Course Outline and Syllabus

One Semester Course: 2014-2015
September – January / January - June
Course Outline & Syllabus
Overview: What is Economics?
Economics is a social science that studies how people
and businesses make decisions with unlimited needs and
wants and limited resources. The economic law of
scarcity means that no on can have everything he or he
wants. It applies to you, to businesses and to
governments as well. Basically; Economics is the study
of choices.
In Economics we look at two ways to study an
economy. Microeconomics studies the small details of
an economy. Microeconomics is like a microscope. It may look at how a
company is using its resources, determining their prices, dealing with
competition and managing its employees. Should a company outsource its
workforce to a lesser developed nation without minimum wage laws or unions to
keep prices low? Should individuals look to spend their money locally in order to
keep jobs and improve the employment rate in this country; even if it involves
spending more for the same product elsewhere? It also looks at how economic
choices are made by individuals. Your current generation is the first in many
years to experience difficulty finding employment in the United States. Jobs that
used to go to teens, are now often filled by adults. Is finding a job at less pay
better than a job at the mall 20 miles a way at a higher salary when you include
the amount you will spend on gas?
Macroeconomists looks at the big picture, instead of a microscope, picture them
using a telescope. Macroeconomists look at the total amount of money in use,
unemployment rates nationally or globally, how much a nation produces and/or
imports. They look at the value of money in our nation and compare it to the
value of the currency of other nations using International Monetary Policy.
Where should our government spend our tax dollars? Should money go to
defense or to domestic programs? We will discuss the huge role current events
and politics plays in these decisions.
The study of Economics covers many areas from how demand and supply effect
prices, to how business organizations are created to maximize efficiency and
profit to measuring our nation’s economic performance and creating jobs to
creating fiscal policy, taxation and maintaining our infrastructure. We’ll discuss
the stock market, demand deposit and savings plans, different types of savings
accounts, the use and acquisition of credit and how our nation is slowly
becoming almost a cashless society. Economics is part of your life everyday so
understanding more about it, can help you make the best economic choices.
Instructor: Lisa Korpics
Phone: 845-457-2400 Ext. 19355
Room: 145
Post Session: Tues through Friday
Notebook for notes and either a folder
specifically for this course or a
notebook with folders in it. Some
students find binders work well. There
is a lot of reading material involved in
Economics – keeping track of it is
Grading Policy
Exams, Projects, Papers – 40%
Quizzes, Class & Group work – 30%
Participation & Tolerance – 20%
Homework – 10%
Midterms: One semester courses
have midterms at the time you would
usually have Quarterly Exams in Full
Year Course
Finals: Given during in-class Finals
and Midterm (full semester courses)
School Website: You will find
that I use the website for a variety of
purposes all designed to benefit you.
Please familiarize yourself with it and
I will explain further in class.
We are striving to make Economics a
project-driven student centered course. In
order to do this, you will play an active
role in your learning. This will range from
creating your own businesses and
advertising, creating commercials
designed to create demand for your
product, finding out about YOUR local
economy and more.
Course Outline & Syllabus
Environmental Expectations:
This course covers material that often borders on political science. There are a
range of political and economic beliefs and respect for all of them is encouraged.
We will discuss different economic systems in the world and the pros/cons of
each. Maturity and tolerance are crucial in this class. Please “agree but disagree”
politely and respect the viewpoints of others. This can be an active class where
your voice is heard – but only if we all take turns listening.
Class Guidelines:
-Be on time. I am aware the hallways are crowded and that some of you travel
from one end of the building to the other, however I can also check this fact for
myself on my attendance program. Please do not take advantage of this.
Constant unexcused tardiness will impact your participation grade.
-Do not wait for me to tell you to take out your notebooks, start the “Do-Now”or
stare at the reading and wait for me to ask you to begin You are seniors. You
know the drill. Do not write on my brand new desks! I’ve waited 16 years for
them and it would not be in your best interest to ruin them. Trust me on this.
-Cellphones: unless we are doing an activity that involves the use of a cellphone
(which does happen on occasion), please keep them on silent and out of sight. If
you are looking into your purse or under your desk, or in your book and you are
glowing, I’m not going to assume that you have suddenly been internally
illuminated. The light of your phone means it is not out of sight. Best is off your
desk entirely. I don’t think we need to waste time in an upper level course on
cellphones. The policy is clear in your student handbook.
-Bathrooms/water fountain. We are fortunate that Room 145 is right next to
each of these. Therefore, if you need to use them please do so but try to do this
early on or during the last few minutes unless it is an emergency. Make sure I’ve
taken attendance and give me a signal, no pass needed. If I find that you have
vanished for ten minutes or are found in the North Cafeteria – you alone will no
longer have that privilege and will need to ask for a pass and sign out and back
in. One strike rule.
-If you miss notes, readings, articles, etc. you can find them on my website. If
you miss a test or a quiz I can arrange for you to take it online. Please see me
with any questions you may have about absences – we can usually work
something out to make up absences. Since this is a one-semester course, after 5
unexcused absences you can be given no credit. Senioritis is a naturally occurring
phenomenon – however remember that your graduation depends on a certain
amount of credits. Economics is NOT AN ELECTIVE. It is a mandatory course
in the Social Studies Department. Don’t let this half-credit class keep you from
graduation. It happens every year. You can refer to your handbook for school
policy on absences.
-Be respectful; of your classmates and me. You will find that I can be your
strongest advocate, but as your teacher I have a job to do that will benefit you in
college and in life. If you disrupt the class and waste time, this is not respectful to
any of us – even yourself.
Course Outline & Syllabus
Economics Syllabus:
Introduction to Economics:
Scarcity and Factors of Production, Opportunity Costs, Trade-offs,
entrepreneurs, labor, land, capital, physical capital, human capital,
shortage, goods, services, capital goods, guns or butter, margins,
cost/benefit analysis, law of diminishing marginal utility,
production possibilities curve, efficiency, growth, technology and
global economy, use of data to
produce/dissuade/cheat/prove/disprove: Film: “Freakonomics”
Stephen Levitt and Malcolm Gladwell.
Economic Systems:
Key economic questions, factor payments, profit, safety net,
standard of living, innovation, traditional economy, socialist
economy, command economy, centrally planned economy, mixed
economy, free market economy, markets, specialization, cirucular
flow, household, firm, factor markets, self-interest, incentive,
competition, invisible hand, consumer sovereignty, laisssez faire,
private property, economic transition, free enterprise, profit motive,
legal equality, interest group, eminent domain, public interest,
disclosure laws, voluntary exchange, federal reserve system
Growth, Stability, Business Cycles & Poverty
Macro/micro economics, gross domestic product, referendum,
recession, depression, recovery, prosperity, obsolescence, patent,
copyright, work ethics, market failures, infrastructures,
private/public sector, public good, poverty threshold, welfare,
block grants, income distribution, workfare, cash transfers, EBT, inkind benefits, grants, programs, EEOC, Book: “ Nickel and Dimed:
On (Not) Getting By in America” Barbara Ehrenreich. © 1996. Video: 20/20
Poverty in Appalachia: 50 Years after RFK and Johnson’s War on Poverty
Demand, Supply, Prices & Market Structures
Law of Demand, Law of Supply, demand, substitution effect,
income effect, market demand schedule, demand curve, demand
shifts, normal good, inferior good, demographics, complements,
substitutes, advertising, elasticity of demand, inelastic, elastic,
unitary elastic, total revenue, supply, quantity supplied, supply
schedule, variable, supply curve, elasticity of supply, costs of
Course Outline & Syllabus
production, increasing/diminishing marginal returns,
fixed/variable/total costs, average costs, operating costs, subsidies,
excise tax. Equilibrium, shortage, surplus, price ceiling, rent
control, price floor, minimum wage, inventory, fad, trend, perfect
competition, commodity, start up costs, black market, rationing,
monopolies, economies of scale, price discrimination, competition,
cartel, price war, differentiation, regulations, Film: “Food Inc.”
Business Organizations & Labor
Sole proprietorships, business organization, business plan, zoning laws, cabaret and liquor licences, liability,
fringe benefits, consultants, partnership, general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability
partnerships, S corporations, assets, franchise, royalties, pros/cons of business types. Corporations, mergers,
stock, publicly held corporation, bond, multinational corporations, types of mergers, llc, dividends,
nonprofit, cooperatives, trade associations, consumer cooperatives, labor unions, labor force, outsourcing
Video: “30 Days: Outsourced to India” , offshoring, learning effect contingent employment, guest workers,
illegal work force, skilled labor, semi-skilled labor, unskilled labor, glass ceiling. Right to work laws,
blue/white collar worker, strikes, collective bargaining Case Study: Careers that are Growing in the next 20 Years.
Project: Create your Own Business – begin.
Money, Banking & Finance
Money, fiat, cashless society, barter, medium of exchange, currency, representative money, banks,
foreclosure, bailouts, default, liquidity, money market fund, checking, debit card, credit card, interest,
mortgage, mutual fund, investment diversification. Virtual Stock Market Game Competition: Stock
Market, trades, stockbroker, stock exchanges, NASDAQ, bear/bull markets, New York Stock Exchange
NYSE, Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, Nikkei, ACTIVITY: Buying a Car or Leasing?
Gross Domestic Product, Taxes, Growth & Economic Challenges
GDP, durable goods, nondurable goods, depreciation, GNP, aggregate demand and supply, quality of life,
lag/lead indicators, stagflation, trough, frictional unemployment, structural unemployment, globalization,
seasonal unemployment, unemployment rate, underemployed, discouraged workers, graduate school
increased rates, the “bounce back” generation, inflation, price index, inflation rate, fixed income, taxes,
revenue, types of taxes, tax rates, withholding, exemptions, credits, deduction, tax incentives, FAFSA for
college, TAP for college, requirements for financial aid in NYS. Federal Spending, entitlement, and
discretionary spending. Emerging economies, sustainability, globalization
PRESENTATIONS: Businesses, Advertisements, Costs/Overhead/Profits, etc. Commercials.
Course Outline & Syllabus
Course Outline & Syllabus