Recycling is a fairly simple way for a consumer to help prevent waste. All it requires is a separate bag for the disposal of recyclable products. But when it comes to manufacturing facilities, recycling can be a bit more costly.
In the EU, many companies are starting to realize that they are eventually going to be held accountable for the amount of harm that they cause to their environment. Regulation of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) are two regulations that the EU will be implementing in the near future to require companies to take into account the damage that they are causing to the environment. With regulations like RoHS and WEEE just waiting to be put into effect, the EU is sending a clear message that producing products at the lowest cost to firms, is not what is best for society as a whole.
In this article, Jacquelyn Ottman applauds these regulations and encourages companies to realize the importance of preserving today’s environment. She wants companies to be creative in their thoughts and actions; not only by encouraging recycling, but by encouraging innovation. She believes that companies are already seeing the benefits of “green production” and that is why even US companies that will not be under the constraints of these new regulations are taking them into consideration.
I think that the idea of green innovation is great in theory. It would be wonderful if everyone took into consideration the damage that was being done to the environment before they acted, but this simply isn’t reality. Even today, with as simple as it is to recycle, how many people actually do it?
People may desire to live in a cleaner world, they may want their children and grandchildren to live in a healthy environment, but when pushed I don’t think that they are willing to pay money to achieve this. Until people are willing to pay higher prices to clean the environment, change will be difficult.
No matter how environmentally friendly a company wants to be, I don’t think that they would be willing to take a loss in profits to achieve it. And as of now, consumers are not demanding it. They do not see their own personal actions as making that big of a difference in environmental quality (as seen by the level of recycling and littering), so I do not see them willing to pay higher prices for an environmentally friendly item when they can get a not so environmentally friendly item at a lower cost.
Maybe I am wrong… In fact I hope that I am. But in my opinion, this is reality.
Friday, September 30, 2005
Recycling is a fairly simple way for a consumer to help prevent waste. All it requires is a separate bag for the disposal of recyclable products. But when it comes to manufacturing facilities, recycling can be a bit more costly.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. announced Friday, September 23, 2005 that they would be cutting their costs by about $1 billion. They plan to do this by closing plants and importing more materials from Asia to avoid the cost of raw materials in the United States. Due to the high oil prices, the cost of synthetic rubber, steal, and natural rubber have increased. After having rough years in 2002 and 2003, Goodyear is trying to avoid the high costs of the American economy. Goodyear's Chief Executive Robert Keegan stated, "Our turnaround is on track and will continue to evolve." Is the uncertainness of companies in the United States going to cause a large amount of these companies to begin importing from other countries? Do you think other businesses will follow Goodyear’s role or not? How do you think this is going to affect the United States economy? How will the economy survive if businesses begin relying on other countries to be profitable?
Posted by Amy Blair at 9/27/2005 02:34:00 PM
According to CNBC, Louisiana is asking the federal government for a quarter of a trillion dollars to help rebuild the city. An important question many people are asking is, "where is this money coming from?"
How do you think the economy will react if 225 billion dollars is used to help rebuild Louisiana? More importantly, where is this money coming from, and is it worth it, economically, to rebuild an entire city that poses the risk to be washed to ruins in the future?
Posted by Grant Deken at 9/27/2005 02:23:00 PM
Monday, September 26, 2005
CNN reported Monday that hybrid automobiles may not be the best solution to our rising cost of gasoline blues.
Driving a hybrid may make a statement of social and environmental awareness, but may not make a lot of sense- financial sense, at least. In comparing three hybrids to their non-hybrid counterparts, experts believe that the hybrids will actually cost more in the long run. In order to reach the actual cost of a hybrid, the price of gasoline for a non-hybrid would have to raise dramatically and remain that high for a substantial period of time.
There are other suggestions for saving gas:
1- Drive more gently. By simply driving the way a person drives, he/she may improve their gasoline usage.
2- Consider buying diesel. Diesel cars are more expensive initially; but diesel cars get better gas milage, the engines are more durable, and diesel cars have better resale value than gasoline-powered automobiles.
3- Shop smarter. Check out the actual fuel economy numbers. Some non-hybrids cost less than their hybrid counterparts, get equal or better gas mileage and provide more interior room.
Will this new report create a decrease in sales of hybrid vehicles? Or will the hybrid remain strong contender in the fight against high gas prices?
Posted by Carrie Mason at 9/26/2005 08:47:00 PM
I was reading Fortune magazine earlier this week when I came across an article about the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. In the article it explained that Venezuela supplies 1/7 of our oil imports. It also talked about how he wants to raise prices for the oil we buy from him. People in congress are even starting to become " eager to confront this dangerous regime close to U.S. shores." My question is with gas prices already on the rise from the hurricanes and other factors around the world, what should the U.S. do about President Hugo?
Posted by Corey Rymer at 9/26/2005 12:47:00 AM
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
The New York Times just announced on Tuesday that it plans to cut 500 jobs. This constitutes about 4 percent of the newspaper's work force. Apparently, it is another step in the continuous efforts being made to reduce costs. Not only that, but the NY Times has already cut 200 jobs earlier this year. The Times also has a New England branch, which will see the elimination of 160 jobs from The Boston Globe and The Worcester Telegram and Gazette. The newspaper didn't provide a breakdown of these particular job cuts. On the very same day, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News announced plans to cut 100 newsroom jobs because of lower circulation and revenue. These days, it seems that a lot of us get our news information from channels like CNN and FoxNews, radio, and the Internet. We no longer have to rely solely on newspapers. Are these new mediums of communication slowly making the need for newspapers obsolete, and if so, what will this mean for the job market with respect to journalism? If newspaper jobs are lost, where might new ones be created?
Posted by Jessie H at 9/21/2005 11:56:00 AM
According to a recent survey in England, woman are rising up through the ranks of the business world at a faster pace than men. The average age of women who are team leaders is 37; the same statistic for men is age 41 (according to the Chartered Management Institute). Although their rise is quicker, these women still earn less than men (a difference of 2,674 pounds). Towards the end of this article, the comment is made that companies need to make sure that promotions and salary are merit based and not dependent on gender. However, just because a correlative relationship between gender and salary exists in this survey does not necessarily indicate a causal relationship. The men were found to be older, which suggests that they could have more experience in the field. Perhaps these men have higher wages because they have more years experience. One must be careful not to draw conclusions that the evidence does not clearly support; rather, one should examine all possible causes of an effect. Which is more likely in today's world: these men are given preferential treatment in the form of higher salaries, or these men have more years of experience and therefore deserve higher wages? I'm interested to see what you think and the reasoning behind it.
Posted by Adam Spencer at 9/21/2005 11:52:00 AM
When the author of this article compared a natural diaster to the "proverbial tree that falls in the forest", I couldn't help but agree. A natural occurrence is only deemed a diaster when it hits a population center. Would anyone have cared much about Katrina had it directly struck an unhabited island? I think not.
The article in USA Today notes that 54% of the American population lives within 50 miles of the coast line! This number was a little higher than I had expected, but when you consider Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York, Miami and others, you start to understand. Could it be that the Government has actually encouraged this population move to the coastal areas through subsidies?
"Started in 1968, federal flood insurance subsidizes development in coastal areas and other regions subject to flooding by offering insurance at bargain rates underwritten by the government."
All insurance prices are based on risk assessments so that the premium can compensate the company for the amount of risk it is taking to cover you or your business. This lets Adam Smith's 'invisible hand' play a pivotal role in governing the premium prices and number of policies offered. Let's examine this effect on the market for insurance policies. -- Using a simple graph measuring premium cost on the Y axis and number of policies issued on the X axis, a supply and demand reflecting the private sector and policy buyers can be illustrated. Now, with the Government subsidizing flood insurance in the coastal areas, this can be seen as a supply curve that is further to the right of the original, thus increasing the number of policies issued and lowering the premium.
If it's cheaper to insure because of the Government subsidies, a corporation would be remiss for not exploiting that opportunity. Take the next hurricane target for example. Galveston, TX is home to many oil refineries, fisheries, and most notably, the German company Bayer.
Do you think that the Government has played a part in aiding the migration of the population to the nation's shorelines?
Posted by Rachel Ruth at 9/21/2005 11:13:00 AM
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Federated Department Stores Inc. announced in July that 330 stores operated by The May Department Stores Co. will be converted to Macy's. Now Federated announced it plans to cut about 6,200 jobs beginning in 2006, including 1,700 in St. Louis at the Corporate Offices of May Department Stores. Beginning in March about 4,500 positions will be eliminated as they take out stores in different cities. The spokesman for Federated said the company started a program to talk with the affected employees and try to find other positions for as many as possible with Federated. Do you believe Federated as an obligation to help these employees that will be losing their jobs and do you think that Federated will follow through and help these employees?
Posted by NatalieC at 9/20/2005 02:59:00 PM
Monday, September 19, 2005
According to CNN.com, Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. unveiled a family-friendly robot that can recognize up to 10 people and call them by name.
"The 100 cm (40 inch) tall Wakamaru will approach and greet family members in a gentle, feminine voice when they arrive home and offer to pass on telephone messages or read out any e-mails that may have arrived. In the morning, Wakamaru will glide to your bedside to wake you up with the news headlines and weather forecast, remind you of your appointments for the day and may even invite you to join it in some light exercise."
Are there pros and cons to this invention? How big is the robot market? What will scientists come up with next?
Posted by Kyle B. at 9/19/2005 10:24:00 PM
Before you start complaining about how bad prices are (and believe me, I am one of the worste), think about those whose livelyhoods depend solely on transportation: Airlines, Trucking Companies, Greyhound, UPS, and FedEx might come to mind right off the bat when you think about it. But what about those on the smaller scale, such as cab drivers?
According to this article, taxi drivers across the nation are asking regulators to authorize increases in taxi fairs in order to combat rising fuel costs. These appeals began about a month ago, but have been intensified since the disaster left by Hurricane Katrina. Unlike airliners or busliners, taxi fairs are set by the government in most places. That is why taxi drivers are asking for either a rate hike or surcharge to be put in place. Regulators are hesitant to increase any fairs or add any charges though until gas prices stabilize... but I think that with gas prices hovering around $3 on the national level ($2.89 has been the best I have seen in Marietta recently), something should be done. So the next time you get that ever-valuable ride home from your favorite bar, feel free to tip the cabby a little extra... I am sure he or she will really appreciate it.
Posted by Evan Sutton at 9/19/2005 09:12:00 PM
I read an interesting article called "Jobless claims surge from Katrina with more bad economic news to come," by Martin Crutsinger, about just how much worse the U.S. economy is expected to suffer because of the devasting effects of Hurricane Katrina. If we thought that gas prices of over 3 dollars a gallon was unacceptable and extremely taxing, then we should prepare for even worse fates. The article denotes how economists are predicting even higher gas prices due to the shutdown of "oil platforms, refineries and platforms." Not only will we bear higher gas prices, but Hurricane Katrina has brought rapidly rising unemployment rates, lay-offs, etc. as well as higher prices and inflation, decrease in production and industry, and reconstruction efforts and disaster relief, which is very expensive. Basically, the country's most devasting natural disaster is expected to reap some serious economic effects for quite some time. However, the rising gas prices and inflation rates are not nearly as taxing for non-Hurricane victims to have to pay because Hurricane Katrina has left some jobless, and or homeless, familyless, etc. Therefore, the U.S. should just expect that this is to be the norm for awhile as the country and the economy will pull itself out of this hardship. This may sound drastic but personally I am thankful to only have to bear higher prices than to have lost something more valuable.
Posted by Selena at 9/19/2005 08:28:00 PM
Northwest Airlines has recently decided to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This happened just minutes after their rival airlines Delta also filed under Chapter 11. These two mark just a few more in the growing list of airlines filing for bankruptcy. Other than rising fuel prices and the effects of terrorism are there any more reasons for airlines to be filing bankruptcy? Also what kind of effect will the growing number have on our economy? Is it safe that the major part of our travel is with companies who are bankrupt? And finally will this trend continue with other airlines filing or is this the end of the line with bankrupting airlines?
Posted by Chris Brew at 9/19/2005 08:45:00 AM
Saturday, September 17, 2005
This article talks about the oil prices dropping recently to $63 dollars a barrel because of the consumers moving away from petroleum products since there were high prices. The average price for gasoline in the US. was 2.89 on Friday, down 3 cents from 2.92 on Thursday. The interesting thing I found in this article was that one OPEC member said that prices could rise to $100 a barrel because of the members already pumping at near capacity. My question is, do you think prices will ever get that high? If so, what do you think will happen to the economy? If not, how high do you think the prices will get?
Posted by Corey Rymer at 9/17/2005 09:34:00 AM
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Today NASA briefed White House officials on a $100 billion plan to send astronauts back to the moon by 2018. Sending a crew to the moon is the first step in a phased plan (yet to be unveiled) to ultimately send man to Mars.
According to an article by Benedict J. Gaylo, the deputy director of the original lunar module program for Grumman Aerospace Corp. the original Apollo Moon Program cost approximately $24.5 billion; that was approximately 5.3 percent of the federal budget in 1965 and roughly equivalent to the money spent by Queen Isabella to fund Christopher Columbus's voyage to the New World. Given today's numbers, how does this newest mission measure up?
The first program brought about several economic boosts. According to noted space historian Andrew Chaikin, at its highest numbers, nearly 400,000 people had a hand in sending man to the moon - either working for NASA or one of the hundreds of subcontractors hired by the agency to create the various items needed for the program. Additionally, the states of Florida and Texas made out huge because NASA located its two centers for operation of the projects within their borders.
Will our economy see a similar boost when NASA ramps up this initiative? How many jobs will this new mission create?
At the very least, I believe companies will be running over each other to bid on the work and shoring up their employee rosters to ensure proper talent is available. Specifically, I think it will increase the demand for engineers through 2018 and beyond. What other things could a project of this proportion do to help boost the economy or do you think it will have no economic impact at all?
Just my marketing advice - NASA should consider a "corporate sponsorship" program for the various space vehicles. Given the dollar amounts sponsors are willing to pay to have their logos on a car at a race televised across the country, what would they pay to have their logos on the side of a craft flying to the moon with every news organization in the world broadcasting its every maneuver? Talk about maximum exposure! They could even make money in the deal.
Posted by JoyFrank-Collins at 9/15/2005 01:12:00 PM
Monday, September 12, 2005
As oil prices have risen at a very steady rate many complain but still buy the gas that brings them everywhere. Price is one thing to ignore but what about the fact that the world is steadily getting warmer. Global warming is a large problem that largely has to do with the world's current consumption rates of certain fuels. As this article explains a very real threat from global warming is occuring in southern Asia. But these sort of problems have been known for a while and little has been done. Perhaps higher and higher prices for fossil fuels will turn out to be a good thing in the future if they are able to curb the consumption that is slowly killing the planet.
Posted by Steve W at 9/12/2005 10:51:00 PM
With rising gasoline prices across the nation, consumers are complaining; or perhaps it is more accurate to say that constituents are complaining. By voicing their opinions and concerns to their representatives, people are asking Congress to do something to control the price of oil.
This particular article, which was written this past March, describes the plan of the US government to sell leases for exploration of Alaskan reserves by 2007; hopefully leading to a significant source of oil 7-10 years later. But for the average consumer, I think that this is too little too late. Why should the US ruin the wildlife in Alaska to find some oil that in all likelihood will be obsolete in 10 years? (Hopefully by then we will have found a cheaper and cleaner source of energy)
Environmentalists are concerned with the fact that despite new technology to keep the harms of drilling to a minimum there will still be some major effects on the natural ecosystem in Alaska. Are we really willing to risk the possible devastation of the Arctic National Wildlife refuge for some oil that “is going to have no effect in the long-term on America’s energy future (Kerry)”?
Everyone who owns a vehicle today wants gas prices to be lower. However, in the long run, is opening the arctic refuge really the best thing for the people of the United States? It is a toss up.
Posted by Jennifer at 9/12/2005 04:31:00 PM
This article discusses the benefits that Hurricane Katrina victims are receiving. Most are in the range of $210 - $260 per week. Since most everyone is without a job, the article says that many people are rushing to get the state aid and others are rushing to look for new jobs. I'm sure that it is difficult for everyone to return to work or find new work right now, at least until their lives are under control. The shapes of people's indifference curves will determine who goes back to work as soon as possible and who uses the state aid for as long as possible. (I am certainly not criticizing the use governmental aid, of course these people need help. Undoubtedly though, there will be those people who rely on the aid longer than necessary.) To some, this contribution may act as the income or lottery effect. As long as people are receiving the extra money, they may feel wealthier and work less.
Posted by Erika Barth at 9/12/2005 04:15:00 PM
Well, it's official. Rising gas prices, which have been brought about by the continued war in Iraq and most recently by after-effects of Hurricane Katrina, have started to take their toll on other consumer goods. Today, Domino's Pizza chains announced that if gas prices stay at their current rate for "the long haul" they will be forced to raise prices to help offset additional costs their delivery drivers incur for cost of gas.
Dominos explains that they may be forced to raise the costs of pizzas in order to maintain an adequate roster of delivery drivers - who must supply their own cars and gas for the job.
Beyond raising the price of pizzas, what are some other things that Dominos can do to incentivise their delivery drivers to keep delivering pizzas? Do you think that if Dominos instituted a "delivery surcharge" for all delivery orders, a portion of which they then gave back to the drivers for expenses, it would help them maintain their drivers? And if they would tack on a "delivery surcharge" will people be more likely to pick up their pizzas instead of having them delivered - or would the cost of the gas they'd have to use to drive to get the pizza act as a equalizer to the consumer?
This is just the first in a long line of price increases we'll see as the realities of these higher fuel prices begin to set in. The price of airline tickets has already increased due to higher fuel costs - what else can we expect to be paying more for because of this fuel "crisis" in the near future?
Posted by JoyFrank-Collins at 9/12/2005 03:48:00 PM
This past week, 15 states including California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin, along with New York City sued the U.S. Department of Energy for not making stronger standards for 22 common appliances. The suit was led by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer with the goal of saving some electricity, natural gas, and oil. The electricty savings would be between 13 and 42 large power plants if new standards were put into place. The main reason behind this lawsuit is that natural gas and home heating-oil prices have hit record highs. The Energy Department is 6-13 years behid schedule on writing new regulations. With the cost of oil and gasoline rising, it seems that the Energy Department should be doing everything they can in order to save energy.
Posted by AmandaStacy at 9/12/2005 02:05:00 PM
Recently, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved a plan to build a nuclear waste storage site in the Skull Valley Goshute Indian Reservation in Utah. This storage would hold 44,000 tons of nuclear fuel approximately 50 miles southwest of Salt Lake City. Utah Gov. Joh Huntsman was strongly opposed to the decision for obvious safety reasons. The commissioners in favor of building the storage claimed that the waste containers could not possibly release any radiation. The nuclear waste will be stored above ground in 4,000 steel casks that can hold up to 10 tons of fuel each. The casks will have two steel shells encasing a concrete wall that is 2 feet thick. Depending on the appeals done by the state of Utah, the earliest the site would be in operation is 2008. Putting a nuclear waste site 50 miles from such a big population does not sound like one of the best ideas to me. There cannot be a gauruntee on how safe the waste is in these containers. There is always a chance that some if it could come out over time.
Posted by AmandaStacy at 9/12/2005 01:25:00 PM
|In an article by CNN.com, the FDA advisory panel ok's a new form of treatment for diabetes, inhaled insulin. It is estimated that over 18 million people have diabetes and this number is said to have tripled during the past 25 years. There is the Type 2 diatabetes (the more common one) that inhaled insulin would help more people control their sugar levels, while Type 1 would still need injections during the day for longer-lasting control of their blood sugar.|
Inhaled insulin is easier to use than injections, especially for the individuals who don't like using needles daily. Also, it is just as effective as the injected insulin that people are using now to control their diabetes. However, drug representatives are asking that the long-term effects of the drug be studied until 2019. Also there is concern as to whether or not the drug is effective if inhaled by a smoker or someone that had lung disease.
There is even more talk about tablets being produced to also take the place on the insulin shots that many people dislike taking daily.
Even though there are still some skeptics on the manufacturing of the new inhaled insulin, it can still be beneficial for most people with diabetes. Are there any opportunity costs to using the inhaled insulin? Would this drug be popular on the market as compared to injectable insulin, would people want to change from what they are familiar using (especially when it comes to medications)? If the inhaled insulin is found not to be effective on those who smoke or have lung cancer, will the drug still be widely distributed, or will it lose a lot of potential users?
Posted by Jennifer Danko at 9/12/2005 07:31:00 AM
As the tastes in cars shift and the price of gas raises, market economics could deliver the fuel-efficiency increases we've been missing. The last time gas prices were $3, the average vehicle got 21 miles to the gallon. Vehicles have gotten more fuel-efficient, according the the EPA, however its the car buyers who have wanted other things than to travel further for the gallon. American drivers are purchasing bigger, heavier, faster, and quieter vehicles like SUVs and minivans, which now account for 50% of vehicles sold in the U.S., that is more than double the amount in 1981. The EPA says that if today's vehicles were the same, in terms of average weight and speed, as those in 1981, but had today's more fuel-efficient engines and transmissions, they would see a 30.5% improvement in fuel economy.
However, the current gas prices just might change the current taste for vehicles. According to AutoData, SUV sales are 11.2% lower than last year and General Motors is extending its "Employee Price" incentive to include 2006 large trucks and SUVs, a sign that those vehicles need sales help. A recent poll done by the Kelley Blue Book and Harris Interactive shows that 59% of current vehicle shoppers have let gas prices influence their decisions on purchasing a vehicle and the resale value of SUVs is dropping. As the market shifts back toward cars instead of trucks, that could allow fuel-saving technologies that are already in use to work in favor of using less gas.
Posted by Kim Becker at 9/12/2005 07:20:00 AM
Thats right... According to AAA the national average gas prices are down 4 cents since the record jump monday. Some believe it may even fall further due to some pumping that is resuming in the gulf and the passing of labor day marking the end of the summer driving season. What do you think? When gas is again pumped from the gulf as normal, will gas prices fall further or are we going to be forever burdend by $3.o0 plus gas prices?
Posted by A.Smith at 9/12/2005 12:40:00 AM
Sunday, September 11, 2005
In a article I read in The USA Today newspaper, New Orleans has decided it will pursue a plan to upgrade its technology since the horrific hurricane Katrina. The city plans to replace its 120 year old copper communication wires with brand new fiber-optic lines. This is a plan to increase the communication between schools, hospitals, and health care agencies. However, the cost of this plan will be pretty substantial on the city, since the whole city has to be pretty much replaced. My question is, What do you think the city should do to try and help funds increase, in order to help the city push this plan through? Should the gov. help with the funding? And do you think the residents of the city will become victims to higher taxes in order for the city to raise enough money for this project?
Posted by Dominick Winters at 9/11/2005 11:51:00 PM
While most of the talk after Hurricane Katrina has been about the rising of gas prices, many economist believe that inflation is a more worrisome threat. Some say that all of the disruptions following Katrina could lead to upward pressure on prices all across the entire economy as well as the rising gas prices. One market strategist said that the rebuilding that will be going on in Louisiana and Mississippi could also lead to a pickup in economic growth and thus creates higher labor costs and upward pressure on prices. Do you believe that we should worry about possible inflation in the economy because of what has happened because of Hurricane Katrina?
Posted by Rocky Capobianco at 9/11/2005 11:19:00 PM
With the start of every semester college students everywhere face the inevitable: the purchasing of textbooks for the semesters courses. A study done by the GAO (investigative part of Congress) suggests that American families spent more than $6 billion on new and used textbooks in the 2003-2004 school year. This study also suggests that college textbook prices have "nearly tripled" between 1986 and 2004. The prices of textbooks have actually increased more (6%) than tuition (4%) in that span of time. In Oregon, about 5.6% of the student dollar pays for textbooks. College book stores often give the option of buying used textbooks for a less expensive price, and in turn, selling the books that you use for a fractional profit. This is obviously a good thing for college students who often do not have the money to purchase fully priced textbooks. It is not such a good thing for the publishing companies. Publishing companies explain the increasing textbook prices on the addition of technological applications (such as online homework, quizzes, and multimedia lectures). As the report points out, these features may not be of any cost to the professors, but the cost is added into the overall price of the textbook. Many students complain that it is unfair that we have to purchase all the extra technological enhancements since there is no other option (such as a textbook without the extras).
The new v. old textbook dilemma has many different sides: either the publishing company or the students lose money and technology has also added to the frustrations on both parts. My question is what can we do to find a happy medium: How can both the publishing companies and the students be content with the textbook dilemma?
Posted by Alex Lemley at 9/11/2005 11:13:00 PM
This Monday, in Hong Kong, China, Disney opens up a Magic Kingdom to the Chinese. The part is expected to bring a taste of America over to the Asian territory, while also providing a bit of Chinese Culture. Disney is far behind many other entertainment industries in that area of the world. The project is estimated to cost a total 4 billion for split evenly between Disney and the Chinese government. The park will open up thousands of economic oppurtunities for the Chinese, i.e. boost tourism, open up many job oppurtunities, and hopefully create a more friendly atmosphere for Hong Kong. While it will bring in many Chinese people themselves, only a third of the expected 6 million guests will be from China themselves. That means that almost 4 million guests will be from other countries, who before, never had the option of experiencing Disney in China before.
Now, my question for you is; During a time of perhaps "economic struggle," does Disney, who is already a billion dollar industry have an obligation to create better economic oppurtunity in our own country, before taking off in far, unfriendly rival countries? Take into consideration the 6 million estimated travelers who will be attending the Disney in Hong Kong where before they could have traveled to the U.S. Also consider the patriotic symbol Disney has been in our country for the past decades.
Posted by danielpierre at 9/11/2005 11:13:00 PM
Ok... we all hate the gas prices these days. Everybody knows that they are ridiculous, but do we ever think about what it will be like when the oil runs low? I don't, but after reading a current article I don't need to worry about it. You see, the fact is that we are not going to run out of oil. As new technology arises, so does more oil. Just because we can't get to all the oil now, doesn't mean we won't be able to in 10 years. This just leads me into my point however. As the gas prices increase continually from either war or lack of resources what will we do as consumers? We already have changed our ways by moving towards smaller and more fuel efficient cars like the hybrid. As technology gets better what will happen to our demand for gasoline? Will we eventually get to a point where we don't have to worry about running out of oil, or will we remain dependent? Personally I think that as our technology increases our demand for oil will slowly diminish and we will be much less dependent on oil. My question to everyone else is... do you think that the decrease in demand for oil/fuel will cause the prices to decrease therefore allowing us to go back to our beloved gas hog suv's and cars?
Posted by Kaid Musgrave at 9/11/2005 11:11:00 PM
This article talks about the opportunity cost for the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays had a chance to sign Jose Cruz for five million dollars. On the other hand they could have used this money to sign other players. The opportunity cost of signing Jose Cruz is the cost of sighing other players. As it turns out the Blue Jays signed six other players. The Blue Jays came out on top in this deal. They got six players for the price of one. Baseball players also have an opportunity cost that they have to look at every time they sign a contract. They have to think about whether or not it is worth them playing baseball and making money or doing something else that they love and making money for it. They also have to look at whether or not it is worth them exerting their bodies and possibly hurting themselves through the course of the season. This article allowed me to see that there is a lot of opportunity cost that is in baseball and in sports.
Posted by Eichhornj at 9/11/2005 11:03:00 PM
Due to the recent events in New Orleans and the damage done by hurricane Katrina residents have caused a large real estate boom in Baton Rouge. So many people are forced to try and find now property and homes near their old residences some are bringing in tons of money and in an attempt to get any property they can. The mayor is worried about priced gouging due to the new demand. Prices have gone as high as a20-30 percent in the last week according to an article on cnn.com.
The next question should be, what is going to happen to Baton Rouge? How will this surplus of people affect it and how so? Will this do good things for Louisiana’s capital or just lead it into more trouble?
Posted by Katurah Hansen at 9/11/2005 10:58:00 PM
All of us who drive feel the effect of the rise of gas prices. Reports are coming in that the price of heating will also increase this winter. Do you forsee the prices of other products that consumers need rapidly increasing, such as electric, telephone, or even food? Do you believe in any actions that could prevent an increase in these prices? Could these prices lead to an increase to the poverty rate in the United States?
Posted by erbj at 9/11/2005 10:48:00 PM
There has been lots of side affects left by hurricane Katrina such as loss of lives, surging gas prices and Wal-Mart reaching its September scores. But there is now a different side affects the soaring real estate prices of land in Baton Rouge, LA. This sudden surge of home buying is due to the facts that since employers are relocating to the capital, so are their employees. Not only that but since children have been transferred to Baton Rouge's local schools, parents are buying houses in those school districts. This surge has created scarce resources for homes in Baton Rouge. Real estate agents are benefiting from this large house demand but there is a trade from this demand. Agents are now working over time to keep up with this supply in demand. A potential downfall of this is that agents could price gouge houses to the highest bidder leaving deserving people homeless. Do you think that real estate agents will take advantage of the situation and price gouge homes? What type of people will be able to afford these now expensive houses? How will this affect the people that will not be able to re-locate with their jobs?
Posted by nab2436 at 9/11/2005 10:39:00 PM
The nationwide average of regular unleaded gasoline fell from 3.03 to just under 3.02. This price is down from a record 3.057 that was recorded on Labor Day. Exactly one year ago Thursday, gas was a measely 1.841.
Oil and gas prices have constantly been increasing throughout the year. Prices hit their peak due to the tragic events caused by Hurrican Katrina. Energy prices have decreased this week because refining has started back up in the Gulf, and pipelines have began shipping gasoline to the Eastern Seaboard.
Gasoline normally decreases during this time of year due to the decrease in demand of gasoline. Labor Day marks the end of the summer driving season. Mississippi showed the lowest nationwide cost of regular unleaded at 2.711. Washington D.C. reported the highest price with an average of 3.337.
Posted by hendricks10 at 9/11/2005 10:19:00 PM
In today's society one of the most important things every where is crude oil. Today gas prices vary depending on the region people live. However, as a result of Hurricane Katrina the world economy is facing many difficulties. One of them being the rising price in crude oil per barrel, raising from $64 last week to $70 this week. Although oil prices are a big issue in America's society they're not as a big a threat in other places, and are brushed off (so to speak). According to the "Central bank governors from Israel and Iceland said oil risks would be on the agenda when monetary officials from the leading industrialized and developing countries reviewed the global economy at a Group of 10 session on Monday." There is a rise in global energy costs which has been aggravated by Hurricane Katrina. These factors in short term matter will effect global economis growth and inflation. Another issue is the rise in the demand for more crude oil. Officials have urged businesses to take their earnings and open further exploration and new sites for more crude oil. This is a result in studies showing that demand for crude oil will increase 50 percent over the next 20 years, thus further damaging the world's economy. Although the demand for oil and Hurricane Katrina has effected the economy there is a growth in the world by 4 percent. The devastation of Katrina is a half percentage point drop in the U.S. this year, with a boost from the U.S. Gulf in 2006. "Longer term, questions remain over how economies can cope with rising energy prices. Petroleum bills are starting to alarm consumers, arousing concerns that energy will cause a slowdown in spending, sapping healthy world growth."
Can the world economy withstand future problems in energy costs? And truly how important is oil to the world economy?
Posted by Nicole Veigel at 9/11/2005 10:16:00 PM
Northwest Airlines has spent past three days negotiating with it's mechanics over a raise in both wages and benefits. The current strike has lasted for 23 days thus far, and there is no end in site. Since the beginning of the strike on August 20, the airline giant has considered using replacement workers to fly. As more time passes this option looks more and more probable. The major reason for the refusal of raises is the rising price of fuel. Northwest officials estimate that they will need to generate a cost savings of $1.1 billion annually to avoid bankruptcy, and this number is a low estimate due to the increasing prices of fuel.
This union situation illustrates the problems and path toward demise of the American company. The union is simply demanding more money than the company can afford, forcing them to make a difficult decision on whether to pay their workers more and file bankruptcy, or finding new non-union workers that they can pay a wage that will be more cost effective for the for the corporation.
While the union that represents the mechanics is attempting to help them to make more money, they are actually costing union members jobs and money. At this point Northwest Airlines estimates a loss of 75% on the union employees, which means that thousands of people will lose their jobs and get paid nothing, instead of taking a job-saving pay cut.
Posted by NickManson02 at 9/11/2005 10:10:00 PM
Gas prices have been on the rise for some time now, but it seems lately it has hit the American population hard. According to the above article, airlines are trying to find ways to cut costs to make up for the high fuel prices they incure for the flights. If this gas price hike continues, it is probable that airlines will be forced to raise already high airfares. Do you think airlines will continue to raise fares to try and keep up with the rising fuel prices? If airlines keep discontinuing flights because of high fuel prices, do you think use of other transportation will rise?
Posted by brianne at 9/11/2005 09:34:00 PM
Not only will Americans suffer with gas prices but now they are fearing how much money will be coming out of their pocket to heat their homes this winter. Elder people are afraid that they will have to dip into their life savings just to keep warm this winter. People are even thinking about closing off rooms they don't use and insulting their homes better. The government also has a federal aid to help people pay for heating. Do you think the heating companys should give consumers way to save money or do you think the government should have to step in even more, like they did with gas prices?
Posted by ruckerk at 9/11/2005 09:25:00 PM
All over the country, the need for repairs on our levees, highways, bridges, dams, and ports are growing rapidly. In California especially, levees are deteriating and could create a problem similar to the levees in New Orleans. And every year there are 13,000 highway fatalities caused by inadequet highway maintenance. But the government budget is cutting the money needed for these repairs. The American Society of Civil Engineers states that $1.6 trillion has to be spent in the next five years to prevent further deterioration, but only $900 billion is set aside. It is expensive to repair or rebuild infrastructure to protect the public, but it is simply cost-verses-benefit. But, benefits that rarely occur are not thought of. For example, better levees in New Orleans capable of withstanding a hurricane like Katrina is not counted because such storms are fairly rare. Although it is a risk to put so much money into such projects, it could really pay off later. There are many problems with our public infrastructure that need fixed, and if they were fixed, maybe it would have prevented a disaster later on.
Posted by Nola Juliano at 9/11/2005 09:08:00 PM
Most of the recent talk regarding the hurricane has been on the topic of fuel prices and the real estate market in the areas affected, another area that will be greatly affected is agriculture. CNN.com reported that there will be an estimated $1 billion dollars that will be directly lost by the agriculture industry, an industry that has been struggling for many years. With the federal government considering cutting subsidies for agriculture, what could this mean for both agricultural producers and consumers.
Posted by jlo001 at 9/11/2005 08:46:00 PM
The Internal Revenue Service has increased the mileage rate they use to compute the deductible costs of mileage for business travel due to the large jump in gas prices.
They say gas prices might decline by 2006 so it is not set for past this year yet. "This is about fairness for taxpayers," said IRS Commissioner Mark Everson. "People are entitled to deduct the real cost of operating a vehicle. We've responded to the recent gas price increases by making this special adjustment so taxpayers get the tax benefit they deserve." The tax-collecting agency raised the standard mileage rate to 48.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven in the past four months. That is an 8 cent raise from last year. Do you think this is fair? They are giving a break to people who drive for business but no one else.
Posted by Rachelle Cole at 9/11/2005 08:40:00 PM
With recent oil prices going up, most people have been thinking about the impact with there cars. However with the winter season around the corner high oil prices are also going to impact heating for homes, as a result of this many people in New England are starting to buy wood stoves so that they don't have to buy so much oil to heat there homes. If this continued trend of rising oil prices continues will we see other parts of the country begin to move towards heating there houses with wood stoves?
Posted by Sean Paulhus at 9/11/2005 08:25:00 PM
According to cnn.com Wal-Mart has reported that due to increased demands for hurricane-related items that it has meet its September sales forecasts. This is due to increase of sales in regions where residents where evacuated to. Wal-Mart says that its forecast is subject to impacts from hurricanes and rising oil prices. How does rising oil prices affect Wal-Mart? Will sales be lower for the next forecast?
Posted by jason75 at 9/11/2005 07:57:00 PM
From the effects of Hurricane Katrina, the Baton Rouge reality sales have increased by 20-30% in the last week. Many people are buying up the land, to sell it again after the recovery process takes place. Some think that people might do this out of greed, and to prey on people's losses. Do you think the government should regulate the reality exchanges that are going on due to this disaster?
Posted by Aaron Spahlinger at 9/11/2005 07:54:00 PM
I find all of this research in nanotechnology very interesting, but I’m a bit skeptical because I am yet to see results. My brother does research at Rice University on Nanotubes and other nanotechnologies and has helped published quite a few papers on the new technology, but he has yet to bring home that indestructable, light as a feather piece of “nano-metal”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an extremely interesting line of research. He told me one day that one of his colleagues just finished production of a nano-truck that has 1/5000 the width of a human hair and could actually move or be “driven” by certain processes. Of course, I never ask what the use of that could possibly be, I wouldn’t want to offend him. I’m always a bit curious about what actually could be logically and usefully made with this technology and I am yet to see it. Now, I know that hopefully nanotechnology will help to make T-shirt thin bullet proof vests one day, and that there are some ultra-efficient solar panels already in use, but I want to see some of this nano-smano junk made for the consumer that will legitamently help our everyday lives.
Posted by carter at 9/11/2005 07:51:00 PM
Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans, displacing thousands of people form their homes, and their jobs. This unfortunate set of events has been very costly to the residents and business's of New Orleans, but it has been a profitable event for cities like Baton Rouge. The real estate market in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is booming, with the real estate market reaching numbers it has never seen before. Houses are being placed on the real estate market and are being bought almost immediately. People are not concerned with the price of the home, but rather having a home. Business's in New Orleans have now relocated to Baton Rouge, and have no plans to reestablish offices in the New Orleans area. This raises the question, should New Orleans be rebuilt? Many think that it should not as business's have relocated and the economy of New Orleans would decrease tremendously. The opportunity cost of rebuilding an entire city could be much more costly than if the city was just left as is. The government should just use the money that would go to the families that have lost their homes, and distribute evenly. This would allow the citizens to purchase new homes elsewhere. This would also prevent the risk of loosing the city again to a major flood or hurricane.
Posted by Eric Jones at 9/11/2005 06:17:00 PM
Since the launch of TiVo in 1997, it has changed the way everybody watches television today. TiVo allows it's customers to record a program while watching another. You can also pause and go off to do errands as well as fast-forward through commercials. The problem with TiVo is that in the past 3 months the stock of the company has lost a quarter of its value. TiVo may be worried about competition from cable and satellite companies because they offer TiVo rivals.
My question on this topic deals with the marketing side of television with commercials. Will being able to fast-forward through commercials effect the way we perceive television marketing? If TiVo is expected to grow in latter years, will marketing through commercials deminish, and how will this effect the economy?
Posted by Eric Dowler at 9/11/2005 05:58:00 PM
Andy Roberts, Northwest vice president for operations, said no new proposals were exchanged Saturday. The two sides still expected to hold face-to-face talks sometime later in the day.
Northwest is seeking $1.1 billion in annual labor cost savings and has said rising fuel prices mean it will probably raise that target. The company is in talks with all of its workers.
The union has said Northwest wants to keep only 1,080 mechanics' jobs and eliminate aircraft cleaner and custodian positions represented by the union. That represents about 3,350 layoffs, up from the 2,000 Northwest sought before the strike.
Northwest's proposal would save it $203 million a year, up from the $176 million it sought before the strike began Aug. 20. That proposal was made Thursday, and the union has not rejected it, even though it's a far worse deal than the one they struck over.
MacFarlane said he expects the two sides to reach a deal eventually, even though striking workers may not like it.
Do unions make the economy better or worse? Are strikes good for the economy?
Posted by mastj at 9/11/2005 05:57:00 PM
Saturday's meeting of Texas was the first time these two schools have met in their entire history. Ohio was ranked 4th, and Texas 2nd. The excitement of this game was more than just rankings. Everyone who watched felt that with a win Ohio could pave their way for a sure bet National Title. As the game approached ticket prices soared. The regular price for a ticket is $60. However, prices soared to over $1500 a piece. I had friends pay $400 a piece. Of course since we lost they aren't feeling too good about that! But economically this sets up the rematch for next year's schedule. This is an excellent example of supply and demand. The scarce resource of tickets and the huge demand for them on Saturday set up a huge price increase.
Students are no longer aloud to sell their discounted tickets unless they upgrade to a full price ticket. Also, buyers would have to have a student ID according to new school rules.
Do you think the prices paid for the tickets was worth it? Is it really the idea of relativity of what something is worth to someone? How do you think next years rematch is going to effect supply and demand?
New School Rules
Here are some examples of the outrageous prices asked on Ebay
Posted by JennyLeister at 9/11/2005 05:54:00 PM
A large percentage of the 561,000 housing units in New Orleans are likely destroyed, according to the National Association. of Realtors. While many of them will probably be rebuilt, some of the construction will also shift to Baton Rouge and other Louisiana cities, creating more construction, architecture and engineering jobs in these areas.
Still, the economic outlook in the region is far from rosy. Even with support from the government and other cities, Katrina could reduce employment by 400,000 people in coming months and trim economic growth by as much as a full percentage point in the second half of this year, according to a Congressional Budget Office assessment.
Are these costs going to affect us? What more can we do to help this? How bad is this on our economy? This natural disaster destroyed any economic growth that was going on, and will take many many years to recover.
Posted by Ashley Schlarman at 9/11/2005 05:41:00 PM
According to CNN.com, President Bush's job approval has dipped below 40 percent for the first time in the AP-Ipsos poll, reflecting widespread doubts about his handling of gasoline prices and the response to Hurricane Katrina. Nearly 4 years ago, his approval was above 80%, but now the American public has seen everything negative with no positives to off-set them. The price of gas in some places is well over $3.00 a gallon, and now with Hurricane Katrina's impact, it has left a lot of people hopeless for the economy to go in the right direction.
With 70% of Americans disapproving the way he is handling the gas situation, and 52% of the people disapprove the way he is handling the Hurricane Katrina crisis, do we have any hope left for our economy in the George Bush era? How do you feel about the gas situation? How do you feel he is handling Katrina? What can he be doing different to better our nation?
Posted by scanlon at 9/11/2005 04:16:00 PM
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina there is still much turmoil over the impact the disaster will have on the economy. According to government figures over 400,000 jobs have been lost, yet official feel that the economy should be able to absorb the blow. Further reports indicate that the economic growth may drop by as much as a full point during the second half of this year; however, the reconstruction may in fact stir the economy and be of help in the future. US producers still create goods efficiently, and foreign markets do not hurt our productions. Interest rates may continue to rise, but this issue will likely be decided by the economy’s reaction to recent events.
I think that the economy will recover from this and that the region can be rebuilt, but there is a lot of work to be done. Whether the local population wants to carry through with that may be another story. I mean people have faced disasters before, but with devastation so complete and having to rebuild a whole city from the ground up will the locals really want to rebuild or will many of them just disperse to other less ravaged cities in the area. How do you think the people of New Orleans and the areas affect by Katrina will react during the rebuilding period?
To read the article Click Here
Posted by Christopher Case at 9/11/2005 04:04:00 PM
With gas prices as high as they are these days, people are desperately looking for ways to cut down the cost of driving. For instance, instead of going out three different times in one day, now it is more economical to plan out where you are going ahead of time to cut down on excess driving and wasting gas. But suppose there was a car we could drive that would save us money and be better for the environment? Many people believe that hybrid cars are the answer.
Hybrid cars use less gasoline than the cars we are used to driving today. Even though they are being promoted as less expensive to maintain and more energy-efficient, these hybrid cars have yet to overtake the automobile industry. It is still rare to see many hybrids out on the road today. Newer technology has suggested the possibility of fuel cell vehicles, which typically run off of a hydrogen fuel source as opposed to gasoline. The way that a fuel cell works completely eliminates the process of combustion which makes them virtually pollution-free. However, these cars have supposedly been "in the making" for decades now, and they are projected to cost almost $1,000,000 per vehicle. Also they would not work in cold climates and as of now there are no places to fuel them.
So with our national fuel economy in no better shape than it was in the 1980's, it is time to make some decisions. This is where the factor of opportunity cost comes into play. Should we invest in cars that do not depend so much on oil and gasoline that are better for our environment? What would we be giving up in exchange? I don't think that Americans will change how or what we drive anytime soon. High gas prices are hard to deal with now, but not many people cannot afford million-dollar cars as an alternative.
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/hybrid-car.htm -- How Hybrid Cars Work
http://www.sae.org/fuelcells/fuelcells-how.htm -- How Fuel Cells Work
http://www.soultek.com/clean_energy/hybrid_cars/fuel_cell_vehicles_versus_hybrid_cars_Part_1.htm -- Hybrid Cars vs. Fuel Cell Vehicles
by: Dana Ingraham
Posted by Dana Ingraham at 9/11/2005 02:45:00 PM
The Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Science in Memory of Alfred Nobel (aka the Nobel Prize in Economics) will be announced on Monday, October 10, 2005. Of the 55 men who have won the award outright or shared in it since the prize began in 1969 (no woman has yet to win it), 36 have been Americans. The leading university homes of the winners include the University of Chicago (9), followed by Harvard (4), University of California-Berkeley (4), and Cambridge University, England (4).
Now, let's see how well you can forecast. I will award 2 bonus points to the first person who correctly forecasts the next winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics. Your educated guess must be posted as a comment to this blog post before the Nobel Prize announcement is made. In the event that more than one person submit identical guesses, the earlier timestamp of the comment will determine the winner. The bonus points will be added to the winner's next exam score following the Nobel announcement on October 10.
[By the way, any comments made to this post do not qualify as part of the required components to your blog grade.]
Posted by Greg Delemeester at 9/11/2005 02:33:00 PM
Hurricane Katrina could be the most expensive natural diaster ever. The costs right now are over $100 billion and are expected to go well over $300 billion when all is said and done. Over the last four years, the US government has spent around $300 billion on the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some people argue that this is great for the economy because it will create jobs and businesses will benefit with an increased work load. However, who is paying for all of this? It is the US government. The weekend after Katrina struck, the government was cutting checks that added up to about $2 billion a day. I am just wondering where all of this money is coming from and how will it effect the status of the US economy. So is this really going to "help" out the US economy or are we going to begin a downward spiral?
Posted by Brian Ashton at 9/11/2005 12:47:00 PM
President Bush has dropped down to below 40% for the first time in the Aplpsos Poll. This happend because everyone thinks he is not doing anything for the high gas prices and the slow recovery of Katrina. Last month the dissaproval rate of the direction the counrty is going was at 59%, this month it is at 65%. So far in the month of September we have seen Katrina and the slow relief efforts, and the high gas prices. I think the reason the United States Citizens are turning against President Bush is because they wittnessed these two things at once. First, we saw the damage from Hurricane Katrina, and then not long after that we saw gas prices around $3. That is no excuss to turn our back on the President.
I find it interesting when people say that President Bush has done so many things that are hurting us as a country than doing anything good. My main question to them is, how in the world can he make everyone happy at once. Yes, we had a huge tagedy with Katrina but no one knew how much the damage would be. Yes, I agree we were a little slow getting to the rescue, but you have to remember this was the worst Natural Disaster we have seen. As far as the gas prices I am not sure exactly why the prices are staying this high, so I think that is something the President should look at and change because there is no reason it should be that high. My question to you all, is if you were the President what would you do if you were in this situation? http://aolsvc.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=20050910024709990002 By: Jessica Hutchison
Posted by Jessica at 9/11/2005 12:03:00 PM
Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union recently made a statement that large retail stores, such as Wal-Mart, need to change their policies on payment of wages for employees. He said that Wal-Mart and other stores should pay employees enough that they will not need to struggle to get by. The union that he represents wants higher wages to allow for better living conditions for their employees.
Do you agree that stores like Wal-Mart should increase it's employees wages? If they do, how will that effect our economy? Will it be a positive or negatie change to our economy?
Posted by amy francek at 9/11/2005 11:52:00 AM
According to the article on MSNBC.com economist are saying that eventhough Katrina was complete devastation, it could be great for the economy. It would be good for the fact that the cities are being rebuilt and with this they will become better than they already were. The article also says that with some economist saying that it will be good for us there is a argument saying that it is way to early to tell what this disaster is going to do for us. Someone has to rebuild the region.
Is there really a good side to this disaster? I think that there is, but there is no telling how this disaster will affect the economy, not until everything is surveyed and sorted out. Do you think that this disaster will be good for the economy or is it to soon to tell??
Posted by Elizabeth Mc Dougall at 9/11/2005 11:49:00 AM
Americans might be complaining a little to much about gas prices. Europe has had to deal with soaring gas prices much longer than us. With prices over $7 in major areas of Europe it seems like American should be happy with our $3 a gallon. There is a good graph on the link that shows fuel economy trends of other major countries. It shows the United States at the bottom with an average of about 25 miles per gallon in 2005. It seems like we consume more gas then these other countries but only because our cars take almost double the gas than cars in other countries. So taking a look at the prices again our country doesn't really luck out with lower prices because we have cars that consume so much more gas. Maybe if America did pass regulations for automobile companies to make better fuel efficient cars we would be better off then Europe in gas prices.
Posted by mikesullivan at 9/11/2005 11:41:00 AM
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Gasoline prices should begin to decrease but the savings from this will cause the cost of heating homes to increase. The nation's energy tab is suppose to raise for the rest of the year and possibly into the next. It is said that the United States will spend 18 percent more on energy than in 2004. In 2004-2005 Americans spent 34 percent more on heating than the previous year and the government said this year it is going to raise another 17 percent.
There is nothing the Americans can do to lower their heating bills; people have to heat their homes. If the heating cost rise a significant amount people will have to begin spending less on other things, which will effect our economy. What do you think the effects will be of the raising heating cost? Do you think this will dramatically effect the economy?
Posted by K. McKoy at 9/10/2005 11:46:00 PM
There are many hassles in the daily life of someone who lives in a big city such as, riding the crammed subways everyday to work. You move to a big city to have career security and mobility. If you live in the city you have high mortgages to pay. Economics prove a good point when the compare the price of homes. For example if u live in Queens, N.Y. a home costs approximately $450,000 compared to a house in Des Moines, Iowa which costs an average of $170,130.
Smaller cities and towns are being advanced in technology. This advancement is making it possible for more and more employers be able to get out of the city and still retain their jobs. This makes it able to accommodate people to telecommute or at least half-telecommute. Do you think people will continue to move out of the city? Where would u rather live?
Posted by K. McKoy at 9/10/2005 11:30:00 PM
According to an arcticle on CNNMONEY, Honda recently released a report in Tokyo saying that they were planning on equipping their large touring motorcycles like the Gold Wing with airbags. They stated that the airbag would significantly decrease the number of fatalities and serious injuries, due to evidence that most fatalistic accidents occur in frontal collisions. Despite certain hurdles, Honda plans on putting the airbags in more models in the future and also plan to introduce the motorcycles in Japan and Europe.
How will this increase in technology effect the motorcycle industry? If the airbag proves to be successful at reducing injuries, and more companies equip their bikes with them, will we see more bikers? Or will this be a negative impact by making the drivers feel safer than they really are, and consequently increase the fatalities we see on our highways?
Posted by raderdaren at 9/10/2005 09:38:00 PM
As a business, Google has proven to be a sort of a media and economic darling. Taking a simple premise - offering searching of Internet sites for free, while deriving income from the sales of web site advertising, as well as selling the results themselves - and turning it into a multi-billion dollar conglomerate with many facets of business is never easy in today's economy. The members of the corporate board of this company are also mathematical nerds of sorts - their latest stock offering was for 14,159,267 shares of stock (the first 8 decimal places of Pi) to raise $2,718,281,828 (the number of the constant e in calculus), and have proven to be wily for analysts to predict.
With all of these mind games, Google seems to be immune to the harsh reality and the major ideal of the markets in regards to the type of Internet Advertising based company that Google has ammassed. How long, however, can Google avoid the seemingly inevitable fall for businesses of its type?
Looking at the figures, Google's share price has increased from the IPO price of approximately $80 per share to, for a time, breaching the $300 a share mark - reminiscent of the great Internet market bubble of the late 1990's. While there has been a move by the company since it's Initial Public Offering to diversify its holdings and reach into more markets through acquisitions, it has seen little shift of revenues, in terms of percentages, from the core business. Given what we knowof the late 1990's, investors are not going to stick with this company that long when this stretch of unreasonable profits and revenues slips, due to a slow quarter in advertising, down the road - more likely in the short term, even likelier in the moderate term (maybe the next 6 quarters or so).
The fate awaiting Google seems to be destiny, given that companies such as Lycos, Altavista, and Yahoo - all three major search engine operators in the late 1990's - all reached unreasonable levels of revenues, but were snakebit by a slowdown in revenues and immediately suffered a loss of 20% or more in share prices as a result.
I believe, in summary, that Google is trying to squeeze its core business for proceeds via these weird IPO's and other stock sales, while the company is still marketable and in the good graces of the business media. But, I forsee this business model being weaker a year from now, and that Google soon won't be selling Pi shares of stock for e dollars.
Posted by Joshua Busser at 9/10/2005 04:19:00 PM
Allen Greenspan said, in an article dated August 27 of 2005, that the housing boom will end inevitably and that this end will be a major issue for Greenspan's successor in the future. Home prices have been increasing dramatically in recent years: the average home price has increased 50.5 percent over the past five years. An end to the housing boom would directly affect construction companies and a number of other businesses, but would also have an effect on the economy as a whole. However, Greenspan says that an end to the boom could have some positive effects on the economy. These positive effects include an increase in personal savings rates and a decline in imports.
What kind of effect will the end of the housing boom have on the economy? Will it have a negative effect on the economy in the future, or will the economy be able to recover?
Posted by Turner Reisberger at 9/10/2005 01:55:00 PM
In the past the U.S. has sent large sums of money and aid to countries in need. We are currently the largest donor of aid but not the largest donor compared to how rich our country is. In the past I have heard lots of complaining of how we should not spend all this money helping other countries but should spend it here at home. From abroad we here complaints of how the U.S. could do so much more to help.
After hurricane Katrina, many were stunned at how ill prepared our country was to take a blow from natural causes. After this for the first time I can remember, other countries started to give us aid. The attached article has Kuwait sending "US$500-million-worth of oil products and other humanitarian aid". This has been been sent as a thankyou for coming to their rescue in the Gulf War. Other countries, "freinds an foes" are offering large sums of money in order to help us recover from such an event. In total, over 60 countries are pleging aid.
My question is do you think this aid pouring in to the U.S. will help justify us sending aid? What about countries such as Cuba and Iran...do you think this is their way of trying to establish better relations with the U.S.? Also the idea of aid to other countries, to help disperse the costs of such events, is it a worthy goal?
Posted by Nathan T. at 9/10/2005 12:39:00 PM
According to Gail Bucker of Fox News in an article titled, “Hitting the Wall on Textbooks,” students are avoiding the cost of textbooks by either not purchasing them or dropping classes. Tuition has been rising increasingly over the last twenty years. The dramatic increase in our tuition dollars leads Congress to conduct a study on the cost of textbooks. They found in an 18 year span, “Textbook prices nearly tripled, increasing an average of 6 percent per a year - twice the rate of inflation…” The article also stated that it is not strange for students to spend approximately $1000 on textbooks in their upper-class years.
Are textbooks really worth the price? The article found that some students have admitted to not buying textbooks at all, dropping classes, or avoiding taking a class because of the textbook cost. Half.com and Amazon.com represent some of the ways students are finding to get their money’s worth in textbooks. In addition, some Universities are realizing the impact on their students and have started a textbook rental service. Is tuition going to keep climbing along with textbook prices?
Posted by Saira Khan at 9/10/2005 10:49:00 AM
Friday, September 09, 2005
In 1999 the average retail price of a gallon of gas in the US was $1.05. Now gas has peaked at over $3.00 per gallon in most communities over the last couple of weeks. This is devastating to small businesses, especially to small businesses that have any kind of delivery service.
When gasoline prices go up, many other products go up in price as well. These price increases come to offset the cost of fuel. When a small retail business buys its products at wholesale to resell them they are paying more upfront. Then the price increase gets passed on to the consumer making it harder to sell the items that you perchased. Then if you have a delivery service you have to initiate a delivery service fee, which only adds more cost to the consumer.(Who has to use gas to get to your store in the first place.)
In the article one suggestion made by small business owners is to just raise prices. This seems like a simple solution, but by raising prices you discourage purchasing by the consumers and many consumers already feel the crucnh by the rising gas prices. Is there a solution to this problem?
Posted by Kyle Huck at 9/09/2005 03:22:00 PM
Last week on CNN Headline news in the midst of Katrina a brief segment was dedicated to R rated movies, and how they make way less than rated G movies. I then found this article reiterating that fact. This study said that Rated R movies cost more to make and make less than Rated G movies. There are 17.4 times more rated R movies made, but rated G produced 8.35 times more profits. Over 55% of all rated movies are R, with 3% being G; however that translates to R rated films making 11 million per film, and G making 94 million per film. With rated G films competively with the advantage, why doesn't major film makers shift their focus to family orientated films? Or is this happening already? For example, the Excorcist of Emily Rose is rated PG-13 (which made more than rated R movies also). Will the demand of G movies shift, or will it remain constant?
Posted by JennyLeister at 9/09/2005 02:23:00 PM
In many different areas around the world, there are annual events that attract large crowds and large sums of money. Dublin, Ireland celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a huge parade and parties all day long, New York City celebrates the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade every year, and locally, Marietta celebrates the Sternwheel Festival every year.
Many businesses across the world look forward to these times of the year when their businesses will flourish and bring in the most profit. Not only are numerous amounts of supplies purchased during this time, but people will travel all over the world to take part in the celebrations that are going on.
This weekend kicks off the annual Sternwheel Festival and many local businesses are looking forward to the amount of people who plan to visit. Because of the flooding last year, many small businesses have had a hard time getting back on their feet and look forward to what this weekend brings.
For the south, New Orleans is known for having its annual Mardi Gras parties which attracts thousands of people. After seeing all of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, will the festivities still be able to go on? Will any of the businesses affected by the hurricane be able to benefit from Mardi Gras? How will lack of participation in this year’s events hurt the economy, or will it?
Posted by erbh at 9/09/2005 01:07:00 PM
Thursday, September 08, 2005
According to CNN.com, "a growing number" of Americans are ducking from the long commercial breaks of FM radio and investing in satellite radios. With these radios from XM and Sirius, listeners can tune into over 120 channels with no commercials at all. According to CNN, 30% of airtime on U.S. radio is taken up by commercials. In order to obtain this service, a $13 a month charge is issued. Both Sirius and XM have signed major deals with automakers which have made their radios standard features in cars. Is this a good thing to invest in? What will become of FM and AM radio? Local radio shows?
Posted by Kyle B. at 9/08/2005 09:41:00 PM
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – President Bush announced two relief measures for Katrina victims on Thursday that are intended to cut through the red tape of getting financial assistance.
"Our goal is not to simply provide benefits, but to make them easy and simple as possible to collect," Bush said.
The first measure is to offer $2,000 in cash assistance per household for food, clothing and other essentials.
For those in shelters who haven't registered and can't get to a FEMA recovery center, phones and sometimes laptops will be made available to allow evacuees to register, said FEMA spokesman Mark Pfeifle.
My question is should the people who are already in shelters and have a place to stay for now recieve the $2,000 for assistance? Should Bush spend this money on those who are still being rescued?
Posted by Feigl5 at 9/08/2005 08:52:00 PM
I know the the New Orleans topic has been done ad nauseum, however its implications could be huge. I recieved this in an email, so take it cum grano salis, however it does at least offer some different ideas and things to think about in terms of the "big picture" and New Orleans. I also apologize for its length.
[I've edited Hunter's post for brevity's sake and only included snippets from the article penned by George Friedman. The full article can be read at the link above.---Dr D.]
...During the Cold War, a macabre topic of discussion among bored
graduate students who studied such things was this: If the Soviets
could destroy one city with a large nuclear device, which would it
be? The usual answers were Washington or New York. For me, the answer
was simple: New Orleans. If the Mississippi River was shut to
traffic, then the foundations of the economy would be shattered. The
industrial minerals needed in the factories wouldn't come in, and the
agricultural wealth wouldn't flow out...
...New Orleans is not optional for the United States' commercial
infrastructure. It is a terrible place for a city to be located, but
exactly the place where a city must exist. With that as a given, a
city will return there because the alternatives are too devastating.
The harvest is coming, and that means that the port will have to be
opened soon. As in Iraq, premiums will be paid to people prepared to
endure the hardships of working in New Orleans. But in the end, the
city will return because it has to...
Posted by HMLJ at 9/08/2005 01:10:00 PM
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
As the US is watching a second week of news cycles surrounding the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, forecasters are wearily eyeing three other storms forming in the Atlantic - Ophelia, Nate and Maria.
Currently, Ophelia is the most threatening of the three with a position about 100 miles north of Cape Canaveral, Fla. While Nate and Maria are still too far out in the ocean to predict with any certainty, The Weather Channel is predicting that Ophelia could hit anywhere along the Atlantic Coast of Northern Florida all the way up to North Carolina.
How do you think the residents of these areas are reacting right now? Do you think that in the wake of the devastation of Katrina, mere forecasts of a possible hurricane strike in a four state region of the Atlantic Coast is enough to drive people to action and have any sort of economic impact on those regions? Will people planning to make a late summer run to the beach in Georgia or South Carolina cancel their plans for fear of being stuck there? Will hotels, motels and restaurants along the coast begin boarding up to protect their property from the storm? Will stores along coastlines close down and ship their inventory to "higher ground" after seeing what happened to the people of New Orleans?
Obviously, it would not be economically wise to tuck tail and run now, when Ophelia's path is still undecided, but when will the people in the areas predicted to get the brunt of the storm decide to shutter up, haul out their belongings and get out of Dodge? If you're looking at it from a purely economic standpoint at what point when a natural disaster is closing in on you do you make that decision? And, do you think that in the wake of Katrina, people will make that decision faster?
Take a look at The Weather Channel forecast for Ophelia.
Posted by JoyFrank-Collins at 9/07/2005 08:37:00 PM
Carbon dioxide pollution costs us a lot to eliminate it. Since 1990, the US greenhouse (a building used for growing plants) gas emissions increase at an average of 1 percent per year. According to Energy Information Administration, the rate is nearly the same as average annual growth of US population and the primary energy consumption. Although the greenhouse gas emissions had been reduced because of the reduction of methane and nitrous, it is still a serious problem in our society. The harm of it only includes damage of humanity health, but also spending of social income, which would add to the burden of our economy. Fortunately, US Environmental Protection Agency has come up with a solution—the installation of CHP (Combined Heat and Power). “CHP is and efficient, clean, and reliable approach to generating power and thermal energy from a single fuel source.” (Want to see more information? Click here.) Using of CHP will help to decrease greenhouse gas emissions while cut down energy cost and bring up productivities. The government is now promoting CHP by setting up voluntary partnership, which would in some means economize our huge spending on eliminating pollution every year. The example of greenhouse gas emission and solution for it is like an environmental economic model: people need to find a way to reduce the pollution in case of spending less money on it and generate more benefits from it.
Posted by Amie at 9/07/2005 06:14:00 PM
To most the issue of same sex marriage probably appears to lack all considerations of economics, but I disagree. I believe that same sex marriage could have a profound effect on labor economics. Regardless of the president’s vehement disapproval of same sex marriage, it appears likely that at some point in the future it will be made legal. The link provided at the end of this blog provides evidence for this claim.
I find it interesting to consider how same sex marriage would affect the labor force participation rate (LFPR). Before I begin to explain my line of reasoning I would first like to make clear that I don’t believe a dramatic result would be noticed, just that there could be a noticeable result. There are many financial “perks” to being marriage in the traditional sense, and this is why homosexuals are fighting so intensely to have that same privilege. I wonder if same sex marriage was permitted if one of the spouses would be more likely to drop out of the labor force and by doing so lower the LFPR. Depending on the average amount of hours an individual worked and on the size of the pure income effect (no substitution effect), it is possible that the individual could obtain a higher level of utility by not working at all.
For those readers that are not, or have not, taken labor economics the previous statement likely does not make sense. For those that are, or have, taken this class, what do you think about my hypothesis?http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/09/07/gay.marriage.ap/indes.html
Posted by Ben Boettcher at 9/07/2005 10:23:00 AM
A recent CNN article has stted that the United States Productivity Growth has been shrinking. The percentage growth for the second quarter was 1.8 percent which was lower than expected. With the first quarter growth of 3.2 percent this was a high drop between two quarters. This drop was also unexpected since the amount of hours worked grew by 2.2 percent. There is also a significant amount of decrease from last year's growth rate at 4.5 percent. I feel this could have an impact on our economy because a slower growth rate could in turn cause inflation. My question is what do you think caused this decrease in the productivity growth and what kind of impact will it have on our economy?
Posted by Chris Brew at 9/07/2005 08:42:00 AM
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Greenspan's up to bat expecting a long, slow lob across the plate as he plays the final game of his career and dreams of coming retirement, when suddenly Hurricane Katrina throws him a curve ball: the Southeast is in shambles, the entire country at the mercy of punishing gas price spike.
My question is that if you were Alan Greenspan, would you try to make another heroic effort to save the economy or just ride out your final months, and would you continue to raise rates or would you cut rates? Remember that if he chooses the wrong side he will go down with that burden for the remainder of his life.
Posted by mark erkkila at 9/06/2005 11:43:00 PM
Because of Katrina, the US's first state-of-the-art, mobile hospital was put to use. Established by the Department of Homeland Security, this 113 bed hospital travels in a convoy that includes two 53-foot trailors, and includes such technology and services as ultrasounds, satellite internet, a full pharmacy, and digital radiology which makes it possible for doctors to perform most surgeries.
The hospitals first trial run was at a K-Mart parking lot in Mississippi where the first patient was a dehydrated dog. Within the next 16 hours, nearly 100 people were treated. The only questionable aspect of the mobile hospital is the lack of paperwork and questioning of insurance.
My questions are: Should there be a market of "mobile hospitals" for situations such as Katrina, or other crises? Noting the lack of paperwork and insurance info, would these hospitals end up costing the goverment way too much to operate? What kinds of effects would these hospitals have on the economy?
Posted by brittany zaleski at 9/06/2005 09:54:00 PM
Monday, September 05, 2005
Farmers play an important role in America. They grow crops and raise livestock that are used to feed people all around the country and even in some places around the world.
However, there are many costs that are involved with farming. For instance, farmers must purchase livestock, feed, equipment, fuel, seeds, pesticides, and fertilizers. Some farmers hire workers to help with day to day operations. These items alone are a large investment that the farmer makes.
Farming is a major gamble. The farmer could either have a prosperous year or he could lose his investment. One factor that hangs in the balance is the weather. If the growing season is too harsh, the crops will not have a good yield. But, if the growing season is ideal, the farmer would make a decent return on his investment. There is no guarantee as to what will happen.
A majority of farmers do not have a job outside of the farm. They depend upon farming to produce the revenue necessary to support the members of their family. Therefore, they are giving up a steady and predictable source of income from an outside source.
After seeing how many costs are involved with farming, why do you think that farmers continue to invest large sums of money when a return on their investment is not guaranteed?
Posted by Heather Peters at 9/05/2005 06:54:00 PM
Not only are fuel prices increasing, but consumer products are expected to increase due to Hurricane Katrina. Economist Nariman Behravesh is forecasting that consumer products such as chocolate, fresh produce, and coffee are a few items that will increase in price in the near future. This is expected since the seaports used for shipping these items have been seriously disrupted from Hurricane Katrina. It will also hurt the United States economy in the fact that shipping out wheat, grain, and retail products will be a prolonged challenge. It is estimated that one-fifth of all U.S. imports and exports are shipped through the Gulf Coast annually, and accounts for nearly $150 billion, according to Economy.com. Even more devastating is that southern parts of Louisiana are the largest ports in the nation.
How much of an effect do you think this is going to have on consumer spending in the near future? Do you think small businesses such as convenient stores will be able to survive the increasing prices, or will they be forced to shut down? Will large businesses such as Wal-Mart have much of an effect? What is going to happen to the production possibilities frontier?
Posted by Amy Blair at 9/05/2005 03:43:00 PM
Sunday, September 04, 2005
General Motors started their employee discount campaign this summer. In an attempt to clear excess inventory General Motors decided to reduce profitability by offering models at employee rates. By decreasing the price the demand for GM vehicles increased as sales skyrocketed 16.2% in July. The marginal benefit of selling the excess number of vehicles outweighs the marginal cost of selling fewer vehicles at full profit.
Posted by bakosw at 9/04/2005 09:31:00 PM
Hurrincane Katrina has taken a toll on the unemployment rate on the Gulf Coast. In July of 2005 the estimated unemployment rate for the area was 4.9%, and now possibly could climb up to 25%. While the bigger businesses may get back on their feet soon and jobs will come from the rebuilding projects, the 28% of the area living under the poverty line and the small businesses will be devasted. We in the Mid-Ohio Valley understand what effect a natural disaster, on a much smaller scale, can have on a community and it's little shops.
Posted by AshleyB at 9/04/2005 05:25:00 PM
Friday, September 02, 2005
A recent report from the Labor Department incidcated that the unemployment rate for the United States dropped from 5 percent to 4.9 percent, the lowest it has been in four years. The report also indicated that the hourly wages have increased by 2 cents. While the unemployment rate is decreasing the amount of jobs being created are also decreasing. For instance, in July 242,000 jobs were created compared to 169,000 jobs in August.
This report came out the week of August 12, meaning the effects of Hurricane Katrina were not factored in. The rising costs of gasoline and energy prices could have a large impact on the nation's economy.
What do you think? What effects on the nation's ecomony do you think are to be expected from the hurricane?
Posted by Jami Schneider at 9/02/2005 01:34:00 PM