This article does raise an important point regarding the rising cost of food particularly. It mentions an increased price of Irish soda bread in New York by 50% over the past year, while forgetting to point out the effects of the weakened dollar relative to the euro. Certainly, there are serious questions concerning the future health of our economy, but our news media does not benefit anyone with knee-jerk responses to matters they seem to know very little about.
Professor Tufte mentioned today that, after controlling for other factors, teacher salaries are higher when private schools are located close by. It seems that the teacher representation monopoly held by unions may be in danger and the prospect of lower economic profits may be somewhere over the horizon. So let’s all pick up the cause for school choice, considering that teachers benefit from higher wages and smaller bureaucracies, and students are better off by higher levels of completion. After all, Milton Friedman’s Choir already has provided an anthem.
Gas prices are up again, but no matter how high the price of gasoline rises, people will still buy. It is estimated that it would take an 81-cent-per-gallon increase in the price of gasoline for consumption to decrease 6.5 percent. One theory circulating to lower gasoline consumption is car insurance. Insurance companies charge flat rates to customers with similar risks. One risk that is not accounted for is miles driven. It makes sense that the more a car is on the road the more likely a car will be in an accident, so people who drive more should have to pay more for their insurance. This benefits the insurance company by earning more premiums from those riskier clients. At the same time gas prices and consumption are kept are kept at a lower level. It could all be made possible with insurance.
It seems like this idea would result in nothing but positives for example: less traffic accidents, less congestion, cleaner air, less global warming, and less dependency on foreign oil; however, in today’s economy oil companies with monopoly power would simply raise their prices despite lower consumption. Monopolies can control price and quantity. Therefore rather than cause a gasoline shortage, monopolies will increase prices to realize more profits. The real result of the car insurance change is higher gas prices and premiums for commuters and logistical companies.
If the supply of money is held constant, a reduction in interest rates should increase the demand for money –causing a rightward shift of the demand curve. This shift in demand should drive prices higher, or in other words, should encourage inflation (all other factors held constant). Is this the price we have to pay to dampen the blow of an all out recession?
Critics suggest that the foundation's massive spending on malaria research is a classic case of a near-monopoly leading to market failure: in this case, a market in medical prowess. The Gates Foundation has unforeseen effects: “Gates can solve problems with money—but a lot of money leads to a monopoly, and discourages smaller rivals and intellectual competition.”
Some people at the WHO, a Geneva-based arm of the United Nations, openly worry that the foundation is setting up a new power centre that may rival their organisation's authority. Such conspiracy theorists point to the foundation's recent grant of over $100m to the University of Washington to evaluate health treatments and monitor national health systems—jobs supposed to be done by the UN agency.
Recessions hurt. But according to this article, recessions can be a welcome opportunity to make some strategic moves to get more market share. Where most companies try to survive by tightening the reins on costs, the author of this article suggests that cutting the right costs and increasing others can help improve the company’s position when the recession ends. Particularly, he argues that companies should increase advertising expenditures during the recession. If companies continue to develop new products and advertise them heavily, those products will be fresh on consumers’ minds when the economy turns upward again, and demand for those company's products will increase.
Am I the only one that feels like there is some kind of target on my back just because I am a business student? Luckily, predominate media personalities like John Stossel occasionally take the opportunity to write excellent articles like this one. It makes me start to wonder why mainstream America is so disapproving of those who make it their life’s interest to produce and expect compensation for doing so. Suggested remedy; require everyone to read “Atlas Shrugged”!
This article (watch the video) discusses the decline in math education, namely within Washington state. Although, I feel that it is easily representative of the broader picture throughout the United States. It makes me wonder if the decline in math skills demonstrated by American college students really is that significant. Does the seemingly low supply of mathematicians among American students indicate low prices for potential services rendered or are foreign workers simply a bargain substitute? Should the Federal Government begin to consider some kind of tariff or quota on foreign students seeking math related degrees? I think this is an important factor impacting the makeup of America’s human capital, and as graduate students preparing for professions in management it is something that we should pay more attention to. I believe that the business that ignores the importance of math also ignores the potential for increased profits.
Of the islands in Hawaii, Maui is the most affected, having roughly 50 cents higher prices than the other islands. Maui also lacks a major transit system which makes it harder for the residents to get around. Many businesses such as taxis and limousine services are now having low profits and are close to having to shut down because of the high prices. Many of the locals that have their families routed in Maui are now having trouble to make ends meet. With gas prices going to $4 it is making it very hard to survive.
Should the government help the Maui residents out? Or should we allow the free market to work, which may cause some current residents to have to either go on welfare or relocate to another state?
In this article it found many advocates for the government to get involved. Christine Mailloux, a telecommunications attorney was noted by saying, “Consumers can't count on competition alone to get wireless companies to become more customer-friendly.” She instead believes this can be solved through stronger regulations. However, we as business students have been taught that regulation creates barriers for effective trading. So which side is right? Should the government intervene and regulate? Or do you think over time the competition will drive down the costs?
After years of increasing demand and limited supply due to the ban, prices for these items should be expected to be high until these two factors correct themselves. Initially, the wealthy will be the beneficiaries of the new policy until competition between retailers brings the equilibrium of supply and demand down to prices levels where more of the population can afford them.
Perhaps Raul is a little more level-headed and less stubborn than his elder brother Fidel.
Another point to consider . . . . People will complain all day long about the price of gas, but I don't think the rising cost has really taken a complete toll yet. How many gas-guzzling vehicles do you pass on the highways every day? Stand in one spot on Cedar City's Main Street and take a quick tally of the percentage of vehicles that pass by that are fuel-efficient vs. gas hogs. Despite rampant complaints about inflated gas prices, people are continuing to purchase and drive big trucks and SUV's that average less than 10 miles per gallon. This indicates to me that the high energy costs haven't really hit us in the pocketbook yet. A more substantial change in behavior (i.e. driving more fuel-efficient vehicles) will be a better indicator that we really are suffering from the price increases.
Higher oil prices act like a tax increase on users. The result is that consumers have less money to spend on other things. Economists are suggesting that oil shocks do not hurt as much because oil is used less intensively than before, because the economy is more flexible and because central banks are better at controlling inflation.
After reading the article I continued to read the various reader comments and found a large number of people becoming upset and accusing Mr. Vanderhoek of treating education like a business. Several comments claimed equitable funding for all schools is a better option but gave no explanation why they felt that way. According to my logic if we break down all the variables in education we will find it looks like a business with inputs and a system producing outputs. We hope the final product is a well educated student. So why can't business principles be applied to elementary education with the market determining the demand and prices for teachers? Teachers always complain about being underpaid and parents always complain of a lack of quality educators. So let's see if Mr. Vanderhoek has something here. If Mr. Vanderhoek can bring in better talent by increasing demand he will be able to have a more qualified pool of educators with the idea of creating a better output. This would also put greater accountability on the shoulders of Principals and Education Boards if their schools and districts underperformed and extreme praise if it works. I may be naive to how school districts operate now but treating it more like a business sounds like a good idea to me.
It seems like all we are doing is putting a band-aid on the problem. If we were to stop focusing on keeping illegals out, and focused on refusing to give illegals (though legal immigrants are fine) a reason to come, maybe things would be better.
Currently, the Bush Administration is starting to enforce “E-Verify,” a system that requires employees to confirm employee work status. Federal fines up to $10,000 will be enforced for employers not willing to comply.
Of course there will be ways around this system as well. However, I feel that if we focused on employers and enforced the “E-Verify” program, illegals would have fewer reasons to come to the U.S. because they wouldn't be able to make money. Of course this would only be one element and one minor aid to a bigger problem, but who knows?
This article mentions the polls that show how the majority of Americans feel that free trade helps other countries more than it helps them. While I agree that it helps other countries more, it is still helping us more than if we had not traded at all. A little improvement is better than no improvement, even if other countries improve more. It is interesting how sometimes we don't want any success if it means others are more successful than us. When the division of surplus is uneven, it seems “unfair,” and many times we would rather have nothing than feel that we are treated unfairly. Americans say that they are willing to pay more for products to keep them produced in America, but Wal-Mart and other similar companies are still doing pretty well. I feel that if we impose barriers to imports, those countries will just go elsewhere and it will hurt businesses in America who need those imports to make their products.
Remember "Back to the Future," and when Marty goes into the future and orders a drink from a talking T.V.? Well now there's something similar to that at a wine-bar in New York. This article is about the new technology of ordering. Any customer can touch the bar and a screen, similar to an iPod screen, will appear. You select a category with your finger, and the computer segments the different varieties of drinks until the screen delivers you to your narrowed-down drink of choice.
Is this technology “same-old?” Kind of. We've already got touch screens similar to this, like for ATMs, self-check-outs, and computer screens. The restaurant that recently installed this device (for $5,000 to $10,000) wants to seem more “hip” and make wine “more approachable.”
So, will these screens just be a fad? What will be the return on investment as opposed to the typical paper menus? Will consumers find that a "technology menu" adds to their consumer surplus significantly more than a paper menu? I don't think I'd be willing to bet on this investment paying itself off.