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Economics U$A - 21st Century Edition

Grade Levels: 9 - 13+
Core Subject(s): Financial Literacy, CTE/Career & Technical Educati, CTE/Family & Consumer Science, CTE/Econ. & Entreprenuership
Website: http://www.learner.org/resources/series79.html

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Explore the fundamentals of economic history, theory, and practice, including microeconomics and macroeconomics, through interviews with Nobel Prize-winning economists. The series features Milton Friedman, Paul Samuelson, John Kenneth Galbraith, Walter Heller, and others. In each program, case studies of major economic events show how economic theory relates to the real world.

Episodes:

  • Exchange Rates

    By 1925 Great Britain went off the gold standard, managing to increase exports and lessen imports. The U.S. market was flooded with British goods and U.S. industry suffered. In July, 1944 world economic leaders met in Bretton Woods, NH for a "new world economic order" and soon the dollar became the new standard. In 2002 the Euro became the standard currency for the entire European Union and threatened to compete with the dollar. These stories portray the palpable cycle of effects involving trade, domestic growth, inflation, and flexible exchange rates.

    Length: 00:28:29
    Usage rights: 8/30/1986 to 1/18/2038
  • International Trade

    The U.S. auto industry lost a lot of mileage in 1973 with the rise of the more efficient Japanese imports. In the 1970s, the "trigger/price mechanism" was developed in order to differentiate between fair and unfair trade practices. Debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) included accusations that American jobs would suffer and American firms would relocate south of the border. Others insisted that increased trade would create new American jobs and industries. These stories illustrate the pros and cons of free trade.

    Length: 00:28:40
    Usage rights: 8/30/1986 to 1/18/2038
  • Monitary Policy

    Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volker pushed us through two deep recessions using monetary policy and increased interest rates to combat inflation in the 1980s. His successor Alan Greenspan used a different tactic in the early 1990s and 2000s: flood the market with liquidity to prevent freezing. And under Chairman Benjamin Bernanke the Fed has struggled to combat the ravages of the Great Recession in the first decade of the 21st century. These stories discuss the relationship between the money supply, economic growth, and inflation, and explain why choosing correct monetary policy can be so difficult.

    Length: 00:28:54
    Usage rights: 8/30/1986 to 1/18/2038
  • Stabilization Policy

    Between 1982 and 1985, the Fed tightened the money supply to combat inflation, despite rising unemployment. Also in the 1980s, U.S. citizens began to feel the debilitating effects foreign trade would have on job loss. Paul Volker's monetary policy in the mid-1980s was designed to quell inflation once and for all. However, in the first decade of the 21st century, when unemployment skyrocketed and the banking system and major corporations needed a bailout to survive, we questioned whether we could still control the economy. These stories highlight arguments for and against active government counter-stabilization policy.

    Length: 00:28:44
    Usage rights: 8/30/1986 to 1/18/2038

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