Monday, 25 November 2013

in-class writing assignment

The take homewriting assignment is to prepare a compare and contrast essay on the topic of a guaranteed basic income such as the scheme heading towards a national referendum in Switzerland right now.

What if a guaranteed basic income were introduced in Poland? Assuming it was implemented, how would it be implemented? Would it be means-based or universal? Would it apply at birth or at some specified age? Who would qualify? How would it impact the economy? We explored these questions and came up with a list of categories that would be impacted:

* Social assistance would likely be scrapped (which is the plan in Switzerland if the referendum succeeds)
* The money supply would be affected but how? Most social assistance is not fungible (housing assistance has to be spent on housing, and so forth)
* Would a GBI stimulate artistic expression?
* What about entrepreneurial activity?
* Would it be cheaper due to administrative savings? Would it result in smaller government?

The ideal essay will make claims based on reasons because of evidence. It will make certain assumptions about what form the GBI would take if it were implemented in Poland. It will compare and contrast a selection of the most relevant areas of society which would be impacted including relevant warrants (connections between claims and reasons which are not self-evident) and it will conclude with an informed opinion whether such a scheme could succeed in Poland (everyone agreed it was impossible) and what are the reasons based on evidence (historic evidence was the most often cited in class) which support their conclusion.

Students can cite any references they have but if they submit electronically, they should use to format it correctly. They can help each other, it's not a test. Hand-written papers using citations can just cite sources inline. I don't think too many sources are necessary.

The aim of this exercise is to demonstrate their understanding of the form and content of an academic compare and contrast essay. paying attention to audience, purpose, style, organisation.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Neil Postman - The End of Education


The title of my book was carefully chosen with a view toward its being an ambiguous
prophecy. As I indicated at the start, The End of Education could be taken to express a severe
pessimism about the future. But if you have come this far, you will know that the book itself
refuses to accept such a future. I have tried my best to locate, explain, and elaborate narratives
that may give nontrivial purposes to schooling, that would contribute a spiritual and serious
intellectual dimension to learning. But I must acknowledge—here in my final pages—that I am
not terribly confident that any of these will work.
Let me be clear on this point. I would not have troubled anyone—least of all, written a book
—if I did not think these ideas have strength and usefulness. But the ideas rest on several
assumptions which American culture is now beginning to question. For example, everything in
the book assumes that the idea of "school" itself will endure. It also assumes that the idea of a
"public school" is a good thing. And even further, it assumes that the idea of "childhood" still
As to the first point, there is more talk than ever about schools' being nineteenth-century
inventions that have outlived their usefulness. Schools are expensive; they don't do what we
expect of them; their functions can be served by twenty-first-century technology. Anyone who
wants to give a speech on this subject will draw an audience, and an attentive one. An even
bigger audience can be found for a talk on the second point: that the idea of a "public school" is
irrelevant in the absence of the idea of a public; that is, Americans are now so different from
each other, have so many diverse points of view, and such special group grievances that there
can be no common vision or unifying principles. On the last point, while writing this book, I
have steadfastly refused to reread or even refer to one of my earlier books in which I claimed
that childhood is disappearing. I proceeded as if this were not so. But I could not prevent myself
from being exposed to other gloomy news, mostly the handwriting on the wall. Can it be true,
as I read in The New York Times, that every day 130,000 children bring deadly weapons to
school, and not only in New York, Chicago, and Detroit but in many venues thought to provide
our young with a more settled and humane environment in which to grow? Can it be true, as
some sociologists claim, that by the start of the twenty-first century, close to 60 percent of our
children will be raised in single-parent homes? Can it be true that sexual activity (and sexual
diseases) among the young has increased by 300 percent in the last twenty years? It is probably
not necessary for me to go on with the "can it be true's?." Everyone agrees and all signs point to
the fact that American culture is not presently organized to promote the idea of childhood; and
without that idea schooling loses much of its point.
These are realistic worries and must raise serious doubts for anyone who wishes to say
something about schooling. Nonetheless, I offer this book in good faith, if not as much
confidence as one would wish. My faith is that school will endure since no one has invented a
better way to introduce the young to the world of learning; that the public school will endure
since no one has invented a better way to create a public; and that childhood will survive
because without it we must lose our sense of what it means to be an adult.

Postman, Neil. The End of Education Redefining the Value of School . 1st. ed. New York: Vintage Books, 1995. Print.

Friday, 25 October 2013

What every young person should know about banking and the economy

By Karolina Rudaś

Banking and the economy are equally important in our lives. I would fairly say that there are ten useful things about banking each young person should be familiar with.

1. Have a current account. In the past we used to keep money at home in a sock. Nowadays it’s not very practical to keep large sums of cash at home.  At time of writing, keeping your savings account in a credit union is recommended.

2. Know how to use a debit card. Both a current account and debit card help you to learn how to use your own funds and economize. If your parents give you pocket money on a monthly basis, just like a salary, by the time you are earning your own salary, you will have learned by trial and error if by no other means, how to plan your monthly expenses.

3. Know how powerful credit is –you can borrow funds to help you to buy things earlier than you could otherwise. Be careful however, interest accumulates. You should understand that owning on credit reduces your monthly costs at the expense of overall costs.

4. Be aware of the interest trap –it’s easy to borrow money but you borrow somebody’s money and repay your own. Before you take another loan ensure you have a reasonable expectation of sufficient future revenue to cover your debt.

5. When you borrow money you have to pay back the capital, interest and fee. Lenders never give money for free. Financial institutions, not banks, tend to charge more but present the offer in disguise.

6. Always read carefully before you sign. If the document states there are general terms as an integral part of the documentation always ask for it and read it. If you don’t understand, ask the clerk, it’s his duty to explain. If you don’t understand, don’t sign.

7. Remember that a credit card is another form of loan. It’s easier to use but you have to repay it just like any other loan. Always be aware of deadlines for repayment and know what your limits are.

8. Know your basic customer rights. It’s always helpful.

9. Security – in the modern world you must have online access to your account. Be sure that your ID and password are safe.

10. Safety of your credit card and debit card – never keep the card in your wallet and never keep your PIN code with your card. The best way is to keep your card is in a Faraday cage– a simple business card case. And remember that three numbers at the back of your card are the most sensitive information (e-payment), so cover them.

With regard to the economy I think that there are many important issues that young people should be aware of. At least they should have basic understanding of the following concepts.

1) Understand what economic growth means for the country.

2) Understand the basic connection between politics and the economy. In general they should be aware that such connections exist.

3) Understand the influence of the global economy on the Polish market. Poland is not an island. Our country has commercial relations with the global economy and therefor is prone to economic austerity.

4) Understand how the Warsaw Stock Exchange works.

5) Understand the foreign exchange market in Poland. Nowadays we are more accustomed to using foreign currencies therefore young people should know how this market works.

6) Understand that inflation can be useful, provided it’s really low (almost crawling).

7) Understand the banking system in Poland.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Rough notes.

Economics phrases

Somebody gets all the benefits, then they make all the costs, now they want somebody else to pay for the costs while they keep all the benefits.

Systemic moral hazard

democracy is asset insurance for the rich - stop skimping on the payments


Tax cuts - reduction in taxes. The immediate effects of a tax cut are a decrease in the real income of the government and an increase in the real income of those whose tax rate has been lowered.

tax revenue - tax based gov income

caught in a slump - in bessa


A short-term debt obligation backed by the U.S. government with a maturity of less than one year. T-bills are sold in denominations of $1,000 up to a maximum purchase of $5 million and commonly have maturities of one month (four weeks), three months (13 weeks) or six months (26 weeks).
T-bills are issued through a competitive bidding process at a discount from par, which means that rather than paying fixed interest payments like conventional bonds, the appreciation of the bond provides the return to the holder.

debt to gdt  - debt to the Gross Domestic Product (a measure of economic power)

repo collateral market - repurchase (repo)

buying and shorting securities.

 In the fixed income market, these transactions are accomplished with the use of the repo market.

 A repurchase agreement, or repo, is a sale of securities for cash with a commitment to repurchase them at a specified price at a future date.

 Practically, the repurchase agreement by itself is simply a collateralized loan.

AAA mortge - The highest possible rating assigned to the bonds of an issuer by credit rating agencies + A temporary, conditional pledge of property to a creditor as security

liquidity crunch -A time when cash resources are in short supply and demand is high. During a liquidity crunch, businesses and consumers are charged high interest rates on loans which are more difficult to obtain. Also known as liquidity crisis and credit crunch.

oecd countries - c. belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

orgy of public spending - borrowing money. spending. No balance to the budget, No sacrifices. galactic scale.

politically unpalatable - not pleasant to taste politically

surplus - excess supply of a produc (nadwyżka)

lax public financing - not sufficiently strict, severe, or careful financing

variable inflation  logical set of inflation assets

soverign - the quality of having independent authority (suwerenność)

lever up - podnosić się

volume/levverage - refers to debt or to the borrowing of funds to finance the purchase of a company's assets.

GDP equivalent - the market value (of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time) equal to smth

GNP - gross national product (GNP) which allocates production based on ownership.

LTROs - Long-term refinancing operations (LTROs); they involve the central bank lending money at a very low interest rate to euro zone banks, which has led to the term “free money.”


Liberalism Emetic Economics - u need the state, but u are afraid of it

Nullify - to deprive (something) of value

parsimony - extreme unwillingness to spend money or use resources.

myopic - short-sighted.

emetic responce -  causing vomiting.

liquidity trap

curtail spending - reduce in extent spending

asset footprint

zero sum against itself - If I lose, you lose so for you to win, I must win but if I win you lose so you must lose.

Housing Crisis - plunging real estate market value of residential properties. Burst housing market bubble.
Federal debt. the amount of debt held by the United States government.
Doomsday device. a device designed to usher in armageddon, apocalypse, total destruction of the world.
What about in the context of the european union?
Fallacy of composition - what's good for any one agent is not good if every agent does it all at the same time.