This volume of readings is designed for instructors who want their students to apply economic theory to the big public policy issues of the day. It selects a relatively small number of major economic problems (poverty, growth, unemployment, gold and international payments, and the like) and provides readings in depth as materials to which students may apply the relevant micro and macro theory taken from the text to reach their own conclusions.
We believe that economics can be a lively science to students when they can see its relevance to important issues of concern to them. The selections provide a rich source of material on the crucial economic problems of our time and will give students vital problem-solving experience. If students become involved and interested in using their economics to analyze important problems, the likelihood is that they will remember and use their economics five or ten years later after the threat of the final examination is long past.
The readings are not brief paragraphs or excerpts. Each is long enough to convey the "substance and feel" of the position being stated by the author, and can really be understood and analyzed by the student. Thus, students can achieve thoroughness and depth of understanding without having to purchase a paperback for each problem area studied.
The volume was designed to accomplish its objectives in the following ways:
1. The selections are especially chosen to provide the materials for independent student problem-solving on prominent, relatively unstructured economic problems, such as "automation," inflation, and poverty. In this revision, we have included completely new or substantially revised sections on economic growth, unemployment and manpower problems, big business and government policy, labor markets, poverty and insecurity, monetary policy and debt, and international finance and gold. In general, we have increased the focus on economic analysis and the discussion of specific policy alternatives.
2. To illuminate and clarify the outstanding public policy issues of today, we have included directly conflicting statements by economists, political leaders, and other observers. These are intended not only to sharpen the economic issues, but also to help students understand the deep cross currents often involved in economics, how economic analysis is used by different people, and the interactions