***UDATE ON UPDATE***
Here's a link that is currently (3:25 p.m. EST, on 11/10/08) open. I hope you can use it.
The article link was to a free version. But it has now become "subscription required". Hopefully WSJ moves it back to free content soon. In the interim, I apologize for your frustration. If you can find a copy of the Journal, it's on page 1 of section A, below the fold.
One of the more interesting aspects of growing up is that we begin to see and understand that our decisions affect other people - that it's not all about us.
Some of our students seem to get this sooner than others. And, let's face it, occasionally we have student who gives us reason to wonder whether they'll ever figure it out.
A valuable aspect of economic thinking is that is allows us to demonstrate that. Today's issue of The Wall Street Journal contains one of the better articles I've read when it comes to demonstrating how one part of the economy connects to another.
The articleis about a firm that makes snow blowers and lawnmowers. But it talks about parts suppliers, Home Depot, workers, auto parts, and manages to integrate aspects of cost analysis, entrepreneurship, productivity, capital investment, commodities, credit and structural change. Quite frankly, you could use this article on a number of levels, over a number of days and still have concepts to explore. It is an excellent case study to use with your students. In each case, you can discuss how the market is transmitting information to the producer about the basic questions of economics: "What to produce? How to produce? and For whom to produce?"
Give it a read and let me know what you think.