Economics Discussions

 Please reply to each of the following prompts separately with two paragraphs of six sentences each.

Discussion for Chapter 21: One of the most important economic indicators is GDP. This is discussed briefly in the text but because of its importance we need to take a closer look at this valuable concept. For this discussion research the various aspects of the economy that comprise the GDP, choose two, and explain how you think the change(s) in these aspects of GDP over the past five years has impacted or been involved in our current economic situation. This will require outside research so be sure to cite your sources. Also be sure to reply to at least two other postings.

Discussion for Chapter 22: The CPI measures the cost of living for a typical urban household. However, according to many researchers, the elderly are rarely, if ever, “typical.” Prices of health care, medications, and other items that are overrepresented in the budgets of the elderly continue to rise. There has been discussions about preparing a new “weighted” CPI just for the elderly.

Discussion question: Should there be a special version of the CPI for the elderly? What about for the poor who are collecting food stamps or help for children? Be sure to use sound reasoning and, preferably, facts and statistics to support your argument (cite your sources).

Discussion for Chapter 23: Equilibrium is an important concept in economics. Almost all of the studies and research conducted are based on determining the equilibrium of all the various aspects of the aggregate and individual economies. Explain what the term equilibrium means to you from an economic standpoint and why it is so important. Keep in mind that the definition offered in micro economics is not the same as in macroeconomics. Be sure to explain the difference(s). You may need to use outside sources (from the Internet). Cite the sources that you utilize. Also, offer one or two instances of how you personally attempt to achieve equilibrium in your own life.

Discussion for Chapter 24: There has been a plethora of discussions concerning what course(s) of action the federal government should take to: a) improve the economy, and b) decrease our national debt. For this discussion you need to take a good look at these issues and discuss how government policy can improve the economy and whether or not decreasing our national debt at this time will help or hurt our economy. And then answer this question: Can the government improve the economy and decrease our debt at the same time? If so, how? If not, why not? Be sure to base your response on sound economic principles and support your argument with reliable facts and/or statistics and cite your sources. Your opinion is not acceptable for this discussion.

Discussion for Chapter 25: An aura of mystery surrounds the use of gold and silver as money for long periods of history. What is so special about these two metals? The answer is not mysterious at all. Money must have certain properties to function well as a medium of exchange. One type of money is replaced by another when the newer money fulfills these properties better than the old.

The six properties that a “good” medium of exchange must possess are:   1. Verifiable at low cost (people must be able to distinguish real money from counterfeit money at low cost). Discuss the redesign of U.S. paper currency. Also discuss the original meaning of “debasing the currency.” When gold was money and a king wanted to fight a war, he would sometimes order the royal treasurer to melt all the gold, add 10 percent lead and recast the debased gold into coins.  2. Portable (people must be able to carry it around conveniently). Paper money works better than gold or silver in many respects. 3. Divisible (people must be able to make change). Again, this can be a problem with gold and silver coins. 4. Durable (money shouldn’t wear excessively). This is a problem with gold because very pure gold flakes easily. 5.  Available in sufficient supply (to avoid the need for barter). In the era of “free coinage” in the United States, the main determinant of the money supply was the location and timing of the most recent gold strike. 6. Have a stable purchasing power. Gold and silver do not have a stable purchasing power because their price changes with changes in supply and demand.

For centuries, gold and silver coins satisfied these conditions better than any other alternative; hence, their popularity as money. Fiat money, however, also satisfies these conditions quite well.

For this discussion forum, suggest some form of currencies that you would prefer other than the paper money and coins that we use today.  For the purpose of this discussion, just consider whether or not the item(s) meet the criteria for good currency. This is the opportunity to have some fun. For instance, jelly beans fit most of the criteria for good currency. Also, as part of the discussion, access the discussion of other students and offer some problems that might erupt if we decided to utilize their currency ideas. For instance, why don’t we use jelly beans for currency?  

Discussion for Chapter 26: As we have learned (or should have learned), the Federal Reserve is the organization that determines monetary policy in the United States. For this discussion research past Chairmen of this organization, choose one and discuss their history, policies and their ultimate impact on the economy.

Discussion for Chapter 27: In the United States (and many other developed countries), the link between budget deficits and the money supply is complex. In the United States, if the Treasury spends more than it collects in tax revenue, it must finance the resulting deficit by borrowing funds from the public, which it does by selling U.S. government bonds. As you learned in Chapter 23, only the Federal Reserve can create money. The Fed is not part of the U.S. government. The fact that the government is operating with a deficit does not necessarily mean that the Fed will choose to increase the money supply. However, the Fed may very well be pressured to increase the money supply in response to a budget deficit. Whether this pressure will be effective depends on the strength and independence of the Fed chairman. Hence, there may sometimes be an indirect link between the U.S. budget deficit and money creation. The discussion question for this chapter is this: Should the Fed increase the money supply during this recession, what are some of the trade-offs that could be associated with this move, and what would be some possible consequences?

Discussion for Chapter 28: Many of you do not know that businesses employ quite a few economists. One source for information about the various roles these economists play is the National Association for Business Economics (NABE, Among other activities, NABE members can join one (or more) roundtable groups. A list is available at For this discussion, access both these sites and look for some of the interesting jobs economists hold. Choose two that you might be interested in pursuing and explain what it is and why you might be interested in that field. To get the full scope of possibilities, you will need to read everyone’s post.

Discussion for Chapter 29: At the end of the presentation and notes for this chapter there is a section that discusses the pros and cons of government deficits. Choose a side (pro or con) and argue your reasoning for choosing that stance. Use sound economic concepts/theories when answering (not your opinion). You may need to use outside sources to develop your argument. If so, cite your sources.

Discussion for Chapter 30: This chapter talks about “animal spirits.” Keynes concluded that much investment activity depends on psychology, what he called “animal spirits.” Animal spirits of entrepreneurs is a term coined by Keynes to describe investors’ feelings. Today we call “animal spirits” by their correct name–expectations of future profits and the expected future interest rates. If we expand this definition to include all expectations of our total economic future on a personal level, then what would be your “animal spirits?” In other words, what do you foresee economically in your future?

Discussion for Chapter 31: This chapter discusses growth. Growth brings change. New products are produced while others become obsolete. A terrific example is the personal computer industry. Today external data are mainly stored on CDs and flash memory sticks. Not so long ago the 3-1/2-inch disk was standard. Before that 5-1/4-inch disks were used. Even earlier 8-inch floppy disks were the only disk storage medium available. Today data stored on an 8-inch floppy is virtually unreadable. When a product becomes obsolete, it may have important implications for the future. Think of at least one other product or service that has experienced similar change/growth processes over the years. Everyone should try to choose a different product or service if possible (there are many).

Discussion for Chapter 33: One of the many items mentioned in the last presidential campaign was the problem of outsourcing jobs overseas. President-elect Trump vowed to raise and impose tariffs on imported goods in an effort to bring jobs back to the United States. Discuss here this strategy and whether or not this can be successful and the possible consequences if there are any. Support your argument and, as always, respond to at least two other postings.

Discussion for Chapter 35: For this discussion consider everything that you have learned in this chapter, and throughout the course, and discuss what you believe needs to be done to aid development in the non-developed countries around the world. Use sound economic principles in your discussion. You may choose a specific country to make your discussion more accurate.