Monday, January 19, 2009

Econ4U


Despite the lame "text talk" name (an obvious attempt to lure in a young target audience), ECON4U actually holds a wealth of information. I have highlighted some of the huge economic challenges that our nation faces, as well as the dearth of economic literacy in our population. Some scary factoids:

  • Though the top 1 percent of income earners pays 40% of the total taxes, a majority of Americans mistakenly believes that middle and lower income citizens pay the highest tax rate.
    -National Public Radio, Kaiser Family Foundation and the Kennedy School of Government survey

  • Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed did not know that in times of inflation money does not hold its value.
    -NCEE Harris poll

  • Most Americans believe that corporate profits average nearly 50% of revenue, when in fact the average is 8%.
    -Kaiser Family Foundation and The Washington Post survey

  • 48% of American credit card owners only pay their minimum monthly payment each month.
    -Senate Resolution 48, 2003
Most parents are unprepared to teach children about money, and the curriculum is simply not required in many states. Heck, most of our elected officials have no formal business or finance training. Those who are not lucky to have an education in money matters are left to figure things out alone.

This website is a great place to start. There are explanations and tutorials for many important topics: Short term loans, Student loans, Car loans, Mortgages, as well as good budgeting tips. Also be sure to check out the quizzes covering a wide range of subjects: Taxes, Investing, Entrepreneurship, Home ownership and Government spending.

While geared toward a young crowd, even the most seasoned economic mind might get stumped on some of the quiz questions. I think there is always room for education, especially in today's economic climate.

4 comments:

Myraine said...

It seems to me that your site has a lot of interesting and informative articles. Surely, I will introduce it to my friends. Keep it up!

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Anonymous said...

Econ4U is a total fraud, created by a lobbyist specializing in representing big tobacco and payday lenders. Nice.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.phptitle=Employment_Policies_Institute

Chief said...

First off, your link is broken. Secondly, I appreciate the heads-up on its affiliation with Employment Policies Institute and the FirstJobs Institute. It is important to know the source of information, and perhaps shed some light on the motives of its dissemination - I was unaware of this fact, and assumed good faith.

That being said, I would hesitate to call the site a "total fraud". Americans certainly need economic education, and I still would say this is an alright place to pick up some good information. The 8 budgeting tips I linked to would be good for everyone to review - especially our elected officials, currently contemplating how to spend a trillion dollars that we don't have.

So, lesson learned...take all sources with a grain of salt. If you wish to believe sourcewatch is unbiased and non-partisan, more power to you.

Anonymous said...

The correct link is
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Employment_Policies_Institute

Here's another link talking about a lot of the pro-business campaigns frequently seen in the DC Metro area:

http://www.infosnack.org/2008/09/metro-center-advertising-front-groups.html