I took macroeconomics at a very interesting time. We learned about the Fed and printing money the same week COVID-19 got really bad in the US. I’m extremely grateful I had an economics text book and professor during the economic turmoil Coronavirus has caused. I would have been extremely confused about what is going on economically if I hadn’t taken the course (having taken the course, I’m just “pretty confused” instead of “extremely confused,” but to be fair this is a confusing time in general!)
The most important things I learned about in the course that I, personally, think makes macroeconomics a class every student should take:
- What is money (what backs money), how it’s “made,” the role of the Fed and the Treasury in the economy
- Supply and demand
- The national debt, how it’s funded, how nations manipulate their own and other nation’s exchange rates
Unfortunately we weren’t able to complete our final project for this course due to Coronavirus, however I was able to show my learning through a midterm and final exam.
“This course will focus on the whole, aggregate, economy or economic system. Macroeconomics explores the performance of an economy in terms of providing its citizens the desired level of goods and services while maintaining full employment, stable prices and sustainable growth. Disruptions in the operations of an economy have occurred throughout history in the forms of recessions and overheating of an economy, the latter usually resulting in high rates of inflation and resulting instability. Governmental tools of adjustment, fiscal and monetary policy, will be developed and analyzed with regard to similarities, differences and appropriateness for establishing desired levels of economic activity. The impact of increased globalization of economies will be addressed.”
– UNE Official Catalog Entry
Final Exam Spring Semester 2020:
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we were unable to do our group project for the semester. We were still able to take our final exams from home, which required answering five short-essay questions. As a preview, I’ll provide the list of questions. To see the answers, click the link below!
- What did Keynes mean by “Paradox of Thrift?” Why is this notion central to Keynes’ argument for the necessity of government intervention when an economy experiences a serious reduction in economic activity?
- If an economy is experiencing an unemployment rate of 12% and an inflation rate of 2% what macro policy (ies) might you suggest? Would your recommendations change if the numbers were 12% unemployment and 12% inflation? Explain.
- What is money? What determines the value of money?
- Two US Senators, Libby and Coney, agreeing upon the dangers of the ever increasing federal deficits and debt, discussing policies to reduce deficits in the future without cutting spending, cuts are political suicide.
Libby: “It is obvious, if not enough tax revenue to cover expenditures, raise taxes to increase revenue.”
Coney: “You are crazy, the best chance of reducing future deficits is to cut taxes.”
How can two seemingly rational individuals propose completely opposite solutions?
- As an economist, how would you assess the federal government’s actions in response to the economic slowdown, or near shutdown, carried out primarily through the Federal Reserve Bank, of injecting up to $6 trillion into the economy? Where did the $6 trillion come from? What are the benefits of this policy and what potential negative effects do you feel might arise in the future?