Indiana Medicaid changes

Tagged: , . | Category: Blog

January 28, 2015

Yesterday, the Obama administration agreed to allow the state of Indiana to reform Medicaid (within their boundaries).  Some of the changes will be things that were not formerly allowed by the federal government.  The New York Times reports that over 350,000 more people will be able to access Medicaid with the changes, with much of the cost covered by the federal government and the Affordable Care Act.  Indiana Governor Mike Pence, however, has added in a pay-for-play clause, requiring people to pay premiums up to 2% of their income every month in order to access the increase in coverage.

I found this article a great companion for the UFR lesson 1.2 on Medicare and the National Debt. Using the essential dilemma “Can we guarantee quality health care to the elderly in a way that is both efficient and equitable?”, have students analyze news reporting on the changes proposed in Indiana.  Is this proposal efficient?  Is it equitable?  What could be a long-term effect?  How would this affect other states’ decisions on Medicare and the Affordable Care Act?  Are there consequences for the Affordable Care Act?

It could also be a fantastic reminder for students on bias in news reporting.  How do different news sources report the same event?  What similarities and differences do they find?  Can they determine a more-liberal or more-conservative bias in the reporting?

Other potential resources:

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State of the Union – Political Cartoons

Tagged: , , . | Category: Blog

January 28, 2015

The political cartoons included in this blog are selected as tools to teach about public policy issues. Their inclusion does not in any way constitute an endorsement by Teachers College, Columbia University, of their point of view.

Political cartoons can be a powerful way to teach and talk about public policy issues in the classroom. They engaging, often funny, and they teach very complex ideas in a quick and intuitive way. We are so convinced of the value of political cartoons that, in addition to including them in many of our blogs, we feature posts that are all cartoons.

Using cartoons presents an opportunity to teach students media literacy, including the ability to detect point of view or bias. As a sequence, we strongly encourage students to study the cartoon carefully, analyze the specific context of the cartoon, and determine the cartoonist’s point of view. See the blog post of October 8, 2013 for a guide to using the political cartoons we have selected. The Library of Congress also has a a very useful Cartoon Analysis Guide.

Dave Granlund, 2015

Gary Varvel, 2015

Mike Luckovich, 2015

 

Andy Marlette, 2015

 

Bruce Plante, 2015

 

 

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The end of OPEC?

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January 19, 2015

I read a great post from the Brooking Institute entitled “The End of OPEC as we know it“.  It not only gives a fine overview of the current market for oil, but gives a clear outline of how an oligopoly/cartel works.  In general, when you have a group that tightly controls a resource or commodity, you can find an overall lack of trust over time – OPEC has stated that if the US slows down oil production, they will, as well.  But what ties them to that?  Their word.  And they have backed out of such promises before in order to increase profits.  So why would the US trust them now?

US oil production in terms of access to shale oil has increased dramatically, and with that, along with other suppliers such as Canada, we’ve seen prices in the oil market drop dramatically.  This affects OPEC countries and those that have tied their currency to oil (such as Russia – see previous posts on Dec 12, Dec 20, Jan 7 (cartoons), and Jan 7 (post)  ).  At the same time, those of us in the United States are enjoying lower prices for gasoline than we’ve seen in years.

This could be an easy introduction to students of a difficult topic – oligopoly and cartels – and also tie in well with discussions on the Euro and debt issues from UFR Lesson 4.4.

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Political Cartoons & Charlie Hebdo

Tagged: . | Category: Blog

January 18, 2015

Due to the number of posts on this blog that pertain to interpretation and analysis of political cartoons, I have been very interested in the cartoons that are coming out of the Charlie Hebdo killings.  Although not specifically tied to the UFR curriculum, since we encourage the use of political cartoons in the use of UFR, I thought I’d post some.

 

The political cartoons included in this blog are selected as tools to teach about public policy issues. Their inclusion does not in any way constitute an endorsement by Teachers College, Columbia University, of their point of view.

Political cartoons can be a powerful way to teach and talk about public policy issues in the classroom. They engaging, often funny, and they teach very complex ideas in a quick and intuitive way. We are so convinced of the value of political cartoons that, in addition to including them in many of our blogs, we feature posts that are all cartoons.

Using cartoons presents an opportunity to teach students media literacy, including the ability to detect point of view or bias. As a sequence, we strongly encourage students to study the cartoon carefully, analyze the specific context of the cartoon, and determine the cartoonist’s point of view. See the blog post of October 8, 2013 for a guide to using the political cartoons we have selected. The Library of Congress also has a a very useful Cartoon Analysis Guide.

 

Daryl Cagle, 2015

 

Daryl Cagle, 2015

 

Signe Wilkonson, 2015

 

View image on Twitter

Rob Tornoe, 2015

 

View image on Twitter

Tom Toles, 2015

 

 

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Modern Monetary Theory

Tagged: , , . | Category: Blog

Harvard economist Greg Mankiw posted a link to the Vox blog regarding Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and his potential quest for the presidency in 2016.  He has hired as his lead economist UM-Kansas City economist Stephanie Kelton, who is a huge proponent of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), a left-leaning economic theory that rather goes against traditional economics.

MMT in part states that having budget surpluses – and in some cases, a balanced budget – is harmful to the economy because money is not being used by consumers.  If there is less cash in the hands of consumers, they are buying less, which means productivity drops along with the decrease in demand, which leads to higher unemployment and increases the chance for a recession.

I found this a fascinating article, and kind of brainstormed with myself about a few different things.  First, if Bernie Sanders were to become president, we could see a new realm of economic theory at the national level.  Second, how interesting to bring this into the classroom!  Students of economics have learned for years typical Keynesian or Neo-Keynesian economic theory, outlining what the federal government “needs” to do in order to maintain the proper balance of unemployment and inflation.  This would show a differing opinion, which always makes for excellent teaching.

Take students through the UFR Lesson 1.5 on Balancing the Federal Budget.  Then, students could research differing opinions such as Modern Monetary Theory.  Encourage them to determine which makes the most sense to them, and explain why they think it would work in our modern economy.

 

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2014 Year in Review Cartoons

Tagged: . | Category: Blog

January 7, 2015

The political cartoons included in this blog are selected as tools to teach about public policy issues. Their inclusion does not in any way constitute an endorsement by Teachers College, Columbia University, of their point of view.

Political cartoons can be a powerful way to teach and talk about public policy issues in the classroom. They engaging, often funny, and they teach very complex ideas in a quick and intuitive way. We are so convinced of the value of political cartoons that, in addition to including them in many of our blogs, we feature posts that are all cartoons.

Using cartoons presents an opportunity to teach students media literacy, including the ability to detect point of view or bias. As a sequence, we strongly encourage students to study the cartoon carefully, analyze the specific context of the cartoon, and determine the cartoonist’s point of view. See the blog post of October 8, 2013 for a guide to using the political cartoons we have selected. The Library of Congress also has a a very useful Cartoon Analysis Guide.

Walt Handelsman, 2014

Dan Wasserman, 2014

Scott Stanton, 2014

Steve Breen, 2014

Chan Lowe, 2014

Chan Lowe, 2014

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The Social Security debate in the House

Tagged: . | Category: Blog

January 7, 2015

On the very first day back in session, the U.S. Congress has brought up the issue of Social Security, most specifically SS Disability and the projection of $0 reserves by the end of 2016.  The House has set a rule that the issue must be addressed before the reserves drop to zero, and that it may not be solved by raiding the retirement fund portion of Social Security.  Not meeting that deadline would mean a cut of almost 20% across the board for the 11 million Americans receiving Social Security Disability.

The larger issue of funding Social Security as Baby Boomers age has been looming for many years.  UFR Lesson 1.1 looks at just this question:  What costs and trade-offs are we willing to accept to ensure the benefits of income security to Social Security recipients?  Have students research current issues on Social Security and work through the focusing question.  There is so much information out there, how can you choose what is accurate and what is politics?  Students can wade through the information they find to determine not only where they stand on the issue, but also create potential answers to the question.  How can the Social Security issue be resolved?

 

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Russia, revisited

Tagged: , , . | Category: Blog

January 7, 2015

Revisiting the post I made on December 12 about the rapid decline of the ruble, mostly due to Russia’s dependence on oil prices, I found a really interesting blog post from an American living in Russia and his experiences with the decline of the value of the ruble.

Yael Levine is a writer living in Moscow, and talks about her experience with her own salary (paid in dollars) effectively rising as the ruble drops in value.  This could be a fantastic lesson for students on inflation and deflation.  Tying to a history lesson on the Weimar Republic as outlined in UFR, or to the lesson on the European debt crisis, could put a modern, real face to either issue.

A really interesting part to the blog, though, is her growing understanding that although she was getting comparatively “richer” with the collapse of the ruble, the people around her were suffering.  It’s a great look at income inequality in a different way; not from actual pay differentials, but from what happens with inflation/deflation and how the deflationary spiral can cause inequalities in many different ways.

I love it when you can find multiple lessons for students in one article!

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And oil keeps dropping… (political cartoons)

Tagged: . | Category: Blog

January 7, 2015

The political cartoons included in this blog are selected as tools to teach about public policy issues. Their inclusion does not in any way constitute an endorsement by Teachers College, Columbia University, of their point of view.

Political cartoons can be a powerful way to teach and talk about public policy issues in the classroom. They engaging, often funny, and they teach very complex ideas in a quick and intuitive way. We are so convinced of the value of political cartoons that, in addition to including them in many of our blogs, we feature posts that are all cartoons.

Using cartoons presents an opportunity to teach students media literacy, including the ability to detect point of view or bias. As a sequence, we strongly encourage students to study the cartoon carefully, analyze the specific context of the cartoon, and determine the cartoonist’s point of view. See the blog post of October 8, 2013 for a guide to using the political cartoons we have selected. The Library of Congress also has a a very useful Cartoon Analysis Guide.

 

158251 600 Cheap Oil and the stock market cartoons

Jimmy Marguilies, 2015

157667 600 Putin and oil prices cartoons

John Cole, 2015

 

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Russia’s Economy & Vladimir Putin – Political Cartoons

Tagged: , , , , , , . | Category: Blog

December 20, 2014

The political cartoons included in this blog are selected as tools to teach about public policy issues. Their inclusion does not in any way constitute an endorsement by Teachers College, Columbia University, of their point of view.

Political cartoons can be a powerful way to teach and talk about public policy issues in the classroom. They engaging, often funny, and they teach very complex ideas in a quick and intuitive way. We are so convinced of the value of political cartoons that, in addition to including them in many of our blogs, we feature posts that are all cartoons.

Using cartoons presents an opportunity to teach students media literacy, including the ability to detect point of view or bias. As a sequence, we strongly encourage students to study the cartoon carefully, analyze the specific context of the cartoon, and determine the cartoonist’s point of view. See the blog post of October 8, 2013 for a guide to using the political cartoons we have selected. The Library of Congress also has a a very useful Cartoon Analysis Guide.

157656 600 PUTIN on the BLAME cartoons

Bill Day, 2014

 

157452 600 Putins Wish cartoons

Cameron Cardow, 2014

 

157714 600 Falling Ruble cartoons

Sepideh Anjomrooz, 2014

 

157202 600 Putin and dropping oil prices cartoons

Jimmy Marguilies, 2014

 

156920 600 VLADIMIR SCHWARZENEGGER cartoons

Bill Day, 2014

 

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