As you have noticed, I'm not around today. Thankfully, I left you in capable hands. Be good. Don't forget that your "take-home" exams are due to me by Sunday.
All we've got on the agenda for today is setting up and preparing for the "Taking Sides" debates that we'll be having after break. My plan is to give you today and the Monday we come back to work on these.
Here's the scoop:
I picked eight chapters from the book, "Taking Sides on Controversial Economic Issues." You can choose to work in groups of 2 or 3. (I am assuming most of you will do threes, otherwise we might run out of topics.)
Once you have settled on groups, you'll need to figure who is getting what topics. Certainly, various economists would recommend different ways to allocate these scarce resources: auction, command and control, random draw, the free market, etc. We'll see what Ms. Murr decides...
#1 - Are profits the only business of business?
#2 - Should cities subsidize sports and sports venues?
#5 - Should markets be allowed to solve the shortage in body parts?
#10 - Should a program of universal service be created?
#13 - Are protectionist policies bad for America?
#14 - Should we sweat about sweatshops?
#15 - Are the costs of global warming too high to ignore?
#17 - Has the North American Free Trade Agreement hurt the American economy?
Each packet contains background material, a "yes" article and a "no" article.
Here's what you'll be expected to have for these:
* We'll do three of these Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after break. We'll figure out who goes when that first Monday. Everyone MIGHT need to be ready for Tuesday.
* Figure that each of these will go 20 minutes or so. That doesn't mean you need to talk all that time. (In a group of 3, I'd expect a background information speaker, a "yes" speaker, and a "no" speaker to get things started. In a group of 2, you can cover the "background" however.) We'll open these up to the "big group" for participation as well. I figure those "opening speeches" might be 4-5 minutes per side. (They don't need to be actually written out in "speech" form...)
* Think of the article you get today as a starting point. I expect EACH side to draw information from at least one additional source. There's a wealth of information on most of these topics.
* You can draw up a couple discussion questions or link the topic to current issues. (For example, the group on doing the public funding for sports might be able to think of a relevant situation going on locally...)
Once you've got an idea of what you're supposed to do and have your group and article set, the rest of the hour is yours to prepare and/or research. Enjoy your breaks...