For me while I was not overly technical I think my best posts were “Inequality” and “Facts about PPACA”

Both I feel I expressed my own growth in understanding and how my thoughts have changed in relation to these issues because of the things I am learning and reading.

Self Reflection…

During the course I have came to better understand our current economic structure and the reason we need change…even if that change does not seem comfortable.

I am from a family that has NON-STOP complained about the “OBAMA CARE” but now that I have researched other countries and compared the health care I understand the goal of the health care act.

I learned how much our families opinions really mold ours. I think that is how politics work…typically you are going to be the same party as your family and believe the same as they are. I think it is important for us to educate ourselves and really evaluate the issue…not just play the Democrat VS Republican game all day.

When I listen to the new or have political discussions I feel like I am thinking about the aspects in a different way and considering the changes and opinions differently than I once was. I wish I had, had a course like this sooner.

Course Feedback

Overall I feel I learned a lot from this course. I felt that I learned more real world applications of economics and how it relates to us right now and relates to our future. It was enjoyable that this wasn’t your typical textbook economics course.

I will be the first to admit the blogging is entirely new to me…and it had me a bit anxious to start…very much outside of my comfort zone. At first there were some kinks for me but once those were worked out this isn’t very difficult at all. I think that with some more tweaking this is a great way to teach this class. My issue with this class was sometimes finding things and navigating and also the changing due dates and keeping up with those. Because we had information a little bit of everywhere I felt like… some on D2L and our syllabus some on our website and they information didn’t always agree…so I have lived in constant fear I am forgetting something or missing something…despite my attempts to check all those aspects frequently. Because I work full time as well as am a full time student I rely on the course outline to help me plan for things…I sort of threw that out of the window pretty early on for this course. BUT I have survived. I think I have myself pretty much caught up and am taking the time now to make sure I have not missed anything and am hoping that I can correct any of that.

Professor James was great…he actually spoke with me over the phone to help me correct one of the issues I was having. Overall – great course!

Book Review – “What is the Economy For, Anyway?”

“What’s the Economy For, Anyway?” was wrote by co-authors John De Graaf and David K. Batker. Graaf has focused most of his works, both literature and film, on the issues we face in America such as overconsumption and overwork. Batker is an economist he is known for his work in improving lending requirements in private banks and also the World Bank. Not only did these two produce the book that is being reviewed they also made a film of the same title. Graaf and Batker were able to produce a highly detailed summary of the economy and economic issues and suggestions yet still be a readable and enjoyable novel.

In a brief summary, this book focuses on the shortfalls we have reached in America. We are no longer making our economy work for us, but rather we are working for our economy. As the authors produce example after example and compare our standings as Americans to those of similar countries. Both Batker and Graaf use this book to express aspects of the economy in America that could be improved upon with their suggested reforms. In “What’s the Economy For, Anyway?” on pages 6-7 the authors produce an extensive outline with a brief summary of each chapter that proves to be helpful as the reader and to use for frame of reference while working through the book.

One aspect of this novel that stuck out the most for me was their analysis of the GDP. The GDP is frequently used in every conversation or analysis of the economy we see. Our very own ECON 260 text book, “Growth and Interaction in World Economy – The Roots of Modernity” by Angus Maddison mentions the GDP by page 5 of the text! The Authors took the time to include a very large quote from Robert Kennedy from 1968 in which he spoke out about the use of the GNP (now known as the GDP) in economic analysis. My favorite quote form that very large passage is “It measures everything in short expect that which makes life worthwhile.” (Graaf and Batker, page 17). This next quote exemplifies that humor the authors have which helps make this book very readable and enjoyable…”And if you’d had an expensive divorce that morning, and your house burned down that evening, requiring legal fees, insurance claims, and more new purchases, you would have had a completely stellar GDP day! Congratulations!” Aspects of health care and leave time in comparison to other well developed countries were explored, many similar to what has been discussed thus far in our course.

The authors provided many insights to aspects of the economy we hear about frequently in the news and in our course. They made it clear that they could not begin to write out the solutions for our current economic issues but stressed the importance of our economy. As our economy will affect not only our quality of life but also the lives our children and future loved ones. Chapter 13 was my favorite, it showed that there is hope, hope for our future and for a better future for our children. However, this hope will require changes be made. It is important to recognize that we as American’s are not all going to agree to all of the changes, but it important to focus on the betterment of our nation and of the lives of those in our nation.

“What is the Economy For, Anyway” I would recommend to anyone to read. In fact, I wish I had read something like this in high school. The economy is complex but I believe we need to learn more about the economy that what we are spoon fed from the news. Unfortunately, I feel most of use learn about the economy only from that source up until we take a college course on the subject. This book is a relatable summary of the numerous aspects of the economy and the brief details of the history of the economy.



Graaf, John De, and David K. Batker. What’s the Economy For, Anyway?: Why It’s Time to Stop Chasing Growth and Start Pursuing Happiness. New York: Bloomsbury, 2011. Print.

Maddison, Angus. Growth and Interaction in the World Economy: The Roots of Modernity. Washington, DC: AEI, 2005. Print.

“What’s the Economy For, Anyway? | Bullfrog Films: 1-800-543-3764: Environmental DVDs and Educational DVDs.” What’s the Economy For, Anyway? | Bullfrog Films: 1-800-543-3764: Environmental DVDs and Educational DVDs. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2015.

Agriculture and FOOD INC.

I would like to say that coming from the field of agriculture Food INC. is not a fair interpretations of the industry. You are watching a very biased film that is finding the ‘bad apples’ in agriculture and then making them appear to be the norm. They are very much not the norm.

Agriculture has changed throughout the years and will continue to. However, farms…including large scale farms that they like to coin as ‘factory farms’ are going to be necessary in order to feed a growing nation. I work on a 450 cow dairy farm. My partner is a manager at a poultry farm, this farm produces eggs for several large chains. Both farms are family owned. Both farms care about the animals and the safety of the product they are producing. They are just doing it at a larger scale that their parents would have.

Just had to throw that out there. In college we all watched Food Inc. if we were in agriculture programs and it is a very biased viewpoint with a very limited parameter.



This is an amazing account. While he has taken a pay cut it is amazing to hear the company is actually improving and receiving more business due to that!


It seems in America we all want to see CHANGE. We all want to see this amazing improvement in our economy and see our government get out of debt, roads fixed, our veterans and elderly cared for and so on. Yet, we want this all done with LESS tax…not more. That seems to be the largest political issue discussed – What are you going to do? And HOW are you going to do it? We want there to be a magic wand waving to fix our courtiers finical problems but we also want more for our individual selves.

As I read more about our country compared to similar successful countries such as Europe and Canada…I have began to realize if we want that stability and economic outlook we are going to have to change how we think. Canada’s health care is a prime example. It is successful overall and EVERYONE has health care. I think America has became selfish – each man for themselves. And that is not going to work if we want to see the change and the improvement everyone says.

With that being said couldn’t some of the income inequality in the USA be fixed by creating larger tax for higher income brackets? As we know there are significant income differences the employees of companies and the CEO’s.

We all saw the recent news story that showed the CEO of a company who decided to downgrade his 1 million dollar salary to $70,000 in order to provide the employees all with a raise…in a sense leveling the playing field. However, we cannot expect to see every CEO doing this. This is when the government should likely step in, in the form of taxing. While this isn’t desirable I am at a point where I feel this is coming. I don’t see a way for us to make all these improvements and changes without increasing a tax. As for wage inequality I do believe there are some fairly extreme gaps but at the same time we cannot make everyone’s pay equal…we have different skills, educations and work in different trades so we cannot expect to all make the same amount.

Facts about PPACA

Reading this it made a lot more sense to me. Many of the ‘negatives’ that have been portrayed in the media were explained and it made sense. Those that oppose the health care reform are not analyzing the data it has been presented as more of a scare tactic.

I think it is sad because this whole battle over health care I feel has became Democrats VS Republicans. Not what would be better for the overall people. Now that I understand some of the top ‘issues’ with the health care act and I have read some comparisons with other courtiers health care acts I feel I am gaining a better understanding of the health care program and hope that I continue to as this course continues.