Writing Assignment 3
Economics 103-16-17

November 2006

     Over the past decades there has been ample debate over the most effective ways to achieve economic stabilization.  Between 1992 and 2000 we saw a period of sustained economic growth leading to government budget surpluses replacing deficits that had accumulated for years.  Today, those surpluses have turned again to deficits--at least in part due to expenditures for war and homeland security, and tax cuts.  Some argued that the achievements of that decade were due to good fortune as well as effective fiscal and monetary policy.  Others including Barry Bluestone (Critical Thinking section) note that perhaps it was expenditures from another era that gave birth to the technological advances in the 1990s.  In his article, Bluestone notes why he believes we increasingly are missing the mark with our economic focus.  While September 11 changed our economic and military focus, some of the larger questions that Bluestone raises are perhaps even more timely.  Indeed, in the 11.8.06 Business Day section of the New York Times, David Leonhardt examines some of these problems and outlines discussions that are taking place to inspire “fresh economic ideas,” (“Election’s Over. Now to Tackle the Realities”).
    In a 3-4 page editorial or opinion piece for the New York Times, focus on one or more of the economic issues which must be considered in developing an economic policy aimed at long term growth for the economy.  (Remember your policy still needs to be mindful of long-term economic growth and stability goals.)  You may choose combine aspects of monetary policy and/or fiscal policy in your essay.

     This essay should show:
            1.  your knowledge of these fundamental macroeconomic concepts;
2.  your understanding of the results and potential consequences of economic policies and                     macroeconomic goals and;
            3.  your ability to apply economic theory to the development of an economic policy.

             Please hand in your essay, peer review sheet and accompanying drafts, in class, Thursday, November 30th.  A near final draft should be completed and brought to class on Thursday, November 16.  Conferences with a writing tutor (X-3141) should be scheduled before November 28th.

  1. Brainstorm about ideas for paper/prewrite
  2. Thursday, November 16  - Bring a draft of paper to class
  3. Tuesday November 28th - Finalize and edit paper
  4. Thursday, November 30th - Paper due at class time

Checklist and Evaluation Criteria:

1.  Does the paper provide sufficient information for the reader to understand the concepts?
            2.  Does the author show knowledge of economic theory and policy?
            3.  Does the writer show knowledge of the subject matter?
            4.  Are the arguments presented relevant and clearly stated?
            5.  Is there a logical development of information in the paper?
            6.  Does each paragraph follow a logical sequence?
            7.  Is there a clear statement of purpose?
            8.  Is the argument consistent?
            9.  Have transitions been made within and between paragraphs?
          10.  Has sentence structure and spelling been checked?
          11.  Are active verbs used?
          12.  Is there an adequate conclusion?
          13.  Could this be sent to the New York Times?
          14.  Has the author followed the assignment?