Economics Issue Paper

Economics Issue Paper :  Please select one of the questions from the link below to write a paper on.  The paper should be two pages double spaced (12 point font).  The paper should be submitted by the due date that the student signed up for.

Possible Economic Issue Questions


1) “It [economics] has ended up as an intellectual ploy to distract attention away from the financial and property dynamics that are polarizing our world between debtors and creditors, property owners and renters, while steering politics from democracy to oligarchy…”  –  Michael Hudson   Do you agree or disagree with the author’s perspective on the field of economics? Include evidence to support your position.


2) “Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it’s just the opposite.” Describe why the economist John Kenneth Galbraith might feel this way about the economic systems of capitalism and communism. Provide evidence to support your position.


3) Henry Kravis said: “The trouble, in my opinion, with corporate America today, is that everything is thought of in quarters.” What does he mean by this? How would this situation be described as bad for our country?

4) In the United States during the regular season, high school football teams play their games on Friday nights, college football teams play their games on Saturdays and pro football teams play most of their games on Sunday afternoon. What concept from unit six would describe this? Is this a good or a bad thing for the consumer of football? Why or why not?

5) Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said, “Strong, responsible unions are essential to industrial fair play. Without them the labor bargain is wholly one-sided. The parties to the labor contract must be nearly equal in strength if justice is to be worked out, and this means that the workers must be organized and that their organizations must be recognized by employers as a condition precedent to industrial peace.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why or why not?

6) Herbert Schiller said, “Deregulation has been, above all else, a means of reducing corporate business’s accountability to the public.”   Do you agree or disagree with this statement?  How would such a statement apply to environmental issues? To the banking sector?

7)  With respect to the impact of externalities on human society, ecological economist, Neva Goodwin, has observed, “power is largely what externalities are all about. What’s the point in having power, if you can’t use it to externalize your costs — to make them fall on someone else?”  Do you agree with this statement?  How does this statement relate to issues such as environmental pollution and bank bailouts?

8)  Former Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis said: “We can have democracy in this country or we  can have great wealth concentrated into the hands of a few, but we can not have both.”   First, what evidence can you present that in the United States wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few.  Secondly, do you agree with the idea that democracy is incompatible (can not coexist) with the great concentration of wealth?

9) On July 18, 2011, Trump appeared on Fox News and stated, “But you know, you do have a problem because half of the people don’t pay any tax.”  Is this an accurate statement?  Describe and provide evidence of why you agree or disagree.

10) Leading up to the 2016 presidential election, nearly every Republican candidate supported replacing our current tax code with their own version of a Flat Tax.  Describe what the flat is,  describe reasons why someone might support a flat tax, reasons why someone would oppose it, and finally state which side you think makes a more compelling argument.

11)  During the Great Depression of the 1930’s President Roosevelt instituted what was called the New Deal, a collection of government programs ( CCC, WPA, TVA) designed to put people back to work. These programs gave unemployed workers (almost exclusively men) jobs building roads, dams, bridges, parks, and planting trees.  Some people believe these programs got the United States out of the Depression.  Do you think the United States needs to implement a new New Deal?  How would Keynesians and Classical economists view such a plan?

12) American citizens are getting increasingly into debt.  In Biblical times, a jubilee was a year in which debts were forgiven.  There have been recent calls to cancel debts for everyone. Why? What would be the economic impact of such a decision?  Who would benefit from such a decision and who would suffer?

13) Ron Paul said: “Quantitative easing is just the latest chapter in the Federal Reserve’s hundred-year history of failure. (…) The American people have suffered long enough under a monetary policy controlled by an unaccountable, secretive central bank. It is time to finally audit – and then end – the Fed.”   Do you agree with Ron Paul?   Why or why not?

14) President Trump recently pulled the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership Treaty. Read the following links below.  Highlight the reasons given for why pulling out of the TTP was a good idea, bad idea, and what you think after looking at both perspectives.

Link   1     Link 2     Link 3

15)  Over the past few decades, wages have been stagnant and income inequality between the rich and poor has grown wider.  Describe what steps you would take to reverse these trends.  Finally, describe which economic school of thought influenced your ideas the most.






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