I read an interesting article in the Washington Post called, "Office Stereotyping and How it Stifles," concerning how women and men feel that a woman's role in the workplace is still inferior or more supportive to a man's. It pointed out some of the pyschological attributions made between women and men about gender roles and their affect on leadership. Basically, women and men in the workplace still feel that women are not able to take on leadership roles, and are not adept to problem-solving and delegtaing tasks. I think that this article is interesting because it shows the affect of female entrants in certain professions- some women won't take or enter certain jobs, or some women don't even finish higher level education because these stereotypes still persist.
Monday, October 31, 2005
Many farmers in California and Arizona employ illegal immigrants. Strict enforcement of the Mexican boarder has limited the number of illegal immigrants coming in to the US. Of those that do get in, some have left the farming industry for higher paying, less labor intensive jobs, such as construction and landscaping. According to our class discussion of the wage structure and compensating wage differentials, if the farm work is much more strenuous than construction or landscaping work, those workers will expect to be paid more for farming. Since they are finding higher wages in easier jobs, the workers are moving away from farming. If no change is made, growers are expecting unharvested crops due to the shortage of workers. This could force the US to rely more on food supplied from foreign countries.
Posted by Erika Barth at 10/31/2005 06:22:00 PM
Commuters who rely on the city's buses, subways and trolleys were forced to walk, hitch rides and take taxis to work Monday after thousands of city transit workers went on strike. In a city where one in three households lacks a car, about 920,000 trips are taken on a typical weekday along the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority lines shut down by the strike. The city prepared for the strike by setting up extra bike racks, encouraging car pooling and allowing more parking. Even though people had to find a new way of transportation, most students and teachers were still making it to school. The reason for the strike is the union leaders rejected the agency's health care offer, which would have required employees to pay 5% of the premium, where workers currently pay nothing. Since workers are on strike because of the health care premium, will this cause workers to want to spill over to another market where there is no health care premium?
Posted by NatalieC at 10/31/2005 05:57:00 PM
After a two-year embargo on U.S beef, Japan has finally decided that if certain criteria are met, the U.S can resume exporting the product to Japan. The trade embargo was initiated in 2003 after mad cow disease was found in U.S cattle. Specific criteria that must be met by U.S exporters can be found through the link at the bottom of this blog. Before the embargo, Japan was the U.S largest beef importer. With regards to economics, the embargo can be viewed as a leftward shift in the demand curve which, everything else held constant, would have resulted in lower prices for beef. As output and prices of beef fell, the labor demand curve for workers employed in the beef sector should have also shifted to the left, resulting in lower pay and less work for the labor suppliers. Empirically, I am not aware if this was in fact the result of the embargo. Regardless of whether economic theory held true in this instance, do you believe that the renewed trade with Japan will result in a rightward shift of the demand curve, causing prices of beef to increase? Will the labor demand curve for beef workers shift to the right as well?
Posted by Ben Boettcher at 10/31/2005 10:05:00 AM
In Nevada, by the strip in Las Vegas, the prices of Condominiums are beginning to sky rocket because areas around Las Vegas are starting to urbanize even more. They are expanding upward. A 700 square foot Condo can be now bought in Vegas for around $1.2 million. They are comparing this boom to ocean front property and the market is rapidly increasing. I am wondering, is having a home that close to Vegas worth the same price as a house on the beach. IN my opinion, no, it isn't. After reading the article, let me know what you think.
Posted by Rachelle Cole at 10/31/2005 08:32:00 AM
These are some of the things not to be worn with the new dresscode intact.
- Sleeveless shirts
- T-shirts, jerseys, or sports apparel (unless appropriate for the event (e.g., a basketball clinic), team-identified, and approved by the team)
- Headgear of any kind while a player is sitting on the bench or in the stands at a game, during media interviews, or during a team or league event or appearance (unless appropriate for the event or appearance, team-identified, and approved by the team)
- Chains, pendants, or medallions worn over the player's clothes
- Sunglasses while indoors
- Headphones (other than on the team bus or plane, or in the team locker room
Posted by Dana Ingraham at 10/31/2005 02:31:00 AM
By 2030, researchers estimate that the market for development will be around $25 trillion. This is more than double what the US market currently is. If that is true wouldn't be great to invest in land purchases? Buy land now for a decent price and sell it for triple what you paid for it 20-30 years from now. To me that sounds like a great trade off. I think that there are going to be hundreds of people that will benefit from this potentially going market.
Posted by Brian Ashton at 10/31/2005 02:11:00 AM
Wal-Mart had forecast a 2 percent to 4 percent increase in October sales at stores open at least a year -- a key retail measure known as same-store sales. The gasoline profits that Wal-Mart had accumilated over the month of october has also increased. Do you think that Wal-Mart profits will keep increasing or will they slow down with the holidays approaching and many people choosing to shop elsewhere? Will Wal-Marts gasoline profits keep the increase?
Posted by mark erkkila at 10/31/2005 01:52:00 AM
The San Francisco Giants baseball stadium is changing names again. This is the 3rd change of names in the past 3 years. The name was changed from Pacific Bell Stadium to SBC Park. This really bothers me. I cant stand that fact that people would name a stadium after a major corporation. Pacific Bell paid $53 million to name the stadium in 2000. The artical says they werent told how much SBC is paying to change the name now, but I could imagin that its a lot more than $53 million and still a huge waste of money. Why cant stadiums be named after amazing athlets or have names that relate to its city? Thats the way it should be. Do you think that companys are going to far, or do you think that it doesnt matter what the name is? I believe this is just a waste of money, maybe spend the money on "SBC free ice cream day" and give the stadium a real name.
Posted by mikesullivan at 10/31/2005 01:44:00 AM
Yahoo Inc. has decided to double it's price for yearly subscriptions to download music, from $60 to $120 annually. Although Yahoo's prices will still be below that of their competitors, Napster Inc. and RealNetworks Inc. (who charge just under $15), once the subscription for Yahoo is over, the already downloaded songs cannot be used and these downloads are not compatible with Apple's ipod, which makes up about 3/4 of the market for portable music players. Do you think this change in price will effect Yahoos sales and take away the advantage of going with this company, or do you think that since the price is still lower than that of their competitors, Yahoo will keep production and quantity demanded up?
Posted by brianne at 10/31/2005 01:05:00 AM
Gas prices are outrageous right now. It is very difficult to fill up my gas tank when it takes almost $50. People are looking to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles and to get the best mileage. But the mileage estimates of the Enviornmental Protection Agency do not reflect the real-world driving conditions. When you are sitting in dead stop traffic it becomes very difficult to get the most out of your tank of gasoline. You have to know what to look for in buying a car and know some basic operations and maintenance for the vehicle. There is also an option for a hybrid vehicle which cuts the fuel costs because it runs on an electric motor part of the time.
The E.P.A. fuel economy estimates that are posted on the window sticker and listed on the agency's Web site are not always accurate. Consumer Reports found out that E.P.A. figures overstated mileage 90 percent of the time. The test done by E.P.A. was developed in the 1970's and it is very different from the way peple truly drive. It is under conditions of an average speed of 48 mph with the air conditioner off and no braking for traffic. However, the test are the same on each car so you are pretty safe using the numbers for just comparison.
Mileage is better in a small four-cylinder engine and even cheaper in a diesel engine. Also you will get better mileage if you take care of the care. For example keep the tires inflated, replace spark plugs and air filters when needed. Also keep the car light by not overloading the trunk. The thing that determines gas mileage the most is how you drive your car. If you are a very agressive driver where you brake and accelerate often you waste so much more gas. If you follow these easy options you could be saving a great amount of gas.
Posted by K. McKoy at 10/31/2005 12:57:00 AM
An article on CNN.com stated that the Census Bureau reported that the building market 3.4% to an annual rate of 2.11 million during September. Some economists believed that the rate would slip to around 1.98, but they were wrong. When you hear this statistic you are probably thinking that it is due to the damages caused by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. However, the article states that the hurricanes are not the reason for this rise in the number of houses being built. The Census Bureau said that the impact of the hurricane on the regional and national numbers were minimal. What do you think about this stat? Does it surprise you that the hurricane had minimal impact on the rise of building in the nation? What does this say about the country's economy?
Posted by Rocky Capobianco at 10/31/2005 12:49:00 AM
Scores is a NYC "upmarket lap dancing club" where big names such as George Clooney, Madonna, and Howard Stern have been seen, where people with lots of money spend it on ... well...lap dances. American Express is sueing one Missouri businessman for not paying a credit card bill of $241,000, which was supposedly incrued during a single night at the club. He says he spent a mere $20,000 that night and is accusing the club of fraud. A Bangladeshi businessman refuses to pay a $129,626 credit card bill supposedly racked up in five hours at the club. A Manhatten District Attorney is looking into claims that Scores is frequently overcharging credit cards. The club denies all claims that it is overcharging, saying it takes fingerprints and gets approval from the credit card company every $10,000. What's going on here, are they overcharging? Are they doing it because they know that most people would be ashamed or get in trouble (family, job, etc.) for being at such a place, taking advantage of their relutance to complain? Or are they really overcharging credit cards? Maybe somebody wakes up the next morning and doesn't want to believe he just spent such a large amount on ... well...'you know.' How can this problem be solved so that "adult entertainment" is not a thing of the past?
Posted by Alex Lemley at 10/31/2005 12:47:00 AM
According to this article, Wal-Mart's stock price has dropped 17% in the last year and it's competition like Target are picking up the slack. The high gas prices along with other factors are hurting profit. Now Wal-Mart is launching a campaign to lower health costs for employees and raise minimum wage. Critics say this is just a stunt to make Wal-Mart's faltering image, clear. Do you think this campaign is a good idea? Do you think it will make Wal-Mart look like a company concerned with our welfare and bring customers back?
Posted by AshleyB at 10/31/2005 12:26:00 AM
Stocks in the US rose this week which sparked the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to its first such gain in the month of October. Many event and activities have sparked this growth including companies such as DuPont Co., Verizon Communications Inc., and Merck & Co., due to their better than expected quarterly earnings. October has represented a decline in the market as a result of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The rumor of rising inflation and the rising price of oil, have also been responsible for the slow month. Major events that have had positive effects on the market have come more recently. Politics has influenced the market in a positive manor in recent days, as President Bush recently named Ben Bernanke chief economist. How does long-term and short-term behavior affect the stock market? Why do outside forces alter the market environment? How do those outside forces affect long-term and short-term decisions?
Posted by NickManson02 at 10/31/2005 12:26:00 AM
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Stocks in the US rose this week which sparked the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to its first such gain in the month of October. Many event and activities have sparked this growth including companies such as DuPont Co., Verizon Communications Inc., and Merck & Co., due to their better than expected quarterly earnings. October has represented a decline in the market as a result of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The rumor of rising inflation and the rising price of oil, have also been responsible for the slow month. Major events that have had positive effects on the market have come more recently. Politics has influenced the market in a positive manor in recent days, as President Bush recently named Ben Bernanke chief economist. How does long-term and short-term behavior affect the stock market? Why do outside forces alter the market environment? How do those outside forces affect long-term and short-term decisions?
Posted by NickManson02 at 10/30/2005 11:58:00 PM
Recently, GM has recalled 106,00 suv's in the U.S. and Canada due to the fact that the two backseat doors can have defects from corrision that can result in the doors flying opened while the suv's are being driven.
Gm currently has had a 10 cent raise to their share, raising their total share to 27.29 in the N.Y. stock exchange.
My question is, due to the fact that 106,000 of their suv's being recalled, do you feel that this will affect their shares in a negative way, or do you feel that these shares will not change due to the recalled vehicles.
Posted by Dominick Winters at 10/30/2005 11:58:00 PM
In the past three centuries over 300 billion square feet homes, factories, offices, and other structures have been built in the United States. According to new studies done by Virginia Tech urban planning professor Robert Lang, it will take 25 short years to erect the next 200 billion square feet, which will need to accomodate all the losses caused by the recent hurricanes. As a result of this real estate boom $25 trillion will need to be spent, which is more than twice the size of the American economy today. The bulk of this building will be done in 10 major metro regions that he has christened "megapolitans."
In the end is it worth spending all this money on these buildings? What consequences (negative or positive) will result in this boom?
Posted by Nicole Veigel at 10/30/2005 11:56:00 PM
Sports fan or not, you probably know that the National Hockey league did not play last year. This was because of a lockout between the owners and the players. To sum up the past, players wanted more, owners wanted to give less. A good analogy to modern day America. Anyways, the main reason the owners did not want to give more money is because they were not making any. Crowds were down, and the game was boring. Boring games equals boring faces when the owners look at their wallets. So, the NHL made new rules. The players and owners compromised with the salary cap so that both were happy. Also they made new, uncomplicated, for lack of a better word, rules that would increase excitement. Scoring is up quite a bit already. Now, the NHL is a professional league in which competition is strict. My sole question for you is if you are the NHL commissioner is which do you want to do. Make your fans happy by increasing scoring, however not exactly giving players what they want? (consider the situations that could arise in the future...strike, another lockout) Or rather, do you make your employees happy, who technically, are the ones making the money for you?
Posted by danielpierre at 10/30/2005 11:49:00 PM
In this article the comparison is made between leaky baseball stadiums and leaky economies. When people give tax dollars to build a new stadium they don't expect leaks and cracks when it is built. Also, people probably don't think too heavily on the subject of the economy because of this new stadium that is being built. You see, by putting tax dollars into this source of entertainment they are just pulling dollars out of other entertainment industries such as movies, bowling, etc. People use the idea of increasing revenue for the city through this source of entertainment and benefitting the economy but don't weight the idea that their extra money is just coming out of the other entertainment industries. On the other hand, the new baseball stadium would be drawing money from out-of-towners. Not only would the baseball stadium increase the economic benefit for themselves, but it would also help out the hotel industry as well as the food vendors and restaurants. So, my question to you is, do you think that having a baseball team in your city would be a benefit to the economy? Would the outside revenue coming in outweigh the lost entertainment from locals who choose to go to a baseball game instead of going to a movie or going bowling?
Posted by Kaid Musgrave at 10/30/2005 11:45:00 PM
Allan Greenspan's tenure as chairman of the Fed is coming to an end. This could also be the end of consecutive quarters the Fed has raised interest rates. The Fed's monetary policy will meet Nov. 1st and is expected to raise the interest rate by a quarter percentage point for the 11th consecutive quarter since June 2004. Interest rates have increased due to the Fed trying to keep inflation at bay.
Investors are saying there is almost a 100% chance that a quarter percent hike to 4% will occur. This will be the highest level since April 2001. How much higher do you think interest rates will continue to rise before we start seeing a decrease? With gas prices starting to decrease, will this entice the Fed to start lowering rates?
Posted by hendricks10 at 10/30/2005 11:44:00 PM
A question to start things off; How many of you ever skip work, and call it, "a sick day?"
Well, for those of you who do, and don't, economists are saying that sick days are actually hurting our economy. Stats are showing that anywhere from five to twenty percent of the population get the flu each winter. Those eventually lead to over 70 million paid sick days across the country. Still don't think it is a big deal? Get this; American corporations lose over 7 BILLION dollars a year because of the flu alone? With the Asian Bird Flu starting to become an epidemic, do you think that our economy is possibly in some sersious trouble this winter? Do you buy these stats and actually believe that because people get sick, it hurts our economy. Or perhaps should we just start to learn to distinguish between the flu and being tired? Anyways, whats your opinion on skipping work. Are sick days being taken for granted, or should the government consider expanding bird hunting season this year?
Posted by danielpierre at 10/30/2005 11:27:00 PM
According to this article from CNN there is a possibility that the Federal Reserve is considering raising interest rates again. Apparently a good way to determine how interst rates will change in the near futre is by looking at the difference between interest rates and the rate of inflation. By doing this you can find out how effective the interest rate is at encourageing growth, but containing inflation.
If current thinking is correct then this means that the Fed will likely raise rates three more times by the end of Alan Greenspan’s tenure in January 2006. What does this mean for interest rates, will they keep going up, and when a the new chairman takes over in January will the rise be slowed, or will, as some believe continue to go up? If inflation continues to rise, since is is at it’s highest levels in 11 years, does this mean that interest rates will also go up, or will they be curtailed, and most of all what would this continued rise do to the national economy, which has been steadly growing in recent months?
Posted by jlo001 at 10/30/2005 11:09:00 PM
Delaware, not only the first state of America, but ranked first among the states in best working environment. This was determined according to average pay, employment opportunities, employee benefirs, percentage of low-income workers, fair treatment between genders, and the ability for employees to unionize. The Work Environment Index evaluated worker climates on a state-by-state basis by looking at job opportunities, job quality, and workplace fairness. The other states in the top ten on the list were New Hampshire, Minnesota, Vermont, Iowa, Connecticut, Indiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and South Dakota. While Texas, Arkansas, Utah, and South Carolina were among the lowest, with Louisiana coming in last. The study determined that states ranking high on the list generally had faster economic growth and lower poverty rates.
What does this mean for employers in lower ranked states? What is the opportunity cost of having a business in a lower ranked state? Of working in a lower ranked state? Of working or employing in a higher ranked state? How do the results of this study effect the market and demand for jobs?
Posted by Kim Becker at 10/30/2005 11:04:00 PM
Profits for Avon Cosmetics fell by 7 percent in this last economic quarter. Although the shares of Avon rose by 7 percent, the Avon company has been facing difficulties regarding competition. There has been an increased amount of competition especially in the area of anti-aging and other skin care products. Although Avon remains the largest direct-seller of cosmetics, it hopes to improve over the next year and restructure its company.
Avon will continue to operate fully as it sees the relationship between overall economic troubles in the country and the amount of sales for Avon products. As the economy worsens, for example the continuous rise and fall of gas prices, many Americans are shifting to buy other goods. As their spendable income decreases, the amount spent on lower margin products increases.
Posted by Saira Khan at 10/30/2005 11:01:00 PM
The world-wide sugar market has entered a time of structural change. Since the beginning of the current year, the international sugar prices have been on the increase. The European sugar reforms would have an impact on the prices because they might disappear as a major white sugar exporter later on in the future. Also, ethanol may create a permanently tighter supply of sugar because the level of crude oil, given the ongoing concentration process of the supply side and Brazil’s growing dominance. The greater the weight on Brazil, the more problems with food security. India, Thailand, Cuba, and other raw sugar producing countries have had series of droughts which resulted in scarcity of sugar. If supply greatly decreased in 2005/2006, then this would cause a price increase and could permanently affect the global sugar prices.
The consumption of sugar has decreased but is expected to grow. What are some factors that could have affected the consumption of sugar? Could we blame the substitutes for sugar or the health related problems? How are the increasing prices affecting demand?
Posted by Nola Juliano at 10/30/2005 10:46:00 PM
Our economy is growing at a steady rate. According to MSNBC.com they say that economic activity grew at a rate of 3.8%. The article also mentions that this economy is growing even with the devistating hurricanes Rita and Katrina. The article also mentions that this growth really shows that our economy is in great shape. Consumers along with the governement have also increased their spending in this third quarter. It is also mentioned that the economy is doing alot better than the public thinks. My question is do you think that the economy is strong? Do you think that the growth proves that the economy is strong even with the 2 devistation hurricanes? And also do you think that it will continue to grow at a steady pace?
Posted by Elizabeth Mc Dougall at 10/30/2005 10:46:00 PM
The high gas prices that drivers have endured recently have meant record profits for major oil companies. Exxon Mobil has profitted $9.92 billion, Royal Dutch Shell has profitted $9.02 billion, and BP has profitted $6.53 billion during the third quarter. Some reasons for the increase in gas/oil prices are a tight supply and a large demand. The high prices have also been attributed to preventing a shortage in gas supply. In efforts to increase production in the United States, tax breaks have been given to the oil companies. Although increasing production within the oil companies would help in bringing the gas prices down, do you agree that tax breaks are the best outlet to encourage production within the oil companies? What other solutions are available to quickly bring down the gas prices?
Posted by erbj at 10/30/2005 10:15:00 PM
This article is about how Roche, a drug-producing company in Switzerland, is looking for outside companies to help produce a drug called Tamiflu. This brand name drug (there is not a generic for it yet) has become important recently because of its ability to treat (not cure) the seasonal flu, and therefore can be useful in fighting the new H5N1 strain of bird flu that has recently swept parts of the world. This potentially harmful flu has increased the demand of Tamiflu all over the world, and the Roche drug company simply cannot keep up with the new demand.
The Roche company has asked other companies in other countries to help them produce the drug (Argentina and Taiwan have offered to produce their own versions). The company also offered to "get around" the patent in order for another company to help produce the drug. This a big deal because the patents on drugs are what allow a drug company to profit from what it produces. For example, a patent is the reason that generic drugs don't come out for several years after a brand drug is sold on the market. Once a drug's patent is up, other companies are allowed to produce the "generic" of the drug. This is a big step for a company to ignore the patent and allow the early reproduction of the drug. This is all done, Roche says, to make sure that people who are sick get their medication. The focus is less on profits and more on the health of people in the world in this case.
Looking at this case economically, will the early reproduction of Tamiflu by competing companies hurt Roche's profits in the short run? In the long run? Will the company's profits increase because people look at the Roche company as being a more humanistic company, that is genuinely concerned with the health of the people in the world? Do you think that the Roche company is doing a good thing by trying to reproduce the drug now?
Posted by Jennifer Danko at 10/30/2005 10:10:00 PM
It's true. Gas Prices are falling. AAA says that, "The price is down nearly 18 percent from the record high of $3.057 that it hit on Labor Day, following Hurricane Katrina." So that makes the average price now $2.50, which is 2 cents cheaper than last saturday. The government says that its because the demand for gas has lowered 2 percent. So once again we see the idea of supply and demand. What do you think is the reason why gas prices are lower? Is it really that demand has fallen or is it that the evil gas empire is feeling remorse for all the financial pain they have inflicted on us?
Posted by A.Smith at 10/30/2005 09:59:00 PM
PPG industry just did a survey on the most popular car colors for 2005, and met with consultors to discuss probably color hits for 2008-2009 models. At present, silver is the most popular color "due to its appeal among designers to highlight the form and shape of a vehicle" says Lorene Boettcher of PPG. Among other top colors were white in second place, gold and copper, followed by red and blue. PPG's color marketing team has developed 130 new colors to present to designers which include four major color trends. Blue will be popular with the introduction of liquid metal colors and lilac, green with be reintroduced with added sparkle and possibly in blue-green shades, yellow and brown will grow richer and shimmer, and darker reds like cranberry and wine will be introduced. My questions are: why do people prefer certain colors? Does it have to do with a certain trend or what's "in"? And do people choose cars based more on appearance or performance? What will this sales technique do for the automobile market?
Posted by brittany zaleski at 10/30/2005 09:56:00 PM
In this article, there is a new chocolate bar out saying that it is healthy for you to eat two of the bars a day and that it is more healthy for you. The first idea that came to my mind was the competition and substitutes...if people think that the chocolate bars are better than say a granola bar..will the chocolate factory produce more because a good portion of the population loves chocolate and would rather eat something that is healthy and tastes good rather than something that is healthy and does not taste as good? Is there a chance that the chocolate nutrition bar can put granola bars out of business?
Posted by RebeccaAnderson at 10/30/2005 09:49:00 PM
The nation's gas stations continue to cut prices, with the average price of regular unleaded down another two cents a gallon Sunday, according to travel group AAA's daily survey.
The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fell to $2.509 a gallon from $2.529 Saturday, according to AAA. The price is down nearly 18 percent from the record high of $3.057 that it hit on Labor Day, following Hurricane Katrina.
Gasoline is down from $2.843 a month ago, but up from $2.031 a year ago, AAA says, a 24-percent year-over-year increase.
Retail diesel, which had been lagging the decline in gasoline, fell 2.8 cents to $3.11 a gallon Sunday. Diesel is down 4 percent from the record $3.239 set last Monday, but up more than 38 percent from $2.247 a year ago.
Gasoline prices have steadily fallen during the past two weeks on signs that the soaring expense of energy is finally starting to curb consumption within the U.S., the world's biggest user of fuel. In its weekly inventory report, the U.S. government reported Wednesday that demand for gasoline was two percent lower last week despite the recent decline in pump prices.
On a state-by-state basis, AAA says Hawaiians pay the most for regular unleaded at $3.01 a gallon. Oklahoma has the lowest prices, at $2.164 a gallon.
The average gallon of mid-grade gasoline fell 2.1 cents Sunday to $2.664, according to AAA. Premium unleaded fell 2.1 cents to $2.762 a gallon
What has caused the demand for gasoline to go down? Will prices continue to go down?
Posted by jason75 at 10/30/2005 09:30:00 PM
Over the last few months the average price of a basket of goods has increased by 1.2%. What kind of an impact does this have on the purchasing of a consumer. It seems to me that this would decrease the amount of products that consumers can afford to purchase. In the article it is said that this is a cause from hurricane Katrina. Does a hurricane really have this affect?
Posted by Kyle Huck at 10/30/2005 08:57:00 PM
I thought that this article was interesting. It was surprising to me that the hurricanes did not do that much damage to the US economy. The article claims that the economy is growing at a rate of 3.8%. This is very surprising considering the amount of business' that Louisiana lost. The entire city shut down. Louisiana is not considered a major trading city compared to others in the US; however it is a major port int he southern US. The article says that with this tragedy consumers have been spending money. To stimulate the economy money needs to be spent. This can be also shown after the 9/11 tragedy. President Bush encouraged Americans to spend money which will keep business' open. I guess sometimes a tragedy in the long run can help an economy.
Posted by Eichhornj at 10/30/2005 08:33:00 PM
Recently, a Ford Motor company in Wayne, Michigan began monitoring employee's restroom break time, hoping that shorter breaks would cut company costs. The Chrysler Industry, on the other hand, sees the opposite side of this situation. They believe that by cutting an individual's breaktime, it may effect the way they work resulting in a change in productivity.
Do bathroom breaks really effect the way an individual performs on the job? How much of a change in costs should be expected if bathroom breaks are monitored, if any?
Posted by erbh at 10/30/2005 08:18:00 PM
Dupont is deciding whether or not to outsource and expand to China. I believe they decided to do so, because Dupont decided that it would be cheaper to manufacture their chemicals in China. Which in turn, will raise their revenue. I believe that that this will contribute to lower prices in their products also, because they produce more at a lower price which results in cheaper prices most of the time.
Posted by joshmcl at 10/30/2005 07:59:00 PM
Bush's has been trying to get a new tax reform looked at by Congress which would make collecting taxes easier and simplier. He has also tried to get social security back into the mind of the Congressmen. He had talked about social security reforms during his first term and he also used it in his State of the Union address. Many are now against his ideas for social security and taxes. Do you think we should reform the social security system? And do you think Bush should keep pushing his economic ideas?
Posted by ruckerk at 10/30/2005 07:54:00 PM
Ben Bernanke who will be taking over as the new Federal Reserve chairman after January 31st when current chairman Alan Greenspan who has been chairman for almost 20 years, and has become a well known figure in the government. Some people wonder how Ben Bernanke will be as Fed. Chairman, whether he will support some of the ideas that he helped voice as one of the top economics advisor to President Bush, like tax cuts and federal spending. Will Bernanke make a change if so a good or not so good change compared to how things have gone lately with the reserve and Greenspan?
Posted by Sean Paulhus at 10/30/2005 07:53:00 PM
An article found on the Reuters website Friday, talked about the future of minicars. A company in California, known as Zap tried to order minicars from DaimlerChrysler, but the auto giant said no thanks. Instead, Zap turned to a Brazilian company and ordered 50,000 microcars called Obvios. The Obvio is very similar to the minis found in Japan and Europe. They are a ridiculously small city car that is a three passenger, and equipped with a huge 1.6 liter 170 horse four cylinder motor that is designed to go 0-60 in 5.2 seconds. Zap has only placed the order for the cars, and have yet to put one on the road. My question is would any one actually drive these cars? I am sure they would get over 40 mpg, but what do you think about Zap's risky purchase, will this mini fad take hold here in the gas guzzling US?
Posted by raderdaren at 10/30/2005 07:15:00 PM
Some celebrities make a lot of money during their careers but others stand to make even more money after they die. Elvis has been one that after his death, an empire was created. According to the article Elvis made $45 million in 2005. This puts him as the top dead celebrity in making money for 2005. We all see Elvis souvenirs, his look-a-likes and even his CD's still selling.
I was just wondering if any one would be able to predict the new big money maker for next year that is dead. The article mentions that Johnny Cash could be a huge money maker because of his new movie coming out in November. What do you all think about the concept of making money of dead people? It seems weird to me that there is this much money to be made of a dead person.
Posted by Nathan T. at 10/30/2005 06:50:00 PM
According to CNN.com, Yahoo is doubling the price of it's online music subscription service from $6.99 to $11.99, which ends a short promotion that attempted to draw consumers from Apple's IPod Music Store. With its service, Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo joined Napster and RealNetworks in trying to sell the concept of renting an unlimited amount of tunes for a set fee instead of buying copies individually. The rental approach is supposed to encourage customers to sample different genres and discover new artists. But if the subscription expires, the previously downloaded music becomes unplayable. Customers at Apple's iTunes store, by contrast, keep the songs they buy. The songs are all $0.99 each.
Do you think that this was a good investment overall for Yahoo? How do you think customers will react? Should Apple do anything to counter its competitors?
Posted by Kyle B. at 10/30/2005 06:03:00 PM
When the United Steelworker's Association's contract with Goodyear expires in July 2006, Goodyear plans to make some big changes. Goodyear is planning to cut wages even more than in the last negotiation and to close a few of its plants across North America. How do you think this would effect our economy? Would there be a drastic change in the steel, rubber, and tire market?
Posted by amy francek at 10/30/2005 05:51:00 PM
NASCAR has been a long standing draw for race enthusiasts and drivers. Today, however, in the modern economy big businesses and companies have been investing in advertising their firms by sponsoring racing teams. While this is a commonly held fact, the revenues a generated by racing are a great investment. Millions of people watch, sell, purchase NASCAR related materials and the profits created include not only the winnings of the teams, but the add benefits to the companies which sponsor the teams, and parts manufacturers. Since the popularity of the sport has increased so has the rewards to investors and fans, in fact some of the best returns in professional sports come from NASCAR. Everywhere you look there is a profit to be made from the stands to the track to the garages and concessions commerce is around the track.
What are your thoughts on the growing profits of this growing industry?
Posted by Christopher Case at 10/30/2005 03:09:00 PM
Among the hardships and losses from hurricane Katrina, a second calamity-fire is raising fraud suspicions at flooded homes. There has been an increase in the nuber of claims in fire losses compared to what is normally claimed, stated State Farm Insurance spokesman Morris Anderson. People are trying to recoup losses they have received from Katrina, but they should not be doing so by insurance fraud.
My question is if this will affect insurance premiums in the future for "catastrophic" geographic areas in the country. This could have a huge impact on the economy. Will this impact be in the short-run, or long-run?
Posted by Eric Dowler at 10/30/2005 12:47:00 PM
The U.S. government has stated that more than 500,000 people have lost their jobs due to the devastation inflicted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. When the Labor Department released its weekly jobless report, 24,000 claims came from people who have been put out of work thanks to the hurricanes, bringing the claims related to the storms to 502,000 since September 3. Before the hurricanes, U.S. employment was shown to be stabilizing at healthy levels. As a whole, weekly claims for aid now seem to be falling and in the case of hurricane related claims, leveling off. Now that Hurricane Wilma has hit Florida, hurricane related claims may rise again, meaning that more people will have been put out of work. There is really no way to protect the job market from this; people have no control over the weather. This would be a hard thing to predict, but I'm just curious as to how long it will take the labor economy to stabilize again, and how difficult it will be for employees to find new jobs in the wake of the storms. Will the job market stabilize itself, or will it require much more government intervention?
Posted by Jessie H at 10/30/2005 11:32:00 AM
Recently it was announced that chemical make Dupont is considering more acquistions of plants in China. It will also announce its second biggest research facility in China. Why would a prominent chemical company be moving its plants overseas to China? One reason could be that its biggest competition almost doubled Dupont's revenue in China last year. Could a bigger reason be that it is cheaper and more cost effective for Dupont to produce in China? Is it cheaper because China has more workers who will work for less money? Is it cheaper because China has lower standards on the environmental side?
Posted by Chris Brew at 10/30/2005 10:50:00 AM
According to AAA, the average cost of gasoline in the United States dropped another 2 cents. The average gas price per gallon is now $2.51 which is much lower to the gas prices seen since the two hurricanes. Why do you think gasoline is continuing to slowly drop a couple cents a week or two? How low do you think gasoline prices will end up dropping to?
Posted by Feigl5 at 10/30/2005 10:37:00 AM
The nations largest brewer had a 24% profit drop recently due to many determining factors which include: competition from other alcoholic drinks such as wines and spirits and a charge for a legal settlement. They only earned $518 million as of September 30th, which is a drop from the $684 million of last year. Patrick Stokes, president and chief executive officer also said, “both the company and the domestic beer industry have experienced volume declines and significant cost pressures.” I think pressures from cost are going to have just a short run effect on the beer industry and it won't be long before their profit will increase back to its normal range.
Posted by Kial Welsh at 10/30/2005 08:54:00 AM
Friday, October 28, 2005
The International Space Station has been one of the few space ventures sill in existence. When it was first invisioned in 1980, the number of flights has been downsized from 28 to a mere 18 for completion due to rising costs. It is estimated that its development, including assembly and operation could exceed $100 billion. The expected completion date is tentatively 2010, but this is a flexible schedule due to funding and weather. With all this money wandering around the NASA organization, it's pretty easy to beleive that some of it could get 'misplaced'. Actually, $1.1 billion got misplaced as found by independent auditors. This figure was scaled down to a pocket change amount of $46 million. It was stated in the article that NASA's good at overcoming barriers of space, but is unable to overcome the challenges of good record-keeping. With the five year anniversary of the ISS, should the participating countries continue with the space station, or is it merely a floating block of wasted money?
Posted by carter at 10/28/2005 01:02:00 PM
"California became the latest state to restrict utility shutoffs this winter, fearing that many consumers won't be able to afford skyrocketing natural-gas costs for heating. This means that utitity companies cannot terminate service to customers who pay at least half of their bill amounts and who agree to deferred-payment plans... Although many states are trying to do more to help poor households, some blanch at the fact that it means costs not paid by some consumers must be borne by others. In California's case, millions of dollars in gas costs will be redistributed to people who pay their bills in full, equivalent to a rate increase of about half a percentage point."
Do you think that states should help the people who can't afford heating? and if so, should the consumers who can afford to pay their bills in full have to bear the responsibility?
Posted by cluciano at 10/28/2005 10:42:00 AM
Thursday, October 27, 2005
ExxonMobil had one of the largest quarterly profits in U.S. corporate history, with a profit of $9.9 billion. Profits for many of the oil and gas companies around the world have been steadily increasing with a rise in gas prices. With such profits, a skeptical eye has been put on the large oil and gas companies by the public. A windfall profits tax is one idea that is circulating. This tax would decrease profits of the oil and gas companies, and has been tried before in the past. Should a windfall tax be implemented now? I believe it shouldn't be implemented because a windfall profits tax would give companies a disincentive to drill and produce, and smaller companies would shut-in marginal wells and choose not to drill risky exploration wells. With demand increasing, a decrease in supply would not be the right direction to take, and a windfall profits tax would decrease that supply. A decrease in supply would cause gas prices to increase even more. Like I said before, this tax has been tried in the past, but the tax eventually disintegrated because companies were not drilling as many wells and shutting in many of their smaller wells. Your thoughts?
Posted by Turner Reisberger at 10/27/2005 08:28:00 PM
The past few months have been hard on the economy due to the active hurricane season, interest rates, and some inflation. However, the economy has not suffered as much as some people thought that it might. The factors listed above have helped to cause the price of oil to increase due to a decrease in the supply. According to the article, oil prices are currently at about $60 a barrel and some people are starting to worry that companies are going to start having consumers pay more in order to cover the higher costs.
What impact do you think that an idea such as passing along costs to consumers would have on the economy?
Posted by Heather Peters at 10/27/2005 06:54:00 PM
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Starting in January of 2006, Howard Stern will be leaving the traditional radio airwaves--and the constant treat of FCC indecency fines--for satellite radio, where he will be free to say anything he wants. Last year, Sirius Satellite Radio announced that it had signed Stern to a five-year multi-million dollar contract starting January 1, 2006.
For Viacom, owner's of Stern's current radio home, the financial impact is minimal. Stern brings in about $100 million in ad revenue a year, some speculate that Viacom will find it difficult to replace Stern and the ad sales he brought in. Viacom is looking to have as many as six hosts fill Stern's current time slots. Without Stenr's expensive contract, profits could get a boost, assuming the decline in ad revenues is not too steep and they wont have to worry about FCC fines.
Sirius could wind up seeing a large boost in subscribers and revenues. As of Sept. 15, Sirius had 2.1 million subscribers and the company has said it expects to have 3 million by the end of this year. Stern's presence on Sirius could even lead to subscriber gains against its rivals.
What does this deal mean for investors in Sirius and Viacom? What is the opportunity cost of Stern moving to Sirius? How does this effect the market? How is the demand for Sirius effected by this deal? How is the demand for Viacom's Infinity Broadcasting effected by this deal? Who do you think got the better deal?
Posted by Kim Becker at 10/26/2005 01:32:00 PM
The Rolling Stones recently announced a deal to sell a new CD of rare songs in Starbucks locations. The CD, entitled Rarities 1971-2003 , will also be marketed in traditional record-selling venues such as record stores and discount retail chains.
Whoever thought of this is a marketing genius! I know that this is not the first time that Starbucks will be carrying a CD, but I think the Stones got the formula right. By working out an agreement with Starbucks to carry the CD - but not excluding their other distribution partners, they are basically extending the base of available consumers for their product. The article states that Starbucks had a similar non-exclusive deal on a Ray Charles CD and sold more than 730,000 copies of the total 3.1 million copies sold. While in Ray's case this doesn't matter as much, but the recording industry celebrates the sales of 500,000 copies of a CD as a moderate commercial success (gold album). That means that marketing music through Starbucks could make a huge impact on recording artists.
Why Starbucks? I'd love to see their demographics, but I bet they include a variety of age ranges - and we know that if someone can afford a $3.20 Grande Pumpkin Spice latte, they may be willing to throw in a copy of the latest copy of whatever CD is gracing the serving station and playing on the stereo system while they wait the insufferable long time it takes to make that Grande Pumpkin Spice latte as well. Music stores categorize their selections - Country, Rock, Hip Hop, Jazz, Folk - and if people are just browsing, the usually go to the section with the music they like to listen to and see what they find. Starbucks eliminates that categorization, which could eliminate some pre-conceived notions about a particular genre of music.
Do you think the "Starbucks Strategy" will help to extend the market for music CDs? What economic impact will that have on the music industry? Record stores? Starbucks?
Posted by JoyFrank-Collins at 10/26/2005 01:25:00 PM
This Thanksgiving, The Rolling Stones will release an album of rare tracks in partnership with Starbucks and the group's Virgin Records label, who will simultaneously realese the album in traditional music stores. This nonexclusive deal differs from recent controversial arrangements Starbuck has had with other major artists. Singer Alanis Morissette allowed Starbucks to sell her most recent album six weeks before everyone else, resulting in many chains ripping her albums off their racks in protest. The same situation happed to The Stones in 2003 when they gave Best Buy an exclusive sales window for their DVD package. Starbucks has recently tried to boost revenue by adding CDs in its stores and has had big success with it, selling 730,000 of 3.1million copies of the Ray Charles "Genius Loves Company" album.
What is the opportunity cost of exclusively selling major artist albums only in Starbucks? Would artists make more money if they continued to offer their albums everywhere? Is this exclusive deal fair for other traditional music store competitors? How does this effect the market? How is demand effected by this exclusive deal?
Posted by Kim Becker at 10/26/2005 01:16:00 PM
Movie attendance is down to some of the lowest numbers Hollywood has ever seen. The box office slu mp is bad news for owners of movie theater chains. Regal Entertainment Group, the nation's largest theater owner with more than 6,600 screens in nearly 580 multiplexes, is expected to report a sales increase of just 1.6 percent and a decline of more than 25 percent in earnings per share when it releases third-quarter results Thursday. And analysts are forecasting a nearly 75 percent drop in third-quarter profit for Carmike Cinemas, the third largest movie exhibition company in the U.S.
Investors may be betting that the worst is over for the industry. Some believe the box office can see a bounce in the next two months thanks to high-profile releases, such as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Income-oriented investors may also be intrigued by the big dividends that the two companies offer, however, if the industry has another off-year they may not be able to continue to offer such high dividends. Despite increased optimism about a box office increase in 2006, this is not reflected in the sales and earnings estimates for Regal and Carmike.
Movie theater attendance is down and the reason for this is a subject of intense debate. Is it a backlash against rising ticket prices? Why do ticket prices keep rising? Are the movies just not very good? What would make 2006 movies better than 2005? Would people rather sit at home and watch DVDs or OnDemand Movie Services? Is the opportunity cost of going to see a movie in the theaters higher than watching it at home? Should investors be rushing into investing in these movie theater chains?
Posted by Kim Becker at 10/26/2005 12:45:00 PM
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Due to the numerous amounts of hurricanes in Florida between 2004 and 2005, many small, private insurance companies may have to shut down or raise their rates extremely high to stay in business. It is estimated that the losses for insurance companies from hurricane Wilma will range from $4 billion to $10 billion. Private insurers are going to have to stop writing policies in Florida and push them to get the state's insurance-of-last-resort program. Average Florida rates are already $738 for insurance policies, which is thirty three percent more than the national average.
If private insurance companies begin increasing their rates, how will people be able to afford the high costs? Or will the public companies take over and force the private companies to shut down completely? Would this eventually cause a monopoly for homeowner insurance in Florida? Could the frequent and numerous hurricanes force all insurance companies out of Florida to a more secure state?
Posted by Amy Blair at 10/25/2005 08:24:00 PM
According to a recent Forbes report Americans are less likely to spend money due to the hurricanes, rise in gasoline prices, and job market worries. The Consumer Confidence Index fell to 85 for this past October. This is the lowest level the index has reported since October 2003, and down from 87.5 from this past September. This is the sharpest decline in 15 years. The unexpected decline in consumer confidence came as a surprise to analysts, who were expecting an increase to 88.
Do you think this consumer pessimism will continue to rise even after the huricanne season is over? What effect will this have on the up coming holiday season?
Posted by Jami Schneider at 10/25/2005 07:34:00 PM
With the winter season coming up, prices of gas seem to be on the rise. Natural gas, which heats our homes, raised about 10 percent because of the early cool weather. My question is, is that with these high natural gas prices, what do you think the effect on the economy will be. Also what do you think we can do about it, to ease the high prices that are being put out.
Posted by Corey Rymer at 10/25/2005 05:24:00 PM
Monday, October 24, 2005
The state of Texas announced that it plans to construct wind turbines along its coasts to create the first US offshore wind energy farm. These turbines will join oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. The wind farm was originally proposed off the shores of Massachusetts but was delayed by local residents who complained they would obstruct the view of the shore. The $300 million project will generate over 150 megawatts of electricity on a 11,355 acre site. This would generate enough energy to power nearly 40,000 homes. Current wind power generating capacity in the state is about 2,000 megawatts, with most of the wind turbines located in the western part of the state.
The coast of Texas is covered with oil and gas production platforms, however the state must continue to develop new energy sources. Ignoring the effects of natural disasters such as hurricanes, Texas has come to the realization: we're going to be out of oil and gas at some point.
Posted by Kim Becker at 10/24/2005 10:16:00 PM
Insured losses from Hurricane Wilma have been predicted to come between $6 billion and $9 billion, according to AIR Worldwide, a firm that does catastrophe modeling for the insurance industry. If these numbers were correct, it would put Wilma behind only Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Andrew (1992) in terms of insured losses. Most losses will occur on Florida's east coast between West Palm Beach and Miami, where the firm estimates that there is more than $500 billion of insured properties. Wilma is the seventh hurricane to hit Florida in the past 14 months, and oil prices have been lower since oil platforms and refineries along the US Gulf Coast, recently hit by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, were spared from the storm.
How do you think the government will respond to the disaster caused by Hurricane Wilma after their response to the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina? How do you think the economy will be effected from all the insured losses? How do you think oil prices will react?
Posted by Kim Becker at 10/24/2005 06:44:00 PM
According to an article in the Denver Post, Coors Brewing Co. has been using waste from the production of beer to produce millions of gallons of ethanol, which is in turn sold in the wholesale market. The paper reports that Coors, who has partnered with engineering firm Merrick and Company, plans to build another ethanol facility due to their current success as the demand for ethanol, a gasoline substitute, is at an all-time high in the United States. The beer waste is put through a two-hour refining process that produces 200-proof ethanol. It is then mixed with gasoline and shipped to gas stations across the country. The article also mentioned recent criticisms of ethanol, many claiming that it is not fuel efficient. The Post says the second facility, which will double Coors' current ethanol production, will transform into ethanol the millions of gallons of byproduct from more brands than just Coors, such as Killian's Irish Red.
Will this program reduce current gas prices? If so, is it worth using if it isn't as fuel efficient as current gasoline? Should modifications be made to current fuel systems in order to make it more fuel efficient?
Posted by Kim Becker at 10/24/2005 06:14:00 PM
Sunday, October 23, 2005
According to CNN.com, banks are destroying that timeless classic: A penny saved is a penny earned. Instead, banks are rewriting the lesson to state that a dollar spent could lead to a penny earned.
It may seem a bit confusing, but Bank of America and American Express both claim that their customers will actually save money by spending money with their respective "Keep the Change" and "One" program. Bank of America's "Keep the Change" program will allow its debit card users to round up the price of their purchases to the next dollar and will put that "extra change" into a savings account. American Express' "One" program will depost one percent of customer spending into a high-yield savings account (currently at a rate of 3.15 percent) every month and will allow consumers to put extra money into their account through their separate checking, savings or brokerage accounts.
Will these programs increase the consumer spending behavior of the average person? Will these programs encourage consumers to opt for "money back" credit and debit cards?
Posted by Carrie Mason at 10/23/2005 07:44:00 PM
Friday, October 21, 2005
Global warming is a problem that the entire world faces. It doesn’t just affect those who emitted greenhouse gases – like carbon dioxide – into the atmosphere; it changes the world’s climate for everyone.
In Africa, the consequences of global warming have been detrimental. They are facing problems ranging from desertification and the loss of wildlife to flooding and increased thickets threatening livestock. And African nations account for only a small part of the emissions. In the US, we are upset about the devastating effects of hurricane Katrina; a mess that will probably be cleaned up within a couple of years. It could take decades for Africa to recover from the natural disasters caused by global warming.
African nations need the industrialized nations of the world to take responsibility for the pollution that they are causing. They need the industrialized world to sign the Kyoto Protocol and clean up. After all, these countries bare most of the blame for global warming in the first place.
So, why doesn’t the US sign the Kyoto Protocol, where the objective is the "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system"? Isn’t Africa facing enough problems without having to deal with suffering from the mistakes of the industrialized world? Granted, the US and other industrialized countries can’t control the temperature or the natural climate of Africa. But there are other ways to help them overcome the natural disasters caused by global warming. Industrialized countries can finance early warning systems and create disaster management plans to help Africa deal with these natural disasters. They can also help find new water sources and help set up a new agricultural system.
By financing Africa’s recovery and preparation for natural disasters, the industrialized countries of the world would be paying for at least some of the damage that they have caused. Is this the best way for polluters to make amends? What other options are there? Should the US sign the Kyoto Protocol? Will the Kyoto Protocol produce optimal amounts of greenhouse gases?
Posted by Jennifer at 10/21/2005 07:12:00 PM
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
As I am sure that you are all aware of, the "Bird Flu" is being touted as a possible pandemic flu virus. Scientists and politicians alike are all waiting for the moment when the flu mutates into a form that can be passed directly from human to human. Many countries have already confirmed that there is presence of the bacteria infected birds in their country, i.e. Greece, Romania, Russia and China among others. While the U.S. has the luxury of being somewhat cushioned from the virus by the oceans that separate it from Eurasia, this does not inhibit the transportation of people or animals from an infected country into the U.S. LAX has even already put into place a system for bird flu quarantines.
With a virus that has a mortality rate anywhere from 50-75%, what will this do to the economies of the infected and non-infected nations? It's plausible that tourism will take a hard hit in areas such as China where 2,600 birds were just found dead via the flu. Travel could also be totally suspended as it was with the SARS epidemic. The infected nations, as well as those nations that have not yet found strains of the virus within its borders, will all be trying to stockpile vaccines in the coming months. This will raise production within these pharmaceutical sectors. But, will this be enough? Below is an excerpt from Yahoo! article citing the problems with just relying on increased production.
Today's 1950s-era manufacturing method requires growing flu viruses in millions of chicken eggs, and it takes nine months or more to make a batch. Says Beadle: "The pandemic will have come and gone before we have the vaccine. That is what
Is it possible that such a horrible possibility looming in the future could produce technologic innovation and increased production in the economy?
Posted by Rachel Ruth at 10/19/2005 11:20:00 AM
Sunday, October 16, 2005
More people are attending college today than ever before. Realizing that the future benefits brought about by attending college outweigh the immediate costs (both opportunity and accounting), students are investing more and more money in themselves; creating a huge market for universities across the country.
However, in order for many of these colleges to take advantage of this market, they have to be able to attract students. This article, entitled “The Arms Race In Campus Construction”, argues that a major determining factor in a student’s decision to attend a specific college is the value of life they think they will receive there; where the value of life is described through variables like student centers, recreation centers, food courts, etc. If this perceived value of life is higher than the perceived value of life at other colleges, enrollment will increase. Many schools are using this approach to attract students. According to this article, schools are spending seven times more on value of life activities than they did 25 years ago, but only three times more on class instruction.
Despite the fact that students may be attracted to campuses that have nice dorms, classrooms and recreation centers, is this really a main motivation for choosing a college? Don’t other factors play a larger role than the value of life (class size, school reputation, cost of tuition)?
But if this argument is correct, do you think that this is a good thing? By focusing their resources on value of life items, doesn’t this diminish the amount of resources spent on academic improvements? Or can both happen simultaneously? My main concern is that this article seems to show that colleges are more concerned with attracting as many students as possible, than they are with educating them.
Posted by Eric Jones at 10/16/2005 01:38:00 PM
Diamonds have always been a prized possession of those who could afford them. By wearing diamonds, a status of wealth was generated. Diamonds were a prized natural resource that couldn’t be duplicated; at least that is what people thought.
Recently, a company by the name of Apollo Diamond developed a way to “grow” diamonds. According to an article in USA Today, these new diamonds can be used to “make computers run at speeds that would melt the innards of today's computers. Manufactured diamonds could help make lasers of extreme power. The material could allow a cellphone to fit into a watch and iPods to store 10,000 movies, not just 10,000 songs. Diamonds could mean frictionless medical replacement joints. Or coatings — perhaps for cars — that never scratch or wear out (Maney).”
This type of technology would have a definite impact on the supply of diamonds in today’s economy. The supply would increase (shift to the right); causing the price of diamonds to fall and the quantity to increase.
The ultimate goal of Apollo Diamond is to promote innovation and sell these diamonds to producers of high tech products. However, to maximize profits and raise money for further research, they will sell the diamonds as gems in the short run. For those who mine for diamonds, this change in supply could be detrimental to their business. A competitor who can sell a diamond for 1/3 of the price is definitely something to worry about.
Do you think that the current suppliers of mined diamonds can compete in this environment? Will they be able to convince the buyers of diamonds that man made diamonds do not carry the same value as mined diamonds? Will diamonds lose their status among society? Only time will tell.
Posted by Eric Jones at 10/16/2005 11:19:00 AM
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Hybrid cars certainly save gas, but it's debatable whether they save money for consumers. the question lies with how the price of gas will become in the future. Several people say that right now gas is not expencive enough compared to the money one would pay for a hybrid car. Do you think in years to come the price of gas will cause the demand for hybrid cars to rise? If the price of gas does rise will the price of hybrid cars fall?
Posted by Rita Soworowski at 10/15/2005 02:23:00 PM
Friday, October 14, 2005
I found this article kind of interesting because I have often thought about if oil will run out. After reading this I thought about ceteris paribus..holding all else constant; if there is nothing traumatizing that happens with oil over the years, and oil stays fairly normal we should be fine. In time yes, oil will be preferred over gasoline because of the hybrid cars and who knows what will be invented next, where gasoline will not be needed, but oil will.
Posted by RebeccaAnderson at 10/14/2005 03:13:00 PM
Texas Rangers owner Thomas O. Hicks announced on Tuesday that John Hart has resigned as executive vice president/general manager to become senior advisor/baseball operations and that assistant general manager Jon Daniels has been promoted to general manager.JC ruminates...
Daniels, who becomes the youngest general manager in Major League Baseball history at 28 years, 41 days, becomes the eighth general manager in club history. He joined the Texas organization in 2002 as a baseball operations assistant before being promoted to director of baseball operations in October of 2003 and then again to assistant general manager in July of 2004.
A 1999 graduate of Cornell University in upstate New York, he earned his degree in applied economics and management. He is a native of New York City.
From now on, I’m going to be less timid: If you want to work in baseball, major in economics. Here’s a list of people working in baseball whom I know studied economics: Bill James, Paul DePodesta, Farhan Zaidi (PhD), Voros McCracken, and now Jon Daniels. The trend is quite clear. Economics certainly isn’t necessary, but it’s clear that people familiar with the economic way of thinking—maybe because they think that way naturally—are getting good jobs in baseball. Of course, there’s no substitute for making contacts within baseball, but I’m just offering course advice here.Regarding Bill James, the guru of all-things-statistic regarding baseball, here's an insightful quote from MLB.com:
"I was never a particularly good student," said James. "I suppose I was capable of being a good student -- most everybody is -- but when I studied Micro Economics, for example, I would take what I learned there and figure out how to apply it to baseball. I would spend five minutes mastering the concept, 50 hours figuring out how it might apply to baseball. This was a drain on my potential to become an Economics professor. Even when I was in high school, teachers would tell me to put away those box scores and do my homework. Once I focused on writing about baseball, all of that energy was working for me, rather than working against me."Well, I'm not sure a degree in economics will guarantee you a ticket to the major leagues, but as John Maynard Keynes has said "The ideas of economists . . .both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else."
Hat tip: Phil Miller at Marketpower.
Posted by Greg Delemeester at 10/14/2005 02:01:00 PM
In this article, the writer questions if IQ matters. They weigh the marginal benefit if you try to pay attention and improve your IQ, then it is worth going to school. If a person is just going to school to make it look good and they are not learining anything from it, then is their money going to waste? IQ does matter according to the article, if you pay attention in your classes and interpret what you know than your IQ is improving. If you just study and take a test just to take it then you are not improving your IQ only memory, so is it really benefitting you? What do you think?
Posted by RebeccaAnderson at 10/14/2005 12:34:00 PM
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Robert Aumann (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and Thomas Schelling (University of Maryland) "for having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis."
Quoting again from the nobelprize.org:
Why do some groups of individuals, organizations and countries succeed in promoting cooperation while others suffer from conflict? The work of Robert Aumann and Thomas Schelling has established game theory – or interactive decision theory – as the dominant approach to this age-old question.This is not the first Nobel award for work on game theory. In 1994 John C. Harsanyi, Reinhard Selten, and John F. Nash Jr. won "for their pioneering analysis of equilibria in the theory of non-cooperative games." John Nash might sound familiar to you as his life was portrayed by Russell Crowe in the Academy Award winning A Beautiful Mind.
By the way, no one submitted either of the 2005 winners as part of my forecasting game. Better luck next year.
Posted by Greg Delemeester at 10/11/2005 08:28:00 AM
Monday, October 10, 2005
BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission appointed a British computer scientist Wednesday to oversee whether Microsoft Corp. is complying with a 2004 antitrust ruling that it had abused its near-monopoly in desktop computer systems to shut out rival software makers.
Although Microsoft has faced charges dealing with monopolies and anti-trust laws, are they still pushing the limits that are set in the 2004 anti-trust ruling? Could microsoft be hurting the market for OS (operating systems) or do people really just prefer microsoft over other brands of OS's?
Posted by Grant Deken at 10/10/2005 02:57:00 PM
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Compares to economic growth, environmental considerations in developing countries are usually receiving less priorities due to the lack of environmental legislations. Many countries such as China and India view economic growth as their central targets. They may hold some heavy industries that the highly industrialized countries have shifted out of borders and act as their raw material suppliers whereas buying final products from those developed countries. According to the linked article, besides the transfer of no-longer acceptable hazardous industries to the developing countries, “another problem is the rapid proliferation of informal small-scale enterprises in townships as well as in rural areas, which often create serious air and water pollution because of lack of sufficient knowledge and funds.” When pursuing material wealth, developing countries usually do not weight environmental health as much as it should be values. They ignore the impact on future generations that may cause serious problems such as global warming, water pollution, and sandstorms, which has already threatened people’s health in China. It is easy to pull out that there exist a “trade-off” between environment and economic growth; developing countries must consider the circumstance cautiously. However, it does not mean that no solution is possible. As indicated in this website, developing countries can prevent such problems from happening by environmental monitoring, epidemiological studies, launching bio-manipulation and so on.
Posted by Amie at 10/09/2005 12:55:00 PM
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
The cleanup of Hurricane Katrina is the biggest waste-disposal job in U. S. history. Entire communities have been reduced to rubble and the largest dump site in southeastern Mississippi is already close to capacity. There is enough debris to fill the Atlanta's Georgia Dome 13 times. The cleanup from 9/11 took four months. This cleanup will take much more than 4 months. Mississippi will need several new landfills. Existing landfills will need to be expanded. Typically, approving sites for landfills takes months, however; under the extreme circumstances, environmental officials have sped up the process. The cleanup crews must have weighed out the costs and benefits of how to clean up the debris, recycling, and the issure of time.
Posted by AmandaStacy at 10/05/2005 10:25:00 PM
A common roadside litter problem today is "trucker bombs," plastic jugs full of urine thrown out of vehicles, mostly by truckers who refuse to stop at a rest area to relieve themselves. One county crew alone found 2,666 bottles of urine, 67 items covered in feces (not including diapers), and 18 syringes. Truckers blame this on the lack of convenient parking areas at rest stops and the fact that most drivers get paid by the miles driven. When they stop to use the rest room, they are losing valuable driving time. States are beginning to have stricter punishments for littering along the highways. For example, in Wyoming, the maximum penalty for littering bodily fluids is nine months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Posters are being put up along the highway warning drivers about the punishments for littering. There has been some decrease in the amount of litter found along the highways; however, there is still a lot of litter. How else can we decrease the amount of the litter found along the highway than by just hanging signs along the highway.
Posted by AmandaStacy at 10/05/2005 09:58:00 PM
NEW ORLEANS - Mayor Ray Nagin said Tuesday the city is laying off as many as 3,000 employees — or about half the city’s workforce — because of the damage done to New Orleans’ finances by Hurricane Katrina.
Nagin announced with “great sadness” that he had been unable to find the money to keep the workers on the payroll.
He said only non-essential workers would be laid off and that no firefighters or police would be among those let go.
The recent effects of Katrina are causing the city of New Orleans to lay off the workers that are helping clean up the city. Workers keeping order and giving people hope. If the city can't afford it's clean up crew, how are they ever going to get back on their feet?
Posted by Ashley Schlarman at 10/05/2005 08:46:00 AM
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
|This article by MSNBC's Newsweek discusses how companies that have 30 second advertisements on television are now competing for any potential customers to view them. Now with TiVo and Video On Demand, customers have the option of skipping through commercials altogether, which certainly doesn't help the advertising agencies get their message across.|
So now, advertising agencies need to be a little more creative in their approach to get consumers to view their product on the television... Some have moved towards Internet commercials, having commercials on hotel televisions, having live spots on television to promote the product (like 10-15 minute commercials) , and having interactive commercials. For example, in the article, it stated that approximately 85% of potential consumers who had interactive commercials on their screen actually stopped to check out the new commercial. The agencies need to keep their commercializing competitive enough to stand up to anti-commercial industries such as TiVo.
The questions posed however are, will TiVo get rid of commercials altogether? How will advertising agencies operate if that happens? What will happen to the demand of goods on the market if there are no commercials in which to advertise new products with? Will this cause a surplus in some newly manufactured products (or even in some old products) because people don't know what the product is or where to find?
Posted by Jennifer Danko at 10/04/2005 11:27:00 PM
The dollar may lose it's number one spot as far as currency is concerned. It is slowly depreciating, and in 2002 alone, fell by 28% against the euro. With our country's current deficit, foreign central banks apparently have decreased in their purchases of American treasuries. Critics of the dollar state that if America's deficit continues in the current state that it is in foreigners are going to be less confident in our dollar, which will in turn mean less foreigners will be willing to deal with our dollar.
It took the dollar many, many years to replace the British pound. Do you think that our dollar will be replaced by it's main competitor, the euro? If so, what factors do you believe will play into the dollar depreciating? And also, how (if at all) will this affect the way we live our lives?
Posted by Alex Lemley at 10/04/2005 11:04:00 PM
President Bush is pushing congress to put a bill on his desk allowing new oil refineries to be built. The President says that the new refineries will end the tight supply of oil. Do you think the building of new refineries will lower the price of gas. I think that it will. If there are more places to buy the gas then there will be more competition to get peoples business and in turn companies will have to lower their prices.
Posted by A.Smith at 10/04/2005 10:54:00 PM
After the class discussion on Monday I spoke with some people i know from around town about the though of legalizing pot in the US. I really don't think the black market trade would fall much. I think that the economy would see a very positive reaction to first time users and users who want the convince of purchasing the drug at the local stores. But with the restrictions that would be placed on the product I think that people who have been smoking for longer would still look to their "dealer" to get them the "good stuff" the government isn't going to sell decent hydro or G13 there going to sell simple merch that they control the effects on. Cocaine is a similar story and any other hardcore drugs I don't think would be a good idea at all to try to legalize. Eventually when we have kids I won't be surprised if we have to be worried about them going down town to get a pack of marijuana smokes the companies that make cigarettes would love to market the new product. Eddy Lep grows pot for "medicinal purposes" and is under the investigation of law informant year round. He's won many awards for his herb but cannot seem to get the DEA off his ass. How can this be legalized if the DEA won't even let its medicinal growing be allowed??? The government has already seen how much money it can make medicinally but they can only imagine the millions of dollars that could be made selling for consumer needs and wants on a regular unprescribed basis
"Is the legalization of marijuana valid?
The debate over the legalization of Cannabis sativa, more commonly known as marijuana, has been one of the most controversial issues ever to occur in the United States. Its use as a medicine has existed for thousands of years in many countries worldwide and is documented as far back as 2700 BC in ancient Chinese writings. Marijuana should be legalized for several reasons. First, the government could earn money from taxes on its sale. Its value to the medical world outweighs its potential abuse, and because of its importance to the paper and clothing industries. Legalization should be considered despite efforts made by groups, which say marijuana is a harmful drug that will increase crime rates and lead users to other more dangerous substances. "
a website whose purpose is to inform the public about the pros and cons points out the tax benefits the government would face and some other useful facts involving this topic...
Posted by Josh Welch at 10/04/2005 10:48:00 PM
Autumn allows outdoorsmen to practice one of their favorite hobbies, hunting. October 1 kicked off bow hunting season in Ohio and the woods of southeastern Ohio will be flooded with hunters. Many of those hunters will have migrated from other parts of the state to participate in the sport. This little known tourist attraction to southeastern Ohio could have positive ramifications to local businesses. Many of these travelers will stay in hotels and eat at the restaurants in town. For an area like this, an added boost to the economy is always helpful. Ultimately, do small towns, or small businesses, need outside help to aid their economy? Are there any negative effects to the influx of new business into the area?
Posted by erbj at 10/04/2005 10:38:00 PM
This article talks about how other states' economies are growing and really taking off compared to the united States' economy. The United States is seeing lots of spending but not a lot of saving. Companies are really being relied upon by their employees to have retirement really for them once they are done working. Nothing is really being done and many people don't even know this is occurring in the United States because everyone just assumes we have the best economy in the world. What do you think companies should be responsible for and what do you think the population should do in order to make sure they are set after they are done working?
Posted by ruckerk at 10/04/2005 10:36:00 PM
In a recent White House news conference, President Bush called on to Congress to send a bill that will allow the expansion of present refineries and the construction of new refineries to be built. According to President Bush, building new oil refineries will help alleviate the record high oil prices.
Bush pointed out that a new refinery has not been built in this country since the 1970s. This fact, should help aid his current energy plan he has been working on for the last few months. Driven by the belief that all the extractible oil reserves have reached their peak level, oil prices have continued to reach record highs over the past few months.
The refined products directly affected are gasoline and heating oil Due to the recent hurricanes we have become all too familar with, have in large part destroyed many of our key oil refineries. I feel this is a subject that Congress must turn some of its focus to.
Posted by hendricks10 at 10/04/2005 10:20:00 PM
Microsoft, the once all powerful software company in the world is now starting to feel some competition from its competitors. Google and Sun Microsystems are teaming up to create the equivalent of Word processing and spread sheet, for free. This is could cause some huge problems for Microsoft since customers have to buy these products separatley. People are always looking for a free or cheaper version of the real McCoy. If this collaboration between Google and Sun Microsystems becomes a hit, Microsoft will have to come up with newer, cheaper ideas. How do you think Microsoft will handle this new competition? How much will it really affect them? Do they need to worry at all?
Posted by nab2436 at 10/04/2005 10:10:00 PM
Many economists believed that Katrina would dramatically point off economic activity in the second half of this year. One important economist that believed in this statement is Ben Bernanke, the presidents Economic Adviser. During the speech of Institute of International Finance that was given this past Sunday, Ben Bernanke said, " So far, the effects appear to be relatively modest on growth." Bernanke and other private economists expect jobs to take a hit in the short term. Job losses for the month of September could be very heavy and the unemployment rate, now at a four-year low of 4.9 percent, would rise. The congressional Budget Office estimated that job losses from Katrina through the rest of the year would total around 400,000. There are many different estimations on what is going to happen to the economy in the next few months and years. Due to the dramatic outcomes of these natural disasters, we will definitely struggle to find a way to keep jobs available. Do you think the economy will suffer this major unemployment rate? How do you think we can help make this not come a reality, is there anything we can do?
Posted by Jessica at 10/04/2005 10:04:00 PM
Recently construction in the USA has increased greatly and is expected to climb even higher. The biggest factor of the recent increase is the rebuliding after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Construction is up by 0.4 percent in august and that was before the hurricanes even struck so you can expect it to raise even higher. It is at an all time high of $1.11 trillion. But do you think construction rates will rise, considering the fact that mortgage rates are also rising and the fact that the construction companies hit by th hurricane may have also had to delay their jobs?
Posted by Kial Welsh at 10/04/2005 10:00:00 PM
According to this article consumer confidence has had one of it's biggest drops in the past several years. Even though economists and companies were ready for this drop what effect will it have on the national economy, and with the hurricanes being one of the causes of this drop what sort of effect will this have on the economy of the areas effected by the storms.
Posted by jlo001 at 10/04/2005 09:45:00 PM
I have just read an article from GM's Fuel Cell Marathon. General Motors has just finished a test on their new HydroGen 3. The car traveled nearly 10,000 km across Europe without a drop of gasoline. Proving that the hydrogen fuel cell is reliable for a long trip. The harmful emissions from the gasoline engine are no longer a factor. The HydroGen 3 is environment friendly. Do you think this new source of energy will put the gasoline engines out of business? Will the government demand less pollution from gasoline engines, if the HydroGen 3 engine enters the market?
Posted by kingg at 10/04/2005 09:32:00 PM
I have read an article recently in the USA Today that states that the music industry as a whole has decline in total profit. They have decreased from 13.2 billion in 2004 to 12.4 billion in 2005. The article also says that this is due to the increased use of computer software to download music. These include iTunes, Napster, Limewrie Pro, and other such programs that people choose to use instead of buying albums. While these computer based products continue to grow in revenue and gross profit, they are decreasing the profits of the music industry. My question is, do you feel that with the increased use in these programs, should music artists, who also suffer due to a lack of album sales, start getting a share of these profits made by the computer softwares? Also, do you think that the music industry will come up their own sort of programs for their own benefit, instead of letting these softwares make profits off of their artists?
Posted by Dominick Winters at 10/04/2005 09:24:00 PM
Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita put many people out of work, more than 400,000. These people are looking for new jobs in different cities and suddenly raising the unemployment and displacement of so many people. These people are moving all around looking for temporary or permanent work. To help these people out, non-profit organizations and numerous job fairs are making the search for a job a little easier. There is an online job bank for hurricane survivors that lists over 80,000 jobs. But does this mean that the job bank online is exclusively for hurricane survivors to use? Why is there suddenly a concern about unemployed workers when they are everywhere? Some of the businesses in the south are hiring hurricane survivors just to be able to help out and provide a paycheck. A couple of workers have walked off and went back home, and the employers were fine with just being able to help a little. Isn't this hurting the economy? These displaced people are moving to cities that already have an unemployment problem.
Posted by Nola Juliano at 10/04/2005 08:41:00 PM
Georgia-Pacific Corportation is planning to cut approximately 1,000 jobs as of today. The purpose is to save the Corportation $100 million a year. Georgia-Pacific produces Brawny paper towels, Angel Soft, Quilted Northern toilet papers, and also Mardi Gras Napkins.
Another paper company went through a similar stage of eliminating jobs in order to save money. They blamed the market for its declining demand and weak prices.
Georgia-Pacific said that higher raw materials and energy costs are also attributing to their loss in revenue. They are shutting down other production facilities in order to help solve this problem.
Will the price of toilet paper increase? Will other competing companies face similar problems of supply and demand?
Posted by Saira Khan at 10/04/2005 08:29:00 PM
XM Satellite Radio on September 27th surpassed 5 million subscibers . They even expect another million by the end of this year. This industry is growing so quickly. There are only a few companies out there right now who offer satellite radio but its booming either way. XM being the leading company is offering more and more new channels every year to accommodate all listeners. Sirius Satellite Radio, the next largest company is offering a Howard Stern channel this fall. Both companies offer tons of sport choices and Sirius even has every pro football game on a channel. There are even over 100 channels of commercial music to choose from. Both companies also offer channels for women, comedy channels, cooking channels, car channels, and the list goes on and on. My question is; what's going to happen to good old fashion radio. If this industry continues to boom like it is now will we even listen to regular radio. There is talk about major automobile companies making deals with these companies so cars come with XM already built into the car. Why would you even listen to the radio when you have satellite? How much is this going to hurt our FM or AM radio stations.
Posted by mikesullivan at 10/04/2005 08:22:00 PM
President Bush called Tuesday for the construction of new refineries to help alleviate the recent record high gas prices, and said any person he chooses as the next head of the Federal Reserve will be independent from politics. He noted that a new refinery hasn't been built in the country since the 1970s. He also will be replacing Alan Greenspan at the end of his term in January. Do you think Bush is correct with promoting someone outside of the political situation and what is your opinion on him building more oil refineries with are little amount of oil?
Posted by mark erkkila at 10/04/2005 08:17:00 PM
Roger Clemens or a group of everyday ballplayers; who are you going to take when faced with this decision? The most common answer would probably be Roger Clemens because he is one of the best players in the game, and everyone knows him. However, did you ever think about the economic decisions teams have to make when deciding what player personnel they will keep? Each choice has a cost and benefit. In the case of paying a superstar millions of dollars you have to factor in that those millions of dollars get you to fill one position on the field. A benefit of filling only one position is the fact that a roster spot is a limited resource. On the other hand, with the same millions of dollars you could possible get 5 players instead of just one. Granted these five players are not going to be superstars, but they could be solid players which help your team win. Also, you could use these lower salaries to bring up minor league players to your roster and get them some very valuable experience which in the longrun could help progress your program. So, now that you know major league baseball teams have to weigh economic advantages and disadvantages just like the rest of the world, what would you do as the general manager of a team? Would you just go straight for the superstar, or take you money and spread it around?
Posted by Kaid Musgrave at 10/04/2005 08:16:00 PM
In a recent news article by the Plain Dealer, it states that the Ford motor company has decided to use fewer suppliers in an attempt to be a more successful company in the future. Ford will give money up front for engineering and development, and will make the contracts longer, which allows suppliers not to worry as much that Ford will switch suppliers. Ford will probably cut their suppliers for their most expensive parts by at least 100 next year. The strategy could be bad for companies that are not large enough or do not have the latest technology. If I were to draw a supply and demand curve for this situation you would clearly be able to see that Ford is attempting to shift the supply curve to the right. This shift would make their product cheaper and the quantity demanded increase.
Do you believe that Ford is making the right decision?
Posted by Eric Jones at 10/04/2005 08:11:00 PM
In a recent press conference, President Bush called for new refineries to be constructed in hopes that more refineries would lower gas prices. Bush said that a new refinery has not been built since the 1970's because of strict regulations. As part of Bush's energy plan, he expects to lower construction regulation in order to encourage more construction of refineries. Is it really safe that Bush "ease regulations" for building refineries? Think about what it may do to our land and other available natural resources. And do you think that by having more oil refineries that gas prices will actually lower?
Posted by erbh at 10/04/2005 08:11:00 PM
Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman recently said that consumers can expect to see atleast six more months of high gasoline prices until energy production recovers from the damage of the hurricanes. Even when they return to "pre-Katrina" level prices, the price of gasoline will still be pretty high. People who have SUV's are trying to get rid of them and get a car with better gas mileage and people are not driving as much because of the ridiculous prices of gas. With all of this in mind, do you think that Americans will look more towards hybrids? A lot of people say they will never think of buying one of those and that they will never be the "big" thing. With these gas prices do you think people will start to change their mind and look towards these hybrids knowing that gas prices will be high for a long time?
Posted by Rocky Capobianco at 10/04/2005 08:03:00 PM
It was announced today that Google and Sun systems will join forces. This announcement was made today at a press conference called by the two companies. This merger will allow the google toolbar to be downloaded at the same time as Sun's Java software. This will add new users to both companies, increasing revenue and "hits" for both companies.
The larger story is that this merger opens the door for new software that will challenge Microsoft's domination of the market. Both of the companies said that they had plans to promote Sun's Open Office Productivity software. The major implication of this merger is that software can be promoted through Java-based programs such as openoffice instead of the traditional method which was through Microsoft.
Do you think that Microsoft will suffer due to either this or other mergers in the future?
Do you think that free web-based programs will take control of the software market in the future?
Can these companies find a was to make revenue on their free programs?
Posted by NickManson02 at 10/04/2005 07:31:00 PM
Today a Mississippi couple filed a lawsuit against their insurance company for their refusal to reimburse them for the damage done to their home by Hurricane Katrina. The family is arguing that their home was damaged by the 145 mph winds before the flooding occurred. Most home owners policies don't contain flood insurance, they must by purchased separately from the government. The couple was upset last week when the insurance company didn't come to inspect their home and they just received a letter that stated that they weren't receiving any money due to the flood damage.
If this couple wins their case, you can expect to see several thousand other lawsuits filed, shortly there after. This could very well ruin the insurance companies and at very least change the insurance policy structure forever.
Since thousands of home were damaged by flood waters I think that it would be fair to say that the demand for flood insurance is going to go through the roof, once people start to rebuild. This means that the price for flood insurance to drastically raise from it's already high price. Do you think that the government would ever turn over the sale of flood insurance to a private company, and if so do you think their would be a reduction in the rate of flood insurance?
Posted by Brian Ashton at 10/04/2005 07:27:00 PM
Recent vehicle sales received a stir from auto-manufacturers after having issued employee discount rates for regular buyers. Numerous marketing advertisements have displayed that costumers can buy vehicles for prices equal to the employee rates leading to double the sales from non-GM buyers and greater buyer interest in general. The effectiveness of their ad’s also improved from 21% to 30%. All of these incentives have lead to higher sales; however, prices which have not seen heavy increases since 1995 are now likely to creep upward. The industry which has held back on major price increases will likely raise prices to help restore income to the manufactures.
Has this Ad campaign really helped auto-manufactures or hurt them? Do you think that prices will rise or should they be left the same? What good has the current pricing done for the industry? What Harm?
Posted by Christopher Case at 10/04/2005 07:02:00 PM