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Income and Wealth (Economics A-Level): Home

Overall discussion question: To what extent should the government prioritize a fairer distribution of income and wealth?

Introduction

This LibGuide supports a sequence of lessons on Income, Wealth and Poverty. During this period you will be exploring microeconomic causes of inequality through articles on:

and macroeconomic policy interventions through articles on:

At the end of the sequence you will take part in a Spiderweb discussion around the question "To what extent should the government prioritize a fairer distribution of income and wealth?", which will be followed by a formal essay task.

You have been provided with a variety of sources from different sides of the political spectrum and may wish to locate some additional sources yourself, using the hints and tips given on these pages. As you read the sources you should use the Investigative Journal to make notes, and then use these to complete your Key Ideas sheet in preparation for the discussion. You can find electronic copies of both of these resources (and a Glossary sheet that you may also choose to use) in the Notemaking and summarising resources box on the right hand side of every page of this guide.

Your teacher will expect to see your Investigative Journal sheets at various points throughout the process, and will take in your Key Ideas sheet after the discussion.

Recommended Reading (to get you thinking)

Independent logo

Is extreme wealth a greater evil than extreme poverty? (Independent, 2020)

Access via InfoTrac - see box on right for log-in details if required.

This is an excellent article to get you thinking about wealth and poverty which gives one perspective on the role of government in the redistribution of wealth. Can you think of another perspective?

The Independent is a left-centre source rated high for factual reporting by mediabiasfactcheck.com.

 

Who owns all the pie? The size and distribution of Britain's £14.6 trillion of wealth (Resolution Foundation, 2019)

An excellent overview of wealth distribution in Great Britain, which provides a useful introduction to a discussion of the difference between wealth and income.

The Resolution Foundation is a Think Tank which has been accused of being left-leaning and, while it does have people from both ends of the political spectrum in senior positions, it is probably true that it leans more towards the left.

 

 

 

Inequality: is it rising and can we reverse it? (Guardian, 2019)

A wide ranging and well-sourced article looking at how inequality is measured, its consequences and how policy can affect it.

The Guardian is a left-centre source rated high for factual reporting by mediabiasfactcheck.com.


A note about political bias:

You will notice that these are all from left-leaning sources. Since the bottom two are briefings/reports not opinion pieces, and all three are very reputable sources, this is less important than it appears. In the pages that follow, however, we have tried to present a range of sources from different points on the political spectrum, particularly where opinion pieces are used, in order to provide a range of perspectives.

Curriculum Librarian for Upper School

Access to Infotrac

InfoTrac Newspaper Collection (password for access from home here) contains the full text of articles from:

  • The Daily (and Sunday) Telegraph
  • The Guardian and Observer
  • The Independent and Independent on Sunday
  • Mail on Sunday
  • The Times and Sunday Times

as well as a range of local papers. This can be useful for finding newspaper articles which are otherwise hidden behind pay walls.

Infotrac logo

Access to the Financial Times

myFT logo

The Financial Times offers free access to school students aged 16-19 (and their teachers/Librarians). Sign up for an individual account while you are logged on using a school wi-fi (or wired) connection:

  • Click here.
  • Scroll down to Check if your school is registered for free access to FT.com
  • Type Oakham in the search box
  • Click on Request your signup link in the Oakham School line, and follow the on-screen instructions

Once you have created your account, you can then use these log in details anywhere - in or out of school.

Notemaking and summarising resources

Use this journal to make notes as you read each article. One page per source.

  • First note key ideas and quotes in the left hand column
  • Then reread these and explain how they relate to the inquiry question in the right hand column.
  • Don't forget to comment on the quality of the source.

You should make notes like this on both the Recommended Reading articles for each section. (If you choose to make notes by hand rather than on screen, use a shortened URL in the source description e.g. bbc.co.uk rather than the full URL of the article).


Once you have completed your reading for each area you can start to transfer your ideas to this summary sheet, which you will use as your notes for the Spiderweb discussion. Don't forget to explain the key Economic ideas for each area in the "basic explanation" box on the left hand side of the sheet, and highlight any key vocabulary so that you can make sure you use it in the discussion.

This sheet should be printed double sided on A3.


You may wish to use this sheet to collect a list of technical terms as you progress through this topic. You might find it helpful to have this list to refer to during the discussion.

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