Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's quiz time again!

OK, one of the byproducts of the Occupy movement is that it is getting people to discuss economics. In this case, this quiz was designed to get you thinking about economic history (particularly US, but also includes world economic history) and some economic concepts that might help you grasp what exactly is going on.

of course, I think most people are pretty confused as to what is going on and what a reasonable solution would be.

There are "answers" to this, but I was hoping to get some discussion going. So, let's see comments!

  1. What was colonial scrip?

  2. What were the Currency Acts of 1751, 1764, and 1773?

  3. What was the economic complaint mentioned in the Declaration of Independence (not tax related).

  4. What were two economic results of the North American Independence Movement?

  5. What was Shays' Rebellion?

  6. If a factory closed, and the laid off workers bought it, sold shares proportional to their investments and reopened the factory: Would that be communism or capitalism?

  7. What do Brook Farm, the Harmony Society (New Harmony, IN), the Shakers, the Amana Colonies, the Oneida Community, The Icarians, Bishop Hill Commune,Aurora, Oregon, and Bethel, MO have in common? I'm going to toss in who were the Diggers and Levellers as well even though I am not sure if they had much influence in the Massachusetts Colony.

  8. What is behavioural economics?

  9. What is the Psychology of the Bubble.

  10. Were there any financial crashes prior to the existence of the Federal Reserve Bank?

  11. What was tulip mania?

  12. What is the intrinsic (natural? Real?) value of gold? Silver?

  13. What are Rai Stones? Tally Stick? (see this interesting blog post for a good answer, which also apples to 12)

  14. If we were still on the gold standard, we would have dollars that were worth $1600 in buying power: discuss.
  15. What is the Big Mac Index (Wikipedia and the people who produce the index have a couple of good pieces on it--wikipedia being the more accessible of the two?)

  16. What are some theories of financial crises?

  17. What are the types of financial crisis?

  18. This comment which is a paraphrase from the TV show Jute City:
    Money is great when it's used as an accounting tool, but it becomes evil when it becomes a commodity.
Have fun!


  1. I'm copying an interaction from another blog regarding one of these questions.

    Black Flag® Says:
    October 27, 2011 at 8:44 am | Reply

    Hey Laci,

    “Oranges are great when used as an accounting tool, but evil with it is an commodity”

    That makes about as much sense as your comment regarding money.

    Money is a commodity and an economic good – no different than any other commodity or economic good.

    Being the most valued, humans tend to reference the value of other things with it.

    If you valued clocks, you reference oranges by the number of clocks necessary to get one.

    “That orange is worth 1/40th of my favorite clock!”

    Because you “account” the rest of your wealth by the equivalency to clocks does not change the nature of the wealth, other goods or clocks.

    lacithedog Says:
    October 27, 2011 at 11:43 am | Reply

    Your response shows you understood the “Money is great when it’s used as an accounting tool” part, but misunderstood the second part “evil with it is an commodity”

    The point of that quote was that money, as an accounting tool is useful.

    It becomes evil when it is traded in a way that is out of control, for example the current complex financial instruments that caused the recent financial disaster. In the show, the point was that crime was driven by the desire for money in and of itself.

    Of course, it makes much more sense in terms of the TV Show where it was used in relation to making money through whatever means necessary.

    A better example is from the Original Survivors, basic plotline 9/10s of the world’s population has died in a plague. In one scene a man is jealously guarding a bag. The next morning he is dead, one of the survivors opens the bag to find it is full of cash, which is worthless due to the economy having collapsed.

  2. You might want to explain that you are referring to an original program on BBC, and not the remake recently playing on BBC America.

    Just to be clear to our larger reading audience...

  3. I didn't know Jute City was on BBC America.

    Oh, Survivors

    Yes, the original 1970s series by Terry Nation (Doctor Who), not the recent remake "based upon" the original.