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THIRD RULE OF INEQUALITY: The third of seven basic rules of the economy. It is a fact of life that resources, income, and wealth are not equally distributed. Some people have more and some people have less. Why is this so? We can look to the age-old distinction between nature and nurture for insight. On the nature side, some people are born with more talents, abilities and intelligence than others, which they use to gain ownership and control of income-generating and wealth-producing resources. On the nurture side, some people work harder to develop skills, acquire education, and uncover opportunities that lead to ownership and control of income-generating and wealth-producing resources (human capital).

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Lesson Contents
Unit 1: The Fed
  • King Clarence
  • What It Is
  • Unit 1 Summary
  • Unit 2: What It Does
  • Money Control
  • Instability
  • Unit 2 Summary
  • Unit 3: The Fed Pyramid
  • Overview
  • Top
  • Middle
  • Base
  • Unit 3 Summary
  • Unit 4: Monetary Policy
  • Overview
  • Overview: Graphs
  • Open Market Operations
  • Discount Rate
  • Reserve Requirements
  • Moral Suasion
  • Unit 4 Summary
  • Unit 5: Issues
  • Policies
  • Unit 5 Summary
  • Course Home
    Federal Reserve System

    In this lesson, we take a detailed look at the government entity that is directly responsible for controlling the money supply and undertaking business-cycle stabilizing monetary policy -- the Federal Reserve System. The Federal Reserve System is the U.S. economy's number one bank regulator. And they do this regulation with the goal of ensuring the that the nation has just the right about money to avoid high rates of unemployment and inflation. To understand how the Federal Reserve System does it's job, we take a close look at how it is structure and policy tools it has under its' control.

    • The first unit introduces the Federal Reserve System, with a discussion of King Clarence and his role in assisting the operations of Fred the Goldsmith.
    • In the second unit we take a look at the importance of controlling the banking system, and the consequences if the control is ineffective.
    • The structure of the Federal Reserve System is examined in the third unit, with the highlights being the Chairman of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Open Market Committee.
    • The fourth unit then explores the assorted policy tools used by the Federal Reserve System to control the banking system and the money supply, including open market operations, discount rate, and reserve requirements.
    • We close out this lesson in the fifth unit with a few thoughts on the role politics play in the formulation of monetary policies.

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    GOOD TYPES

    The economy produces four distinct types of goods based on two key characteristics -- consumption rivalry and nonpayer excludability. Consumption rivalry arises if consumption of a good by one person prevents another from also consuming. Nonpayer excludability means potential consumers who do not pay for a good can be excluded from consuming. Private goods are rival in consumption and easily subject to the exclusion of nonpayers. Public goods are nonrival in consumption and the exclusion of nonpayers is virtually impossible. Near-public goods are nonrival in consumption and easily subject to exclusion. Common-property goods are rival in consumption and not easily subject to exclusion. Private goods can be efficiently exchanged through markets. Public, near-public and common-property goods cannot, but require some degree of government involvement for efficiency.

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    Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time browsing through a long list of dot com websites looking to buy either a small palm tree that will fit on your coffee table or several magazines on fashion design. Be on the lookout for bottles of barbeque sauce that act TOO innocent.
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