The North Korea Files   Leave a comment

nk2Link: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/07/23/204851751/episode-474-the-north-korea-files

Summary: Report on an investigation into U.S. citizens who seek to engage in trade with North Korea.  Examples include companies seeking to trade for profit and to market new goods, individuals wanting kitsch goods, and religious organizations seeking a point of entry to the country. Includes discussions on sanctions and the political considerations of each government as they consider these appeals to engage in trade.

Length: 23:21 min

Original air date: July 23, 2013

Discussion Prompt (1): This podcast discusses a situation in which trade is (largely) prohibited.  What are some of the reasons for people or nations engaging in trade that are discussed in the podcast?

Follow-up Prompt (1): Can anyone suggest additional reasons that trade might take place (in addition to those discussed in the podcast)? Think more generally about nations engaging in trade beyond the particular case of N. Korea and the rarity of those goods.

Discussion Prompt (2):  Recognizing that N. Korea is an extreme example, what do you see as the pluses and minuses of a country having a more centrally planned or command type economic structure? Be sure to make comparisons to other types of economic systems.

Follow-up Prompt (2): Thinking about the role of government in a centrally planned economy, how do you think the role of incentives is different in a centrally planned economy than in a market economy? Give specific examples.

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