INCOME: Students will understand that: Income for most people is determined by the market value of the productive resources they sell. What workers earn primarily depends on the market value of what they produce.
Students will be able to use this knowledge to: Predict future earnings based on their current plans for education, training, and career options.
In a market economy, wages and salaries the prices of labor services are determined just as other prices are, by the interaction of buyers and sellers. The buyers of labor services are employers. They are willing to pay higher wages and salaries to those employees who can produce more or better goods or services in a given amount of time. Students who understand this will appreciate the value of the skills they can acquire by completing high school, and perhaps college or a vocational training program.
Understanding the forces affecting wages and other sources of income will be increasingly important in the future, when workers may change employers and careers more often than in the past. Regardless of the occupations or industries in which today's students eventually work, they are likely to find that they will have to continue their education and training to maintain or increase their earnings.
SPECIALIZATION: Students will understand that: When individuals, regions, and nations specialize in what they can produce at the lowest cost and then trade with others, both production and consumption increase.
Students will be able to use this knowledge to: Explain how they can benefit themselves and others by developing special skills and strengths.