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ECO 202 Complete Unit Discussions Latest-POST
ECO 202 Unit 1 Discussion Latest-POST
Unit 1 DB: Too much military, or not enough?
The allocation of resources to the military is a major policy choice for the US. First, find out how much
currently is spent on military programs from the Center for Defense Information an independent watchdog
on US military spending at: http://www.cdi.org/index.cfm
In Washington, DC, research organizations provide information to political leaders regarding the military
budget. At the following two sites find three arguments in favor of the current budget level (or increasing
it) and three arguments for reducing the current spending level. Select one argument from each side as
the most important reason for increasing/maintaining/reducing military spending. Then write a response to
this argument, pointing out its weak points.
The Heritage Foundation is a think tank to promote conservative public policies based on a strong
national defense. http://www.heritage.org/Research
Project on Defense Alternatives is a think tank to promote the broadest range of defense options that will
allow significant reductions in the level of armed forces and military spending. http://www.comw.org/pda/
ECO 202 Unit 2 Discussion Latest-POST
Unit 2 DB: How should we address organ donation shortages?
There is a shortage in the organ-transplant market. More than 100,000 Americans are waiting for life-
saving kidneys, livers, lungs, and other vital organs. The government doesn’t permit organ sales to occur.
In 1984, Congress forbade the purchase or sale of human organs in the United States (the National
Organ Transplant Act).
Use the following sources to research this example of the price floor set at zero. Write your own
conclusion regarding what should be done about organ shortage, including references to the sources you
Located in Richmond, Virginia, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is a non-profit, scientific
and educational organization that administers the nation’s only Organ Procurement and Transplantation
Network established by the U.S. Congress in 1984. http://www.unos.org/
The U.S. Congress established the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) when it
enacted the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) of 1984. The act called for a unified transplant
network to be operated by a private, non-profit organization under federal contract.
The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting
donation, education and research for the purpose of saving and improving the quality of life through
organ, tissue and corneal transplantation. http://www.core.org/
ECO 202 Unit 3 Discussion Latest-POST
Unit 3 DB: Walmart- competitive wonder or community nightmare?
The most successful firm in US retailing during the last few years is Wal-Mart. Has Wal-Mart’s success
fulfilled the virtues of competition? Has there been a cost of Wal-Mart’s success?
Find out what the critics contend at: http://www.walmartwatch.org/
List the problems allegedly caused by Wal-Mart for its employees, local communities, consumers, and the
Find out how Wal-Mart responds at: http://www.walmartstores.com
What is the most serious charge against Wal-Mart?
ECO 202 Unit 4 Discussion Latest-POST
Unit 4 DB: Monopolistic Competition
Economists generally agree that U.S. antitrust policy is complex, changing over time, divided among
several U.S. federal government agencies, and subject to frequent court reversals. The underlying
question remains whether the U.S. needs more or less regulation of market structures.
Key questions are:
• Are U.S. markets becoming less competitive because of mergers and acquisitions?
• Are U.S. markets becoming more competitive because of new technology?
• Are U.S. markets becoming more or less competitive because of globalization?
• Is enough information available for wise antitrust enforcement?
US Federal agencies involved in antitrust include US Federal Trade Commission at: http://www.ftc.gov
US Department of Justice: http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/index.htm
For international perspectives see: http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/contact/otheratr.htm
For a strong anti-regulatory position see Heritage Foundation, a private advocacy group, has been
influential in arguing against antitrust enforcement. For an overview see:
See also: www.cato.org
The American Enterprise Institute: http://www.aei.org
For strong pro-regulatory position see the Economic Policy Institute, a private advocacy group, argues for
more antitrust enforcement: http://www.epi.org/
The Brookings Institution attempts a non-partisan position and publishes frequent overviews of antitrust
law. See, for example: http://www.brookings.edu/search?start=1&q=antitrust
ECO 202 Unit 5 Discussion Latest-POST
Unit 5 DB: Local Pollution
To learn about pollution in your area, log on to www.scorecard.org and enter your zip code.
What is the most common pollutant for your area?
Does this rank higher or lower than the national average?
If the pollution problem is reduced in your area, how will employment in your area be affected?
Is the socially optimal level of output identified by this organization higher or lower than current output
ECO 202 Unit 6 Discussion Latest-POST
Unit 6 DB: Global Poverty
Global poverty is an international issue. Other countries are inclined to look to the U.S. with its great
wealth to take an active role in assisting poor nations. People here spend money trying to counter
baldness while people in other countries are starving to death. On the other hand, foreign aid may be
distributed as political favors rather than going to those most in need. Present both sides of the argument
on whether the U.S. should work to achieve the Millennium Aid goal for contributions to increase the U.S.
contribution to 0.7% of its GDP. For each side of the argument, provide three facts to support the
argument. Use at least three of the following concepts in your response:
ECO 202 Unit 7 Discussion Latest-POST
Unit 7 DB: County Poverty Rate
At the U.S. Census website, find the poverty rate in your county code by going to
http://factfinder2.census.gov and entering your county in the Quick Start search bar. How does this
“percent below poverty level” compare to the national rate? What factors are causing your county poverty
rate to differ from (or equal) the national poverty rate?
ECO 202 Unit 8 Discussion Latest-POST
Unit 8 DB: Chinese Currency Manipulation
Manufacturers in the US want China to increase the value of the yuan. They say China undervalues their
currency making their products cheap, thus undercutting American business. Some believe that this is
why Americans are losing jobs. Wal-Mart and other companies believe it is a good thing because it keeps
prices low for the products they sells. Discuss whether low yuan value is good for the US because of low
prices or if it is costing too many Americans their jobs. You will want to do some research on the subject
of currency manipulation for additional information to debate this topic.