Here are a number of items to that you can share with your students. The first is quite serious, the rest are less so.
The first is a well-done and sobering graphic that many of you are probably already using. It was from an edition of The New York Times early in March. That means the data is a bit dated, but if anything the situation is probably darker than it was in March. It's an interactive map depicting unemployment rates across the United States on a county by county basis. It can be adjusted to show the rate as of January, 2009 or the one year change in unemployment to that date. It can filter all counties by metropolitan areas, rural areas, manufacturing centers and areas with housing bubbles. You can also zoom in to the state level to more easily find a specific county and surrounding areas.
The second graphic was actually the April Fool's Day contribution from The Economist magazine. The story indicates that the parent company of the magazine is opening an appropriately focused theme park named Econoland. The park has three main areas: Financial Fantasyland, Underwater Adventure Land, and the Magic Jungle of International Politics. My guess is this could offer a great discussion starter when you find yourself with a few extra minutes.
Finally, the comic strip, Frazz, offers an insight into commodity markets that most educators are familiar with.
(Click on the image to see the entire strip.)
Frankly, it's a wonder that derivatives haven't been developed...oh wait, according to this story on National Public Radio, it's been tried.
I look forward to your comments.
This post relates to the following Keystone Economic Principles:
2. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.
4. Economic systems influence choices.
5. Incentives produce “predictable” responses.
6. Do what you do best; trade for the rest.
8. Quantity and quality of available resources impact living standards.