Hiatus

Category: Blog

November 30, 2015

This blog will be going on hiatus as of tomorrow.  It’s been a lot of fun finding policy for you to use with your students!

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Political Cartoons – Refugee Crisis

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November 30, 2015

In light of the issue of Syrian refugees searching for political asylum around the world, many political cartoons have been making the rounds.

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.

Illinois Supports Paris LOCAL IL, Gary McCoy,Cagle Cartoons,ISIS,Syrian Civil War,Refugee Crisis,Paris Terror Attack,Gunmen,Militants,Terrorists,Syrian Passport,Refugees,Islamic State,French President Francois Hollande,Illinois,Lincoln Memorial,Solidarity,Abraham Lincoln

GOP Refugee Doorway, Daryl Cagle,CagleCartoons.com,GOP, Refugee, Immigrant, Doorway, Republican, syria, iraq, isis, isil, daesh, immigration, border, election 2016, homeland security, refugee crisis,refugee crisis, syrian refugees

The Fear of War Refugees, RJ Matson,CagleCartoons.com,The Fear of War Refugees, Syria, War, Refugees, USA, America, Statue, Liberty, Xenophobia, Terror, Terrorism

Fear of Refugees, Adam Zyglis,The Buffalo News,america, gop, syrian, refugees, immigration, liberty, values, lady, middle east, terrorism, donald, trump, carson, cruz, candidates, president, race, election, republicans, conservatives, islamophobia, muslims

Statue of Insecurity, Taylor Jones,El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico,		statue,of,liberty,terrorism,terrorist,attacks,syrian,refugees,ISIS,islamic,extremists

Anti ISIS alliance, Paresh Nath,The Khaleej Times, UAE,Global terror threat, Paris attacks, Syria issue, refugee crisis, campaign against Daesh, ISIS, Islamic State, Beirut, Russian plane, global anti-ISIS alliance

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Student Loans – a National Issue?

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November 30, 2015

At a time when the number of people in default on student loans is rising, a number of media outlets are looking at the federal issue of the outstanding student debt.  The New York Times outlines a story of a woman in over $400,000 of student debt, and wonders how she could possibly ever get out from under it (note: she states very clearly that she is not a victim, and that the debt is the result of her own choices) .   Forbes contributor Mike Patton thinks that student loan debt could help start the next financial crisis by comparing the amount of student loan debt ($1.3 trillion) as a percentage of the national debt.

Student Loans-Percent of National Debt

The majority of student loans are guaranteed loans from the federal government.  This means that if a person defaults, the government guarantees to the bank provider that they will receive their money.  This falls into federal spending, and ultimately means that taxpayers are paying for defaulted federal student loans.  When you consider that $1.3 trillion number, plus the fact that the average student loan debt is about $30,000, that’s a lot of taxpayer money if people start to default on these loans.

Have students consider the federal burden of guaranteed student loans, but also bring to attention what this means for them, as they consider heading off to college.  Who has the responsibility of paying for college?

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Paris Attacks and National Security

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November 18, 2015

With the terrorist attacks in Paris still looming over us, many state governors have stated that they will not allow Syrian refugees to enter their state.  At the same time, the age-old dilemma of balancing liberty with security has arisen.

There are two great opportunities to tie current issues of national security to the UFR curriculum:  Lesson 1.3 (Economics of National Security), and/or Lesson 2.3 (National Security goals, the Federal Budget, and the National Debt).  You could also tie this to issues of Military Spending (Lesson 5.3, Mathematics).

 

 

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Life span and income inequality

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November 18, 2015

A really interesting article came across my feed from CBS News.  Entitled “A scary link between life spans and income inequality“, author Steve Vernon at CBS MoneyWatch reviews a new study from the National Academy of Sciences, which compares life span to income.

Looking at two groups of 50-year old males, the study finds that those in the lowest fifth of earnings have no significant difference in expected lifespan (about 26 years) compared to people born in 1930.  Those in the highest fifth of earnings, however, have a significantly longer life expectancy than those born in 1930 (38.8 years for current 50-year olds, versus 31.7 years for those born in 1930).    In other words, for those born in 1930, the gap between bottom and top fifth of earners was 5.1 years.  For current 50-year olds, that gap is 12.7  years.  The gap is even more concerning when comparing female workers: the gap for those born in 1930 was 3.9 years, while the gap for current 50-year olds was 13.6 years.

Have students look at the data from the National Academy of Sciences to see what they can gather from the research.  What causes these gaps?  What, if anything, should be done about it?

 

 

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Regional Income Inequality

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November 18, 2015

Sorry, my daytime job has kept me out of state and super busy for the last two weeks!

In Washington Monthly this month, the article Bloom and Bust by Phillip Longman looks at regional inequality across the United States.  The examples given include the growth of North versus South in the years before the Civil War, and the increase in disparity between the Midwest and parts West.  “As late as 1940, per capita income in Mississippi, for example, was still less than one-quarter that of Connecticut.  Over the next forty years, Mississippians saw their incomes rise much faster than did residents of the Nutmeg State, until by 1980 the gap in income had shrunk to 58 percent.”  However, that still leaves those in Mississippi at half the wages on average than those in the Northeast.

Many times, when we look at inequality we look only at the richest versus poorest, without taking geography into account.   Longman claims that since 1980, the trend of increasing equality in different regions of the US reversed.  Per capita income in New York City was 80% of the national average in 1980, but rose to 172% in 2013.

This information gives students a different look at income inequality than what we usually see in media outlets.  It could be a timely lesson in numeracy (UFR lesson 5.4) or rhetoric (UFR lesson 2.5).

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Political Cartoons – New Speaker of the House

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November 4, 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.

Freedom Caucus, Adam Zyglis,The Buffalo News,freedom caucus, gop, republican, party, tea party, divide, conservatives, far right, extreme, politics, congress, house, washington, paul ryan, leadership

 

New Nanny, Steve Breen,The San Diego Union Tribune,paul ryan,moderates,freedom caucus,house,new-speaker,speaker-paul-ryan

 

Short Honeymoon, Gary Varvel,The Indianapolis Star News,paul ryan,honeymoon,speaker,politics,new-speaker,speaker-paul-ryan

 

Trick or Treating with Speaker Ryan and His Minions, RJ Matson,Roll Call,Trick or Treating with Speaker Ryan and His Minions, House, Republicans, Speaker, Representatives, Congress, Paul, Ryan, Freedom, Caucus, Conservatives, Halloween, White House, Trick, Treat

 

Speaker of The House Ryan and Freedom Caucus, Jimmy Margulies,Politicalcartoons.com,Speaker of The House, Paul Ryan, Freedom Caucus, Tea Pary, Congress, Congressional REpublicans, Government Shutdown

 

Speaker Ryan, Martin Kozlowski,inxart.com,paul ryan,speaker,pigs,new-speaker,speaker-paul-ryan

 

Clean Getaway, Mark Streeter,The Savannah Morning News,speaker,paul ryan,budget,deal,drity,john boehner,new-speaker,speaker-paul-ryan

Paul Ryan Gavel, Nate Beeler,The Columbus Dispatch,house, congress, gop, republicans, paul ryan, speaker, gavel, politics, savior, cross

 

As Seen By, Chip Bok,The Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal,paul ryan,speaker,freedom caucus,democrats,speaker-paul-ryan

 

 

 

 

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Political Cartoons – Social Security & the 2015-17 Budget

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November 4, 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.

 

Social Security, Joe Heller,Green Bay Press-Gazette,Social Security, COLA, 401 k, dow, stock market, retirement, privatization

 

Paul Ryans House, Bruce Plante,Tulsa World,paul ryan,house,halloween,speaker,social security,medicare,new-speaker,speaker-paul-ryan

 

 

 

 

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Federal Budget Crisis Averted – for now

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November 4, 2015

On Monday, President Obama signed the 2015 budget act (HR1314).  This came just in the nick of time to avoid another government shutdown, and puts immediate issues of federal spending to rest until after the 2016 presidential elections.  Tuesday, November 3, was the deadline for a debt ceiling change.

The budget provides federal revenue of a little over $3 trillion, which is still over $400 billion short to balance the budget.  The largest expenditures are Medicare and Medicaid (about $1 trillion), Social Security (just under $1 trillion), defense (1/2 trillion dollars), federal pensions, and net interest on the federal debt. The two largest expenditures (Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security) will continue to rise with our aging population and increasing health care costs.

US Deficit 1901 to 2020

Forbes has an interesting article about the history of the federal budget, pointing out that overspending did not really start happening on a non-wartime basis until the 1970s.  The chart shows federal budget deficits or surpluses from 1901 through 2020 (projected after 2016).

Understanding Fiscal Responsibility focuses on exactly these issues.  Use Lesson 1.1 to have students look at “what costs and trade-offs are we willing to accept to ensure the benefits of income security to Social Security recipients?”.  Lesson 1.2 looks at Medicare and the National Debt, while Lesson 1.3 has students analyze the defense budget.  Passing a new federal budget is kind of like the jackpot of teaching UFR!

 

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Political Cartoons – Redesigning Currency

Tagged: . | Category: Blog

November 4, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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