21 May 2009

Econ Articles

When I come across articles like the following two, I regret (more than usual) not teaching AP Macro, or even normal economics. I think about trying to utilize them in my general business class but freshmen and sophomore just don't get the deeper meaning and don't make the connections from real-life examples to the principles in our book like higher-achieving seniors can. Plus I feel like initiating, leading and directing discussion is one of my weaknesses, and one that I hope to work on over the summer.
Regardless, I thought I'd share these two articles that I came across...
This first one about Norway's economy is from the NY Times. It touches on aspects of investing, economic systems, budget surplus, natural (and national) resources, and a mindset on financial management, government revenues in particular, quite different from our own, "We cannot spend this money now; it would be stealing from future generations."
The second article is from the Wall Street Journal about ever growing India and its strained infrastructure. Production possibilities, public goods, and infrastructure are illustrated.

Giving this a second read, maybe this stuff is just super boring to most people and only cool to me. Who knows? If that is the case, I will offer you this article from the NY Times about 12 students who have overcame incredible odds against them to achieve great things. This is one article that I do think will be able to be used in my classroom. Especially for some of our students who have it rough and like to use that as a excuse, it should be helpful for them to realize that there is always someone worse off and that it is possible to overcome serious challenges to your success.


  1. 1. Well, one reader finds econ more interesting than ever.
    2. Econ will become more interesting as we see that it's tied more closely to ecology and politics than ever before. (Remember, it started as "political economy.)
    3. The gap in India must be like that of China: huge. India, being a democracy, is much more unruly, which certainly has some downsides. Saw these same concerns in the 'Roon, quite daunting.
    4. Also note the role that culture plays in decisions: Norway vs. U.S. or U.K. It's a lot about attitude, belief, and perception. Again, neo-classical economics has far too limited a view of human behavior. See the great Norwegian social scientist Jon Elster!
    5. What if all persons had the ingenuity and drive that these kids in the NYT article had? Wow!

  2. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/04/world/europe/04latvia.html?scp=9&sq=Latvia&st=Search
    here is the article I read yesterday about Latvia, kinda the opposite of what has happened in Norway. What I don't understand, and you can explain it to me this weekend, why do these countries blame the EU?? I have read quite a few times that Ireland and others also blame them. Love the article about the students, I read it first--:) especially wonderful to read at this time of year, ( Only 2 hours of kids this morning, and bye- bye for the summer) Gotta smile at that.

  3. Thanks for the link to the article about the NYC teens' dream of college. I just finished reading "A Hope in the Unseen" by Ron Suskind which tells the true story of one of these kids--who through hard work rose above his grim beginnings and graduated from Brown University. This book was written over ten years ago, so it's reassuring to see that the dream is still possible--and it's still happening. Thanks!