Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Elderly and Social Security

Alison from Group 3 discusses Social Security Administration's short falls in the face of inflation.  Below is an excerpt.

Hopefully if more money can be given to the seniors, that change in income will allow them to demand more of the products that they need most. If not, some seniors may have to go back to work in order to pay their bills. If they aren't able to, the economy will only suffer more. 
Please read her full post.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cold Fusion

Matthew from Group 4 has an extremely interesting discussion of cold fusion's possible impact on the global economy.  Below is an excerpt.

I can see this causing an effect to both the energy market and to the copper market….The end result is not only will this cold fusion reaction cause the price of energy to drop being we have a new, cheaper, and more efficient way of producing it. It will have a trickle-down effect causing a change in the cost for several other materials. So not only will this change the energy market, yet also will change the world mineral exchange. 

Please read his full post.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Vampire Electronics

Garrett from Group 4 discusses the use of a new power cord that lights up when electricity is being transferred.  Below is an excerpt. 

I really don't see a downside to something like this other than that the product is faulty or defective. I mean sure the electric companies might lose some profit here and there, but economically overall it can do nothing but good.
Please read his full post.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Honors Economics Podcasts

We have just updated the blog to include the podcasts the students utilize.  Just a refresher, we have created several podcasts that we've stripped down to the bare minimum theory.  The students' homework is listening to a particular podcast.  The next day will build upon/add to that theory through the discussion/dissection of current events.  Please feel free to listen.

Walmart Moves To Provide Healthier Products

Elizabeth from Group 2 discusses Walmart's new push to provide healthier products.  Below is an excerpt.

The article discusses just how large a change this will be for our society. Walmart is an incredibly important and powerful company. With such a large customer base, this initiative could greatly improve the country's health.

Please read her full post.

Wells Fargo Bailout

Alison from Group 3 discusses how our mixed economic system utilized bailouts during the financial crisis.  Below is an excerpt.

An article in Daily Finance discusses Wells Fargo's increase in earnings and paid back loans. It received a bailout from the government during the financial crisis and was able to pay all of it back, plus increase its overall performance. This showcases the benefits of the mixed economic system the U.S. uses.
Please read her full post.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Does Going To Jail Earn You Money

Zach from Group 5 discusses rapper "Lil Wayne's" incarceration and income relation.  Below is an excerpt.

In many ways stars such as Elvis Presley, Tupac Shakur, and most recently Michael Jackson being dead has caused their stock to rise. The idea of being worth more dead than alive is certainly embodied in these kings of the music trade. But for stars who have plenty of time left in their careers to maximize potential earnings death isn't a great plan. Eccentric rapper Dwayne "Lil Wayne" Carter has found the solution to this problem, instead of dying he chose the next best thing, incarceration, and it's earning him millions of dollars every year.
Please read is full post.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Prospect of Lunar Mining

Matthew from Group 4 discusses the prospect of lunar mining.  Below is an excerpt.

With the discovery of large amounts of water, helium and other rare earth elements on the moon there is potentially new lunar race on the horizon. This race would cause a massive amounts of funding to be transferred from programs in current use by many world governments to this lunar race.
Please read his full post.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Verizon Begins Carrying iPhones

Elizabeth from Group 2 discusses the announcement that Verizon will begin carrying the iPhone.  Below is an excerpt:
How will this affect AT&T when many of their customers have stuck around simply because they want to keep their iPhones? Will the competition between the two carriers drive prices down for the weaker one?

Please read her full post.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Falsified Study Leads To Possible Financial Trouble

Alison of Group 3 discusses the consequences of falsifying a scientific study.

The discovery that Wakefield's study was a lie has an impact on a lot more research than just disease control because it discredited scientific discovery as a whole. It has made the people more wary of scientific publications and developments, especially if they're groundbreaking. If people don't trust scientists, they won't give them funding. If scientists don't have as many resources, they can't work at maximum efficiency, and lack of efficiency means a lack of production of results.

Please read her full post here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Digital Distribution Overtakes Retail

Easton from Group 4 discusses the digital distribution of games taking over the industry and what could happen to gaming retailers.  Below is an excerpt from this interesting discussion.  If you would like to read more please view his entire post.
Just as Netflix overpowered Blockbuster with its instant to watch online service and low monthly cost, digital distribution will spell disaster for Gamestop. So will digital distribution become the new "norm" of the gaming industry, or will Gamestop continue to retail games as always?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

M.I.T. Admissions Going Paperless

Zach from Group 5 discusses how the use of technology is helping or hurting educational institutions (specifically M.I.T.) attempt to go paperless.  Below is an excerpt of his discussion, if you are interested please read his full post.
The decision by M.I.T. to use the iPad technology directly affects paper companies, and Apple Inc. The paper company that the university gets it's paper from will lose money while Apple will gain revenue. The action would not have the power to topple the paper company but in years to come the change by the university can become influential to other universities, companies, and general populations around the globe to become "paperless".

Monday, January 10, 2011

Opportunity cost of more Gulf drilling

Our first class discussion covered the fundamentals of economics including scarcity, opportunity costs and factors of production. Garrett from Group 2 applied these concepts to a USA today article about the Gulf Oil spill. Below is a preview but please visit his post and read the rest of his analysis.

Studies show that deep sea bacteria completely devoured all the gases released from the Gulf oil spill. In USA Today people such as David Valentine of the University of California says that they "expected the methane to persist longer."

If these studies are true is it worth possibly having another Gulf oil spill? Is it worth endangering another ecosystem as well as other states that are dependent on Gulf of Mexico?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Power of a Brand

The Dallas Cowboys won their final game of the regular season last Sunday which cost them a better position in the 2011 draft. In Monday's Star-Telegram article, Jerry Jones said he was happy with the win.

" I would have rather have the positive of the last-game win than three or four slots in the draft, even though the Eagles were not at full strength."

Is this a smart decision by the owner? Is the opportunity cost of the win better for the team?

I believe the win is great for the team both philosophically and economically. Winning against the long time rival Eagles (even if it was their second stringers) was a statement to the football world that they were not backing down and mailing it in. This helps team's atmosphere in such a tumultuous season. If the Cowboys give the appearance of believing in themselves then the fans will begin/continue to believe, which is the whole point of the business of football...Merchandising your brand! If confidence is communicated it will be received; therefore, driving the demand for such a brand. Yes the win cost them a few spots in the draft (in which they might get the same player if they where in a higher spot anyway) but it propelled their marketing machine forward.

In my opinion, the win will eventually, through Jerry Jone's marketing they will off set the cost of the draft choices or even come out better. The market demand for the Cowboys franchise may have wavered this year but it is still one of the strongest selling sports team in history. You still see people with Cowboys jerseys every Sunday. I am curious to see what some of the marketing financials for the Cowboys look like. What is the percentage breakdown between merchandise, ticket sales, payroll and operational cost of the stadium for one game?