Help broaden your students’ understanding of the underlying economic principals behind current events, as well as other more basic economic concepts.
FOR THE WEEK OF Jan. 17, 2010
Article Link: "Leaders share tips for success," Jan. 11, 2010, The Denver Post, 14A
- Success: high position or rank of a person within the society. A person can earn their social or economic status by their own achievements, which is known as achieved status.
- Grant: an award of money usually funded by government or foundation. The award may be given to a person or a non-profit organization for a certain desirable social activity.
- Skills: People need a broad range of skills in order to contribute to a modern economy and take their place in the technological society of the twenty-first century. Skills may be general such as being on time or they may be specific to a job such as having perfect eye sight to be a pilot.
- Human capital: experience, knowledge and personality abilities that allow a person to perform work so as to be productive. It also includes attributes gained through education and training. Human capital is the most important resource for a national economy. Natural resources are not nearly as important as human capital in building a nation’s wealth.
Discussion:The article is about a non-profit organization, Go For It! that teaches students how to build their human capital. The group goes into schools and teaches students how to be positive and self-confident. They also teach about the importance of setting goals, being persistent, and developing good habits. These are skills that are not normally taught in a typical classroom. The lesson to students is that they can achieve anything.
Questions for discussion: What do you think are the “Keys to Success”? Define “persistent.” Why do you think it is important for you to be persistent? Tell yourself everyday that you can do anything. Why is human capital important for your principal, teacher, or for you? Make a list of your human capital qualities.
Article Link: "Forecast: Colo. to gain jobs in '10" Jan. 14, 2010, The Denver Post, 6B
- Recovery: the end of a recession or depression, marked by growth after the slump in the business cycle.
- Unemployment: A measure of how many people are looking for jobs but cannot find work. Currently 10% of the workforce is unemployed. There have been 8 million jobs lost since December 2007. Many economists think that the recovery cannot occur until jobs are being created. There were 85,000 jobs lost in December 2009.
- Economy: describes the total production, trade and consumption of a country’s goods and services.
- Debt: is created when a lender agrees to offer a sum of money to a borrower. Debt is granted because repayment is required plus payment of interest.
- Recession: usually defined as 2 consecutive quarters (or 6 months) of declining national production.
- Non-financial debt: is the debt owed by governments, households, and companies but not to financial institutions. The main component of this debt is the national debt owed by the U.S. government to investors and other governments.
- Personal income: income received by persons from all sources: including salaries, investments, interest and government payments such as Social Security.
- Foreclosure: when a home mortgage loan is not repaid by a borrower a bank can repossess the property and sell it to pay off the original home loan.
- Unemployment: occurs when a person is available to work and seeking work but is currently without a job. The unemployment rate is the number of people looking for work divided by all the people in the workforce.
- Industry: is a type of economic activity that provides a product or service. Examples of industries: Service, Leisure and Hospitality, Financial, Transportation.
- GDP: Gross Domestic Product consists of Consumer spending, Government spending, business Investment, and Net Exports: GDP = C + G + I + NX. When GDP is negative this usually means that C and I are falling. In the current recession consumers need to spend in order for the economy to start growing. Then businesses will start to invest and GDP will turn positive.
Discussion: The writer of this article interviewed several economists who are making predictions about what might happen to the Colorado economy in 2010. Their opinions were slightly different but they all forecast a mild or weak recovery in production and jobs for Colorado. Part of the article is a chart that shows which industries are going to add jobs in 2010 and which will lose jobs.
Questions for discussion:Why do you think the “educational and health services” industry is adding jobs? Which industry is going to lose the greatest per centage of jobs in 2010? What are the main factors in helping the Colorado economy? (Ans.: global and U.S. national economic growth) What do you will predict will happen to retail sales if consumers save more and spend less?
Handy Dandy Guide
6 core economic Principals
Colorado Model Content Standards for Economics
Economics is written by Dennis Grogran, Program
Director, Colorado Council for Economic Education. For information about
CCEE's other programs, call 303-752-2323 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.