Part 1 Understanding Economic Activity

Chapter 1 Economics Defined

I. Basic Terms  3 Videos

II. Economic Models 1 Video

III. United States Economic Goals  1 Video

IV. Economic Disciplines

Macro Review 11 min comprehensive video

Test Review Notes Chapters 1-7

Chapter 2 Economizing Scarce Resources

Political Economy Preface

See US Constitutional History from Magna Carte to Trump's SC Battle
US History: A Constitutional; Approach
 Jamestown to Selma, Alabama  7/14/23
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Lecture Notes

I. Basic Terms
       A. Economy is the social science concerned with the use of
            resources like land and labor to fulfill human needs.
       B. Resources are the inputs, want satisfaction is the output 
       C. Key Concepts for understanding and analysis
          1. Scarcity of resources results in the need for choices by participants.
          2. Purposeful behavior by participants (buyers and sellers) is exhibited
              to enhance their own rational self interest.
              See Economics in the dock 6 min video
          3. Marginal analysis where the change in benefit received is balanced
              with the change in cost is a common purposeful behavior.

              See Margins and Thinking at the Margin
          4. Fallacy of composition: applying to the whole that which is true for
              a part without adequate proof. 1 and 3 are odd numbers, so four is
              odd number.
This fallacy is the basis of police profiling. See
              Why Do People Continue to Believe Stupid Economic Ideas -
              Mark Blyth 5 min video
Fallacy of division: This is the assumption that if something is true
              for the whole then it must be true for its parts. The absolutely worst
              abuse here involves inferring from an average that all elements are
          6. Post hoc fallacy: Assumption that correlation proves causation.  
              This is related to the concept in law of circumstantial evidence.
          7. Cum Hoc Fallacy :simultaneous correlations while post hoc refers
              to sequential correlations.
Logical fallacies is a pattern of reasoning rendered invalid by a flaw
              in its
logical structure that can neatly be expressed in a standard
     D. Economic methodology 
         1. Positive economics 
             a. What something is 
             b. Objective, can be measured
             c. Example: measuring disposable personal income which is an 
                 individual's salary after taxes
             d. A Theorem on the Methodology of  Positive Economics
Inflation Binary
         2. Normative economics
             a. What something ought to be 
             b. Subjective, difficult to measure 
             c. Requires value judgments by citizens, Political Action Committees
               (PAC's), politicians, economists, etc.
             d. Examples: should the minimum wage be increased, should
                 defense spending increase and social spending be lowered
         3. Descriptive economics
             a. Looking at the real-world to develop Economic Theory
             b. Economic Theory
                 1. Generalizations concerning economic behavior based upon real
                    -world observations, empirical by nature
                 2. Economic theories are objective "positive economics"
                 3. Assumes behavior is rational and economic (self-serving)
                 4. Example: as the price of a product increases, consumers tend
                     to buy less
             c. Economic Policy
                 1. Application of economic theory to solve economic problems
                 2. Economic policies are subjective, "normative economics".
                 3. How society makes economic choices such as in the 1980's
                     when spending for the elderly (Social Security) increased 
                     and spending for children (Head Start) decreased 1234
4. Using Statistics
              1. Why Do Economists Use Statistics?
             2. Common Errors interpreting Statistics
              3. Beginning with video 3 the series, statistics
                  are used in a questionable manner to analyze
                  to current economic issues of concern to Libertarians.

 II. Economic Models
   A. Definition
1. Simplified generalizations to represent of real-world economic activity
         2. Requires Ceteris Paribus: Latin for holding other economic variables constant
       See Ceteris Paribus Trap
   B. Designing Models
1. Models may be quantities or qualitative
           2. Economic Models 3 minute video
           3. Three Pitfalls to model analysis 
                a. Restrictive, unrealistic assumptions 
                b. Omitted details  
                c. Are economic models falsifiable?
 4. Model representations are not always correct
         a. Are economic models falsifiable?
b. Pfleiderer on The Misuse of Economic Models 1 hour podcast

                 c. Models such as the Production Possibility Curve chapter 2 and supply
                      and demand, chapter 3, explained in the next chapter provide a simplified
                      description of how some aspect of an economy works.
d. Beware of economic textbooks 11/30/14
Why Do People Continue To Believe Stupid Economic Ideas?
  4/17 Mark Blyth
                  g. Economics Rules: the rights and wrongs of the dismal science
         h. Economists And Statistical Tests Are Bias 4/3/18

III. United States Economic Goals
   A. Employment Act of 1946 set goals in response to a
      Soviet 5-year economic plans.
    B. Humphrey Hawkins Act of 1978 added goals.
1. Economic growth
            2. Full employment of all economic resources
            3. Price stability (low inflation)
            4. Positive balance of payments (international flow of dollars)
            5. Economic freedom
            6. Equitable distribution of income
            7. Economic security (if you have A through F, you have G
     C. Political Goals Differ

   D. Economic Report of the President

Political Economy Stuff


Japan and South Korea  collective harmony.

Western Europeans Social Democratic Position
prioritizing the common good.
UK, Canada, Australia
and New Zeeland Western Middle

United States individualistic Neoliberal orientation.


Conservative Sensibility
George Will

Based on US Declaration of Independence

"We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights
, that among these are
Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
. —
That to secure these rights,
Governments are instituted among Men,
deriving their just powers
 from the consent of the governed..." 


Inspired by
 American Nations by
Golin Woodard

Based on US Constitution

"We the People of the United States,
in Order to form a more perfect Union,
establish justice
, insure domestic Tranquility,
provide for the common defense,
promote the general Welfare

and secure the Blessings of Liberty
to ourselves and our Posterity,
do ordain and establish this Constitution
for the United States of America."







Macro Activity Micro Activity Schools of Economic Thought
and Methodology
2016 Economic Trends Cleveland FED
1. Inflation rate 1. A product's price Econometricians Articles, Videos
2. Economic growth 2. Pollution Behavioral Economists
Behavioral- Economics 3 min
Behavioral Economics? 4 min
How Behavioral Economics Changed The World 85 min video
Regional Economist and
 Economic Synopses
FRED down load FED data St. Louis FED
3. Total employment 3. Poverty International Economics Library of Economic Liberty
Much Stuff
4. The  business cycle 4. A competitive market Labor Economics
Forensic Economics
 Ecological Economics
Center for Economic and Policy Research
ACDC Introduction to Macro
98 m Video
 What is Microeconomics 1:54 Video Public Economics U.S. Political Economy
one-page on varied topics
1  Wiki explanation is extensive, for now, 
the first few paragraphs are sufficient.
2 Wiki explanation is extensive, for now, the first paragraph is sufficient. Financial Economics much free stuff

See How Economy Works 30 min video

See What is Economics? 

Economics is for Everyone 11.min video

The Economics of Norm Peterson of Cheers


Chapter 1 Class  Discussion Questions

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Chapter 1 Homework Questions

Next Chapter  
Economizing Scarce Resources   

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