US and World Affairs
Corruption and the Law
Day: 2 Tuesdays and 2 Thursdays (twice per week for two weeks) Time: 1:15-2:45 p.m. Dates: 3/5, 3/7, 3/12, 3/14 Location: UMass Boston, McCormack Hall, 3rd Floor, Room 204 Facilitator: Herman Hemingway Description: This mini-course will examine corruption in government as a statutory crime; its legislative origins; and its prosecution and defense in state and federal courts. The course will be facilitated by Professor Herman Hemingway, but will include guest lecturers.
The Economics of Climate Change
Day: 5 Wednesdays Time: 10-11:30 a.m. Dates: 3/6-4/10 (no class on 3/20) Location: UMass Boston, McCormack Hall, 3rd Floor, Room 204A Facilitator: Dave Timmons Description: The course will briefly review the science of climate change, and it expected global effects. The primary focus will be economics of climate change: what costs are likely associated with climate change, and what are the costs of avoiding it? How do we count costs that occur in the distant future? What economic tools can be used to respond to climate change? Basic economic concepts will be covered, and no previous knowledge is required. A primary source will be the 2006 Stern Review: the Economics of Climate Change, though other sources will be used.
In Safe Hands: True Stories from the United States Customs and Border Protection (VIDEO CONFERENCE)
Day: 4 Mondays Time: 1:15-2:45 p.m. Dates: 3/11-4/1 Location: UMass Boston, Healey Library, Lower Level, Presentation Room 3; also Cordage Park, Plymouth & Hingham Public Library via video conference Facilitator: Michael Cunningham Description: In this course, we look at actual customs seizures and border incidents involving drug smuggling, money laundering, gun-running, people smuggling and terrorist-related events. Mike Cunningham, a retired United States Customs Inspector, shares these stories with a running narrative of how situations developed as each case progressed to a successful conclusion. This course will help the average citizen to better appreciate all the efforts law enforcement is making to ensure this country remains safe and secure.
Failed States and Security Threats in the International System
Day: 6 Wednesdays Time: 10-11:30 a.m. Dates: 3/13-4/17 Location: UMass Boston, McCormack Hall, 3rd Floor, Room 201 (former cafeteria) Facilitator: James Eliscar Description: This course is multi-disciplinary covering aspects related to politics, economics and political economy as these subjects relate to failed states and security threats in the international system. Participants will analyze the socio-economic, political and geo-economic and political forces that contribute to the failure of governance systems in nations/nation-states and how these failures can result in security threats in the international system.
You Bet Your Sweet Assets: Economics in a Changing World (VIDEO CONFERENCE)
Day: 7 Thursdays Time: 10-11:30 a.m. Dates: 3/14-4/25 Location: UMass Boston, Healey Library, Lower Level, Presentation Room 3; also Cordage Park, Plymouth & Hingham Public Library via video conference Facilitator: Randall Holman Description: You can’t make decisions about your financial wellbeing without understanding the economic role of current events. The objective of this course is to stress the essentialness of engaging one’s self with macro and microeconomic theories, concepts, decisions and consequences that guide government policy makers globally. Focusing on “what does this mean to me,” a stronger understanding of economics will be gained to better protect one’s present and future. What is inflation, a recession, Obamacare, and what the heck is the fiscal cliff and how will any of it impact my personal/professional life? What are the economic successes/failures of capitalism, socialism, what are entitlements (Unemployment, Social Security, and Medicare) and can they be feasibly sustained? Is there such a thing as too much government? What are the relationships between supply, demand, pricing and scarcity and what do they mean to me at the grocery store or in my retirement? Sessions begin with a structural look at economic concepts, leading into their connection to current events. Class discussions will be entirely Socratic, fed by the endless supply of impacting news events past and present.
Modern China through Film (VIDEO CONFERENCE)
Day: 6 Mondays Time: 1:15-2:45 p.m. Dates: 4/8-5/20 (no class on 4/15) Location: UMass Boston, Healey Library, Lower Level, Presentation Room 3; also Cordage Park, Plymouth & Hingham Public Library via video conference Facilitator: Vincent Capone Description: China is a nation which is undergoing drastic social and economic changes in the twenty-first century. Home to over 1.6 billion people, China’s fast-paced development has affected its diverse population from the northern steppes of Inner Mongolia to the subtropical island province of Hainan. This course will provide a glimpse into modern China through various Chinese documentaries which focus on evolving social issues within China. Films will delve into big issues facing China’s development such as the plight of migrant workers, the stark contrast between rural and urban life, China’s growing activist organizations, and the underground LGBT community within China.
America’s Financial Crisis: Why Structural Reform is Needed
Day: 7 Mondays Time: 1-3 p.m. Dates: 3/4-4/22 (no class on 4/15) Location: UMass Boston, McCormack Hall, 3rd Floor, Room 201 (former cafeteria) Facilitator: Greg Flynn Description: Why are we over our heads in debt? Why can’t politicians control our debt? What is the real cause of inflation? These questions and topics such as the origin of the Federal Reserve, the role of the international banking system, fractional reserve banking, hedge funds, derivatives, etc. will be discussed. The course will not deal with personal investment decisions, but instead look at the underlying forces in our privatized financial system that continue to threaten savings, undermine the dollar, and the social security system. Due to the power of vested interests, these desperately needed reforms are not generally discussed in the mainstream media.