Position Paper Assigments in Economics

These four example assignment sheets have been provided by Dr. Kay Strong as an appendix to her case study, "Use of Portfolios for Assessment in Introductory Economics".


ECON 200-Introduction to Economics

Chapter 13: Federal Budget & National Debt

Fall 2002/Strong

Directions: Attach this sheet to the face of your two column (FORMAT), single line spaced, justified, size 10 font typed paper with 1-inch margins. Do not put your name in any other location.

Demonstrate all required parts for credit!

Due: 22 October 2002

Your first paper will be in the form of a two-column news magazine feature article.

Theme: Our National Priorities; at what cost to Ohioans?

Your feature article must demonstrate:

  1. use of your economic knowledge to accurately describe the federal budget;

  2. use of real time data (FY 2003) to present the facts about key federal budget items;

  3. identification of our national priorities in both taxing and spending areas (Interactive Tax Chart) and

  4. explanation of the opportunity costs (trade-offs) of these national priorities on fellow Ohioans.

Remember, your textbook is your primary source of information. But consider, also, any of the URLs used in class for real time data.

Name______________________

Additional URLs of interest:

$1.9 billion Ohio budget is approved

http://enquirer.com/editions/2002/05/31/loc_1_9_billion_ohio.html

Highlights of Ohio's new budget

http://enquirer.com/editions/2002/05/31/loc_highlights_of_ohios.html

Executive Budget Fiscal Years 2002-2003

http://www.state.oh.us/obm/Information/Budget/Bluebook0203/PDF/rsummary.PDF

Impact of federal spending on States

http://www.nationalpriorities.org/


ECON 200-Introduction to Economics

Chapter 14: Social Security & Medicare

Fall 2002/Strong

Directions: Attach this sheet to the face of your double spaced, justified, size 10 font typed paper with 1-inch margins. Do not put your name in any other location. Demonstrate all required parts for credit!

DUE: 5 November 2002

Theme: Social Security in your Future

You are the lead writer for a senatorial candidate from Ohio whose next stop on the campaign trail will be BGSU’s Anderson Arena. The arena is expected to be packed. Approximately half of those attending will be “baby boomers” and the other half will be “twenty-somethings,” all eager to hear your candidate’s spin on Social Security reform. Remember, it is your candidate’s heartfelt desire to win this senatorial race! The balance of power in Congress is at stake.

Your campaign speech must demonstrate:

  1. a knowledgeable overview of the Social Security program;

  2. use of real time data to present the facts surrounding the trust fund’s “solvency” issue;

  3. a balanced understanding of the concerns of both the voting “baby boomer” generation and the younger “twenty-something” generation;

  4. an understanding of feasible options for reforming Social Security and the principal consequences (potential benefits and costs) of each selected option.

Remember, your textbook is your primary source of information. But consider any of the URLs used in class.

Additional URLs of interest:

The Office of the Chief Actuary

http://www.ssa.gov/OACT

Options for Social Security Reform

http://www.network-democracy.org/social-security/bb/adss/options.html

Background Material

http://www.network-democracy.org/social-security/bb/adss/background.html


ECON 200-Introduction to Economics

Chapter 6: Poverty Problems

Fall 2002/Strong

Directions: Attach this sheet to the face of your double spaced, justified, size 10 font typed paper with 1-inch margins. Do not put your name in any other location. Demonstrate all required parts for credit!

DUE: 19 November 2002

Theme: The Twin Problem of Income Distribution and Poverty

As one of the 11.7 million children under the age of eighteen years who lives below the poverty level, you will be responding to a comment made in a Letter to the Editor. On April 12, 2002, J. C. Reeher from Stoneboro, PA wrote in part the following to the Editor of the USAToday:

“Working Americans are tired of subsidizing laziness. Bush’s leadership on welfare reform recognizes that fact.”

In writing your letter as a (exceptionally knowledgeable) child to the Editor of USAToday, be sure to demonstrate:

  1. a knowledgeable overview about the current distribution of income in the U. S. and its relationship to poverty;

  2. use of real time data to present the facts about the distribution of income, poverty and selected characteristics of those counted as poor;

  3. an understanding of the causes and the economic consequences of poverty;

  4. an understanding of feasible options for improving the situation of the impoverished and the principal consequences (potential benefits and costs) of these options.

Remember, your textbook is your primary source of information. But consider any of the URLs used in class.

Welfare Reform: Ongoing Implementation and Debate

http://www.libertynet.org/edcivic/welfref.html

The Whitehouse version

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/02/welfare-reform-announcement-book.html

Ohio’s Non-custodial parents program

http://www.state.oh.us/odjfs/owf/prc/prcdr_vol05.pdf


ECON 200-Introduction to Economics

Chapter 3, 4, 5 & 6: Issues

Fall 2002/Strong

Directions: Attach this sheet to the face of your double spaced, justified, size 10 font typed paper with 1-inch margins. Do not put your name in any other location. Demonstrate all required parts for credit!

DUE: 26 November 2002

Theme: A Crime-free Society is it a Desirable Goal?

You are professional media campaign manager who is interested in promoting an economist’s perspective about the desirability of legalizing drugs.

Your “advertising blitz” must demonstrate:

  1. a knowledgeable overview of the current U. S. crime situation;

  2. use of real time data to present the facts surrounding the crime issue;

  3. an understanding of the circumstances under which “crime pays” both from the perspective of an individual and the perspective of society;

  4. an explanation about how “if successfully implemented” your advertising perspective on legalizing drugs will impact the US. Highlight the most likely consequences, positive and negative, of your policy perspective.

Remember, your textbook is your primary source of information. But consider any of the URLs used in class.

Additional URLs of interest:

Drug Enforcement Agency (see: State Factsheet under Briefs and Background)

http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/states/domestic.html

War on Drugs Clock

http://www.drugsense.org/wodclock.htm

Basic Facts about the War on Drugs

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/basicfax.htm

PBS Documentary

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/drugs/

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