September 23, 2011

Steven Pearlstein- Spring Courses

GOVT 467:001: Money, Markets and Economic Policy
No prerequisite. Applies basic economic concepts to an examination of fundamental issues facing the U.S. and global economies. Explores the way markets work, the reasons they sometimes fail and the role of government policy. Topics include productivity and economic growth, taxes, health care, globalization, income distribution and financial crises, with an emphasis on market structure, social institutions and the not-always rational behavior of investors and consumers.

Over the last decade, economics has moved from the periphery of the political conversation to its white hot center. This course will provide a familiarity with the fundamental issues facing the U.S. and global economies, along with an understanding of the economic principles that underlie them. The course is aimed at non-economics majors seeking the economic literacy necessary to do their jobs, manage their lives and participate intelligently as citizens in a democracy.  It is taught by a prize-winning journalist with a knack for demystifying complex economic ideas and policy choices and translating them into conversational English. There are no prerequisites and the course involves very little math. Critical thinkers with curious minds are strongly encouraged to enroll.

(MW 1:30-2:45 pm)

GOVT 490-008: Polarization of American Politics
In this seminar, we will explore the polarization of American politics by class, race, religion, geography, education and lifestyle. This polarization has led to increased partisanship among voters and elected officials, gridlock and dysfunction in Washington and an erosion of political norms and social trust that poses a threat to American democracy.  Through readings, class discussions and talks by experts and practitioners, we will see how polarized American society and American politics have become and why. We will explore how polarization plays out in political campaigns, in Congress and in the media.  And we will talk about what might be done to reduce polarization and the damage it causes to our politics, our economy and our society. The course is open to juniors and seniors who have an interest in, and working familiarity with, recent events in American politics and government, whether they are government majors or not.

(F 10:30-1:15am)