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Economic Systems

Economic Systems

Discussion & Essay Questions

Available to teachers only as part of the Economic SystemsTeacher Pass

Economic Systems Teacher Pass includes:

  • Assignments & Activities
  • Reading Quizzes
  • Current Events & Pop Culture articles
  • Discussion & Essay Questions
  • Challenges & Opportunities
  • Related Readings in Literature & History

Sample of Discussion & Essay Questions


  1. Types of Economic Systems
    • Which type of economic system do you support? Why?
    • Which type of economic system is the most dangerous?
    • If students have read George Orwell’s Animal Farm, do they believe it is a good example of the dangers of a command economy?
    • In Israel, Kibbutzim are collectives that run according to the principles of a command economy. Evaluate their success.
    • The Soviet Union failed due to unsustainable economic policies, not as a result of a political insurrection. Why do you believe that occurred?
  2. America’s Mixed Economy
    • What is the ideal role of government?
    • What parts of the economy should government never touch?
    • Through the government, citizens are provided health services with Medicare and a financial safety net through Social Security during their retirement. Should the government be providing these services?
    • The public sector has grown while the private sector has shrunk due to real economic conditions. How can the government be more aligned with its taxpayers?
    • What are the advantages and disadvantages of libertarianism?
  3. Adam Smith
    • What are the strengths of Adam Smith’s thinking?
    • What are the weaknesses?
    • How is Adam Smith’s theory of the invisible hand relevant today?
    • Where has a hands-off policy failed?
    • Where has the government become too involved?
  4. American Economic History
    • How successful was Ronald Reagan in realizing his economic objectives?
    • Why was he not completely successful?
    • Did he undermine himself?
    • Were parts of his economic vision obsolete?
    • Did he misread the public’s priorities?
    • Adam Smith and Lyndon Johnson were considered "liberals." Alexander Hamilton and Ronald Reagan were considered "conservatives."
    • How similar were the economic ideas of the two liberals?
    • How similar were the economic ideas of the two conservatives?
    • What do your conclusions suggest about these labels?
    • Has Obama effected change? In what ways? Have the changes been positive or negative?
    • The Democrats passed health-care legislation even though more than 50% of Americans opposed it. Did they do the right thing? What were the positives and negatives?
    • Is Barack Obama a socialist? Why or why not?