Gross domestic product. Health insurance. Soaring energy prices. Major economic issues dominate today's news, but how do these issues impact the average citizen? This primer in 21st-century economics for the non-economist surveys today's most urgent economic issues that affect both global events and our everyday lives.
You'll learn what economics has to say about making the decisions - big or small - that affect our daily lives: What factors come into play when you're deciding whether to buy this car or that one, or even commute by bus? Mow the lawn or take a nap? Grill a burger with a bubbling slice of cheese or eat a simple salad? And you'll see how this same kind of analysis applies to the major issues of public policy, where the needs and wants of a nation and its people - whether financial security, safety from terrorism, or even an available kidney for someone desperately waiting on a transplant list - involve tradeoffs, which are sometimes obvious and sometimes not.
Whether dealing with the traditional sorts of topics most of us are used to seeing in an economics course - Social Security, inflation, unemployment, immigration, taxation, and the like - or issues perhaps surprising, such as gambling, major sports franchises, and even overeating, these 36 lectures offer a steady flow of insights about public policy and the American economy.
By showing the full range of economic factors at work, this course can help you become an even more insightful judge of policy recommendations and of the leaders and policy makers who advocate them. And you may well learn to supplement your own analyses as you make the real-life economic choices each of us faces every day, becoming an even wiser consumer and manager of your own economic future.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2007 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2007 The Great Courses
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"Great intro, but outdated."
The overall presentation of economics is nicely done, but unfortunately completed in 2006. The last decade has been massively important to modern economic theory. For that reason I cannot recommend. The housing crisis, new expansive monetary policy (Federal Reserve changes), bailouts, stimulus, all need complete coverage for a Modern Economic Issue lecture series.
"Fantastic. Balanced, yet provocative."
I've listened to almost all of the economics Great Courses and this might be the best one. I just finished listening to it a second time. I wish Robert Whaples did more courses. His survey of economists' opinions is a great supplement to the data and arguments he provides for the respective issues. Every lecture is packed with data and powerful arguments backed by economic theory. The Walmart lecture was very enlightening. Prof. Whaples disabuses the listener of the many misconceptions about the company and provides the economists' consensus analysis regarding its huge benefit to society. He convinced me that the Postal Service needs to be privatized, the inflation rate is egregiously overstated year after year by the CPI, and the U.S. poverty rate is in need of serious revision. I learned so much from this course. Prof. Whaples really makes you think about things that you don't often think about. I'm going to have to keep returning to it to retain all the information. After listening to this course you'll want to investigate all of these issues further. I can't recommend this course highly enough.
would like to see same lectures updated a little, to reflect current events but otherwise excellent.
"An excellent course"
Professor Whaples is one of those rare teachers who rattle off facts and figures in such an interesting way you figure it's just conversation!
I would heartily recommend this course. Keep in mind that it came out before the crash, so it appears too optimistic. The teaching company really ought to add a lesson on this huge fact!
In light of our country's economic woes, it's helpful to see where we were before it, and what was done to make the situation worse.
"Economic issues at the brink of the fall"
A decent review of economic issues today but hard to get past the datedness of this being a lecture from 2007 on economics on the brink of the fall. The lecturer talks about how rock solid the economy was felt to be and heralded 10 years of solid growth ahead as seen by a survey of top Economists. Proof of how much 20/20 hindsight is bunk.
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