National Standards in Economics
Below are the National Standards in Economics that most closely relate to the following lesson. Switch to National Standards in Personal Finance
Theme 4: Lesson 15 - It's a Balancing Act
- Students will understand that: Productive resources are limited. Therefore, people cannot have all the goods and services they want; as a result, they must choose some things and give up others.
- Students will be able to use this knowledge to: Identify what they gain and what they give up when they make choices.
- Economic Growth
- Students will understand that: Investment in factories, machinery, new technology, and in the health, education, and training of people stimulates economic growth and can raise future standards of living.
- Students will be able to use this knowledge to: Predict the consequences of investment decisions made by individuals, businesses, and governments.
- Students will understand that: Income for most people is determined by the market value of the productive resources they sell. What workers earn primarily depends on the market value of what they produce.
- Students will be able to use this knowledge to: Predict future earnings based on their current plans for education, training, and career options.
- Competition and Market Structure
- Students will understand that: Competition among sellers usually lowers costs and prices, and encourages producers to produce what consumers are willing and able to buy. Competition among buyers increases prices and allocates goods and services to those people who are willing and able to pay the most for them.
- Students will be able to use this knowledge to: Explain how changes in the level of competition in different markets can affect price and output levels.
- Government Failure
- Students will understand that: Costs of government policies sometimes exceed benefits. This may occur because of incentives facing voters, government officials, and government employees, because of actions by special interest groups that can impose costs on the general public, or because social goals other than economic efficiency are being pursued.
- Students will be able to use this knowledge to: Identify some public policies that may cost more than the benefits they generate, and assess who enjoys the benefits and who bears the costs. Explain why the policies exist.
- Role of Government and Market Failure
- Students will understand that: There is an economic role for government in a market economy whenever the benefits of a government policy outweigh its costs. Governments often provide for national defense, address environmental concerns, define and protect property rights, and attempt to make markets more competitive. Most government policies also have direct or indirect effects on people's incomes.
- Students will be able to use this knowledge to: Identify and evaluate the benefits and costs of alternative public policies, and assess who enjoys the benefits and who bears the costs.
- Students will understand that: Institutions evolve and are created to help individuals and groups accomplish their goals. Banks, labor unions, markets, corporations, legal systems, and not-for-profit organizations are examples of important institutions. A different kind of institution, clearly defined and enforced property rights, is essential to a market economy.
- Students will be able to use this knowledge to: Describe the roles of various economic institutions and explain the importance of property rights in a market economy.
- Money and Inflation
- Students will understand that: Money makes it easier to trade, borrow, save, invest, and compare the value of goods and services. The amount of money in the economy affects the overall price level. Inflation is an increase in the overall price level that reduces the value of money.
- Students will be able to use this knowledge to: Explain how their lives would be more difficult in a world with no money, or in a world where money sharply lost its value.
- Interest Rates
- Students will understand that: Interest rates, adjusted for inflation, rise and fall to balance the amount saved with the amount borrowed, which affects the allocation of scarce resources between present and future uses.
- Students will be able to use this knowledge to: Explain situations in which they pay or receive interest, and explain how they would react to changes in interest rates if they were making or receiving interest payments.