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The Economic Functions of Government Council for Economics Education & Henry B. Stobbs, MFA

The Economic Functions of Government

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Lecture

Text of The Economic Functions of Government

The Economic Functions of GovernmentCouncil for Economics Education & Henry B. Stobbs, MFA

Copyright Notice

Original Content 2008 Council for Economic Education and modified for classroom use by the author. Certain materials in this presentation are prepared with the fair use exemption of the U.S. Copyright Law and have been prepared with the multimedia fair use guidelines and are restricted from further use.

Concepts Competition Economic

stabilization Externality Income redistribution Public goods & services

Standards (NCEE)

Standard 16: There is an economic role for government in a market economy whenever the benefits of a government policy outweigh its costs. Governments often provide for national defense, address environmental concerns, define and protect property rights, and attempt to make markets more competitive. Most government policies also redistribute income.

Standards (NCEE)

Standard 20: Federal government budgetary policy and the Federal reserve Systems monetary policy influence the overall levels of employment, output, and prices.

Standards (NSCG, Grades 9 12)I.B.4: The relationship of limited government to political and economic freedom. II.C.2: Character of American political conflict. III.B.2: Major responsibilities of the national government in domestic and foreign policy.

ObjectivesAs a result of this lesson, you will be able to: 1.Classify government economic activities according to the six economic functions of government. 2.Analyze governmental economic actions within the liberal (progressive)/conservative framework.

Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is to examine the economic functions of government.

Six Economic Functions of Government 1.Maintain the legal and social framework 2.Maintain competition 3.Provide public goods and services 4.Correct for externalities 5.Stabilize the economy 6.Redistribute income

Six Economic Functions of Government 1.Maintain the legal and social framework Define and enforce property rights Establish a monetary system

Six Economic Functions of Government 1.Maintain the legal and social framework 2.Maintain competition Create and enforce antitrust laws Regulate natural monopolies

Six Economic Functions of Government1.Maintain the legal and social framework 2.Maintain competition 3.Provide public goods and services Public goods and services are those that markets will not provide in sufficient quantities

Six Economic Functions of Government1.Maintain the legal and social framework 2.Maintain competition 3.Provide public goods and services 4.Correct for externalities Reduce negative externalities Encourage increased production of goods and services that have positive externalities

Six Economic Functions of Government1.Maintain the legal and social framework 2.Maintain competition 3.Provide public goods and services 4.Correct for externalities 5.Stabilize the economy Reduce unemployment and inflation Promote economic growth

Six Economic Functions of Government1.Maintain the legal and social framework 2.Maintain competition 3.Provide public goods and services 4.Correct for externalities 5.Stabilize the economy 6.Redistribute income Redistribute income from people who have higher incomes to those with lower incomes

Six Economic Functions of Government 1.Maintain the legal and social framework 2.Maintain competition 3.Provide public goods and services 4.Correct for externalities 5.Stabilize the economy 6.Redistribute income

Activity Time

Please, assume your team configurations!

Classify the Headlines1.Federal Reserve Raises Key Interest Rate ___ 2.Congress Raises tax rates for Top Income Brackets ___ 3.EPA Plan to Reduce CO Emissions ___ 4.Homeland Security Funding Increased ___ 5.President Says More Spending Will Fight Recession ___ 6.Agency Blocks merger of Two Airlines ___ 7.City Police Increase Neighborhood Patrols ___ 8.Lawsuit Establishes Patent Rights ___ 9.Legislature Passes Funding for Subsidized Housing ___ 10.New Info from Government Agency Helps Consumers Choose Wisely ___ 11.Songwriter Sues Singer: Says Songs Stolen ___ 12.County Funds Free Flu Vaccinations ___

Lets Check!1.Federal Reserve Raises Key Interest Rate E 2.Congress Raises tax rates for Top Income Brackets F 3.EPA Plan to Reduce CO Emissions D 4.Homeland Security Funding Increased C 5.President Says More Spending Will Fight Recession E 6.Agency Blocks merger of Two Airlines B 7.City Police Increase Neighborhood Patrols C 8.Lawsuit Establishes Patent Rights A 9.Legislature Passes Funding for Subsidized Housing F 10.New Info from Government Agency Helps Consumers Choose Wisely B 11.Songwriter Sues Singer: Says Songs Stolen A 12.County Funds Free Flu Vaccinations D

Conservative Perspectives versus Progressive Points of View

CONSERVATIVE PERSPECTIVE Governments

economic role is severely limited Economic and political freedom undermined by excessive reliance on government The governments ability to solve social and economic problems is weak Faith in government to solve problems is unreasonable

Progressive (Liberal) PerspectiveThe markets ability to solve complex social and economic problems is limited Government can do a great deal to overcome weaknesses in the marketplace Less concerned with the effects of government action on personal liberty The price system is unfair Support income redistribution

Time for Another ActivityE co n o m i i so o o o d re a m y! cs s

Legislature Passes Funding for Subsidized Housing

Lets re-examine this headline. What would a progressive think of it? How would a conservative regard it?

Discussion Time

Time to Review

Assessment

Assessment1.Public goods and services are a)All goods and services paid for by the government b)Goods and services provided by publicly held companies c)Goods and services that would not be adequately provided by the market. d)Goods and services that are available to the public.

Assessment2.Establishing and enforcing clearly defined property rights is an example of government a)Providing a social and legal framework. b)Maintaining competition c)Providing public goods and services d)Redistributing income

Assessment3.Smoke from a factory drops ash all over your car. Governments economic function in this case is to: a)Stabilize the economy b)Maintain competition c)Provide public goods and services d)Correct a negative externality.

Assessment4.The Federal trade Commission recommends that the Smokin Hot Computer Corporation be broken into several smaller, independent companies. This is an example of the governments function of: a)Maintaining competition b)Redistributing Income c)Maintaining the Legal and Social framework d)Providing public goods and services

Assessment5.The fed announced today that it will cut a key interest rate by two basis points. This is an example of the governments function to a)Correct for externalities b)Stabilize the economy c)Redistribute income d)Maintain the legal and social framework

Assessment: Extended Response

6.Federal regulations now require Internet radio stations to pay substantial royalty fees (fees to artists and songwriters) fr the music they play. Some stations were not able to pay the fees and have gone off the air. What economic function of government is this an example of? Who benefits from the regulation? How? Why? Who loses because of the regulation? How? Why? What argument would you make for and against the regulation?

Assessment Check

Please trade papers with someone outside your team.

Assessment Check1.Public goods and services are a)All goods and services paid for by the government b)Goods and services provided by publicly held companies c)Goods and services that would not be adequately provided by the market. d)Goods and services that are available to the public.

Assessment Check2.Establishing and enforcing clearly defined property rights is an example of government a)Providing a social and legal framework. b)Maintaining competition c)Providing public goods and services d)Redistributing income

Assessment Check3.Smoke from a factory drops ash all over your car. Governments economic function in this case is to: a)Stabilize the economy b)Maintain competition c)Provide public goods and services d)Correct a negative externality.

Assessment Check4.The Federal trade Commission recommends that the Smokin Hot Computer Corporation be broken into several smaller, independent companies. This is an example of the governments function of: a)Maintaining competition b)Redistributing Income c)Maintaining the Legal and Social framework d)Providing public goods and services

Assessment Check5.The fed announced today that it will cut a key interest rate by two basis points. This is an example of the governments function to a)Correct for externalities b)Stabilize the economy c)Redistribute income d)Maintain the legal and social framework

Assessment Check

Federal regulations now require Internet radio stations to pay substantial royalty fees (fees to artists and songwriters) for the music they play. Some stations were not able to pay the fees and have gone off the air. What economic function of government is this an example of? Who benefits from the regulation? How? Why? Who loses because of the regulation? How? Why? What argument would you make for and against the regulation?

Assessment Check

These regulations are an example of government policy aimed at establishing and enforcing property rights. The protection of property rights is an element of the legal and social framework government establishes. In this case, singers and songwriters benefitfrom the legal protection in question; the regulation maintains their property rights and their incentive to produce music. Radio station operators and listeners lose, because there are fewer Internet radio stations and less choice for listeners.

Homework

Many city governments subsidize the construction of sports stadiums as a way to attract or hold on to sports teams. First, write an argument for this practice, using the economic functions of government to support your claim. Thenpresent an alternative view, arguing against your initial claim. (20 points, plus up to 3 extra if submitted via Google Documents)

Works Cited

Council for Economic Education. Lesson 4: What Are the Economic Functions of Government? 2008 Council for Economic Education.