The U.S. has run annual trade deficits since the 1970s, importing more goods than it exports and posting a more modest trade surplus in services

U.S. has run annual trade deficits since the 1970s



Following on your first collaborative project, all students will be required to complete a second project that will focus on a difficult area of public policy.   This project will require each group to present answers to a series of questions pertaining to business /government interaction on important contemporary problems.


The project will once again consist of individual segments prepared by individual students.  The Group will get an overall grade, as was the case in the first project, but I will make adjustments as necessary – up or down — to reflect individual performance.


As we have discussed in class, the topics will reflect a serious, intractable national problem that affects both business and government and which neither sector can solve on its own.   Collaboration among government, business, and the non-profit sector is indispensable.


Topic Issue
Budget /Annual Budget Deficit The Annual Budget Deficit
The National Debt Short and Long-Term Consequences
Cyber Security A National Cyber Strategy
Infrastructure Re-imagining the Future
Education Future Financing of Education
Energy Feasibility of Renewable Energy
Financial Institutions The Proper Role of the Federal Reserve
Health Care Which Model will Work in the US?
Immigration Near Term Action; Long Term Solutions
International Trade How to Restore Balance
Economic Development The Salton Sea
Homelessness in Southern California A Worsening Problem


The project will officially kick off this week and the presentations will be made during Week 10.  The project will involve researching the specific problem area that has been assigned to your Group.  The project will require you to (a) utilize and incorporate class readings and material, (b) conduct outside research, (c) develop a group PowerPoint (or similar) brief, and (e) summarize your contributions to the project in a short paragraph and include it within the PowerPoint presentation.




The project will be a briefing presentation similar the ethics project. For those doing group projects, I would like the PowerPoint presentation to also include a short description of the contribution of each group member.  I will also inquire of each group each week to find out which group members have been participating.  There can be NO passing grade without FULL participation in group activities.


The consolidated PowerPoint and consolidated paper will be submitted in the Assignment Folder by the last day of WEEK 10.


Below is a brief description of each question:


  1. Problem.   Describe the current problem that the issue presents to the nation. Indicate what the impact of not solving the issue will cause and why you think it has not been solved. On a scale of 1 (Low) to 5 (How), identify how urgent you think the problem, explaining your answer.


  1.   Equities.   List specific business and government equities or interests that your group believes MUST be reflected in any solution.  They will be very different for both the government and the business community – even on the same issue.  For example for cyber security, the government will be considered highly vulnerable until it can facilitate the development of a national cyber security strategy.   On the other hand, many businesses believe that is in their own interest to focus on protecting their company and its assets, and have little interest in participating in a national strategy where much information is required to be shared.   List the equities from your group’s perspective and draw some conclusions about the concerns of both sides, and how they may be reconciled.


III.   Business Centric Solution.   In this section, the group should identify a solution that they believe would be primarily in the interests of the business community. For example, in the area of health care, the business community may prefer a policy that permits more flexibility in determining levels of participation. Try to find an example of a private sector solution and briefly describe the kinds of policy preferences this would result in.  And answer the question – why does government oppose this?


  1. Government Centric Solution.   In this section, the group should identify a solution that government appears to favor. For example, in the case of Energy, the government prefers an emphasis on alternative to fossil fuels. Your project should explain the kinds of policy preferences this would results in.   And answer the question – why does business oppose this?


  1. A Third Way.  The final section of the paper should include an assessment as to whether any of the collaborative models presented in class – such as the mega-community model or some of the approaches discussed in Friedman’s writings offer hope for a better solution and a better future.  Briefly describe the approach you think may be relevant and how you think it might be utilized.   Also provide your assessment of how globalization will influence any solution you might offer. Finally, describe the kind of power/influence that will be required for your solution to be successfully implemented.


  1. VI.   Major Change.  In this section, describe the change that must occur for it to come about.  Also identify the major barriers or resistance to change and how you would propose to overcome them. Finally, on a scale of 1 to 5, identify what your group believes is the likelihood that your “third way” proposal can occur within the next 5 years – and speculate on the overall impact if your recommendations are not achieved.


VII. Individual Contribution.  Each student summarizes his/her contribution to the project. Place the statements in the last section of the power point presentation in 12 pt font. The group leader should include a statement at the beginning of this section that all members of the group concur with these statements.




For the group presentation:


  1. Facilitate a group discussion in which you discuss the topic and issue that your group will work on (number 1 above).   Try to reach a consensus on the specific focus of your project. You either address the whole issue generally, or a specific part (ex. Preference for a single payer health care policy, or the specific issue of health care for the aging population).


  1. Determine the assignments of the various sections above to the students in the group. If a group has less than 6 students, discuss with me an alternative set of assignments.


  1. Prepare a consensus briefing that reflects all of the student input.


  1. Once completed, each member of the group should review the presentation and make recommended changes or indicate his/her agreement with the whole presentation. Be sure to critique each student’s presentation.


Presentation will be made during Week 10 and all project are due on the last day of class..  I look forward to working with you on this project and discussing the many interesting issues you are certain to discover.


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