ECONOMIC ISSUES

Background and Context

These resources will help students develop a thorough understanding of Economic Issues and make connections between historical events, current conversations, and current policy proposals surrounding the issues. This section includes all of the context and content previously included in Close Up’s public policy chapters.  

 

U.S. Economic Policy in Historical Context

How has Economic policy changed throughout our history? Learn More >

U.S. Economic Policy in Current Context

What is current Economic policy? Learn More >

Economy and Labor: Deliberating Priorities

Available for Middle & High School

What, if anything, should the government do to reform the economy? Learn More >

Current Issue Debates

Current Issue Debates are framed by a central question and followed by historical context, an overview of both sides of the topic, and discussion questions to facilitate deliberation in the classroom.

 

Homelessness Deliberation

Available for Middle & High School

How should governments work to address the homelessness crisis? Learn More >

Workers’ Rights

Available for Middle & High School

Should Congress raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour? Learn More >

Guaranteed Minimum Income

Available for Middle & High School

Should the government provide a guaranteed minimum income to Americans in times of economic crisis? Learn More >

Wealth Tax

Available for Middle & High School

Should the United States implement a wealth tax? Learn More >

Videos from Policy Makers

Brought to you by ASP HOMEROOM, through a collaboration between Close Up Foundation and A Starting Point, these supplemental videos are an introduction to policy areas that provide an opportunity for students to hear different perspectives directly from lawmakers.

 

Labor Unions

Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) & Congressman Andy Levin (D-MI)
May 26, 2021

Homelessness in California

Congressman Mark Takano (D-CA) & Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-CA) 
May 14, 2021

Tax Policy & Proposals

Congressmen Don Beyer (D-VA) & Blake Moore (R-UT)
April 15, 2021

Lesson Plans

These ready-to-use lesson plans can be utilized in conjunction with any of our resources to enhance the quality of student discourse in the classroom. Our supplemental Civic Readiness Guide provides a recommended lesson plan sequence for using our Current Issues resources.

 

Additional & Archived Resources on Economic Issues

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Jazz Age

Unit 4: Democracy and Adversity – The Jazz Age

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) | August 19, 2021

The 1920s were a golden era. The postwar economy grew and optimism reigned. F. Scott Fitzgerald—a great novelist of the period—captured the mood in his 1937 essay, “Early Success.”


Great Depression

Unit 4: Democracy and Adversity – The Great Depression and the New Deal

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

The stock market crash of October 29, 1929, marked the beginning, though not the cause, of the Great Depression.


WWII

Unit 4: Democracy and Adversity – WWII

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

Mired in the Great Depression of the 1930s, U.S. leaders were more concerned with issues at home than with those abroad.


T Bird

Unit 5: The Challenges of Power – Prosperity and Anxiety

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

The 1950s were a time of prosperity and affluence unlike any ever seen in the United States.


Unit 5: The Challenges of Power – Rights and Revolutions

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

The years between 1950 and 1975 were tumultuous times for American society.


Vietnam War

Unit 5: The Challenges of Power – The Vietnam Years

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

Since the late 1800s, France had controlled the area of Southeast Asia called Indochina—Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia—and had profited from the region’s rice and rubber plantations.


2021 Summer Round-Up: Infrastructure, Afghanistan, the Delta Surge, and the Climate Crisis

Post | August 17, 2021

As teachers welcome students back into the classroom, it is important to establish good habits and routines for the new school year. One important habit is incorporating current issues discussions into civics, social studies, and humanities courses. To help teachers get started on the right foot, we’re offering a round-up of some of the most […]


Unemployment

Extended Unemployment Benefits: Helping Workers or Holding the Economy Back?

Post | June 1, 2021

After April’s jobs report fell short of predictions and unemployment ticked up for the first time in the last year, some politicians and policymakers, particularly conservatives, called for an end to the generous unemployment insurance (UI) benefits that have been place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.1 Although federal pandemic-related UI benefits are set […]


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