Progress Report after Week 5

I feel like I haven’t really posted in a long while. As we’ve gotten into the semester, I’ve become buried in work, so that it’s become hard to remember the big picture. It feels like the difference between war plans and the fog of combat. Strange analogy, but I think it’s accurate.

Last week we covered a lot of ground. We surveyed the range of economic systems (traditional, command, and market) as alternative ways to organize society to address the economic problem. This was done mostly using lecture augmented by images to illustrate different aspects of the story. The reason for the reliance on lecture was that this material is mostly missing from the text, though I may have overdone the lecturing. Old habits die hard. I’ll have to think some more about the best way to present this topic–some of the material could probably be turned into supplementary readings for the students. Still the result was more successful than the previous Friday. I guess I’m capable of learning 😉 We had a decent discussion of the Economics of a P.O.W. Camp using Radford’s classic article to explore how markets can improve the allocation of resources, even in the most unlikely environments. However, I wasn’t as prepared for the discussion as I would like to be.

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