Thanks for those who participated in this first attempt at integrating a blog into my courses. I've learned a few lessons that I will apply in next semester's rendition of MariettaEcon.
1. The content of many of the earlier blog posts did not contain as much "analytic" thought as I was hoping. Rather, many of the posts merely introduced a topic and then "asked" what the reader's thoughts were on the issue. The original post should contain at least one conjecture or quibble regarding the issue at hand. I blame myself for this as not clearly explaining my expectations and not providing enough proper guidance early on. The comments, on the other hand, tended to be very good--I could see that some of you were quite passionate about some issues.
2. From a grading perspective, while it still seems to me that quantity is more important than quality at this point, I suspect I will change the grading scheme to assign point values to posts and comments rather than setting quotas. I will also put more emphasis on spelling and grammar in my grading scheme.
3. I did not have 100% participation, even though 5% of the student's course grade was a stake. Perhaps I should raise the weight of the blog beyond 5%--I'll give this some thought.
4. I need to do a better job of getting students to space out their blogs over the course of the semester---there was too much bunching of posts during the last week of classes. Such procrastination does not allow for adequate time to comment on late blog posts.
Friday, December 17, 2004
Thanks for those who participated in this first attempt at integrating a blog into my courses. I've learned a few lessons that I will apply in next semester's rendition of MariettaEcon.
Friday, December 10, 2004
In a recent article the question was brought up of whether the hurricanes helped the economy in Florida. Is this even a possibility? Regrowth and new job opportunities are obvious advantages to a disaster such as a hurricane. Could these possibly outway the costs of a hurricane? In most cases the loss is going to be overwhelming compared to the very marginal benefits afterward. In Florida's case they talk about construction jobs mainly and how the huge increase in the number of construction jobs will help to balance the economy after the hurricanes. Do you think the increase in construction jobs could possibly balance the loss in the economy from the hurricanes?
Posted by Kaid Musgrave at 12/10/2004 09:13:00 PM
Today in class, we discussed a politician's positioning on the median voter model. Recall that this model suggests that a candidate seeks the support of swing voters of whom will ultimately determine the outcome of a political race. Using the median voter model as reference, President Bush was the most successful at reaching a "common ground" with Republicans and Democrats alike. But in an election with a 3% difference in popular vote, John Kerry had to be almost as close to the median as Bush was/had been.
In his acceptance speech, President Bush claimed that America has "embraced" his agenda, but Democratic senator Kent Conrad doesn't get it. "There's no free lunch," Conrad said, echoing Dr. Delemeester's teachings, "and at the end of the day our country will have a tremendous price to pay for this profligacy." What do you think? Did America truly "embrace" Bush's conservative agenda? What could John Kerry have done during his campaign to have gained the few extra feet of "common ground" that would have convinced the swing voters to have voted for him?
Posted by Jeremy at 12/10/2004 07:04:00 PM
According to the United States Department of Energy, the demand for energy is still increasing, despite increasing prices. The demand is expected to continue to rise in the coming years, and the United States is making plans to supply more energy to meet the demand by producing more oil and importing more natural gas. Although energy use is expected to rise, the rate at which it is expected to rise is not as high as predicted last year, so the higher prices have had a small effect on the demand for energy. If the prices remain where they are now, energy consumption is expected to continue to increase at the current rate for industrial, commercial, and residential consumers, but the rate is expected to decrease for the consumption of energy in the transportation sector. This article suggests that the demand for energy is inelastic, but not perfectly inelastic.
Posted by Kristen Martin at 12/10/2004 03:07:00 PM
We talked about the large revenues that college athletes bring the NCAA each year with their participation in collegiate sports. This Time Magazine article discusses how in February of 2000 46 college basketball player formed the Student Basketball council in order to bring there concerns about the rules and regulations imposed upon them straight to the NCAA. With such stringent rules and penalties placed on the athletes, they believe that the NCAA could possibly reward them better. One of there resolutions to this dilemma is a stipends for the athletes. What are your feelings on the payment of college athletes? Remember though the possible repercussions on competitive balance and league performance. Also would the threat of a sit down, as presented in the article, threaten the value of the league? The athletes control the supply of talent, and they create all of the demand so is a free college education enough of an incentive to keep the NCAA going?
Posted by Steve W at 12/10/2004 01:59:00 PM
In 26 states it is legal to order wine directly from out of states. The question as to whether the 24 states which do not allow it have the legal rite to block the sales. The issue was brought to the US supreme court, and a decisions was past down December 7th. The issue was whether the jurisdiction to make the decisions was up to each state, or was left up to the federal government. There were two peaces of legislation that were looked at. The first was the 21st amendment, and the second was the interstate commerce clause. The interstate commerce clause is what allows the federal government to regulate business. The 21st amendment gave the states blanket authority over importing of alcohol into the state. The main finding is that the states do not have the rite to make these decisions. It went on to say that the state should not be able to discriminate in the favor of the wine producers that are in their own state. One other argument that is being addressed is the sale of wine to minors. The people against the sale by mail say that there is no established way to make sure that the people who order the wine are of legal age to consume it. This is being seen as a staling tactic and a way to slow down the movement towards legalizing this.
Posted by Seth Wolfson at 12/10/2004 11:23:00 AM
Outsourcing is a concept that is very popular with today’s financial industry. It allows the industry to increase efficiency and increase cost savings. The firms can also increase customer satisfaction, which is a goal that companies are always trying to obtain. In the long run it allows firms to provide a better service to their clients. I am a strong supporter of outsourcing. I feel that it helps to build a stronger economy because it requires companies to specialize in certain areas of business and therefore not have to do everything by themselves. The decision to outsource is ultimately an opportunity cost, because a corporation has to give up something in order to gain more profit. However what the financial companies have to give up is the highly confidential information of the clients. This is part of the risk in the decision to outsource. Risk can take the form of three types, operational, reputational, and legal. However I feel that the marginal benefit of outsourcing is higher then the marginal cost of the risk, so if I were a financial president, I would have no hesitation outsourcing some operations of my company.
Posted by pat quinn at 12/10/2004 02:46:00 AM
I found this article to be very exciting. I had never considered the Internet to be a tool that would change the style or location of where a company would do business. By looking at the Internet in this position, one can immediately realize the heavy economic change that this would pose to society. Currently most large companies reside in many major cities all across the world. Certain types of companies also inhabit certain cities, for example: automakers in Detroit, film production and distribution in the Los Angeles area, and financial services in New York. This article states, that through the availability of the Internet, these companies will be able to relocate to into rural areas. This would then allow the companies to create global villages, where they can communicate all around the world with the Internet and no longer have to be located near each other. If the companies moved out of the cities, they face immediate drawbacks, such as having to build a new office and learning to work without the availability of unlimited resources that you would have access to in the city. If the companies moved to rural areas, I also think they would downsize, since they could outsource work through the use of the Internet.
I feel that even though the Internet allows the possibility for companies to relocate to rural areas, majority of companies will stay in their city locations so that they can be in the heart of the industry. If they moved to rural areas, they would always be behind the times and constantly catching up with their competitors. The idea of relocating to the country is the same idea as telecommuting. It just doesn’t work. It removes people to much from the internal structure of the company which results in the marginal benefits of working outside the city being far less then the marginal cost of working in the city.
Posted by pat quinn at 12/10/2004 02:06:00 AM
The use of computers has had a great impact on the workforce of the world. “In this article the writer used research from five surveys, covering the period of 1984 to 2001, to examine two key aspects of the computer evolution: The spread of PC’s at work and the evolving wage differentials between individuals who use them and those who do not.” The article drew connections between a college education and the use of computers at the workplace. I also found it interesting that the wage gap have not gotten smaller between people who use computer in their jobs and those where computer usage is not required. In today’s world I find it hard to believe that a computer would make a difference in someone salary. I feel that most people posses the necessary computer skills to perform simple task drawing on knowledge from using their own personal computer. I also found it interesting that the article leads the reader to believe that just because you have a college degree means you are skilled in using a computer. College education and computers leads to one of the underlining economic principles of this article. A worker will now how to be weigh the marginal benefits and marginal cost of having a college education. The marginal benefits of having a college degree means you can have a job that requires computer usage which will ultimately lead you to be paid more, the marginal costs are the cost of college and the lost wages you could have earned doing a that didn’t require computer skills.
This article posted some very interesting numbers and I was glad to learn that my computer skills will come in handy at my future employer.
Posted by pat quinn at 12/10/2004 01:16:00 AM
Thursday, December 09, 2004
The current suspension of Chiron, the company that had supplied most of the US's flu vaccines, has been extended until at least April. But in the mean time, Bush has been frantically searching it seems for other companies providing vaccines.
At least three other companies have been temporarily approved by the FDA for vaccinations, including Glaxo, a company that since 1992 has been supplying at least 70 other countries with vaccines but never the US. The stock in these companies is climbing quickly, and more are becoming interested in the US as a market for flu vaccines. So why did the US rely solely on one company to provide vaccines, and can we blame the government for the shortage panic this flu season? Sure, this seems great for all of the prospects for the industry, but this emergency approval for the companies rushing to get in line leaves me NOT rushing in line to get a flu shot.
Posted by Amy Goff at 12/09/2004 11:35:00 PM
I think it is time to get rid of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS). This article shows that for the second year in a row, we are left with three teams in the National Championship hunt in college football, yet only two teams get to play for the championship. The main reason why a tournament stystem (the only way a true National Champion will ever be decided) is because the bowl games rake in a ton of money for the schools playing in the bowls. The Presidents of the Division I-A schools are in no hurry to change the system either, they will continue to get alot of money for their school and in their pockets. How do you think we can solve this problem so that everyone is happy? Is there a solution at all to make everyone happy? College Basketball and the rest of College footballs divions can do it, why can't Division I-A?
Posted by Steve Bieniek at 12/09/2004 10:12:00 PM
When I went to school in West Virginia, I received the Promise Scholarship. This scholarship let anyone with a certain high school GPA and ACT or SAT test score, go to any public college in West Virginia without having to pay for their tuition. They would give you the average amount of money spent for a public tuition if you went to a private in-state college. I have since lost the scholarship since I transfered to an Ohio school, but that's ok.
This was first turned down by the state before it passed the second time it was voted on by the state representatives in Charleston. The reason it was turned down the first time is because part of the bill was allowing casinos to be built in the state, such as at the Greenbrier, and part of the money from those casinos and the state lottery would go towards the scholarship. Casinos are actually illegal in West Virginia. Many of the county representatives voted against it because it "promoted gambling." Now the money comes from the tax payers in West Virginia. With the lottery already going on for years, slot machines at race tracks such as at Wheeling and Charleston, and the fact that many bars have machines in their business that pay out money (if you have ever been in JP Henry's, you know what I'm talking about), what would be the difference if businesses in the state could build a casino and some of the money could go towards students getting an eduacation? People are already going to gamble if they want to, no matter what, so lets at least make it so that someone benefits from it other than the casino owners.
Posted by Steve Bieniek at 12/09/2004 09:44:00 PM
We have all heard about and seen the brawl that took place in Detroit, between the Indian Pacers and the Detroit Pistons. This fight has been said to be one of the biggest disgraces in sports history. Charges were handed out to Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, David Harrison and Anthony Johnson. With these charges if convicted some of these players face jail time. Also many of the fans involved were faced with very similar charges. My question to you is, do you think that due to this fight the NBA’s revenues will decrease? The fans and players were both charged so should there be a difference in peoples views on weather to go to a game or not, or will people feel that it is to dangerous. The NBA is trying everything in its power to get everyone from both sides (fans & players) to come to some kind of middle ground. The players have been suspended already, Artest for the entire season. Will the absence of these star players hurt the NBA’s profits and revenues though? Will fans take their blame and consider what happened to be mutual and continue to buy tickets and NBA apparel?
Posted by craig gliva at 12/09/2004 09:29:00 PM
Halliburton, a subcontracting company based in Texas, has received around $10 billion in money from the government for work done in Iraq. Although Halliburton is being audited and investigated for its business practices, Halliburton is still the prime contractor in Iraq. Halliburton has suffered 55 deaths at the hands of militants and other reasons since combat ended. Can this be defined as an externality? Is it fair for Halliburton to continue doing business in a without protection for its workers?
Posted by John T at 12/09/2004 09:21:00 PM
It seems that the recent Kmart/Sears merger has become a fad with the major leaders of industries. Now, a possible merger between Sprint and Nextel is being considered.
A merger of the two companies, with Sprint being the third largest wireless supplier and Nextel being the fifth, would give both companies an advantage. Nextel would have access to Sprint's high-speed data network, and Sprint would have access to Nextel's well-oriented management team and business oriented base (and as a Sprint customer, I have to say they definately need some better management). Stocks for both companies have already raised because of the rumors and it is clear that this would be a profitable thing to do.
The merger would leave only four main wireless carriers in the industry. Less competitors, less price elasticity... sounds like a good idea. But is it always safe for these major competitors to be teaming up like they do? Maybe for the companies, but what about us consumers? What effect would the merger have on us, and will the merger trend continue?
Posted by Amy Goff at 12/09/2004 09:20:00 PM
The value of Sirius stock fell sharply Wednesday after the increased popularity of the satellite radio service caused many analysts to say that the stock was overly priced. With the signing of Howard Stern to the Satellite radio provider, Sirius' popularity has increased since October. Sirius has been competing with XM satellite radio for years. Do You think that Sirius decision to sign Howard Stern was a good idea? Will Sirius be able to make up the losses that they are currently facing?
Posted by John T at 12/09/2004 08:47:00 PM
For the past couple of years now we have had an ear full of steroid talk when relating to baseball. The latest story to hit the baseball headlines was not free agent pick-ups or any other kind of cool baseball topic it was Jason Giambi. If you have not heard Jason plays for the New York Yankees and has recently come out to admit publicly that he had used steroids. This brings me to my question, do you think what Jason Giambi or any other player using steroids for that matter is involved with the term externality? In class we covered that an externality is when decision makers do not consider all relevant costs and (or) benefits. With Giambi being on one the biggest center stages in baseball do you think that him using steroids has caused some sort of negative externalities? With all the fans who would have given anything to see their hero hit that long ball do you think that Giambi really gave a crap about their feelings and how they loved him oh so much? This is just one externality that might be present, can you think of any? May you think that sports figures should be free to do what they will, explain why.
Posted by craig gliva at 12/09/2004 08:44:00 PM
There had been rumors circulating about the merger of Cingular and AT&T. Obviously, I would be slightly interested because I am an AT&T wireless customer. One day a couple weeks ago, I received a letter and a large pamphlet in the mail. The letter told me that nothing had changed on my account and that the merger was complete. The large pamphlet told all about what Cingular and AT&T customers now receive and then all the new phones and great offers you can switch to for extra money. I am satisfied with what I have, but just out of curiosity I visited their web site(attached) and clicked on "I am an AT&T Wireless customer". First I learned that I now have access to the Cingular Allover Network, which is supposed to give me better coverage, because it's a bigger network. I also have unlimited mobile to mobile, which is the largest network of 46 million customers and I am eligible for Cingular's rollover minutes to name a few changes. Now all of this stuff sounds wonderful but I have always been a bit skeptical. As I read further, I found out that if I want all these new great things, all I have to do is call and change my plan. I am sure that would increase my payments. As I have learned in Econ all these recent mergers could be a negative thing for consumers. Sure this sounds like a great thing now, but what about in the long run. If they begin to monopolize the market, then what? In a few months will my bill go up a few dollars. No doubt, if it did they would claim it would be for my benefit. So they could offer more wonderful services. What do you think? Do you believe that customers will benefit from this merger or not? I guess time will tell for sure.
Posted by Jennifer Biehl at 12/09/2004 08:25:00 PM
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently passed new regulations stemming from a law AB1493 signed by for California Gov. Gray Davis in 2002. The new regulations require automakers to cut cars' greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent starting with the 2009 model year and up to 34 percent by 2016.
Other states that follow California's rules on automobile air pollution, such as New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine may have to abide by the new regulations as well. New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island are in the process of adopting the California air quality standards as well.
What this means for the automakers is that their emissions standards would have to be set at the California state standards instead of the federal standards because of the large and infeasible cost they would occur from producing two separate types that conform to both standards.
The argument that is currently happening is between the cost that the automakers claim they would incur based on these new regulations and the cost CARB estimates automakers would have under the new regulations.
The other argument proposed by the automakers is that the new regulations on auto emissions are actually designed to increase fuel economy standards which can only be set by Congress under the federal Energy and Conservation Act of 1975 which prohibits states from adopting policies on fuel economy. The CARB states that their regulations are not designed to increase fuel economy standards, but to limit automobile emissions to decrease greenhouse gases.
So, does it really matter if the new emissions standards set by the CARB does increase the fuel economy in the automakers' fleets when it is actually designed to decrease automobile emissions which lead to greenhouse gases? And, what responsibility is it of the state legislature of California if other states decide to mimic their auto emissions standards?
Posted by Alex Risovich at 12/08/2004 09:59:00 PM
Title IX, a law that was enacted in 1972, requires schools receiving federal funds to offer equal opportunities to men and women. This Time Magazine article proposes the argument that this law was originally a good idea, but might it be outdated in the present era? I am all for equality among sexes, but forced equality does not work. In creating this law I believe the government has created a type of ceiling on the number of men in sports. And as we all know, most interference with a free market will end in inefficiency. So why keep a law that is creating a gender quota at many schools. For efficiency and fairness sake, maybe the government should just let athletes (men or women) be.
Posted by Steve W at 12/08/2004 09:17:00 PM
New York (CNN/Money) - The Walt Disney Company is pushing forward with plans to capitalize on the blowout success of "Finding Nemo," "Monsters, Inc." and other animation films whether partner Pixar Animation Studios likes it or not.
See this article -> http://money.cnn.com/2004/12/08/news/fortune500/iger/index.htm
According to this article, the Walt Disney is forcing to Pixar Animation Studios to work together for famous sequel such as Toy Story 3 or Finding Nemo 2. However the problem is that Pixar seems that they don't want to consider about this suggestion. Although, Pixar Animation Studios are composed of many people who had worked in the Walt Disney Company before.
My question is this.
What do you guys think about this situation?
If Pixar accepts it, would it be better decision for the Walt Disney Company? OR would it be better decision for Pixar?
What if Pixar disagrees this suggestion, what situation will happen between these two companies? For Animation Industry, Are there going to be a big change because of this conflict between two companies?
Posted by Yong at 12/08/2004 08:20:00 PM
When the Colts moved from Baltimore to Indianapolis, the team signed a lease with the city until 2013. Part of the deal with the NFL, the Colts, and the city was, that the Colts had to bring in the league average of revenue. If they were not able to do this, essentially, the people of Indianapolis would have to be the ones to pay to get their team up to that average. In 2003, the Colts missed the mark by $12.6 million dollars. Now, the Colts could get out of their lease in 2007 if the people of Indianapolis do not pay the extra sum of money through taxes. If you lived in Indianapolis, would you want to pay to keep a professional football team in your city, or would rather just see them leave?
Posted by Steve Bieniek at 12/08/2004 01:33:00 PM
This article tells of the sales that took place on the Friday after Thanksgiving this year. It is stated that advertising has begun to slightly increase the sales in the past few years. Sales are higher so far this year than at this point in the past three years. The economy is in the process of recovering from its fall after the terrorist attacks, but has the economy recovered so much that people can once again afford to spend A LOT of money on gifts this year?? Or have people adapted the the declining economy and learned how to make their budgets stretch so that they can spend during the Holidays??
I think it is a combonation of the two. The economy is recovering therefore enabling those people that are employed to have money to put back into the economy. But, since people are still struggling, they have had to adapt by making sacrifices during the year. This gives them more money to spend when they are feeling the holiday spirit. Stretching the money that is put back into the economy makes for a better holiday season for buisnesses, gift givers and gift receivers.
Posted by Kristen Q at 12/08/2004 01:29:00 AM
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
I have noticed that hamburger comes in different leannesses. At Reeds where I work we shop for lean hamburger which commands a higher price over the less lean meat which commands a lower price. I prefer lean hamburger because it tastes less greasier than the cheap hamburger. The hamburger that we buy isnt always brand name just depends who has the better deal that week. So how do you like you burgers? cheap a greasy? or pricey and lean?
Posted by Chris W at 12/07/2004 08:00:00 PM
Like most people out there, I too was first introduced to the personal computer world through the handiwork of IBM. I remember having a friend who had one of those really old Apple computers...The one with the dark green screens; but I wanted something better and at that time, IBM was the only one that offered any options. Nowadays all kinds of PC producers have emerged, including names like HP, Compaq, Dell, Gateway, Sony, etc... IBM was the first to ever make a portable computing device when it introduced its ThinkPad to the technology world. It's so hard to believe that a technological pioneer like IBM would throw in the towel after all these years of work with PCs. I guess it's to be expected though since companies like Dell have come in and offered so much more product for the money. I was just recently looking up some PC information for my parents because they wanted to buy a new computer over the holidays. I compared three PCs: Dell, HP, and IBM. The Dell was much less than IBM and only slightly cheaper than HP. I have to say that even the outside appearance of the Dell and HP would have made me want to buy them over the IBM. I suppose this might be the reason why IBM's PC sales (about 10% of total) have seen losses over the past years. The ticket price isn't cheap (at $1-$2 Billion), but like the article said, it would be a great way for some smaller named computer groups to better compete against PC giants like Dell. Goodbye IBM, and thanks again for the PC.
Posted by David Coker at 12/07/2004 07:22:00 PM
Monday, December 06, 2004
Ephraim Leibtag, an economist with the USDA’s Research Service informed consumers on Monday that, “The price of food is going to rise as much as 4% this year.” This food price inflation is going to be the highest since 1990. The past two years the food price inflation has been 2.2 and 1.8 percent. Why is the price of food increasing? Since some consumers have adopted a high protein diet, the beef industry has seen an eleven percent increase. Dairy products have increased by eight percent. Due to the harsh weather the southern states have suffered this past hurricane season and which caused farmers to replant their crops, there has been a four percent increase in fresh vegetables. My question to you is, “How much more of our consumer income are we going to have to use to purchase food and is that food, fad or necessary?” Do we need all these high proteins diets on a daily basis or can we supplement our diets with seasonal items, such as fruits and nuts to get the most value for our food dollar or will we be at the mercy of producers and the premise of “what the market will stand?” If the demand for beef were to fall and the supply were to rise, the excess inventory would then become excess production and producers want to move excess inventory, especially if it is perishable. Smart shopping can hold the price we pay for our consumer good and an increase of 1.8 and 2.2 percent could carry through the year.
Posted by Craig Meredith at 12/06/2004 10:18:00 PM
Okay, I got this thing about a free ipod (http://www.freeiPods.com/?r=12744069
) and I was wondering about it. Supposedly it works - you sign up, refer 5 people who sign up, and complete one offer, like a free trial of diet pills. Supposedly, you can cancel the diet pill trial just before the free trial ends, and avoid at least the majority of fees, but still get credit for it. A friend of mine did this, and it actually worked for him. He checked the serial number and it is legit and everything.
But what about the old adage, "If it sounds too good to be true, it is"? (AKA TANSTAFL - remember that? There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.) And what are the economics of it? Seriously, how do they make money if they give it away for free? My guess is that their sponsors (the people you have to sign up for an offer with) pay a lot of money for the advertisement they receive, thus Ipod makes money still.
Posted by Kate Paullin at 12/06/2004 07:48:00 PM
The article that I found on National Geographic.com entitled Porky Pets caught my attention. My three year old golden retriever is 20 lbs. overweight and the vet suggests a special formula to help her lose weight. I think it is also necessary to mention that the dog food is about two times more expensive than any regular store brand.In the article it discuss how 1 in every four pets in America is obese which puts them at a high risk for diabetes, heart disease, and many other health problems. Which makes me want to provide the best for my dog, no matter how expensive. So my question to you is whether or not the diet dog food is worth it? And if the veteranarian(they only place you can buy the food) has created a monopoly like advantage?
Posted by amy at 12/06/2004 05:54:00 PM
Since Nov. 19, the national average for self-serve regular unleaded gas dropped about 3 cents and was about $1.93 a gallon on Dec. 3. The main reason of the dropping price is that more plentiful crude oil supplies. Thereby, gas prices also are going down. It means that the supply curve of gas shifts right. Although demand of gas will increase with the dropping temperature of winter weather, U.S. heating oil stocks rise due to the fall in oil prices. In order to control the price of gas, OPEC could choose to rein in output of crude oil. Lundberg said “the oil cartel is unlikely to cut production and that would prompt gasoline prices to drop even further.”
However, I think that gas price will increase in the long run, because demand of gas will increase. As far as we know, winter is coming and temperature is lower and lower. The demand of gas for heating will go up if people want to keep their room warm. On the other hand, OPEC is planning to reduce supply. According to those reasons, the supply surplus of crude oil will decrease to a new price so that the supply can be equaled to the demand. About the future gas prices, what do you think?
Posted by Mia (Zhi Kang) at 12/06/2004 01:57:00 PM
Sunday, December 05, 2004
As the holiday season of 2004 is here in full swing, now is the time to head out to the stores and buy buy buy...however if these things can wait till after the big 25th you may find some better deals. It seems this holiday buying season will be fueled heavely by discounts around the marketplace. Sales are poping up everywhere from places such as BestBuy.com, abercrombie.com even down to the little Putnam Chocolates here on front street in Marietta.
Kathleen Hays in this article, reviews some of the latest movements in corperate America to help attract you to send your hard earned buck at their store...
Posted by Justin Duthie at 12/05/2004 10:16:00 PM
This is an article about Australian companies, which would like to increase their investments for commodity exports increases. As a developing country, China needs to trade with other countries in the world that have a comparative advantage in a specific good. China was Australia’s second-largest market for exported goods in the nine months to Sept. 30th, 2004. Many companies have already made a plan about investing in China in the coming year because they have confidence in the Chinese substantial economy. However, some economists think that China’s economics is not very strong, and compare it to pie in the sky instead of Promised Land. What do you think about it?
Posted by tianzhang at 12/05/2004 02:37:00 PM
If there's ever been any question as to what Microsoft does and does not monopolize, the video game industry would certainly fall under the "Does Not Monopolize" category. In fact, Microsoft is challenging the Sony Playstation's dominance of the gaming market, especially now that Sony announced that their super speedy computer chip - dubbed The Cell - will power the next Playstation console in 2005 or 2006.
The Cell, which combines four processors that will allow the third Playstation's graphics to look as if it were "done in a Hollywood studio," has Microsoft scrambling to respond with a new gaming system of its own.
And considering that gamers tend to be price-sensitive, The Cell will sell for less than $100, as opposed to the $150-$200 selling price of a lot of computer processors. This is even worse news for Microsoft!
But an Insight 64 chip analyst says PC processor designers shouldn't be too worried, considering how specialized The Cell chip will be. On top of that, the market for video game chips is only 1/10 the size of the market for PC chips.
So here are my questions: Will the demand for Playstation systems increase, allowing Sony to dominate the market even more so than Microsoft is claiming they already do? Or will the demand for The Cell chips be nearly non-existant, considering how small the size of the video game chip market is compared the market of PC chips. What will Microsoft's new system have to be like in order to rival Sony's, or will Sony's system even be a threat to Microsoft?
Posted by Jeremy at 12/05/2004 01:21:00 AM
Saturday, December 04, 2004
This article talks about a hospital in Trenton, NJ that has been letting children play video games on a Game Boy in the operating room before undergoing surgery. They claim that it will help them relax better than tranquilizers or holding "mommy's hand". Researchers have found that by letting the children play the Game Boy, the childrens anxiety was reduced before the anethesia actually kicked in. They say that this could be especially helpful, because parents are extremely uneasy about tranquilizers being given to their children. They say that these methods have been used before, but never actually in the operating room. The Design Continuum Inc., has even begun testing a "combination anesthesia mask and headset that would allow patients to play video games or listen to music". The hospital is even considering making Game Boy use standard before pediatric surgery.
So my question to you guys, is "if hospitals begin to use Game Boys before pediatric surgery, what effect will it have on the market for game boys?" Another important thing I should mention, is that on CNN.com(the place where I found the article) advertisers from e-bay.com, fingerhut.com, shopping.com, and fun-free-videogame.biz have all took up advertising spots on the website. Game Boy has already recieved free PR from the article itself, not to mention the paid adverstising from other Game Boy stores.
Posted by amy at 12/04/2004 05:48:00 PM
Friday, December 03, 2004
If you follow sports or even just the news in generaly you have heard the recent news. Jason Giambi of the New York Yankees has admitted to taking steroids, becoming the 3rd MVP to admit to taking steroids in the past 5 years, joining Jose Canseco and Ken Caminiti. Also, Barry Bonds, one of the greatest ever, has said he took a form of steroids but did not know they were steroids. My first question is this: This could possibly be four great players who have won MVP's and have set many records. So should Major League Baseball take away their MVP's or their records? Should there be an asterick in the record books saying they took possibly took steroids when breaking these records? These are many questions MLB commish Bud Selig will be debating soon. Giambi is also facing losing his contract with the Yankees because of admitting to steroids. Should he lose all this money he was possibly going to make. Baseball is on the downfall right now. There are many other players out there as well who are taking steroids and just have not got caught yet. Is this going to hurt the income of MLB teams in now? Are fans going to start to boycott games. Things could get interesting. And teams could possibly lose money, but will they lose so much it could hurt them? Just some questions for everyone to think about a little. Some Econ related some not. But all interesting.
Posted by Atherton at 12/03/2004 01:46:00 PM
Thursday, December 02, 2004
General Motors and Ford are planning to cut production of automobiles more than expected because of weaker sales in November. Some analysts predict this will hurt profits. However, even GM's "Lock and Roll" incentive, which would have given consumers the option to lock in current financing rates on both a new 2005 model and a second bought years later, didn't meet General Motor's expectations. I'm wondering what factors caused sales in the United States to slip. Apparently higher incentives are no longer enough to boost sales significantly. As a consumer, I know that price influences me more than anything. Perhaps the price of Ford and GM's vehicles are too steep at the moment for some consumers who would normally invest in an automobile manufacured by the companies. Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda have all reported stronger November sales, so perhaps consumers are finding better deals on vehicles there. If supply is cut, according to typical supply and demand analysis, price will increase. However, since demand is weaker than expected, maybe this will result in a move towards equilibrium. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Posted by Jessie H at 12/02/2004 01:10:00 PM
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Two weeks ago Hardee's released the newest item on its menu known as the 1,420 calorie 107 grams of fat "Monster Burger". In order to gain publicity for this new product, they are going to launch a multi-million dollar advertising campaign. Foriegn nations such as Japan, England, and Canada have allready heard about the "Monster Burger". With no indication of its sales so far, Hardee's is still intent on making the campiagn.
Here's my question for you....do u think that Hardee's is making a smart choice by spending such a large amount on their advertising campaign or not? With the hype over healthy eating today and low-carb selections, more cosumers are being drawn to places like subway. The 3 major fast food chains - Burger King, McDonald's, and Wendy's- have all resorted to making more healthy menus with items such as new salads, bunless-burger meals, and more chicken selections. Also, these larger franchises would have the money to advertise for a "monster burger" campaign and recover if it failed, unlike Hardee's. So, is the risk for Hardee's advertsing campaign going to break the chain of healthier food going to be a success or are they doomed to fail from the beginning??
Posted by Lauren Thompson at 12/01/2004 08:18:00 PM
My question to everyone is, are the Yankees a monopoly? Yes, I know that in class we covered that there are really no monopolies in the everyday world. However, I want to ask, are the Yankees a monopoly in the baseball world? With peeking the payroll records every year now for the last ten, the Yankees have done nothing but buy the best players and gather up the best records in baseball. Yes it is true that they lost to the Boston Red Sox this past world series, but still we all know that George Stienbrener will come back next season with something up his sleeve.
My next question is about one of the aspects we covered in class relating to a monopolist. That is price discrimination. In my mind the Yankees have handed over these huge contracts and made impressions on these players that they are worth these ridiculous amounts. I know as a Cleveland fan that the Indians not only would never pay A-Rod the money hes making, but couldn't afford it to begin with. With that in mind is it really fair? The Yankee's can afford to pay these top players what ever they want and with the game of baseball turing into a money game we know noone will beat out the Yankees eventually in this money game.
Finally, I would like to bring up the dead weight loss side to this possable monopoly. Do you think that by the Yankees having all the top players have hurt and cost other franchises money? Of course. Every year you can pencil them in as a playoff spot, meaning that that other teams that couldnt afford to keep up with the Yanks are left to a loss in not only the extra money the playoffs bring to a team but the social aspect as well.
In closing I just wanted to point out that in recognition of the free market world of baseball the Yankees are becoming a monpolist. Should the government put a salary cap on baseball, or should we let these monopolist bore up the amercain past time.
Posted by craig gliva at 12/01/2004 08:13:00 PM
Most everybody recognizes the Cabbage Patch Kids, and Tickle Me Elmo as two toys that created some of the biggest crazes during the Christmas shopping season in recent history. Robo Sapien is this year's toy that may come close to this level of success. The existence of these toys has two positive affects for retailers: First, they generate a lot of direct revenue since these toys are able to sell out. This will increase the retailer’s profits. Additional profits will lead to higher wages for labor, and higher investment, which leads to more economic activity. Second, these toys bring in a lot of extra people who may not have shopped at this location before. This will not only increase the retailers profits further because of additional purchases the people make while in the store, it will have a multiplier affect on the local economy (The multiplier affect means the money used to purchase an item, is used over again by the new recipients until it is fully spent or saved, therefore multiplying the affect on the economy; The multiplier affect applies best when the original money spent is from a source outside of the relevant market as is the case here). Any growth in economic activity is obviously positive for the entire economy. Soon, the day may come when the economy is having a severe downturn, a toy of the nature of Tickle Me Elmo comes out, and the added economic activity throughout the nation would become enough to stimulate growth in the down turned economy. Toys to the rescue? Sure, why not.
Posted by Justin B. at 12/01/2004 07:54:00 PM
Can you imagine that in a few years, you are not able to watch TV if you dont have a digital TV set? It's not a joke. The digital TV or DTV sets came out in the late 90s, but they were too pricey at that time, one digital TV would cost you thousands dollars. Therefore, in the electronic market, the price was high, the demand was low. But in the past several years, the price of DTV was keeping falling. Today, according to the nonprofit Consumers Union advocacy groups Consumer Reports; the price of basic DTV sets start at price $500, and the price of the HDTV (high-definition Television Sets), which are the most sophisticated form of DTV sets with the best quality picture and sound is as much as $1500. People who want to by a DTV or a HDTV now can afford those prices. As the price declining, the demand increases. On the other hand, which the demand of DTV increases, the supply of the programs broadcast in digitally compatible "high definition" would increase to satisfy the demand. Today, you can see Many major sporting events on HDTV, as well as regularly scheduled hit shows such as "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Desperate Housewives," "Without a Trace," "ER," "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Lost," "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" and "The Young and the Restless."
In the report, it also says that the Consumer Association, a trade group for manufacturers and retailers had an optimal prediction. They think that there would be 3 million DTV to be sold in the last three months of this year, which in the total of 7 million predictive sold for 2004. Therefore, homes of the United States will have 12.1 million HDTV at the end of this year, comparing 7 million for 2003, according to the Yankee Group, a Boston technology research outfit.
That optimal prediction makes sense because the sales of electronics kept tech stocks slightly raised during the thanksgiving weekend, compared the others were declining. Also, The Federal Communications Commission urged TV broadcasters to switch from airing programming on the traditional analog spectrum to a digital spectrum, which offers higher picture and sound quality as well as a government-led consumer education campaign. All of those will help the sell of DTV.
The demand of the DTV set increases fast but not fast enough. As I mentioned at the beginning, why you are not able to watch TV unless you have a DTV? Because the transition from analog to DTV is slated to end by 2007; isnt it a concern that it is likely to extend the date? The DTV definitely have better quality of picture and sounds; I have seen the DTV in my friends home in China, and I like it. But I believe not everyone in this country can afford this by that time. Well, unless the prices of DTV keep falling until what everyone can afford. It is not a dream though, the price may keep falling, and peoples income will increase in the long run; eventually everyone can afford this new technology just like the transition from black and white TV to color TV, but maybe not in this short time.
Posted by Tongying at 12/01/2004 07:48:00 PM
Blockbuster is currently the leader in the movie rental industry with Hollywood Entertainment in second place behind it. Blockbuster has been offering $700 million dollars to buy out their competitor. Movie Gallery Inc has also recently placed an offer for Hollywood Entertainment, though the amount is undisclosed. The future of Hollywood Entertainment is unsure.
With Blockbuster owning 9,000 outlets worldwide and it's nearest competitors only owns 1,920 stores (Hollywood Video) and 2,000 (Movie Gallery) it is becoming apparent we may have a "WalMart" of the movie industry on our hands. Throughout the past few years, in my town at least, I have watched small "mom & pop"-type video rental stores go out of business due to Blockbuster moving into town, they simply could not compete with Blockbusters convenience and selection. If Blockbuster buys out Hollywood Video, what will be next? Soon, Blockbuster could be the only place to rent from. Considering their prices are already one of the more expensive of rental stores, it is scary to think of how they could manipulate prices once they have reduced their competition. Who knows, maybe WalMart will enter the video rental industry... that would make for interesting competition...
Posted by Allison LaRocca at 12/01/2004 04:11:00 PM