Discussion and 2 replies

Dear ECON 203 Students: 

While the U.S. election is (probably) behind us, a politically polarized country is not.  Why not?  And where did this all come from?  Interesting questions, perhaps, you say, but certainly not a concern of a course in microeconomics.   Not so.  Listen to the podcast interview of a well-known Harvard economist who summarizes some rather striking conclusions about the microeconomic origins and consequences of our current polarized polity. 

Note:  Reading the short excerpts reproduced in the link is not enough.  Listen to the approximately 22-minute interview.


So what concept in our Week 1 discussion is, as per the author, at the core of U.S. political polarization?  Explain the author’s argument.  Make sure you include an explanation for the “left-right” divide.   Why do you think this happens that way?  Do you think that restricting trade is the solution? If so, why?   If not, what solutions might you suggest?  (You’ll learn about a couple in the podcast.)    Finally, are the election results further proof of the author’s thesis?  Or should we expect to see a change?

Best wishes for an engaging, “non-polarizing” discussion. 

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