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High School — Social Studies
Economics

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    Economics

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      Activities: Additional Instruction and Practice

      These activities may be useful for students who require additional instruction and practice with Economics.

      Analyze How the U.S. Answers the Essential Economic Questions

      Have students consider how the U.S. decides what goods and services to produce. They can work in groups, and should consider the questions listed below. Have students share the results in a whole class discussion.

      How do we decide what goods and services should be produced?

      • What resources are available?
      • Which products and services are in demand?
      • Which products and services are necessary for survival? Are we able to provide all of those products and services, or do we need to import these from elsewhere?
      • What quality of life do we expect to maintain, and which products and services are necessary to maintain that quality of life?
      • Which products do we have in surplus that we can offer for trade?
      • What is our labor force qualified to produce?

      How do we decide how these goods and services should be produced?

      • Who will make these products and services?
      • Which parts and services do we need to import in order to produce other particular products and services?
      • Will we create products and services by hand or by machine?
      • What resources will be necessary to make these products?
      • Who owns the methods of production?
      • How is our labor force organized?

      How do we decide who should consume these goods and services?

      • Which products and services are for consumption here in our country, and which will be used for trade?
      • What is the market for these goods? Is it a market that exists or will we need to create a market? How will we create that market?
      • Which products and services do consumers need for survival? Which products and services do consumers need to maintain their lifestyle?
      • What are luxury goods and who consumes them?
      Analyze the Costs and Benefits of Government Policies

      Students can consider the costs and benefits of specific government economic policies.

      First, have students identify the government's role in the economy through each of the following:

      Government Policies What does the government do?What is the purpose of this policy?
      Taxes   
      Antitrust legislation   
      Environmental regulations  

      Next, have students consider the costs and benefits of each of these government policies. Discuss with students criteria for determining costs and benefits.

      Government PolicyCosts BenefitsHow does this policy affect individuals? How does this policy affect businesses?
      Taxes    
      Antitrust legislation    
      Environmental regulations    

      Have students reflect:

      • Do the benefits of the regulation outweigh the costs? Why or why not?
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