Plain Sense Economics

How to Use This Site

The OLLI Home Page gives general information on the course.

In the top menu find the right class - Part 1 or Part 2 or Healthcare. Each of the individual class sessions have pages with more information and resources.

Feel free to read (and comment!) on the Plain-Sense Blog - Go to Plain Sense Home

Contact Information - Doug Gentry


Phone: 541-261-8501


Question: Should we rely on the free market to do "the right thing" or is government intervention inevitably necessary?

Historically the pendulum has swung back and forth between free market, laissez faire commitments and heavier government control over markets. It is probably fair to characterize the late 1990s and early 2000s as a time when free market supporters had the upper hand. Now there seems to be a backlash. Where should we, as an economic society, end up on this pendulum swing?


Economic Concepts We'll Cover

  1. Demand - Supply - Equilibrium
  2. Adam Smith's Invisible Hand
  3. Deadweight Loss (due to Government Intervention)
  4. Price ceilings and price floors

Some Online Markets

  • eBay (of course)
  • Intrade - excellent example of the wisdom of mobs, and the importance of financial incentives. See the highlighted markets on the home page. Nothing on the NCAA Basketball Championship, but if you put American Idol in the search box you can see the various predictions for the 2009 winner.
  • Have your favorite market? Send a note to Doug to make this list longer and stronger.

YouTube Tutorial on Shifts in Demand and Supply