Economic Principles

Grades 10+High school students may be awarded 1/2 Economics credit upon completion of this course.

Reading from historical sources, students in Economic Principles examine deep frameworks of economics. Adam Smith’s titanic Wealth of Nations will advocate for free markets. Karl Marx’ socialism will critique capitalism and advocate for collective decision making. In the last few weeks, we will depart from the dichotomy of free-floating individualism versus centralizing collectivism, examining a model dubbed distributism by its author G. K. Chesterton.

Weekly homework will include open book quizzes, short paragraph reflections, and class participation. Major grades will be assessed in 3 essays. The weekly homework load will comprise approximately 2 hours per week.

Major course texts will include the following topics:

The Wealth of Nations -Smith:

1.    self-interest as a driver of economic growth
2.    the productive power of specialization
3.    the development of currency
4.    effects of markets in developing productivity
5.    problems of centralized management
6.    centrality of individual decision making: consumers and entrepreneurs

The Marx Engels Reader

1.    labor as a creator of the materials of culture
2.    conflict between capital and labor driving culture
3.    the self-destructive nature of capital concentration leading to cyclical economic crashes

The Outline of Sanity -Chesterton

1.    the socialistic dysfunctions of modern commercial capitalism
2.    social effects of industrialism
3.    seeking an economic mode fit to uphold diversely created human beings
4.    divided and shared ownership supporting human flourishing

Many states require only 1 semester of Economics and 1 semester of U.S. Government for high school. U.S. Government (Foundations or Contemporary Issues) pairs well with this class for a full year of Economics and Government.

High school students may be awarded 1/2 Economics credit upon completion of this course.

To deepen learning beyond the regular class material, honors students pursue semi-independent readings. The instructor directs them to respectable but popular periodicals like the business sections of the British "Guardian", the New York Post, etc. With instructor guiding, students select two articles to read and then write a two-paragraph analysis for each as warm up minor grades. Then, for each of the semester's 3 major essays, honors students independently research a similar article to add as additional support for their thesis.

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