Economics Syllabus

Periods 1, 2 & 3


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Syllabus (Please Read)



E-mail: Richard-pauly@sac-city.k12.ca.us                Voicemail: (916) 433-5200 x1204

Required Materials:

  • Textbook  – Economics: Principles in Action © 2007
  • Textbook - International Economic Summit -  Student Handbook © 2009
  • Textbook – MoneyWiseTeens (CCEE)


  • 3 ring binder with 11 dividers labeled according to the units (see below) and ruled binder paper [If you need assistance to get a binder – see me after class.] {Binder Checks are part of the overall grade.}
  • Internet access with email and word processor (at home or at school).
  • Black and Red Pens, pencil, & highlighters
  • Recommended: colored pencils, scissors, glue stick


Course Description:

Students will master fundamental economic concepts, applying the tools (graphs, statistics, and equations) from other subject areas to the understanding of operations and institutions of economic systems. Studied in a historic context are the basic economic principles of micro- and macroeconomics, international economics, comparative economic systems, measurement, and methods.
Students will also participate in the Stock Market Game, International Economic Summit, develop a Budget, develop a Business proposal, and participate in the Operation Protect & Defend Essay contest.


  • Additional Readings/Selections from
    • The Economist Magazine
    • Time Magazine
    • Newsweek Magazine
    • The Wall Street Journal and the WSJ Classroom Edition
    • The End of the Free Market by Ian Bremmer © 2010
    • Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Economic Issues by Frank J Bonello (Ed.) © 2008
    • Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt © 2005
    • SuperFreakconomics by Steven D. Levitt © 2009
    • The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford © 2005
    • Nickeled and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich © 2001
    • The Naked Economist by Charles Wheelan © 2002
    • The Big Short by Michael Lewis © 2010
    • The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith © 1776
    • The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith © 1759
    • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand ©
    • Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand ©
    • Economics by Example by David Anderson © 2007
    • Economics of Social Issues © 2006
    • Economics – Annual Edition (34th Edition) © 2007
    • Creating a World Without Poverty by Mohammad Yunus © 2007
    • Clashing Views on Economic Issues – 13th Edition  © 2008


Class Web Page:

  • All important information for this class can be found on the class web page, including weekly agendas, homework assignments, links to web sites, and project information.



  •  Students/parents can access grades using  Zangle
  • To Access “Class News” , “Assignments”, and “Grades” go to ZANGLE:



  • Note: Economics is a required class for graduation.
  • Length of Course:  18 weeks (Seniors get out early in the Spring Semester)
  • Grades will be weighed by categories.
  • Grades will not be discussed during class time
  • Students can make an appointment to discuss grades during lunch, or before/after school.
  • Grades will be updated weekly, and new grades will available on Mondays.


Grading Scale:

                       0 - 59%                 Fail (no course credit – student will be required to retake the course)
                 59.9 – 69%                 D
                  69.9 – 79%                C
                  79.9 – 89%                B
                  89.9 – 100%              A


Grading Categories:

Class work (Do Now!/Exit Strategy, in class assignments, Binder Check, participation points, etc.)
(Zangle category - CW)


Homework (Due at beginning of class!)
(Zangle category - HW)


Quizzes and Unit Tests
(Zangle category - QT)


Final Exam (during Senior Final Week)
(Zangle category - FE)


Budget Assignment, Business Proposal, Stock Market Game, Problem Based Learning Assignments, Graphing Assignment, and MoneyWiseTeens Assignments
(Zangle category - PR)


International Economic Summit
(Zangle category - IES)


Essay Assignments
(Zangle category - WA)




    • BINDERS: At the end of each unit students will turn in their Binder – on the day of the test.  They are due at the beginning of the period.



    • Homework will be assigned on a regular basis and will have a specific due date
    • Homework will be stamped, but not collected on the due date at the BEGINNING of the period.
    • Most completed homework assignments will receive 25 points, homework partially (at least half) completed will receive 10 points (some assignments may be worth more than 25 points!)
      • NO LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE STAMPED!!! (if you are tardy you run the risk of not getting your assignment stamped)
    • Completed assignments that are not stamped can be turned in with the “Unit Packet” and will receive partial credit (2 points).
  • Tests and Quizzes
    • The forms will vary between multiple choice, essay, and short answer.
    • Tests will occur at the end of each unit, and students will be assigned a review prior to each test. Tests will be scheduled.
    • Quizzes: There will be open note reading quizzes and closed note comprehension quizzes throughout the year. Quizzes will be unannounced.
    • A Final Exam will be given at the end of the semester during Senior Final Week.
    • Participation in The International Economic Summit school competition.


  • Projects
    • Students will be expected to complete a variety of both individual and group projects over the year.
      • Budget (Individual)
      • Business Proposal (Individual)
      • Problem Based Learning Projects (Group)
    • Projects will not be accepted after the due date
    • If you know you will be absent on the day a project is due, you must make arrangements with the teacher to turn in the work early.
    • If a student misses a group presentation, he/she will receive no credit for the assignment and will not be able to make up the points.

         *****Special arrangements for extraordinarily extraordinary circumstances may be made upon  Parent/student/teacher discussion (death, extreme illness).


  • Writing
  • Three writing assignments will be given throughout the year. Students will be expected to write formal paragraphs and essays following a specified historical format (see website for details).
      • Operation Protect & Defend Essay
      • Critique of a Movie (list supplied by the teacher)
      • Critique of an Article (Articles provided by the teacher)
  • All writing assignments must be
      • Typed, Double-spaced, 12 point, Times New Roman font, Proofread and Spellchecked
      • A Grading Rubric will be supplied.



        • Your participation will be assessed on a daily basis.
        • Each unit will have 30 participation points, all students will start with 20 points and either earn or lose points throughout the unit.
        • You can lose participation points for inappropriate behavior, language, tardies, cuts, and failing to bring in required materials (each tardy results in the loss of a point, each cut results in the loss of 3 points)
        • You can earn participation points by asking and answering questions, reading out loud, and staying on task in small group work.
        • Participation grades will be posted online at the end of each unit



  • Homework/Class work
  • Students with an excused absence have as many days as they missed to make up the work. For example, if a student misses two days, they have two days to make up the assignment.
  • Students are responsible for finding out what they missed from a fellow classmate, online, or the absent binder.
  • Students can only contact the teacher for missed assignments outside of class time, either during lunch, before or after school, or via e-mail.
  • Quizzes/Tests
  • Students will be expected to make up the reading quiz or test either during lunch or during class the day they return to school. YOU WILL RECEIVE A “0” ON THE TEST IF YOU DO NOT SHOW UP!! For prolonged absences, a make-up test day will be determined by teacher and student.
  • Comprehension Quizzes These are quizzes given at the end of the period on the material just learned. If you miss a comprehension quiz you will NOT make it up – rather the grade you earn on your unit test will be applied to the quiz you missed for that unit.


Expected Behaviors (Rules):
1. You are expected to be in class everyday, on time, and ready to work.

  • Being on time means you are in your assigned seat by the time the bell has finished ringing.
  • Being ready to work means:
  • Having all electronic devises turned off and stashed in your backpack (i.e. cell phones and ipods)
  • Having a pen/pencil, binder, and homework out on your desk.
  • Working on the DO NOW! Assignment

2. You are expected to use appropriate language during the class period. Vulgar or offensive language cannot be used, and will result in a loss of participation points.
             3. You are expected to respect, through actions and words, your fellow classmates, teacher, environment, and self. Please leave all prejudices, stereotypes, and judgments at the door before entering the classroom.

Consequences for Choosing to Break the Rules:

  • 1st incidence during a class period will result in a warning and loss in participation points.
  • 2nd incidence during a class period will result in an  additional loss of participation points.
  • 3rd incidence during a class period will result in both administrative and parent contact, an in additional loss of participation points.
  • Repeated or extreme incidences will result in temporary removal from the classroom, a referral, and parent contact
  • Students that continue to choose to break the rules will be required to attend a parent conference, complete a behavioral action plan.





Plagiarism and Cheating:

  • Plagiarism and cheating results in no credit on the assignment, and a parent contact. Not giving credit for the source of your information on a paper or project is plagiarism.
  • Cheating is defined as copying or sharing you work for others to copy. Everyone involved will receive no credit for the assignment or exam. For more information please see the student handbook.
  • Some assignments will require the use of www.turnitin.com to prevent plagiarism. 



Binder Categories:

1. Introduction to Economics
2. Introduction to Microeconomics
3. Introduction to Macroeconomics
4. Global Economy
5. Budget Assignment
6. Business Proposal
7. Stock Market Game
8. Moneywiseteens Assignments
9. Problem Based Learning Assignments
10. International Economic Summit Assignments
11. Writing Assignments

1. Table of Contents required
2. Classroom Policies and Calendar required
3. Parent Signature Sheet required
4.  Do Now!/Exit Strategy assignments, Class work, Home work, returned Quizzes and Tests all must be placed in the appropriate section of the Binder, in order by date.



[Note: These movies are not illegible for the Critique of a Movie Writing Assignment.]

SiCKO (2007, 123 minutes)
            SiCKO is more like a controlled howl of protest than a documentary. Toning down the rhetoric of past efforts--no CEOs, congressmen, or celebrities were accosted in the making of this film--Michael Moore's latest provocation is just as heartfelt, if not more heartbreaking. As he clarifies from the outset, his subject isn't the 45 million Americans without insurance, but those whose coverage has failed to meet their needs.

Capitalism: A Love Story (2009, 127 minutes)
Michael Moore's didactic documentary style is actually a source of inspiration in Capitalism: A Love Story. This film, which explores the history of incongruence between American capitalism and democracy, is evidently a culmination of Moore's lifetime of research into this topic: he begins the movie by admitting his longstanding interest, rooted in childhood experiences in Flint, Michigan.

Darwin’s Nightmare (2004, 107 minutes)
            Forty years ago, a voracious predator was introduced into the waters of Tanzania's Lake Victoria where it quickly extinguished the entire stock of native fish. Its ecological impact aside, the Nile Perch became highly prized for its tender, plump fillets, hardly meeting the demand at elegant 4-star European restaurants. Huge, empty foreign cargo planes land to export the lake's gourmet bounty, taking out 55 tons of processed fish daily. In their wake, they leave starving villagers to scrounge a meal out of the discarded fish heads and rotting carcasses. With massive epidemics, raging civil wars, crime, homelessness, and drug-addicted children, the question becomes: what do the reportedly "empty" planes deliver to this destitute community? The answer is as shocking as it is devastating, and Darwin's Nightmare becomes a nightmare for all mankind.

            30 Days Season 2, Ep. 2 "Outsourcing" (August 2006, 46 minutes)
Chris Jobin of Mount Vernon, New York - who lost his job to outsourcing in 2003 travels
to  Bangalore, India, where he witnesses how the outsourcing of U.S. jobs has affected the   country's culture.

The Overspent American (2004, Clip: 3 ½ minutes)
            The Overspent American challenges the inevitability of the consumer lifestyle by proposing alternatives to the work and spend cycle that has so many Americans feeling trapped and unfulfilled. The video draws attention to--and ultimately raises serious questions about--the costs (both financial and societal) of relentlessly searching for happiness and identity through consumption.

Overdose: The Next Financial Crisis (2010, 46 minutes)
If you have taken out a mortgage, invested capital or bought shares, likelihood is you lost out in the latest bust. Governments promised decisive action, the biggest financial stimulus packages in history, gargantuan bailouts: but what crazed logic is this, propping up debt with more debt? This documentary brings an entirely fresh voice to the hottest topic of today.



Eminent Domain (2007, 15 minutes)
Introduces students to the history of eminent domain use in the United States and highlights arguments for and against the use of eminent domain for private redevelopment. The program gives students the opportunity to hear stories from three Americans who are fighting to keep their homes and businesses from city officials who want to put their property to more “productive uses.”

Pennies A Day (2006, 13 minutes)
Introducing the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Muhammed Yunus, in the made-for-teachers production titled Pennies A Day. Yunus, himself a teacher, has given very small loans to millions of villagers in rural Bangladesh, enabling poor women to lift their families out of extreme poverty. This video tells the inspiring story and explains how microcredit has become a worldwide phenomenon.

The Great Depression (2007, 12 minutes)
Today, most people blame the depression on the market crash. Some blame it on corruption and income inequality – or on the capitalist system itself. But, there is yet another cause that has fallen through the cracks. Economists know it has more to do with money and the action, or more importantly inaction, of the Federal Reserve Board.

The Price System (2006, 12 minutes)
            In the Price System, two high-school students are researching their homework online when they come across a lecture on free markets given by the Nobel Economist Milton Friedman. Friedman uses, “I, Pencil”, a short story by Leonard Read, to explain how a free-market economy operates. Freidman explains that it is the price system which has enabled the United States to develop, and that the free market enables millions of people to cooperate peacefully on a daily basis.

          The Call of the Entrepreneur (2008, 1 hour & 30 minutes)
                   A merchant banker. A failing dairy farmer. A refugee from communist China. One risked    his savings. One risked his farm. One risked his life. Why do their stories matter? Because how   we view entrepreneurs – as greedy or altruistic, as virtuous or vicious – shapes the destinies of    men and nation.


Critique of a Movie Assignment List


[Note: Only movies on this list are eligible for this assignment.]


Wall Street (Insider Trading Edition) -  (1987)
            Michael Douglas received the 1987 Best Actor Academy Award® for his powerful performance as Gordon Gekko, a financial wizard who lures an ambitious young stockbroker (Charlie Sheen) into the illegal, lucrative world of corporate espionage in this gripping morality tale about the American dream gone wrong.

Wall Street (Money Never Sleeps) – (2010)
            Following a lengthy prison term, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) finds himself on the outside looking in at a world he once commanded. Hoping to repair his relationship with his daughter, Winnie (Carey Mulligan), Gekko forges an alliance with her fiancé, Jake (Shia LaBeouf). But Winnie and Jake learn the hard way that Gekko is still a master manipulator who will stop at nothing to reclaim his rightful place at the top of Wall Street.

The Family Man –  2000
Jack Campbell (Nicolas Cage) is the quintessential Wall Street shark, scoring killer deals by day and shallow escort sex by night. His round-the-clock routine of empty luxuries is disturbed one lonely Christmas Eve when a gun-packing punk (Don Cheadle)--perhaps an angel of mercy--responds to an altruistic gesture from Jack by giving him "a glimpse" of the life he could have had. Could have, that is, if he had married the girlfriend (Téa Leoni) he'd abandoned 13 years earlier, raised two adorable children, worked in his father-in-law's retail tire outlet, and lived happily ever after in suburban New Jersey. Thrust into this "glimpse" of the path not taken, Jack's a single-malt man in a lite-brew world, wondering if he'll ever return to his "better" life of callous wealth and solitude--or if he even wants to.

Out of Sight – 1998
Out of Sight was one of the best movies of 1998, but ironically this superior crime comedy was a box-office disappointment. Fortunately the movie can enjoy a long life on home video, where it can be savored by anyone who missed its original release. The movie's a prime showcase for the talent and chemistry of George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, respectively playing a career bank robber who's escaped from jail and the federal agent who falls for his charms while tracking him down. theatrical trailers, and more.

Seabiscuit – 2003
Hillenbrand's acclaimed history of Seabiscuit, the knobby-kneed thoroughbred who "came from behind" in the late 1930s to win the hearts of Depression-weary Americans.

The Man Who Wasn’t There – 2001
An unassuming barber with a scheming wife (Frances McDormand) and a serious smoking habit, Ed Crane (Billy Bob Thornton) is an onlooker to his own life, a ghostly presence set against a silver-toned film noir backdrop. Only when he decides to alter his fate by blackmailing his wife's lover (James Gandolfini) in order to invest with a traveling salesman (Jon Polito) touting the wave of the future--dry cleaning--do we begin to hear the full extent of Ed's understated, existential lament. As his lawyer (Tony Shalhoub) says in Ed's defense at his eventual trial for murder, "He is modern man."

Waterworld – 1995
Waterworld stars Kevin Costner as the Mariner, a lone maverick with gills and webbed feet who navigates the endless seas of Earth after the complete melting of the polar ice caps. The Mariner has been caged like a criminal when he's freed by Helen (Jeanne Tripplehorn) and enlisted to help her and a young girl (Tina Majorino) escape from the Smokers, a group of renegade terrorists led by Dennis Hopper in yet another memorably villainous role. It is too bad the predictable script isn't more intelligent, but as a companion piece to The Road Warrior, this seafaring stunt-fest is adequately impressive.

Reality Bites – 1994
Ben Stiller's directorial debut was this sporadically successful twentysomething comedy that tries too hard to codify the generational experience of its young adult characters. Winona Ryder plays a still-unformed woman struggling with career and relationship issues, Janeane Garofalo portrays her best friend, and Ethan Hawke and Stiller play the two lovers pursuing her. The story is as also about generation-X confusion over how to get by in a hand-me-down world with not much to get excited about, a world filled with a pop culture currency of bad music and poetry slams.

It’s A Wonderful Life – 1946
George Bailey (played superbly by James Stewart) grows up in the small town of Bedford Falls, dreaming dreams of adventure and travel, but circumstances conspire to keep him enslaved to his home turf. Frustrated by his life, and haunted by an impending scandal, George prepares to commit suicide on Christmas Eve. A heavenly messenger (Henry Travers) arrives to show him a vision: what the world would have been like if George had never been born. The sequence is a vivid depiction of the American Dream gone bad, and probably the wildest thing Capra ever shot (the director's optimistic vision may have darkened during his experiences making military films in World War II).

Traffic – 2000
Featuring a huge cast of characters, the ambitious and breathtakingTraffic is a tapestry of three separate stories woven together by a common theme: the war on drugs. In Ohio, there's the newly appointed government drug czar (Michael Douglas) who realizes after he's accepted the job that he may have gotten into a no-win situation. Not only that, his teenage daughter (Erika Christensen) is herself quietly developing a nasty addiction problem. In San Diego, a drug kingpin (Steven Bauer) is arrested on information provided by an informant (Miguel Ferrer) who was nabbed by two undercover detectives (Don Cheadle and Luis Guzmán). The kingpin's wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones), heretofore ignorant of where her husband's wealth comes from, gets a crash course in the drug business and its nasty side effects. And south of the border, a Mexican cop (Benicio Del Toro) finds himself caught between both his home country and the U.S., as corrupt government officials duke it out with the drug cartel for control of trafficking various drugs back and forth across the border.

Babe – 1995
The surprise hit of 1995, this splendidly entertaining family film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture, director, and screenplay, and deservedly won the Oscar for its subtly ingenious visual effects. Babe is all about the title character, a heroic little pig who's been taken in by the friendly farmer Hoggett (Oscar nominee James Cromwell), who senses that he and the pig share "a common destiny." Babe, a popular mischief-maker the Australian farm, is adopted by the resident border collie and raised as a puppy, befriended by Ferdinand the duck (who thinks he's a rooster), and saves the day as a champion "sheep-pig."

In the Name of the Father – 1993
Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis gives an impassioned performance in this riveting drama that mirrors one man's 15-year struggle and ultimate triumph over a terrible injustice. Oscar winner Emma Thompson co-stars in this gripping film the Los Angeles Times calls, "A politically charged 'Fugitive.'" In the Name of the Father tells the true saga of Gerry Conlon. A petty thief in strife-torn '70s Belfast, Gerry's main interests are getting drunk and partying, much to the dismay of his quiet, frail father Giuseppe (Pete Postlethwaite). When Gerry angers the IRA, his father sends him to England, where his antics land him in the wrong place at the wrong time. Innocent, but forced to confess to a savage terrorist bombing, he is sentenced to life imprisonment as one of the "Guildford Four." An innocent Giuseppe is also arrested and jailed, and while behind bars, Gerry slowly learns that his father's seeming weakness masks an unmatched inner strength and wisdom. Working with a fiercely dedicated lawyer (Thompson), Gerry determines to prove his innocence, clear his father's name and expose the truth behind one of the most shameful legal events in recent history.

Erin Brockovich - 2000
A real woman. A real story. A real triumph. Julia Roberts stars as Erin Brockovich, a feisty young mother who fought for justice any way she knew how. Desperate for a job to support herself and her three children, she convinces attorney Ed Masry (Albert Finney) to hire her, and promptly stumbles upon a monumental law case against a giant corporation. Now, Erin's determined to take on this powerful adversary even though no law firm has dared to do it before. And while Ed doesn't want anything to do with the case, Erin won't take "no" for an answer. So the two begin an incredible and sometimes hilarious fight that will bring a small town to its feet and a huge company to its knees.




Mr. Pauly                    E-mail: Richard-pauly@sac-city.k12.ca.us                Voicemail: (916) 433-5200 x1204


Period _____


Signatures: Please sign, detach, and return to Mr. Pauly on Friday February 4, 2010


STUDENT: I have read the Economics Course Policies and understand them. I will honor them while in Mr. Pauly’s class.

Printed Name: ________________________                                     Date: __________________

Signature: ___________________________



PARENT/GUARDIAN: My child has discussed the Economics Course Policies with me. I understand them and will support them.

Printed Name: _______________________                                       Date: ___________________

Signature: __________________________                                        Phone: __________________

e-mail: _____________________________________________________


TEACHER: I will be fair and consistent in administering the aforementioned policies for all my Economics Classes.

Signature: __________________________                                        Date: ____________________







Here's Mr. Pauly at the end of the school day!






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