Unit 15: Retirement and Healthcare

Jim’s Guide

For this unit you still have reading assigned from the textbook (see below).  But, instead of an extended “Jim’s Guide” comments here from me, I’m going to provide some links to posts I’ve made on my public economics blog, econproph.com, that deal with the topic of fairness and income distribution.  You need to read the following links:



Reading Guide – Assigned Readings

In addition to the Jim’s Guide (above), you should read and study in your Mandel Economics: The Basics textbook:

Chapter 18 – Economics of Retirement and Healthcare
Jim’s Comment: I have some serious problems with this chapter in the Mandel book.  There are several points in this chapter where Mandel is either factually false or he presents an over-simplified and misleading view of how Medicare and Social Security work or their status. The early sections of this chapter dealing with life cycle theory, sources of income for retired Americans, and retirment plans are reasonably OK.  However, the presentation of Social Security is factually inaccurate and highly misleading.  It leads the reader to think that Social Security is a program with financing problems that likely will either not be there in the future or will have greatly reduced benefits.  This is an incorrect.  It’s a common perception, but it’s based on misunderstandings.  To learn how things really are, pay close attention to my posts above and the closer look section.

Practice Quiz

Click here for the Unit 15 practice quiz.  The practice quiz will open in a new tab/window.


No worksheet.

Closer Look



What’s Next?

We’ve completed the course!  All that’s left is to take the final exam.