The Power of Markets

Use specially-selected segments from John Stossel's television program and specials to explain economic concepts in your high school or college classroom. John Stossel's engaging approach will inspire interest in your students and liven up the discussion in your classroom.

This 80-minute DVD (our newest Economics DVD, released 2014) provides a set of 16 video clips from John Stossel's most recent shows. The clips are grouped into five main categories and focus on microeconomic concepts. The entire set compares and contrasts resource allocation based on market decisions with the actual effects on allocation caused by government regulation of the market. While much regulation and market interference might be made with good intentions, the actual outcomes should be used to determine the merits of that regulation. This DVD program will enhance your coverage of basic concepts and empower your students to think more critically. The DVD includes:

  • 16 video segments with English and Spanish subtitles (2-8 minutes each)
  • A comprehensive Instructor's Manual (63+ pages, English and Spanish versions)
  • Test bank of multiple-choice questions (English and Spanish versions)
  • A Slide Show presentation to enhance your classroom presentation (English only)

For each of the 16 video segments, the Instructor's Guide provides a list of the concepts covered, lesson objectives, a brief description of the video, a preview question to help you introduce the clip in an exciting manner, discussion and analysis questions, and an extension activity.

The video segments are divided into five sections:

PART 1: THE ROLE OF MARKETS

PART 2: ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND CREATIVE DESTRUCTION

PART 3: INTERFERING WITH MARKETS

7. Price Gouging Isn't So Bad

Thirty-one states enforce “price gouging” laws, which restrict the amount sellers can increase prices after a natural disaster. Art Carden suggests these laws interfere with market signals, distort resource allocation, and actually harm the people they are supposed to help. By artificially holding prices down, the incentives to produce and bring those items to the people who need them are also lowered.

8. Efficiency of Private Sector Versus Government

Goods and services produced by government agencies cost more and aren't as good as those same goods and services offered by private sector businesses. Former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels uses the example of a toll road to illustrate the differences in incentives and outcomes to compare government to private production.

9. Natural Disasters, Government Stimulus, and Economic Growth

Some people claim that natural disasters such as hurricanes "are not harmful to the economy because there's so much extra work involved in reconstruction." John dispels that myth by interviewing Sallie James and David Henderson, who point out that the money spent on reconstruction could have been spent on producing a new item instead of replacing an existing item. The same principle applies to government stimulus spending. While government spending does create new items, the taxes used to produce those items could have been directed at other activities to create wealth. With either reconstruction or government stimulus, the spending only redistributes jobs and production; it doesn’t create them.

PART 4: COSTS OF REGULATION AND FRAUD

PART 5: EFFECTS OF GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS