DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

BA Program Ability #2 - An understanding of various micro- and macroeconomic principles and their influence on the organizational decision-making process.

 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

The following assignment was given in my Principles of Microeconomics class following Obama's Health Care Reform Speech in 2009.

 
Paying for Health Care Reform
Read the excerpt from President Obama’s September 9, 2009 speech to a joint session of Congress on health care reform and write 2 essays answering the following question: 
  • Is the President’s claim that most of the $900 billion cost of the health care reform plan will be paid by reducing waste and inefficiency in the Medicare and Medicaid programs realistic?  Explain your answer and back it up with evidence.
  • Now argue the opposite point of view and also back up this position with evidence.
Specific instructions:  Each essay should not exceed 2 pages of double-spaced text typed using minimum 10 point font and 1 inch margins on all sides.  However, the 2 page limit does not apply to data tables you provide.  With data tables each of your papers should not exceed 5 pages – 2 pages of text and at most 3 pages of data.  
Your paper will be assessed on your mastery of the general education ability listed below.  It will also be graded on a letter grade scale and will count as one quiz in calculating your grade in this course.
 
My graded submission is below.

Microeconomics draft 1.doc

Microeconomics draft 2.doc

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In Principles of Macroeconomics we were given an Economic Data Emersion assignment which required gathering data from several sources in multiple steps and answering various questions pertaining to the information found. Click the documents below for my answers.

Step 1: GDP

1.  Which of these two terms would represent the budget deficit or surplus?

2.    What is the current level of GDP in current (nominal) dollars?
3.  What is the GDP in constant dollars (real GDP)?
4.    Between 1959 and today, how many times did the constant dollar GDP fall?
5.  Between 1959 and today, how many times did the nominal dollar GDP fall?
6.  Within the same period, when was the greatest percentage increase in real GDP?
7.    What is the current Federal Government Budget Deficit in nominal dollars?
8.  What is the current Federal Government Budget Deficit as a percent of GDP?
9.    When was the last time we had a budget surplus?
10.What was the length in months of the last two recessions?
11.What has been the average length in months of all recessions since 1945?
Step 3: PRICE
1.    When was the last time the annual change in the CPI indicated deflation?
2.    When is the last time we had double-digit inflation? How many years did it last? What do you think was the main cause of this event?
3.    What do you think was the reason for the extended period of deflation from 1930 to 1932?
4.    What is the purchasing power today of an income of $1,000 in 1990?
5.    What is the base period for this table? [hint: look just under the table title]
6.    What is the most recent index number for “all items”?
7.    Of the categories listed above, in which category have prices risen the fastest since the base year?
8.    Of the categories listed above, in which categories have prices risen slower than “All items”?
9.   Of the categories listed above, in which category have prices declined since the base year?
Step 5: UNEMPLOYMENT
1.    Does the table count the entire population of the country?
2.    What is the current rate of unemployment?
3.    What has been the trend in unemployment over the last ·6 months, ·10 years, ·20 years, ·40 years?
4.    What has been the long-term trend in the percent of the population in the labor force?
5.    Compare the unemployment rates for Less then High School, High School graduates, Some College – no degree, Associate degree, Bachelor’s degree and higher. What can you conclude about the impact of education on job prospects?
6.    Compare the rates of unemployment for the 16-19 and 20-24 age groups to the other age groups, and provide possible explanations for the differences in unemployment rates for these age groups.
7.    In the “Alternative measures of labor underutilization” table look at the definitions of the different measures of unemployment (U‑1, U‑2, U‑4, U‑5, and U‑6) and compare these statistics to the “official unemployment rate” (U-3)
(a) Provide these definitions here.
(b) Looking at the numbers, how much do these rates differ?
8.    How many discouraged workers are there and how has this changed since a year ago, and Is the number of discouraged workers a very significant number relative to the total labor force?
9.    What are the differences in unemployment rates for between full-time and part time employees, are these differences changing, and what does all this say about the conditions in the labor market?
10.How has the distribution of the duration of unemployment and the average length of unemployment changed over the years?  And, what can you infer from these numbers and trends about the severity of the unemployment problem?
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

REFLECTION

Why did I choose this as evidence of my understanding of various micro- and macroeconomic principles and their influence on the organizational decision-making process?


These assignments used research that provided insight in how changes outside of an organization can impact how decisions are made. Looking at unemployment rates and other figures in relation to those statistics an organization can determine the shape of the economy. Knowing how your business runs during certain times can make a pattern and fallback plan for the future. In 2009 while taking this class unemployment was slowly rising which could show a change for the better in the American economy. Observing GDP can show the changes in the value of money and determine the amount of inflation in comparison to the past. Much like history, economics can show results of decisions made and the change that perspective can make on future events. Which idea is more suitable to analyze our economy, Keynesian or the more 'developed' thoughts of Friedman.
More relative to small groups is the Health Care Reform that seems to make a tough time of being realistic. Politically speaking, the best answer is not often good enough, but it was worth the attempt to fight the positive side and consider options for how money could be spent in the reform. Economics may be the frequent test of 'it's better to try and fail, then to never make an effort'.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.