We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
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?