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 >

Housing First and Homelessness

Available for Middle & High School

Should governments use a housing-first approach to combat homelessness? 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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How the Supreme Court Could Reshape Discrimination Lawsuits

Post | November 15, 2019

On November 13, 2019, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American-Owned Media.1 The Court’s decision will determine how difficult it will be to bring future cases regarding possible racial bias to trial.2 Facts of the Case Byron Allen, an African American, owns Entertainment Studios Networks (ESN), which operates […]


President Donald J. Trump

Eliminate Illegal Immigration; Make Immigration Work for the Economy

Post | October 9, 2019

Immigration policy and enforcement continues to be a major area of conflict between Democrats and Republicans. Currently, Congress is considering many bills related to immigration, asylum, migrant detention, and family separation. This week, we will look at two proposals that Republicans are advancing; two weeks ago, we examined two bills that Democrats are advancing. Republicans […]


The Global Climate Strike

Post | September 25, 2019

To help students explore the climate change debate, please see our resource on climate change policy here. Over one million workers, students, and others engaged in the global climate strike on Friday, September 20, in an effort to call for more significant action to combat climate change.1 This was the third in a series of […]


Reparations and the Demands of Justice

Post | August 27, 2019

In January 2019, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) introduced H.R. 40: The Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African Americans Act.1 Reparations for slavery, Jim Crow, and systematic segregation and racism in major U.S. institutions is not a new idea, but it has never gained the type of traction that it currently has. […]


Religious Freedom or the Right to Discriminate?

Post | August 22, 2019

On August 15, the Department of Labor published proposed changes that would expand federal contractors’ ability to claim a religious exemption to equal opportunity and anti-discrimination rules.1 The proposed rule change, as written, could allow employers with federal contracts to fire or refuse to hire LGBTQ employees, and could even be used to fire unmarried […]


China Flag

Trade War: What Is It Good For?

Post | May 14, 2019

This past Friday, President Trump announced a new round of tariffs on $200 billion dollars’ worth of goods from China, increasing the rate from 10% to 25%. On Sunday, China announced retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion dollars’ worth of US goods increasing to a rate of 20-25%.1 The so-called ‘trade war’ between the US and […]


Political Cartoon

Should Public College Be Free?

Post | April 23, 2019

College has not only gotten expensive, but the cost becomes a burden for years. When graduating an undergraduate program, the average student leaves with over $37,000 in student loan debt. This is a $20,000 increase from 20 years ago. Over 70% of students today graduate with a significant amount of loans with an average of […]


Protest Sign

Should the Federal Government Legalize Marijuana?

Post | March 19, 2019

On Feb. 28, the day he introduced the Marijuana Justice Act, (S.597) Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “The failed War on Drugs has really been a war on people—disproportionately criminalizing poor people, people of color & people with mental illness. I’m reintroducing the #MarijuanaJustice Act to begin reversing our failed federal drug policies.” The views expressed by Sen. Booker […]


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