Tuesday, February 26, 2008

TV: Economics U$A

I took economics in high school, and I'll venture to say that my teacher, Mr. Davis, was pretty good. And while many people dread economics classes, I rather liked ours. A big reason for that was because Mr. Davis used "Economics U$A," one of the most famous and successful telecourses ever devised. As geeky as this sounds, we eventually came to love the wry commentary of Richard Gill and the corny '80s fanfares that punctuated each episode.

You can watch episodes of the show here for free (registration required, but it's pretty painless). Each episode deals with a specific economic concept or dilemma (e.g. "Supply and Demand," "Stagflation"). The series tends to skew libertarian (especially in episodes dealing with international trade), but, on a whole, it's way more balanced than you'll see on the network news. Most of the series was made in the '80s, so it's a bit dated, but a few episodes have been updated.

The popularity of the series has resulted in some parodies and homages from high-schoolers across the country:


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