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Economics — Study and Teaching
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Is America Number One? Understanding the Economics of Success [electronic resource]

America enjoyed unprecedented growth in the 1990s, which firmly established the country as the world's leading economic power. Why? In this program, ABC News correspondent John Stossel reports on what special factors make the U.S. and Hong Kong, a tiny yet extremely dynamic geopolitical entity, so successful-and why similar success eludes India and other countries. Experts include Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman; Federal Reserve economist Michael Cox; Dinesh D'Souza, of the American Enterprise Institute; Tom Palmer, of the Cato Institute; and Dr. James Galbraith, of the University of Texas at Austin.
2007; 1999

Investing [electronic resource]

A 10-year high school reunion provides an chance to investigate opportunity cost, supply and demand's effect on wages, investing in human capital, and the costs and benefits of career decisions. In another segment, two workers, thinking hard about their futures, learn about incentives for investing in human capital and the economic risks involved, why people change jobs, and factors that enhance job mobility. Galloping competition in the manufacturing sector sets the stage for discussing productivity, investments in robotic technology, automation and the loss of jobs, and the role of government in training displaced workers. Correlates to National Economics Standards.
2006; 1996

Adam Smith [electronic resource]: Wealth of Nations

In 1776, Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations, a treatise that would forever change our understanding of how work, value, and money are interrelated. This program details Smith's life and traces the impact of his work as Europe began the arduous transition from mercantilism to the laissez-faire philosophy of the Physiocrats. After Smith, labor was seen as the source of a country's wealth, not its stores of gold or silver. Ironically, The Wealth of Nations would both inspire Karl Marx's socialist ideas and facilitate the rise of liberalism, upon which the capitalist economies of subsequent centuries would be built. Quotes from The Wealth of Nations are woven into the narrative, including the famous passage describing how an "invisible hand" guides individuals towards the common good.
2005; 2004

Spend and Prosper [electronic resource]: Portrait of J. M. Keynes

Few 20th-century economists have had the impact of John Maynard Keynes-the brilliant author of the Keynesian revolution-and his break-the-mold assertion that economies can achieve equilibrium without full employment. This program from the BBC archives, through interviews with Keynes and those who knew him, traces his life and ideas. Quentin Bell, J. K. Galbraith, and Ninette de Valois discuss Keynes' Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money within the context of the 1970s Monetarist views which faulted Keynes for not having addressed the dynamics of inflation. How Keynes might have viewed modern clashes between labor and industrial management is discussed, along with his belief in economics with a moral basis.
2008; 1981

Surviving the Good Times [electronic resource]: Moyers Report

During the longest economic expansion in American history, many people had never had it so good. But for others, the boom only resulted in working longer hours at lower wages simply to keep up. This eye-opening program tells the story of the Neumanns and Stanleys, two working families in Milwaukee whose efforts to make ends meet in the new global economy reveal what life was like for millions of Americans during that period. Filmed over ten years, this intimate documentary captures their struggle to cope with economic upheaval and to keep their families intact with both parents working, children facing challenges in school and in the street, and family values being threatened by problems with no easy solutions.
2006; 2000

Peasants, Serfs, and Servitude [electronic resource]

During the Middle Ages, most of Europe's inhabitants were illiterate and lived in the shadow of the wealthy; knowledge of peasant culture is therefore limited. This program addresses the historical lack of firsthand written materials, viewing serfs and servants through the eyewitness accounts of a fictitious traveler. Although a peasant farmer's daily existence was indeed oppressive, defined by taxation and compulsory military service to the ruling noble, the program details innovations of the era-including the horse-drawn iron plough and the three-field planting system-amounting to an agricultural revolution that set the stage for a heavily populated, modern Europe. Portions are in other languages with English subtitles.
2006; 2004

Bankers, Builders, and New Beginnings [electronic resource]

This program illustrates life from the perspective of the medieval merchant: urban, financially sophisticated, and revolving around trade and travel. Demonstrating how the growth of European cities prefaced the end of feudal society and the founding of major universities-while unfortunately enabling the spread of the Black Plague-the program reveals surprising facts regarding city planning, banking practices, cartography, and the skyscrapers of the Middle Ages, cathedrals. In essence, a new civilization emerges in this final episode of Europe in the Middle Ages, due in part to the creation of urban centers as bases for global exploration and conquest. Portions are in other languages with English subtitles.
2006; 2004

SuperFreakonomics With Levitt and Dubner [electronic resource]

In this ABC News program, SuperFreakonomics authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner give the concept of cause and effect a whack on the head. In a whirlwind round of 20 questions, Levitt and Dubner make forays into the worlds of business, education, health care, environmental science, and psychology to shed light on how a doctor's necktie can harm patients, why emergency rooms should be located at airports, how lasers could reduce the spread of malaria, a connection between the birth control pill and fewer teachers in America's public schools, a disconnect between locally grown produce and carbon emissions, how a garden hose to the stratosphere could cool down the Earth, the enticing economics of being a high-end call girl, and much, much more.
2010; 2009

The Money Fix [electronic resource]: An Alternative Look at Our Monetary System

More money is owed to banks than actually exists in circulation-some say the idea of loans is to keep money in short supply so that an economy based on a frightening "myth of scarcity" is created. This program poses provocative questions about the philosophy of our monetary system. To what extent does a society's financial structure affect its cultural outlook? Can we learn from the economy of nature, where all parts of an ecosystem work together with no profit motive? The video documents three types of alternative currencies based on cooperation instead of competition, all of which are helping to boost the financial strength of the communities in which they operate. An overview of the history of the banking system is included, along with expert commentary and entertaining archival c [...]

Suburban America [electronic resource]: Problems & Promise

Filmed in a wide range of suburban and metropolitan areas around the United States, this program presents a dynamic and thought-provoking exploration of American suburbia, including its genesis and history, its dramatic political and social evolution, and its developmental challenges. Viewers are guided through specific issues facing the nation's suburban landscape, including problems in infrastructure, transportation, housing, economic development, environmental sustainability, and community revitalization. Interviews with leading policy experts offer remarkable insight into the grey areas that separate - or connect, depending on one's point of view - America's cities and rural regions.

Nobel Minds 2008 [electronic resource]

Imagine the conversation if some of the world's greatest minds in the sciences and arts convened in one room. In this program, host Sarah Montague moderates a unique, interdisciplinary round table discussion among seven 2008 Nobel Laureates: biochemists Martin Chalfie and Roger Tsien; physicist Makoto Kobayashi; virologists Luc Montagnier and Francoise Barre-Sinoussi; economist Paul Krugman; and novelist Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio. The Laureates discuss their own achievements, as well as issues of global concern, such as the impact of an ongoing economic crisis on science and society, the influence of a new American president, and how their discoveries and contributions may be further advanced.
2009; 2008

Nobel Minds 2009 [electronic resource]

In this program, scientists from various disciplines sit down together in one room-specifically, the king's library in the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden. Hosted by the BBC's Zeinab Badawi, ten 2009 Nobel Laureates take part in an inspiring roundtable discussion of 21st-century physics, chemistry, medicine, and other subjects. Viewers meet molecular biologists Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider, and Jack W. Szostak; biochemists Ada E. Yonath, Thomas A. Steitz, and Venkatraman Ramakrishnan; physicists George E. Smith and Willard S. Boyle; political scientist and economic theorist Elinor Ostrom; and microeconomist Oliver E. Williamson. Practical applications for science research are a major topic.
2010; 2009

Making Bread Together [electronic resource]

In Meylin Gonzalez' Kindergarten class in Tampa, Florida, students are introduced to several economic concepts, including production and cooperation. Using a children's book as a guide, Ms. Gonzalez discusses how people work cooperatively on an assembly line to make a product. The students experience the concepts of production and distribution through an activity in which they create an assembly line in the classroom and prepare hand-made bread.

Population and Resource Distribution [electronic resource]

In Becky Forristal's Seventh Grade economics class at Rockwood Valley Middle School, outside St. Louis, Missouri, the lesson focuses on a population simulation that explores world economics amd demonstrates the inequalities in land, food, energy, and wealth distribution in the world today. Using a global map on the classroom floor, students are able to visualize how resources are distributed in both wealthy and developing nations of the world.

Economic Dilemmas and Solutions [electronic resource]

In Steven Page's 12th Grade Economics class at Vivian Gaither Senior High School in Tampa, Florida, students review and interpret the government's role in the economy. Working in groups, they examine economic dilemmas, including the implications of human cloning, year-round schooling, and drug legalization. Consensus is reached and findings are presented in the form of a skit, followed by a group discussion.

Public Policy and the Federal Budget [electronic resource]

Leslie Martin's ninth-graders create, present, revise, and defend a federal budget. After assuming the roles of the President and his or her advisors to create a federal budget, students are introduced to the actual 2001 federal budget, and in a whole-class discussion, discuss some key concepts involved in creating it. Next, students return to cooperative learning groups, revise their budgets based on what they learned, present their revised budgets, and simulate a Congressional hearing. Highlights the integration of teacher-directed instruction with small-group work.

The Culture of Commerce [electronic resource]

This program explores the systemic differences between the individualistic capitalism of America and Britain, and the communitarian capitalism of Japan and Germany. It shows how both Japan and Germany embrace more collaborative relations between labor and management, government and business, and even among businesses than the more laissez-faire American system. Both Japan and Germany invest heavily in worker training and long-term employment guarantees. The Japanese system is dominated by families of companies which finance and own each other; the German system by banks which are investors as well as lenders; the American system by entrepreneurs and absentee, mutual-fund type owners and managers who wield great power.
2005; 1994

The Feudal System [electronic resource]

This program covers the social and economic organization of Europe in the Middle Ages: life in a medieval farming hamlet; the role of the feudal lord, whose role was to defend its inhabitants in return for a share of the produce and other tribute; the role of tenant farmers, indentured servants, and serfs; the economy of the peasant community and the landed estate; construction and organization of the medieval castle; the relationship between lord and vassal; the pyramid of medieval social organization, with pope and king at the apex and impoverished peasants at the base; the concession of lands by the king and the financial and military obligations in return; the role of the church in feudal Europe, and of the clergy; and courtly love and other literary inventions.
2005; 1989

The Great Divide [electronic resource]

During the recent period of high employment and low inflation, the economic fortunes of the U.S. could hardly have been better. But as the rich got richer, the gap between rich and poor grew all the larger. Today's concerns over recession notwithstanding, has the gulf between the haves and the have-nots finally widened to the point of moral indefensibility? Have the nation's obligations to citizens of lower socioeconomic levels been forgotten amid the excitement of getting and spending? This program examines the moral and ethical questions that accompany national prosperity.
2006; 2000

The Heart of the Nation [electronic resource]

This program explores the central values of Japan, Germany, and the U.S. and focuses on what drives each of these societies. America's hallmark is individualism, Japan's the preeminence of the group; in America, freedom and diversity are primary values; in Japan, conformity and a powerful sense of nationalism prevail. Germany stands between the two, asserting individualism but striving, more than the U.S., for social harmony and consensus. The program shows how education is a metaphor for the contrasts in the three societies.
2005; 1994