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  Workshop 3: Public Policy & the Federal Budget  
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Workshop 3

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Student Perspectives: Civic education

Andrew: I find it pretty interesting. I am always trying to pick up new stuff and learn new things. Second of all, it kind of makes you realize how complicated things are in the Congress and how important it is that we take time to deliberate over these things.

Michael: Since I was a little kid the first math I learned was money so I knew that I would enjoy economics. But I didn’t know that I would enjoy the government part as much as I did. It’s really given me an in-depth understanding of how the government works, why it works, why we need it, why it’s important to vote, and why it’s important to do your part, support your legislation, and offer opinions because it’s ultimately from us, the constituents of the legislators, that they get their ideas for bills. Someone said that all it takes for evil to succeed is for enough good men to do nothing. So if we all do nothing then we will just have total chaos.

It’s really important from an early age to introduce these topics and then expand on them as [students] grow in maturity and mental ability. What’s been interesting about this class is that you’re not just studying the Constitution and the Amendments. You are studying economics. Since America is a capitalist system, money is a very important part of the government--actually, I feel the chief part of the government is how to deal with money. So they give you a brief history in economics of how the capitalist system works and then they introduce you to how the government plays an important role in the capitalist system--that it’s not 100 percent capitalist, that the government intervenes to stabilize the economy and why they do that. It’s important to have a firm understanding [of] how the economy works before you can truly understand the government.

Before this year, the only parts of the paper I read was the comics and the sports section. Now, the very least I do in the morning is read the main headline. If I have more time I’ll sit down and read the A section and grab some business news and learn more about what’s going on in the world. Another thing that I’ve been doing in the morning on the way to school when I’m riding with my dad is listen to NPR instead of zoning it out or listening to music.


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