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Howard Gensler, J.D., Ph.D.

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Department of Economics and Political Science




I currently teach Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and American Government at Saddleback College.  Sample Syllabi are available in Course Documents.





ECON 4, Microeconomics:


The required textbook for Microeconomics is:


An Introduction to the Market Economy:

An Interactive Introductory Microeconomics Text,


by Howard Gensler   (National Social Science Press, San Diego:  2011).   ISBN:  978-1-936306-27-5.


The textbook is meant to be viewed online.  A paperback version is provided with a CD-Rom and access code to access the online site.  The exercises and selected answers are available online.




ECON 2, Macroeconomics:


The required textbook is available for FREE online at:


Principles of Macroeconomics, by Timothy Taylor  (OpenStaxx College).


PS 1, American Government:


Introduction to American Government, Fifth Edition, by Stephenson, Jr., et al.   (Reno, NV:  Best Value Textbooks, LLC:  2009).  


Governing California, Second Edition, by Lawrence L. Giventer   (NY:  McGraw-Hill:  2008).   ISBN 978-0-07-352633-1.




Educational Philosophy:


I believe that the classroom should be used for interactive purposes.  You can always read the textbook at home, and I expect you to do so.  In class, I want to use your time differently.  In economics courses, this consists primarily in problem-solving.  While I do lecture, I send students to the board to solve problems regularly.  In American Government, I lecture as well, but also have class debates, student speeches, and viewing of documentaries.  I regularly interrupt the film to explain background issues and to offer students an opportunity to discuss the material.  If you want someone who just goes over the material in the book, take someone else.


I also believe that we should have fun in everything we do.  We generally play a roll game rather than just take roll.  I use humor liberally.  The vast majority of students enjoy my sarcasm and wit.  If you do not have a sense of humor, or if you are sensitive or thin-skinned, take someone else.


While I enjoy teaching, students, and humor, I take the classroom seriously, and expect order.  I do not tolerate talking out of turn or attacking the views expressed by other students.  Debates are to be just that, debates, and not uncontrolled arguments.  It’s a classroom, not a bar.  I know the difference.  Accordingly, I have an extensive set of classroom rules designed to foster proper academic behavior, order, and basic civility.  They are available in Course Documents.


I take education seriously and expect you to attend regularly and to be prepared.  The paper requirement is substantial.  If you put in the effort, you will learn how to write and to format a major college research paper.  This will be a valuable skill for you when you transfer to your four-year university.  (Review some comments made by past students in the Student Comments section.)  If you are not prepared to attend faithfully, try earnestly, and to work diligently, take someone else.


If you want to learn economics or American Government, have fun, and work hard, I look forward to meeting you in class.  If you just want to be enrolled in a class so you can tell your parents that you are attending college so you can live at home for free and not do any work, OK, but I will flunk you.





I earned five Bachelor’s degrees simultaneously from the University of California, Irvine, in English, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics, all with honors.  My emphasis in English was on Literature.  My emphasis in History was on Modern World History.  My emphasis in Philosophy was on Political Philosophy.  My emphasis in Economics was on Government Behavior.  My emphasis in Political Science was on International Relations.  I graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was selected as the Outstanding Senior.  I served on the Associated Student Government and spent my junior year abroad at the University of Sussex in England.  I gave the Honors Convocation Student Speech, which was published by the University.  It was the second speech ever published by UCI.  The first was Hazard Adams’ retirement speech.  He was a founding faculty member and considered one of the most erudite professors ever to teach at UCI.  I set the record for multiple majors at UCI.  The record still stands.  While at UCI, I served on several committees, published the first Humanities Magazine, organized the first semi-formal dance, and organized the first school-specific graduation ceremony.  I served on the Land Management Planning Group and wrote the survey for housing demand which ultimately got UCI’s faculty housing program started.


I then completed a Master’s of Public Policy degree and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Berkeley.


My first position was as instructor and academic administer at the Northrop University School of Law.  I was soon promoted to Dean.  I doubled the size of the Law Library, recruited a new faculty, revised the curriculum, started a Moot Court Program, increased enrollment, over-hauled the law journal, and expanded the elective course offerings.  I was offered the position of Provost, but we were unable to agree on the scope of the position, so I decided to pursue my interest in tax policy by moving to Washington, DC.


I soon got hired as an attorney/adviser at the national headquarters of the Internal Revenue Service in the Legislative and Regulations Division.  I was appointed to the newly created Special Task Force, which worked on anticipating tax problems.  I was assigned the most difficult regulations project ever tackled by the IRS and completed the project in record time.  The Associate Chief Counsel tried to hire me to work on a project to simplify the tax code, but he was blocked by the Commissioner of the IRS.  I decided to return to California to pursue a Ph.D. in Economics.


I returned to Southern California and completed a Masters and a Ph.D. in Economics at the University of California, Irvine.  My fields were Labor Economics and Public Finance.  My dissertation was on the welfare system.


On graduation, I accepted a position at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology as a Business Law Instructor in the Department of Accounting in the School of Business.  I met one of the most distinguished accounting professors in China and established a partnership to translate China’s tax laws.  This resulted in numerous articles and books, and then matured into a monthly translation service.  We translated and published on CD’s all of the tax laws, regulations and notices from the establishment of China in 1949 to the current time.  I also edited books for the head of China’s Accounting Profession and for China’s leading authority on Auditing.  We were invited to be the official translator for China’s tax laws, but the government was unable to agree to a publication cycle as fast as we could provide and insisted on total control of official and unofficial publication.  We declined and published privately.


I returned to Southern California once again and became Dean of Humanities, Fine Arts and Library Services at Irvine Valley College.  I increased the library collection and circulation statistics.  I revamped the main fine arts classroom building to improve the college’s small theatre operation.  I convinced the administration to move the Theatre building project up to the top building priority at the college.  The IVC Theatre has been built and is now open.  I advocated the adoption of teaching Chinese at IVC, the second most popular language spoken in Irvine.  


Along the way I taught not only at UCI, Northrop University, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, but also at California State University Fullerton, Chapman University, Orange Coast College, Irvine Valley College, and Saddleback College.


I have taught Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, World Political Economy, American Government, Business Law, Individual Income Tax, Tax Policy, Tax Accounting, State and Local Tax, Capital Gains, Contracts, Community Property, Legal Issues and Analysis, Legal Research and Writing, Introduction to Law, Moot Court, Statistics, Law and Economics, Legal Environment of Business, Current Affairs, Introduction to the American Economy, Hong Kong Business Law, PRC Tax and Business Law,  Hong Kong Taxation, and Hong Kong Tax Planning,


I have published about 50 articles and nine books in the fields of Welfare Economics, Law and Economics, Tax Policy, China Tax and Business Law, and Legal Education.  I was the world’s foremost authority on Chinese Tax laws during the mid- and late-1990’s.  I was editor-in-chief of the Northrop Law Journal and China Tax Law Reports.  I have served as a reviewer for articles for the journals Applied Economics and Applied Financial Economics.  I served as a reviewer for grants for Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee and for the United Way of Orange County. 


I founded the Orange County Scholastic Foundation, a private, non-profit corporation that sponsored academic contests for fourth through twelfth grade students in Orange County.  Over a five year period, over 100 Orange County schools participated, and several hundred thousand dollars of in-kind prizes were raised and distributed to participants.  Keynote Speakers included State Senator Joe Dunn, Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer, and Orange County Superintendent of Schools William Habermehl.


I have taught at Saddleback College since the Spring Semester of 2003.  I am currently the Faculty Adviser to Alpha Gamma Sigma, the oldest Honor Society for California Community College students, and a member of the Academic Senate.





Office:  BGS 322. 


Office phone:  (949) 582-4450. 


E-mail address:  hgensler@saddleback.edu


Mailing address:


              Saddleback College

              28000 Marguerite Pkwy

              Mission Viejo, CA  92692



              Howard Gensler

              Social and Behavioral Sciences

              BGS 317