Friday, August 17, 2012

Review of Economics for Everybody

As the name of this series suggests, Economics for Everybody truly is for...everybody! I have a limited background in economics (only insofar as it affected by Political Science work in graduate school), and no background in biblical economics at all.  Of course, I have always believed that the current problems of scarcity and inequality in the world are the result of the Fall (as, of course, are all problems in the world!), but to have it presented as so in an economics course is so refreshing. Economists have ways of explaining inequalities, etc. (often using ridiculously convoluted equations to prove their theories which one would need a Ph.D. to understand...oh, wait: I have one of those and it doesn't actually help!), but very few understand or accept the root cause: man's sinful nature and rejection of God! Lecture 2 of this course makes it very clear very quickly that this course does accept that premise from the start.

This Biblical thread runs through the whole program, but it should not be assumed that the material is any less informative or rigorous for that fact (I know I am not the only person who has had experience with Biblical curriculum that is more about the Bible than, for example, English or math).  As the list of lessons shows, all the typical components of an Economics course are present:
List of Lessons:
1. And God Created Economics | Stewardship in God’s Image – What is Economics? – God’s Attributes & Actions – Man in God’s Image – Creation Mandate – Stewardship – Why Study Economics – Missionary Impact

2. The Economic Problem of Sin | Law, Liberty & Government – The Fall of Man & Scarcity – Impact of Fall on Stewardship & Work – Grace of Law – Economic Aspects of 10 Commandments – Civil Government – Liberty vs. Tyranny – Theology to Anthropology to Politics to Economics – Trade -
3. The Path from Work to Wealth | Production, Property & Tools – What is Wealth? – Principles That Lead to Wealth – Work – Production – Ownership & Private Property – Land, Labor & Capital – Savings & Capital Accumulation – Division of Labor – Tools – Mass Production – Lower Prices & Increased Purchasing Power
4. The Route From Scarcity to Plenty | Money, Markets & Trade – Famines, Scarcity & Prosperity – Value – Economic Demand – Markets – Free Trade – Money – Laws of Supply & Demand – Price – Marginal Utility – Impact on Prices – Greater Selection of Goods & Services at Lower Prices
5. The Role of the Entrepreneur | Capital, Calculation & Profit - What is an Entrepreneur? – Importance of Capital – Economic Calculation – Job Creation – Technology – Profit – Competition – Self-balancing Free Market
6. A Tale of Two Theologies, Part 1 | From God to Politics - Consequences of Economics – 19th-century England vs. 20th-century Soviet Union & Impact on Christianity – Comparison of Christianity vs. Atheism – Two Systems at War – Theologies – Anthropologies – Political Philosophies – Political Systems
7. A Tale of Two Theologies, Part 2 | Economic Philosophies & Systems - Comparison between Christian & Atheistic Economic Philosophies – Private vs. Public Ownership of Property – Free Market vs. Command & Control/Socialistic – Interventionism – Freedom & Growth of Christianity
8. Government Intervention | Basic Principles & Education – German Socialism in WWI – North Star Principle: Biblical Stewardship – Intervention & Stewardship – Areas of Interventionism – Quick History of U.S. & Economics – U.S. Educational Policy & Stewardship
9. The Two Mysteries of Monetary Policy | Inflation & Depressions – Two Mysteries: Devaluation of Dollar and The Great Depression – What is Money? – Government & Banks – Interest Rates – Federal Reserve – Inflation & Stealing – Interventionist Monetary Policy & Stewardship – Inflation leads to Boom & Bust Cycle – Influence of Central Bank – Great Depression – Govt Policies & Stewardship
10. The Welfare & Corporate States of America | The Costs of Redistribution– The Welfare State – Biblical View – Brief History – Problems of Intervention – Growth of Welfare State – Christian Questions – The Corporate State – Cronyism – Politics and Business – Government Spending – Government Taxation – Government Borrowing – Impact on Stewardship
11. Economics Has Consequences | The Real Effects of Sin – North & South Korea – Impact of Economics on Christianity – Sin & Economics – Socialism: Scarcity & Police State – Gradual Socialism/Interventionism: Nation of Rent Seekers – Regulation & Bureaucracy – Free Markets – Economics & Religious Freedom
12. Kingdom Economics – Genesis 3:15 & The Serpent – Moses & Slavery – Sack of Rome and Augustine’s City of God – Hitler’s Mein Kampf – Gradual Socialism & Christianity – Liberty & Economics – The Kingdom and the Future

Presented (although not created or written) in segments of 15-20 minutes by R.C. Sproul, Jr., a very easy man to listen to, this is a course for the whole family, your homeschool, or your church.  Replete with inserted videos and photos, the course is a visual, as well as an audio, treat.  Further, it comes with a 250 page study guide containing Biblical readings, further discussion, and more.

Economics for Everybody is currently available on DVD or download for $36.00.  

Disclaimer: I received Economics for Everybody free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  I received no other compensation.
Disclaimer #2: As a Catholic, I disagree with some of the positions taken by R.C. Sproul, Jr.  There is nothing in this course that I find personally objectionable.

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