Applied Economics

This course is open only to those who have completed Progress and Poverty. The content has been updated to provide a full analysis of today’s globalization issues, including effects on jobs and living standards. The main text is Henry George’s Protection or Free Trade, with supplementary essays.

We start with a quick review of Progress & Poverty, then discuss what “protection” is in international trade, and what benefits are claimed for it. Then we consider what trade really is, balance of trade, tariffs and taxes. We look at who “protection” really protects, what money is and what it’s good for, the relationship of labor cost to production cost, and evaluate the theory of protection.

We then consider unemployment, inflation, and wages, and what “free trade” does and doesn’t accomplish. Henry George’s “solution” is then described and evaluated, and we look at modern issues including trade agreements, production and sustainability, and “intellectual property.”

Thanks to the Henry George Institute for their restructuring of this course.

Note: In order to give proper attention to today’s international trade issues, it was necessary to move the topics in Social Problems out of Applied Economics and into the History of Labor in America course.