2010 Student Congress on Economic Issues

Minneapolis Public Schools—Learning Center for Economics

Minneapolis Rotary
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
University of Minnesota Department of Applied Economics Minnesota Council on Economic Education

St. Paul Campus
University of Minnesota
Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Participating High Schools

Edison, Henry, North, Roosevelt, South, Southwest and Washburn

2010 Results

(winning team from each topic):

2010 Economic Congress Questions

Question One

What should Evan do?

Evan wants further education after high. He will choose between a 4 year college and 4 year trade school. He projects expenses at $5,000 a year beyond what he has saved. The best thing for Evan to do, evaluating both personal and financial issues, (i.e., Net Present Value, risks, personal desires, projected income, etc.) is:

TEAM ONE: South/ Henry
Go to school by taking out a loan. The $20,000 he will need must be paid back after he graduates. The interest rate is (5.9%) and he will have 10 years to repay.

TEAM TWO: Southwest/Roosevelt/Edison
Work for two years at a full-time job. He can save $10,000.00 per year living at home with his parents and then he could attend school without taking out a loan and living on a tight budget.

TEAM THREE: Washburn/North
Work part-time while going to school part-time. Evan figures he could still graduate by using this method and have some financial flexibility.

Question Two

Given the competing goals of: 1) access, 2) cost-effectiveness and 3) quality in a well-designed health care system, which model  is most effective?

TEAM ONE: Southwest/Henry
A free market with minimum governmental interference.

TEAM TWO: North/Roosevelt/Edison
Government-administered single-payer insurance with mandates on cost and quality.

TEAM THREE: South/Washburn
A hybrid system with moderate public insurance subsidizes and
regulations regarding quality and access.

Question Three

The value of the U.S. dollar on the world markets has significant ramifications on the growth of the U.S. economy and wealth of Americans.

Policy-makers have a choice in deciding whether to pursue policies that help strengthen the value of the dollar (high exchange value), weaken the value of the dollar (low exchange value), or leave the dollar’s value to float freely (no explicit policy targeted to affect the dollar’s value) on the world currency markets.

Considerable controversy exists on which of these policies is best for Americans and American business.

TEAM ONE: North/South/Edison
Maintaining a strong dollar in the world’s markets is in the best interest of both U.S. business and Americans. U.S. policy-makers should target policies that promote a strong U.S. dollar.

TEAM TWO: Southwest/Washburn
A weak dollar in the world’s markets is in the best interest of both U.S. business and Americans. U.S. policy-makers should target policies that promote a weak U.S. dollar.

TEAM THREE: Roosevelt/Henry
Position III: It is in the best interest of both U.S. based business and Americans to allow the dollar to float freely on international markets. U.S. policy-makers should not target the value of the dollar in their policy decisions, but allow the dollar’s value to float freely on the international markets.

 
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