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ERIC Number: EJ788133
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
Why They Just Can't Print More: Money Supply and Prices
Schreur, Greg
Social Education, v72 n2 p80-83 Mar 2008
The author's students regularly ask him, "Why can't the government just print more money?" Typically they are seeking a simple solution to a complex problem like the national debt, or they just want the government to make people all rich the easy way, by handing them wads of cash. His best answer used to be, "They just can't," but the disappointment in students' eyes bothered him, so he searched for a more convincing, authoritative answer and found it from economist Anna J. Schwartz. He tried simplifying this economic excess, explaining, "If the money supply rises faster than available goods and services, inflation will result," but the confused stares in students' eyes were merely replaced with glazed looks of bewilderment, not the eureka expressions or contemplative nods he always seek. Recognizing this as a concept that students need to experience before they can understand, the author developed an activity to simulate the impracticality of the solution that his students were proposing. Teachers could extend this activity by having students undertake extra research into the topic. Students could look into the role of the government in the economy. Students could also research other causes and aspects of inflation, including cost-push inflation and the Consumer Price Index. This activity has enabled students to understand the complex answer to a simple, common question. (Contains 4 tables, 1 figure and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A