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Welcome to Economics/Labour Studies 330: Workers and Economy! Economic issues, such as unemployment, inequality, prosperity, and crises, permeate all facets of life. They fill news reports, employers’ statements, and even popular culture. At the same time, economics—the scientific endeavour of explaining such issues—is often considered impenetrable. This course shows that it does not have to be that way. It portrays economies from around the world and sketches their developments over time. It introduces labour and business views of the economy and their respective policy implications. Finally, it deals with the question of whether workers, rather than being employed by private or public enterprises, could manage their workplaces on their own behalves. News sources and songs, which broaden the perspective on workers and the economy beyond scholarly work, complement the textbooks for this course.


Essay 1: 300 words

Write a short essay on the following questions: What do you know about the economy and economics? What do you expect to learn in this course?

Before writing the essay, you may ponder the following questions. You are not expected to answer this whole list of questions; this would be impossible in a 300-word essay. Thinking about these questions will just give you a framework within which to answer the assignment questions.

  • When you hear the word economy, what ideas and associations come to your mind? Do some brainstorming.
  • Have you read about or discussed economic issues before taking this course? If so, what was the discussion about, and with whom did you have the discussion?
  • Have you already taken an economics course? What do you remember from that course?
  • Have you ever talked to an economist before? Did you find him or her convincing?
  • Do you pay attention to economic news?
  • Do you want this course to challenge the views about economic issues that you are already familiar with?
  • Do you think economics matters? Can it change the ways economies operate?


Essay 2: 1200 words

Write a short essay on each of the following topics:

  1. What has capitalism got to do with inequality?
  2. How are unemployment and underemployment different in rich and poor countries?
  3. Why are wages for most workers so low while their hours are so long?

Take a look at the study questions in each of the three sections of Unit 2 to develop a framework for each essay. It is not possible to address everything that is presented in the readings—the point of these short essays is to distill essential arguments from the readings and leave out arguments and facts that support the essentials without being essential themselves.

400 words for each topic.


Essay 3: 1000 words

Write a book review of Paul Bowles’s Capitalism. Since the review will be short, you need to think carefully about what the main points of the book really are and avoid everything that is not absolutely essential to the arguments presented in the book.

The Purdue University Online Writing Lab on “Writing a Book Review” is a very good resource if you need some information about book review writing.  

Essay 4: 1000 words

Write an essay comparing the key arguments made by neoclassical and radical economists, respectively. The essay should point out similarities and differences between these two approaches to economic analysis.


Essay 5: 1200 words

Length: 15 slides

Management just announced they are shutting down the company you are working for. You sit down with a group of coworkers to discuss the situation. Eventually, you agree to try taking over the company and running it as a WSDE. You agree to present this proposal to all the workers in the company. In order to do so, you prepare a slideshow presentation that addresses the following issues:

  • What is a WSDE?
  • What are the possibilities of taking over the workplace and running it as a WSDE?
  • What are the challenges of taking over the workplace and running it as a WSDE?

Your presentation should include speaking notes for each slide.

The most common tool for creating a slideshow presentation is Microsoft Office’s PowerPoint. However, if you do not have access to that software, there are many other effective tools available for free. For example, the OpenOffice software suite includes Impress. For online tools, you could use Google Docs Slides or Google Slides from within Google Drive. All of these alternatives will let you save your presentation to your hard drive as a .ppt or .pptx (PowerPoint format) presentation file. And you will find that there are many other options. You can easily find tutorials for the software and sites linked to above with a simple Internet search.

Essay 6: 300 words

Review your assignments and notes for this course, as well as your contributions to the Reflection activities, and write a short essay on the following two questions:

  • Was the course what you expected it to be?
  • What did you learn?





Subject Essay Writing Pages 6 Style APA


Economy and Economics

The economy of a country according is the relationship between a country’s production, the supply of money and trade in a specific region or country. The economy of a region is made up of all the trading activities and all other activities that facilitate trading like banking, insurance, distributions and transport systems. It is the social domain that describes all the commercial activities in a region and their commercial value.

I studied basic economics in my undergraduate course and it is literally the study of all the commercial activities in a country. It describes and analyzes production of goods and services in a region together with distribution and consumption. Microeconomics describes the individual relationships between the agents of economics, their interactions with the market and the buyers, sellers and households. Macroeconomics is the analysis of the aggregate economy including production, savings, investments and consumption. This branch of economics discusses the effects of unemployment, inflation and public policies on capital, labor and land.

A country uses such policies like monetary, fiscal or other policies to address most of economic issues. The first time I was drawn into economic discussion was during the 2007/8 global economic crisis when Ben Bernanke, the American economists who was in charge of the Federal Reserve in the US made spirited attempts to save the American economy from collapsing (Kinsley, 2015). In his defense of his tenure he described his years at the helm of the Federal Reserve Bank as turbulent and the Federal efforts saved the American people another great depression. But my close friend who majored in economics blamed Bernanke at some point for not acting fast enough to save some financial institutions from collapsing but the idea of the government bailing out financial institutions didn’t appeal to me as I strongly believe in a capitalist environment where consequences of wrong decisions are borne by the decision makers.



Kinsley, M. (2015) Ben Bernanke’s The Courage to Act, The New York Times retrieved July 7, 2017 from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/25/books/review/ben-bernankes-the-courage-to-act.html?_r=0



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