The Return of the Best Economics 1 Lecturer Ever — Plus One

This fall was a great quarter to teach the introductory course (Economics 1 at Stanford) with plenty of good examples from Occupy Wall Street, the crisis in Europe, the continuing debate in Washington over economic policy, and the rising federal debt. Unfortunately nothing much has changed about the debt as I tried to illustrated with the return of a guest lecturer.  

In 2009 I invited this guest lecturer to my Economics 1 class to illustrate the burdens of the debt on future generations.  Though only a few months old, the guest lecturer turned out to be the best ever (here is a  video excerpt). Students in that class still remember her message as she looked up at the exploding debt chart on the big screen, and said “fix it.”

So this fall I invited her back to this year’s Economics 1 class , and her brother joined her, as seen in this second video excerpt (click on the closed caption option as the audio is weak).  Again she looked up at the chart on the big screen in the lecture hall , and again it was “scary.” In fact, it was even worse! Unfortunately, no one has fixed it, either in 2009,  2010, or 2011. I said I’d like to keep bringing them back as guest lecturers until it is fixed. 

(The chart in the first video was developed from Congressional Budget Office data from the long term projection made in 2009; the chart in the second video is from the CBO long-term projection made in 2011.)
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