Public Policy Bootcamp

Rice University

Interested in learning about the goings-on of government and policy, but don't have the time to read through the New York Times every day? Want to impress friends, colleagues, and interviewers about your knowledge of the intricacies of foreign affairs?  This class offers a "crash course" on the workings of public policy on the national level - enough to make you both an educated voter and informed citizen.  Along with lectures, classes will include guest speakers from the Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Course Lectures
  • This week will focus on fiscal policy and how the government uses fiscal policy to address issues such as economic growth (and regress), the debt and deficit, and income equality.

  • This week will focus on the Federal Reserve and how their policies influence and affect the national and global economy by controlling the money supply.

  • This week will focus on a case study comparison of the UK vs. the US, which currently offer starkly differing approaches to fiscal policy in the face of a recession (austerity vs. stimulus). The class will get a bigger picture of how fiscal policy and monetary policy intersect to influence national—and global—economics

  • This week will focus on Wall Street, how it functions, and the changes to financial regulation, including the recent Dodd-Frank legislation.

  • This week will focus on how economic decisions actually influence ordinary Americans. This week will also pose the question: "what is the role of government in ordinary Americans' lives?" The class will the notion of the social safety net, including a discussion about the past, present, and future of Social Security.