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FED [ucation]


So, you’re a typical, well-informed citizen, right? Ask yourself the following questions:

>> What does it mean to say that gross domestic product has increased?

>> What is a federal budget deficit?

>> What type of investment has the greatest risk of losing value due to inflation?


The answers, respectively, are:

>> The amount of final goods and services produced has increased.

>> The federal government’s outlays for a year are greater than its revenue for that year.

>> Keeping your savings hidden as cash.

And if you got one or more answers wrong, don’t feel bad. You have something in common with a majority of American adults, at least according to the National Council on Economic Education (NCEE), which asked these questions as part of a quiz included in its 2005 Standards in Economics Survey, given to 3,512 adults and 2,242 students.

Based on the results of the 20-question quiz, adults got an average grade of 70 (a C) for their knowledge of economics, while the average score of students was 53—a failing grade. In its executive summary of the survey, the NCEE remarked, “A majority of high school students do not understand basic concepts in economics.”

Charles Wu, a senior at Marquette High School in west St. Louis County, Mo., isn’t one of them.


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