Understanding economics, what some people call "economic literacy," is becoming essential for citizens in our national and increasingly interconnected world economy. Increasingly, productive members of society must be able to identify, analyze, and evaluate the causes and consequences of individual economic decisions and public policy including issues raised by constraints imposed by scarcity, how economies and markets work, and the benefits and costs of economic interaction and interdependence. Such literacy includes analysis, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making that helps people function as consumers, producers, savers, investors, and responsible citizens. - From the Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations
Understanding economics will help to make you a more successful person. Economics is a broad subject, just like any academic topic, that can be pursued from undergraduate programs at the university level, all the way to doctoral programs that require upwards of seven years of research to complete. However, our goal is to give you the most important basics of economic thinking so that you can not only earn an “A” in your high school economics class, but also learn how to be a more effective earner, saver, spender, and citizen.
In this economics unit you will explore how buyers and sellers meet together in markets to trade. Also you will look at the process of how prices are determined. Next, you will take a special look at what equilibrium is in economics as well as how it responds to a change in certain factors that affect supply or demand. Finally you will be asked to judge the fairness and efficacy of how equilibrium is reached in current American markets.
Berkeley is opening a new retail business selling local products to tourists in the summer. She is an entrepreneur, someone who identifies a need and takes a risk by starting a business to fill that need. Entrepreneurs often have similar traits. They are self-starters, independent minded, hard working, and willing to take risks. What form of business structure should Berkeley choose for her new business? She has a number of business structures to choose from.
Over time, many tools have been developed by economists to monitor a nation’s economic performance. And while many of these tools can seem too large in scale and too overwhelming to apply to your daily life, looking at some of the same indicators that economists do can actually help you as an individual make decisions on how to make the most of your income.
Markets fail. That is to say free markets do not always offer all of the goods and services that people might want. In addition, free market economies suffer from that difficulties caused by the business cycle. Periods of growth that are too rapid are followed by periods of decline, recession, or even depression. Because of these factors, governments act or intervene in free market systems.
Scarcity means that individuals as well as entire countries have to make choices about what to do with their resources. How a country answers the three fundamental economic questions (What to produce? How to produce? Who receives what is produced?) determines what type of economy it possesses. These decisions are also made on a global level, meaning the coordination of the planet’s resources involves making decisions on what should be made, how it should be made, and to whom it will be distributed. Thanks to improved transportation and communication, demand in one country may be easily met by a country in the opposite hemisphere. Of course, this give-and-take has been going on for centuries, but international trade over the past half-century has reached new heights, resulting in globalization, or the growing interdependence of countries upon one another.
How do circumstances influence individuals in making sound and purposeful financial decisions ensuring personal economic success in both a national and global economy? Why is it important to create a budget and set goals?