The Power of Messaging, Media, and the Potential Economic Impact – Collective OpEd

As we wrap up the semester, hopefully the realization that you have been knee deep in Economics since you were 2 years has been made abundantly clear. Economics is all about choices. When we consider what influences our decisions, you begin to see a much bigger picture of the overall. REMEMBER: IF YOU CONTROL THE MESSAGE…YOU CONTROL EVERYTHING. We talked extensively about that as it has significant economic, as well as societal, political, and cultural impact. We also talked about my 3 P’s pf Information: Position (from what position am I viewing this) Perspective (what filter/bias/belief etc based on my experience am I using when I view/hear the information) and Purpose (what am I going to do with this information? And/or why is this information being shared? What is its purpose? Also…What is the intent of the sharer of the information? – of course, you must consider the 3 P’s when thinking about the sharer. Whew…much to consider). If we don’t truly apply and consider the 3 P’s, we will likely not apply or consider the information critically, with discernment, or effectively.

When we begin to view and/or accept information critically, using the 3 P’s as a basis, guide, we are able to see it in multiple levels, purposes, and through various lenses. This IS thinking critically. It enables us to get closer to the truth. Believe it or not, there is an element of truth (the level of truth always varies) in every message, news story, statement, etc… However, if we are not able to recognize the see through the layers of bias, intentions, agendas, etc…we will be at the mercy of the message’s deliverer. Remember: If you control the message…you control everything. I can’t say that enough.

Here is what I want you to do. I want you to think about the state our country is in. I am not going to share my perspectives, thoughts, or lead you in any direction. However, believe me…we could write countless volumes and volumes and volumes on what we are looking at. I don’t want you to do that. But, I do want you to look at this at as many levels, through as many lenses, and from as many societal aspects as you can think of.  I want you to really dive in, think well below the surface, and provide some insights…drawing your own conclusions and thinking critically.

I am going to provide some questions that I want you to consider and provide a short, but thorough and thought out response, citing sources where possible and appropriate. More so, I want YOUR perspective and what brought you to that perspective. DO NOT SHARE OR BORROW ANOTHER’S PERSPECTIVE BASED SOLELY ON THE FACT THAT YOU DON’T BELIEVE YOURS IS VALID OR RELEVANT. You are smart, intelligent, capable of thought and thinking critically. Your perspective matters and is relevant. NOTE: There are really no right or wrong answers here when we talk about perspectives. There may be some factual inaccuracies, skewed data, etc…that help to influence your perspective or that you may have or be sharing. We all deal with that every day. But, the purpose is to begin building your perspectives, developing your lenses and critical thinking tools…to get you to THINK and THINK CRITICALLY, questioning everything as well as your own viewpoint. Questioning is good. It is how we learn and how we form and establish ownership of perspectives. It also adds depth and strength to our opinions.

For this to be effective and worthwhile, we must have and exhibit intellectual courage. Intellectual courage is when we honestly consider viewpoints and perspectives that differ from our own. We seem to have lost the ability to have honest discourse or opinions on this country. If someone doesn’t think like we do, we dismiss them, their perspectives, which maintains our tunnel vision slavery to a messenger.

Intellectual courage does one of three things:

    • 1- solidify and/or strengthen our perspectives and opinions…especially because we have seriously considered those that we don’t agree with and thus know opposing positions and viewpoints well as ours (which is key to winning any debate – more on that later).
    • 2- causes us to change/alter/re-evaluate our perspectives and opinions through honest consideration of opposing or previously unknown perspectives or information.
    • Or, 3 – hits a nerve in us causing us to have a desire to find out more or to dive deeper into an area, perspective, subject matter, discipline, etc…

Regardless, we learn something. More importantly, our perspectives and opinions have substance and can be substantiated and defended by…well…us. When we borrow someone’s perspective or opinions, we will have a difficult time explaining them and defending hem when they are questioned. This is, in my opinion, the biggest reason why young people do not think their viewpoint is relevant or important, outside of apathy (which is prevalent in every age bracket) is because they really don’t know why they think the way they do, not sure if they can explain it, or cannot defend it when challenged.

Here we go…

The filter we are using for this exercise is Economic Impact.

Below are links to four sources gathered from the weekend of May 2-3. Additionally, there is an image of where all of the states stand on reopening their economics. Spoiler Alert: each of them provides a different number of corona virus related deaths. One states 60,000 have died, another states 50,000, another 57,000, and another just over 37,000. Before you read through the articles, write down the source below that you think it associated with each total. After you read through them, see if you were right.

Link to NY Times Image & Interactive Map  







There are two questions I want you answer. Consider scarcity, broad social goals, types of economic systems (global), and the interconnectedness of the US and global economies. One will be using the reopening map and the other will be a combination of it, the four sources, and your own deep level thinking.

  1. Using the map from a simple visual perspective and the interactive map within the NY Times article, 1. What are some of the positive and negative aspects of the re-opening of state economies and 2. What could be some of the barriers, both short and long term?
Longer-Term and Broader Lens (include as many “lenses” mentioned above as you wish. Trust me, the more the merrier!)
  1. Considering the map, the four sources and the overall messaging surrounding the corona virus pandemic, What do you think the impact of the messaging provided will have on the current and future US and world economy, and why?

Think about the following when you answer:

  • Apply the 3 P’s t the messaging and messengers – this should open up and reveal multiple layers and spark quite a bit of questions.
  • Some questions to consider:
    • Given the stark contrast and difference in stated numbers of corona virus related deaths, who do we listen to and/or believe?
      • What might influence that decision?
    • With much that has been made of media inaccuracies and sensationalism, from both conservative and liberal outlets, does this influence believability and/or tustworthiness?
    • What might we assume about readers or viewers of the sources and how might that impact the response?
      • Why, if at all, is this question relevant?


Now…this exercise has the potential of being an ideological powder keg. If you don’t know what a powder keg is, look it up! What we need to do is to remember this is an academic exercise that is intended to spark thought, expand perspectives, and prompt an interest and give application to critical thinking and deduction. This is not an exercise to attack or demean. Let’s be the example of how varied perspectives can be shared respectively: Respect the Perspective.

I look forward to great responses and comments.

Feel free to post your comments below or send them to me directly by emailing me at 

Coronavirus Quarantine Reading List

Hello, all. In this crazy time of quarantines and shelter in place orders, we find ourselves with an opportunity of relative “downtime”. With that, we have a few choices. One of those is to make some investments into our intellectual and human capital. With every generation, we seem to digress a bit in our intellectual courage…in our ability to think critically, analyze, have civil discourse. Most importantly…we seem to be losing our ability to have our own opinion, our own perspectives…one that we can defend because it is ours, not borrowed.

We live in the greatest country in the history of the world. Despite all that is going on, we live in the greatest time in the history of the world. We have access to more information than ever before. We also live in the most destructive and challenging time in the history of the world. Why? Because we have access to more information than ever before.

What has made America the greatest country in the history of the world, despite everything, are the principles on which it was founded, the systems that enabled it to become the greatest creator or wealth and philanthropy ever, and most importantly, the people that came here to live the dream. It was those principles and systems that enabled people, ordinary people, to achieve extraordinary things.

I could stay on my soapbox of American idealism for hours…days…years. I won’t. But, I do want to pass along a list of must reads, reads the EVERY American should read, that can easily be tackled before the order is lifted.

Below is the list. I have provided pdf and web access to all but one. I don’t want any barrier to exist to read them.


The Constitution
  1. The Constitution of the United States 



2. Declaration of Independence



3. Democracy in America by Alexis De Tocqueville




4. The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek




What Coach is reading right now:

Statecraft by Margaret Thatcher




If you have the desire to dive a bit deeper into the US Constitution, here is a must read:

A Familiar Exposition of The Constitution of the United States by Joseph Story



There you have it. I am glad to expand on this reading list and provide some more great reads on topics across the spectrum. Learn much. Think critically. Challenge yourself. Develop YOUR perspective…YOUR opinion…YOUR ideology. Own it. Don’t borrow it.

H1N1 Virus Vaccine Recipient Poll

All right…here it is. When you guys complete the H1N1 Virus Vaccine assignment, go to the poll and mark the three you chose.

If you have any comments, feel free to make them as I would love to hear your thoughts. However, remember that they are viewable by everyone. As such, do not use any offensive language or make offensive comments. Be respectful. Any comments that even remotely fit the above criteria, I will remove. Sorry.


Welcome New Econ Classes…the Online Version!!!

Hello, all. I know things are crazy with this coronavirus and such. Rest assured, everything is going to be okay. Make sure you stay up to speed on the assignments. Don’t allow yourself to get behind.

The Economics page is where you should hang out when you can. Any and all resources can be found there, to include instructions, links, study guides, videos, and so much more. It is your friend.

I will be using Google Classroom while we are out. Your particular class code can be found on the Econ page.

Don’t hesitate to email me if you need anything or if you have any questions.


-Coach Searcy

Access to CHS email and resources during shutdown

From Mrs, Blaydes in the Media Center:

“Please inform your students that if they have trouble accessing their CHS Google Account at home during the shutdown, they should email:  Their email should include: complete name, student ID number and what problems they are having.   You can post this email support address on your blogs, REMIND, SYNERGY, and any other parent communication.”

Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you!


LGE Savings Account Offer – valid 7/31/19 – 10/31/19

AS we have been learning about personal finance in our Economics classes, here is a great offer from LGE Credit Union that is good until 10/31/19. Contact LGE for details and what is required to open an account. The interest rates they are offering on the savings accounts are awesome!!


Drum roll, please… Youth Savings accounts now earn 5.00% APY1 on the first $1,000 in the account, up from $500. Ages 0-17 are now Youth Savings accounts while those ages 18-22 are called Young Adult Savings accounts.

Even better… the rate on Young Adult Savings accounts is a generous 7.00% APY1 on the first $1,000.

If you don’t already have a Youth Savings or a Young Adult Savings account for your child or grandchild, we currently have a new account special where they can receive $50 for joining!2 Visit to find the branch closest to you.

Membership eligibility and $5 minimum balance required.
1 APY = Annual Percentage Yield. Rate effective 09/01/19 and applies to balances up to $1,000; balances greater than $1,000 earn lower rate. 5.00% APY applies only to Youth Savings accounts; 7.00% APY applies to Young Adult Savings accounts. Youth Savings and Young Adult Savings are variable rate accounts.
2 Offer valid 07/01/19 – 10/31/19 (“promotional period”) but may be withdrawn at any time. Bonuses may be taxable. Terms and conditions apply. Offer may not be combined with similar product offers. Offer is only valid for new members who open a new Youth Savings or Young Adult Savings account. Youth Savings and Young Adult Savings accounts are available to members from birth through age 22 and limited to one account per person. Initial deposit of at least $5 must be received during the first 10 days, after which $50 will be deposited into the account within 10 days.

EVERFI Scholarship Opportunity

One of the (many) benefits of using EVERFI is that your students become eligible to earn 529 college savings scholarships! EVERFI has given away over $100,000 in scholarships — will one of your students win this year?

Check out our K-12 blog to read one of last year’s winning entries!

EVERFI TIP: How do students earn scholarships?

  1. Students: complete any EVERFI course
  2. Visit the Student Scholarship page to determine their eligibility
  3. Click “Student Application” and submit an entry


Student Scholarship Contest Dates

Fall Application Window: September 4 – January 18, 2019 – Winners announced February 1

Spring Application Window: February 4, 2019 – May 10, 2019 – Winners announced May 24