Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 400–600 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas.

In 1944, finance specialists and bankers from around the world met to discuss what the post-WWII monetary system would be. Given the instability of the pre-war period, the goal was to create a new system. The outcome of this was the Bretton Woods system, which had the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency linked to gold at $35 an ounce. All other currencies were tied to the dollar with limits on how much they could appreciate or depreciate. The system lasted until the 1970s, when the United States decided to move away from gold convertibility. The modern system is based on supply and demand for currency and a managed float. Discuss the following in your main post:

  • The U.S. dollar remains the world’s reserve currency. Is this good for the United States, and if so, why?
  • People usually think a “strong” dollar is good. Is this true for U.S. businesses, and does it help or hurt the U.S. balance of payments?

Here are the instructions for your Final Paper (there is no final exam in the course; this paper takes its place.) The Final Paper is worth 100 points.

View Triangle Fire, the “American Experience” series documentary (53:47) about the Triangle Shirtwaist fire that occurred in New York City in 1911. (We will talk about how to access the free documentary–which takes only a few seconds to do–in class. I will also post another message about how to access the film.) This was a seminal event, impacting how the American public perceived the behavior of employers, and changing basic attitudes toward workers, many of whom were voiceless immigrants. Imagine that you were an hourly employee at the factory prior to the fire of 1911. What were conditions like in the factory? Would you have agitated for better workplace conditions? Would supporting small changes in the behavior of your employers have presented any risks to you? How have attitudes toward workers changed since the fire? Do you think workers feel more empowered today than they did a century ago? Are workers more valued and respected by the American people?

Compose a five (5) page-long paper in which you address these questions. You are free to address other issues, too, but the questions above MUST be answered. Also, please note that for this assignment, you will almost certainly need to conduct some research of your own. If you use that research in your paper, you must cite the sources you consulted. Please do so using APA formatted citations. I want to emphasize this point about your paper and its contents: I am interested in YOUR thoughts and ideas, not those of historians, bloggers, or other commentators. I do not want to see lengthy excerpts of the work of other people in your paper, or lengthy references to their thoughts. And I expect your work to be entirely in your own words.

The Final Paper must be typed, double-spaced, and use a standard, 12 pt. font such as Helvetica, Arial, or Times New Roman. You should also use standard, one-inch margins. It is not necessary to do a title page, though that decision is up to you.

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