006) Government: The Inside Scoop

This course will review the operations and finances of local, state, and federal governments. Why are New Jersey taxes so high? How does the federal government manage the economy, especially in times of crises such as COVID-19? How does political ideology affect views on the role of government? Will Medicare and Social Security be there when I retire? How do we fix the broken financing of healthcare? 


Class 1
Functions and finances of municipal, county, state, and federal governments. Why are New Jersey taxes so high? Current fiscal conditions of the State of New Jersey and the federal government.

Class 2
Political Ideology. Liberals v conservatives v socialists v communists. Pros and cons of each. Views of government from the perspective of “blue” and “red” states.

Class 3
Principal characteristics of the US “mixed” economy. Compare/contrast with the economy of China. Fiscal policy v monetary policy. The role of the US Treasury department v the Federal Reserve Bank in managing the economy. Recession of 2008 and the current COVID-19 crisis.

Class 4
Entitlement programs: Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, Obamacare, and welfare. Will they be there when we need them? Ten-year forecasts of program costs and resources.

Class 5
Conclusions. Course review, topics suggested by students.