ii
Cost-Benefit II
  • Advantages
  • Criticisms of C-B
cost effectiveness
Cost Effectiveness
  • How it Works
  • Fixed-Budget Analysis
      • Slot Machine strategy
cost effectiveness ii
Cost Effectiveness II
  • Fixed- Effectiveness
  • Criticisms
risk assessment
Risk Assessment
  • What is it?
  • How does it Work?
  • What are its' criticisms?
    • Overestimating error
    • Lowering Risk is Expensive
rational public choice
Rational/Public Choice

A Cross-over Model

rational public choice1
Rational/Public Choice
  • The application of economic analyses to public policymaking
  • In economics, people pursue their self-interests in the market.
  • In policy you try to maximize your personal benefits
public choice actors
Public Choice Actors
  • Can be applied to any unit of analysis (state, person, interest group, etc)
  • People will join collective organizations when it benefits them.
  • Select policies based on the existing order.
  • Policy is a continuation of past government activities with only incremental modifications
  • A policy conservative and expedient way of making change.
  • Downsides?
political feasibility
Political Feasibility
  • What is it
  • How Does it work


The Dismal Science

  • Fiscal Policy
  • Monetary Policy
the modern u s economy
The Modern U.S. Economy
  • A Shift Away from the First Two Sectors
  • A Service Based Economy
    • Affluent service jobs
    • Welfare service
    • Service Jobs
the economy as a series of collar jobs
The Economy as a series of “Collar” Jobs
  • White Collar
  • Blue Collar
  • Pink Collar
  • Green Collar

Collar does not always equate with income

key actors in economic policy
Key actors in Economic Policy
  • We do not have a single economic policy
  • The federal government is the key player here, why?
    • The Power to Tax
    • Regulate foreign trade
    • Coin Money and set its value
states and municipalities are also big players
States and municipalities are also Big Players
  • They can also tax
  • They can provide incentives for economic growth
  • Provide services for its residents
economic growth goal 1
Economic Growth: Goal #1
  • An Increase in the GDP each year
  • More Money means more tax revenue
  • uncontrolled growth, however, is not a good thing
low unemployment goal 2
Low Unemployment: Goal 2
  • What is Unemployment
  • Who does this Exclude?
  • What it doesn’t measure?
the positive aspects of low unemployment
The Positive aspects of Low Unemployment
  • More Tax Revenue
  • Fewer people receiving benefits
  • Lower Crime
our unemployment compared to other nations
Our Unemployment compared to other Nations
  • Historically, it has been much lower
  • Even in our poor economy, it is lower than the EU region
the economic and political effect of unions
The Economic and Political Effect of Unions
  • Union Workers earn 10% to 15% than non-union workers in similar occupations
  • A large player in “special interest” politics
why the decline in organized labor
Why the decline in Organized Labor
  • The Growth in “RTW” States
  • The decline in manufacturing jobs and large factories
  • Globalization of the economy
  • Government has assumed many of labor’s roles
economic goal 3 low inflation
Economic Goal 3: Low Inflation
  • What causes inflation?
  • The Government wants low levels of inflation, why?
the consumer price index
The Consumer Price Index
  • What it includes
  • What it excludes
  • How it has changed over time
goal 4 a positive balance of trade
Goal 4: A positive Balance of Trade
  • A Nation Wants to Export more than it Imports
  • The United States is the reverse
the big mac index
The Big Mac Index
  • A way of measuring the strength of the dollar
  • Big Mac’s involve a fixed product
  • What it involves
why we have a trade deficit
Why We have a Trade deficit
  • Where it comes from
  • What are the reasons