Money Changes Everything

Money Changes Everything, ed. Lawrence Weinstein (2015)




This edition of the Bedford Spotlight Reader Series is a collection of essays, memoir, ads, graphs, art, arguments, and scholarly research centered around the theme of money. The collection is presented in 5 thematic sections: 1) Can We Buy Happiness?; 2) How Does Money ShapeRelationships?; 3) Is Money to Blame for Unethical Conduct?; 4) Can Huge Differences in Wealth Be Justified?; and 5) Has Money Blinded us to Higher Values?

This link will take you to the Macmillan Education website for this reader. Bedford has provided a sample syllabus, sequence of writing activities, and a preview of the table of contents.

Why this Text Works

While the collection is divided into 5 thematic sections, centered around a particular question, all the texts work well together, and can certainly be used in any order. Texts can also be arranged in alternative themes, such as Poverty, Employment, Unpaid Work, etc. Students can read a selection of texts for each assignment, with a fair bit of variety of length, complexity, and style.

Since the reader includes multiple genres and media, it seems to require fewer instructor-provided supplementary readings. Each reading includes some vocabulary, and questions for discussion and writing at the end. Instructors are still encouraged to supplement grammar, style, editing, and revision materials.


Sample Syllabus 



“Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or Thoughts on Poverty”

Should we pay women (in the UK) to be surrogates?

Should we pay organ donors? kidney-10-000-paying-donors- actually-pays-new-study-finds- 8C11459939

Should we pay college athletes?


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Quick Ideas

  • Students read an article on paying for organ donation, and write a rebuttal to the author’s arguments.
  • Students write a financial autobiography, describing the role money has played at various points in their lives.
  • Students write a financial fantasy paper, describing their ideal life if they possessed unlimited funds.
  • In the same paper as above (or separate short writing), students describe their ideal life if money did not exist.
  • Students write a short paper of all the benefits and detriments of money in their lives. How does money make things better and worse?
  • Students write about the positive or negative influences of money on:
    • political campaigns
    • college admissions
    • education (teacher strikes, state budgets, etc)
    • job prospects
    • religious organizations
    • organ, plasma, and/or bone marrow donation
    • adoption
    • foster care
    • surrogacy
    • egg/sperm donation
    • Personal fundraising (GoFundMe; KickStarter)
    • celebrity product endorsements
  • Students examine money corruption in:
    • elder scams
    • lottery/internet scams
    • Public/Crowdsourcing scams
    • Political campaigns/bribing
    • Religious money scams
    • Insurance scams

Instructor Reflections

Links to instructor reflections will go here.  (Blog posts?)

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