After been accused for breaking the antitrust laws in 2000, a European Commission reinforced that Microsoft violated antitrust laws to "double lock" on PCs.
The Commission found Microsoft was tending to capture 60 percent of the market for work group servers by utilizing its power of 95 percent share of the PC operating systems market.
This case will be ended in months or even next year. If the commision loses this case, "its reputation as Europe's top antitrust authority could be dented."However, if it wins, Microsoft will be forced to give a "worldwide license in perpetuity that involves its patents, copyright and trade secrets."
What caused Microsoft to be a monopoly company? Why do you prefer Microsoft when there are other alternatives available? --Initially, its creativity might let Microsoft become a monopoly company. Then, the size and the development of the company built its reputation. Finally, its reputation caused consumers to buy its products even though there are other alternatives available since Microsoft agreed to do some changes in its selling strategies. This process, however, can be hardly achieved by new companies which are willing to compete with Microsoft.
Therefore, my opinion is, if monopoly companies can set their prices appropriately, it is better to have legal monopoly companies rather than dealing with endless lawsuits.
Sunday, April 30, 2006
After been accused for breaking the antitrust laws in 2000, a European Commission reinforced that Microsoft violated antitrust laws to "double lock" on PCs.
I'm sure most of us have been made aware of the recent debate over new anti-immigration legislation going through congress. The theory goes that illegal immigrants are depriving Americans from work within our own boarders. These Americans claim they are deprived from work because illegal immigrants are willing to work at or below minimum wage, while Americans aren’t.
Well….why not? If Americans workers are unwilling to work at what is considered to be current market prices, SHOULDN’T they be out of work? Keep in mind, not all illegal immigrants are working at below minimum wage levels. Some of them happily obey the labor laws concerning their employment, well, most of them, INCLUDING paying social security and other standard taxes.
Posted by C_Starkey at 4/30/2006 07:16:00 PM
There is a very famous story about Solomon’s wisdom. N the story there are two new mothers, one of which who had smothered her baby during sleep and claimed the other woman’s baby as her own. The problem is presented to King Solomon, who proposes the baby be split in half, each woman receiving one half of the child. The woman who was lying agrees to the compromise, while the real mother immediately feels sympathy for her offspring. Rather than see her child killed, she says the baby belongs to the other woman. Solomon instantly gives the baby to the real mother, realizing that a true mother would compromise to see her offspring survive.
After learning game theory in class, let’s look at this story again. If both of the two women are experts in game theory, Solomon’s wisdom will fail. Assume woman A is the real mother and woman B is the liar. When Solomon asks to cut the baby into halves, A will definitely say no because she loves the baby and does not want to hurt it. On the other hand, if B understands game theory and think rationally, she will make the decision of giving the baby to A also. Now the situation is that both women A and B would like to give the baby to the other. We come back to the origin. Whether Solomon will cut the baby into halves or not, he cannot judge which woman is the baby’s real mother now. Solomon’s wisdom failed after learning game theory.
Is there any other method to solve the problem Solomon faces? Or is it still a puzzle?
Posted by tian at 4/30/2006 07:13:00 PM
According to last Friday's Wall Street Journal, Fuji Photo Firm Co. said their net profit dropped 56% in last fisical year.
The Japanese company produced all kinds of films and camera in the last decades. Among their products, color-film was their major product. As more and more people turned to use digital cameras, the Japanese company is now facing a big issue: restructuring operations. Restructuring operations cost the company a lot of money, and the company is hit by this heavy cost. Fuji's net profit fell to 37.02 billion yen ($ 322.7 million) from 84.50 billion yen a year ealier.
Posted by Bella Tung at 4/30/2006 05:33:00 PM
Many people fear getting older and being put into retirement communities. After all, the image of retirement homes is really quite depressing. But are retirement communities really as bad as we think they are? An article written by Sara Clemence of Forbes Magazine discusses one of the ritzy retirement communities in California and it doesn’t sound bad at all. This community is complete with gourmet meals, access to Stanford University programs, and the attentive service that some senior citizens need.
Retirement communities can offer people ways to socialize and a variety of activities to participate in to keep themselves stimulated. So, has your image of retirement communities changed? Do you think that there is a demand for this type of service in the US? If there is, does it come from senior citizens themselves or from their family members who are trying to care for them? Do you think that older people of the next generation will be able to afford a retirement community like this; especially with social security on such shaky ground?
I was always under the impression that seniors wanted to remain in their homes with the lives that they built around them. But, I may be wrong. Any thoughts?
Posted by Jennifer at 4/30/2006 05:13:00 PM
This article from the New York Times examines all the different people who are affected by rising gas prices across the country. I feel that it is a good article to look at as the year draws to a close because it really brings together a lot of different issues in economics discussed throughout the year, including government intervention, consumer elasticity, substitute products, and externalities.
I'd like to discuss the issues with elasticity that arose in the article. Towards the beginning of the article, several different college students and young adults were interviewed and asked how the rising gas prices affected them. These individuals found themselves driving significantly less than they had planned to earlier in the year, and regretting even employments opportunities they had taken. In one case, a young man was thinking about turning down a good-paying job because of the amount of money he would have to pay for gas. These individuals were all finding that their demand for gas was actually elastic as the prices rose, much to their surprise from their attitudes even at the beginning of the year. Towards the end of the article, however, an individual was interviewed who complained about the inelasticity of his fellow commuters in the Seattle area. Rather than cut down their drivig by taking public transportation or becoming involved in carpools, these commuters simply continue to make the hour long commute from Seattle to Bellevue, much to the chagrine of someone who is desperately seeking out a carpool buddy.
Why is their such a difference in the elasticity of these people? I think it goes back to the idea that items which consist a large portion of an indidviduals budget are much more elastic than lower-cost items. For younger college students, a fill-up at the gas pump has signifiant, immediate results. The cost take a larger proportion of our finances than it does of someone with an established career.
Posted by Manthey at 4/30/2006 04:33:00 PM
With gas prices at record levels, retail analysts are worried that low-income consumers will cut their spending at discount stores such as Wall-Mart, fast food restaurants, and stores that market to teenage consumers. The concern is that as gas goes up low-income consumers will have less money to spend. Stores that are discounters', fast food restaurants or teen chains that cater to low-income consumers might have a highly noticeable drop in consumer spending which could be detrimental to their businesses. Low-income consumer spending tends to be highly elastic. If the price goes up for gas, then they'll spend more of their income on gas and less on items that are not necessities. This could also mean that they will begin taking alternative transportation to and from work. If low-income consumers begin taking alternative means of transportation to and from work, they might still have a little extra cash to spend at discounters', fast food chains, and teen chains. If this occurs then the rise in gas prices won't be as detrimental to the businesses that cater to low-income consumers. The article also goes over how higher gas prices will effect high-income consumers and their spending at high end retail stores such as Saks and Neiman Marcus. Higher income consumers tend to be inelastic in their spending so economists expect that consumer spending at high end retail stores will drop a tiny bit, but nothing too noticeable will occur.
It will be quite interesting to watch and see how the higher gas prices effect consumer spending in not only high end and low end retail stores, but also in the travel industry. Will the travel industry in the United States experience a boom as plane tickets to travel to Mexico and Europe sky rocket due to higher gas prices? Or will the travel industry in the United States also suffer due to higher gas prices?
Posted by Marie Kramer at 4/30/2006 10:50:00 AM
Saturday, April 29, 2006
The Mexican congress has passed a law to legalize small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, and other drugs, for personal use. The sale of such drugs, however, remains illegal. Apparently, the intent of decriminalizing the possession of small amounts is to focus police and justice resources on bigger fish, so to speak. In so doing this, Mexico is moving toward an approach long used by the Netherlands. The Dutch, however, have only legalized the personal consumption of small amounts of marijuana and hashish. Mexico is entering uncharted waters with their more comprehensive decriminalization.
U.S. authorities have expressed concern that such a policy shift will make it more difficult to police drug activity in the United States. Consequently, we might expect drug users in the United States to respond to the new incentives created by the change in Mexican law. For example, I would venture a guess that Mexico might become a more popular spring break destination for American college students.
Posted by Greg Delemeester at 4/29/2006 11:04:00 AM
Friday, April 28, 2006
Well, if you're one to complain about gas prices, THIS is the article to read. I saw a segment on CNN last week about some sugar ethanol from Brazil being used that was a lot cheaper than gas and better for the environment as well as the economy. Well, of course, I got curious. I searched and found this article that explains EVERYTHING!
Basically, when our country hit bad times with gas a couple of decades ago, there was 100 percent or maily enthanol (alcohol) gas. Brazil produced this also 30 years ago, and they are now enjoying their return on investment. Recently, Brazil has found a way to utilize one of their main resources, sugar cane, as a producer of enthanol. Now, this type of gas today is less than half the price of regular gas and it does not pollute as much. What more could you ask for?
Now, the problem is no country has enough land to produce sugar cane. Therefore, in my creative and imaginative mind (not to mention nieve but just follow me on this) I thought why not each country utilize their own crops that they have more than enough of. THis would be efficent. Well, in my mind anyway.
Another thing about this whole sugar ethanol is that it is a substitute for gas. This would create more competition and drive prices way down because gas is very elastic these days.
Well, that is all I have. Happy Doo Dah Day!
Posted by Elicia Banks-Gabriel at 4/28/2006 09:33:00 PM
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Recently, Exxon Mobil, the nations largest oil company, reported profits of $8.4 billion. This number is up 7% from last year. Since Exxon Mobil is the worlds largest oil company, they are setting the price for other oil producers. Although Exxon is not the only oil company, they are setting output and price in a monopolistic way. Output will be set according the rule MR = MC. The price at this point will not be charged however. The price will be set off the demand curve, directly above the maximum output point. Doing this increases producer profit while decreasing consumer surplus. This seems to be exactly what Exxon is doing. Exxon is making record profits, while the general public is outraged that their consumer surplus is dwindling. The government is attempting to solve the problem. It has been proposed that tax breaks to big oil companies be repealed, and new laws against price gouging be passed. Due to the sheer size of Exxon Mobil, it will be difficult for other companies to come in and form a prefectly competitive market. Government intervention appears to be the only solution to the rising gas prices.
Posted by William Johnson at 4/27/2006 09:40:00 PM
How would the market react if Osoma Bin Lauden was captured by the United States? After thinking about this question, I thought that there would be big effects on our economy and our national debt. With the capture of Bin Lauden, the government would be spending much less on National Security because there would be a serious decrease in the likelyhood of a terrorist attack from the Taliban. There would be a decrease in military spending to try and capture him as well. In an article called, " How Would the Market React to the Death or Capture of Saddam or Osama?" this idea is somewhat analized by an economist. In the article, Mike Moffat states, "I think [the capture of Osama] will cause a one to three day rally on Wall Street. I'm not sure if I agree that it will cause any long term changed in the stock prices, however." After this statement he continues to state the the only exception to this is if one of the issues I mentioned above happened as a result of the capture.
Posted by Alison at 4/27/2006 05:38:00 PM
Sunday, April 23, 2006
After a Category 5 Hurricane destroyed oil refineries in September '05 and wiped out many drilling platforms and pipelines, hard times have come upon the U.S. and China. Not only did this crisis begin an economically rough time, but along with the accomplice of the terrorists attack to two key oil installations in Saudia Arabia. The refinery in Saudia Arabia just happened to be the world's largest supplier. With these two hard hits we are needing to consume more oil than is able to be provided. Not only does this effect the extremely high gasoline prices, but the inflation of food costs as well due to the delivery trucks needing to purchase more gasoline to make the deliveries. Is this a problem that the U.S. and China can fix or will this be the beginning of the drawn out battle?
Posted by Jessi Zinn at 4/23/2006 08:37:00 PM
Friday, April 21, 2006
Gas prices rising, this doesn’t only effect how much you pay to fuel up your car. It also effects how much you pay for the goods that you enjoy. Companies across
Posted by bjp001 at 4/21/2006 03:28:00 PM
According to a recent Forbes article via ESPN.com, Major League Baseball's team values have increased an average of 15% for the second straight year. Operating income increased to $360 million from $132 million the year before. The Washington Nationals, who are on deck for a new stadium, reported the biggest gain of 42%.
Another interesting point Forbes makes is about the effect revenue sharing is playing. MLB's league sharing rule states that teams must pay 34% of their net local revenue in order for poorer teams to become more competitive. The New York Yankees paid a record $77 million and actually lost more than $50 million in operating income. The second highest totals belong to the Red Sox who paid $51 million and lost more than $18.5 in operating income. Revenue sharing is the reason why the Oakland Athletics, Minnesota Twins, and Kansas City Royals value increased by more than 20%. The Royals also earned more than $20 million by not following the intent of revenue sharing (not using subsidies to boost player payroll).
The Yankees and Red Sox may be paying the most, but according to Forbes they also are the two most valuable franchises in baseball. The Yankees are worth $1 billion while the Red Sox are worth $671 million due mostly in part to the money they receive by ownership stakes in regional sports networks (Red Sox have NESN while the Yankees has the YES network).
Baseball team values continue to grow. The Yankees spend the most money but constantly find themselves in a playoff race. The Royals come in last place every year but the owner is possibly sitting on a gold mine. The Red Sox and Yankees pay the price to win but do not necessairly make the most money. The Royals on the other hand do not do what it takes to win, but settle for the business aspect. Different strategies by owners and teams in sports play out in all leagues, but this is just proof that it happens in baseball.
Posted by BillyB at 4/21/2006 01:45:00 PM
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
In the London Free Press article Oil hits record of $70 a barrel we see the continued trend of increasing oil, and ergo gas, prices in the United States. The article cites the most recent hikes as the result of tension originating from Iran's decision to continue its enrichment program.
Given that Iran doesn't seem to be backing down and the continued instability of the Middle East, what ramifications will this have for US business? Despite the growth of E-business, the vast majority of the economy still revolves around land-based industries and, as such, requires transportation for their goods and services. The price of such transportation is, most likely, closely linked with the price of fuel. As the costs of maintaining business increases in the United States, will we see the expected increase in market prices as the increased marginal costs decrease the general levels of supply? Will businesses cease production as their variable costs increase with the increase in oil price? These and other ramifications should prove to be interesting phenomenon to watch.
Posted by C_Starkey at 4/18/2006 02:49:00 PM
Monday, April 17, 2006
The Florida Marlins have till May 15 to commit to San Antonio. Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff is the point man in discussions on bringing the team to South Texas. He told newspaper reporters, he needed an answer soon because if he wasn’t going to get a bite in this pond he was going to find another place to fish. County officials offered to put $200 million toward a new baseball stadium which would approximately cost $310 million if voters approved extending a tax on hotel and car rentals. Wolff needs the Marlins’ decision by May 15 in order to get the issue on the November 7th ballot. This seems like a pretty tasty offer; just imagine the large revenues the team could be earning if the stadium has more luxury suites. We learned in class that no city is safe. What kind of an offer can the Florida Marlins throw out in order to keep the team put? From the voter’s standpoint, if they are willing to absorb some losses as long as the net gain is positive then the issue on the ballot will pass. Should the Marlins move to San Antonio? Is it good to have 2 firms (San Antonio Spurs and the Marlins) so close together and is it going to be a problem because their season’s will overlap a bit?
Posted by Craig Meredith at 4/17/2006 10:47:00 PM
Friday, April 14, 2006
Microsoft has a monopoly on the computer system market, almost 90% of computers have Windows operating system on them, and the rest 10% is probably Mac.
But now Apple unveils Windows for Macs is that means this operating system will become a total monopoly? Its 'Boot Camp' software allows Mac's latest computers to run Microsoft Windows. For many consumers that are/were using Windows system thinking about getting a Apple, the totally differen operating system is a huge inconvenience, people are afraid of can't acclimate Mac system. Most of them give up the pretty white Apple and get another Dell or IBM. Apple losses a lot shares from the computer market, so now Appel yields at the operating system part in order to gain more from selling more computers. Would this bring them more economy profit? I'm thinking about getting a new Windows Mac myself anyway.
Posted by Yuhan at 4/14/2006 09:32:00 AM
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
In homage to Marginal Revolution's ongoing series of odd examples of markets in action, I note that Muhammad Ali has recently sold the marketing rights to his name for $50 million to a company called CKX. CKX, which also holds the marketing rights to Elvis Presley and the TV show American Idol, will operate a subsidiary called G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time) on Ali's behalf. CKX will receive 80% of the revenues while Ali will retain 20%. Why would Ali give up 80% of his name? Perhaps CKX can more successfully exploit market opportunities using the Ali brand name that would benefit both sides to this transaction.
Posted by Greg Delemeester at 4/11/2006 05:41:00 PM
Monday, April 10, 2006
The article discusses how the unemployment rate for foreign born workers was lower than for native born workers for the first time in a decade. The unemployment rate of native born workers fell from 5.5 percent in 2004 to 5.2 percent in 2005. The unemployment rate of foreign born workers was 5.5 percent in 2004, and sharply fell to 4.6 in 2005. As I was reading this article several issues crossed my mind: are there any differences in wages and compensation of the workers, and what fields or positions are they filling. Also, are the foreign born workers more willing to work hard and fulfill the “American Dream” of being successful?
I believe that there is a gap in the percentage of foreign born workers and native workers, due to foreign born workers are generally capable of being paid less for the same position. So is the factor that foreigners are getting paid less, and companies can hire more of them a factor. Also, I was curious as to what positions need to be filled. Do the jobs that need to be filled require formal education, such as a Bachelor’s, or do they just require basic understanding of English and Mathematical skills? What does everyone think concerning the difference in percentages of unemployment between native and foreign born workers.
Posted by Tiffany Kovacevich at 4/10/2006 10:28:00 PM
In Economics we are taught that a single firm is a price taker that takes the price that is set by an industry, using supply and demand, and uses that price as their own selling price. In this Cnn article, dairy farmers are very upset at the dairy industry. For a long time now the price of milk has been slowly declining. The milk farmers don’t understand what is going on. They don’t understand (probably because they have never taken economics) that the price is determined by the public and what amount we as consumers demand for the dairy productsis what the industry sets the price as. But according to the dairy farmers, this is not how the dairy industry is setting the price. "This market is a facade that makes people thinks there's a rational market that is setting the price of milk," said George Naylor, president of National Family Farm Coalition. "But its only milk processors and the traders that benefit from this market." These farmers believe that somehow they are being cheated! They felt so cheated that 10 members from the National Family Farm Coalition protested outside of a Chicago conference. After reading this article, I am not so sure about what’s going on. What do you think? Do these farmers have a good point? Or have they just forgotten everything they have learned from econ class?
Posted by Rita Soworowski at 4/10/2006 09:19:00 PM
China is always considered as a country that has relative abundance of labor and good at producing labor-intensive goods in the international trade. However, there comes a labor shortage at many Chinese factories according to this article, which will affect the global market for manufactured goods and the international trade. The shortage of workers will push wages up, which increases the cost of making productions in China. As a result, the supply curve will shift to the left and the price of production made in China will increase in the international market. No wonder that international manufacturers are already talking about moving their factories to lower-cost countries like Vietnam and try to decrease their cost.
Economists suggest that the shortages will be covered if companies improve their labor conditions and give their workers more benefits and incentives. It definitely will cost them more. What is your opinion about this situation? China is no longer the lowest-cost producer. What do you think international companies should do? Move to Vietnam, India and Bangladesh?
Posted by tian at 4/10/2006 06:44:00 PM
This article discusses the fact that more and more college students find themselves rather than their parents footing the bill for their higher education. Since very few eighteen-year-olds have enough money to pay the tens, perhaps even thousands, of dollars to pay for a college education, they turn to government financial aid and private loans. As young adults, they do not have very good credit ratings and are therefore stuck with higher interest rates on their loans than their parents would get on the same loans. Before they even finish undergrad, many students today have tens, perhaps even hundreds, of thousands of dollars in loans to pay back. If they choose to go to graduate school, these loans only multiply even more.
According to the article, parents today tend to have saved less for retirement than their parents, and worry that if they pay for their children's education, they will not be financially secure later on. What do you think is the reason for today's parents being less willing to foot the bill for our generation's education?
Posted by Manthey at 4/10/2006 03:39:00 PM
MariettaEcon This article discusses the possible reasons why gas prices have gotten worse in the last couple months. Gas prices, on average in the United States, have risen 17 cents in the last couple of months. The first reason they discuss is the idea that crude oil and other variable costs needed to make gasoline have gone up. We have learned in Micro 211 that if variable costs of making a product go up, that company is not going to be able to make as much of a product. The other reason this article discusses is that oil refineries were damaged in the hurricane. Our government is spending money to repair these refineries, which also can jack up the price. The article states that the price raising will stop soon. I also believe the war in Iraq is hurting our gas prices, because that is where the United States gets alot of its crude oil.
Posted by Jarrod Klausman at 4/10/2006 08:55:00 AM
There has been a "Bed War" among Hotel Chains since the 1990's, hotel beds are no longer just a mattress, sheets, and bedspreads. They have started adding more pillows bit functional and decorative and elaborate bedspreads. While some people like the luxuriousness of the multiple layers and many pillows, some customers would be happier if the chains offered free internet access.
The Marriot Hotel chains have introduced beds with 300-thread count sheets, a feathered mattress topper, stylish pillow shams, and a decorative bed scarf and extra pillows. This may be very appealing to the eye, but not the wallet. If the price of a hotel room increases too much do to the new "luxurious bedding" I believe it will have a negative impact upon the sales of hotel rooms. Espically if all a consumer wants is a place to sleep, nothing more, nothing less.
As which would happen with the announcement by Hilton Hotels of a 1 BILLION dollar effort to add the "Serenity Bed" to its properties, which includes a high-end mattress pad, down pillows, linens, decorative bed pillows and bolsters. This effort made by the Hilton Corp most definatly increase the overall costs of rooms with in the Hilton family of hotels.
Posted by Matt Kundmueller at 4/10/2006 08:09:00 AM
Google has come up with an ingenius plan--provide the entire city of San Fransisco with free wireless internet. They've even found the perfect partner for the ambitious task, joining forces with Earthlink in order to provide internet access, for free, to every person in San Fransisco. The network is expected to cost at least $15 million, and will be paid for by Earthlink and Google. San Fransisco would be the only city outfitted in such a way by Google, though other cities, like Philadelphia, Chicago, and Minneapolis, are untaking similar tasks. Of course, Google has it's motivations.
Many of Google's employees live in San Fransisco, providing them with ample reason to want San Fransisco linked. After all, if their employees can't get online, there's something a little bit wrong with the picture. Rumors and speculation speak of Google wanting to create a national Wi-Fi network so that people will use their search engine more than they do already, and click on the multitude of ads that bring in so much money for the company. Google, of course, denies these rumors, but you can't help but wonder.
So, what kind of benefits do you think Google is going to get from this Wi-Fi network? Are these benefits going to be worth the $15 million+ that it's going to take to set the network up?
Posted by Paige at 4/10/2006 07:55:00 AM
Living at the beachy may seem like a dream come true...until you try to insure your house! States where wind, hail, tornadoes and huracanes occur regularly have a huge increase in insurance for their home. The average US home pays $668 per year to insure their home. In Texas, the average is $1328! Also, Washington DC has large rates due the fact that it is a high-density area and lacks nearby construction materials. One should look at the tradeoff before planning to move: is it really worth it to live in an area ridden with natural disaster or a high-density area? Not only are the rates for insurance high, but the cost of your own time put into evacuating and rebuilding after every storm is skyhigh. Marietta is looking better and better to me!
Posted by Amanda Cataldo at 4/10/2006 07:51:00 AM
In this article by Lee Christie, he talks about the real estate market being overvalued. The housed are found to be overvalued, but nothing is done to the price. There is word of a slowing market with no price changes. The local Market Monitor president Ingo Winzer has figured out the overvalued percentage by comparing the equilibrium value to the actual price. By no suprise, coastal housing in California and Florida have been found to have the highest overvalued real estate. Recently, the prices have increased even though they have been found to be overvalued. Winzer seems to think that the more overvalued a market is, the more likely it will regress to equilibrium. But how long do we have to wait for it to correct itself? When do we say its been long enough and step in to correct it?
Posted by Kelly Lehosit at 4/10/2006 07:38:00 AM
No one would have ever thought Mac computers can install Windows operating systems. Just think having images of Windows running on Mac computers. This was never an opinion a few years ago. There has always been two types of computers Macs or Windows. Many people believe this could be huge a turn for PC users.
I have used Windows through my whole life till I hit college. A Mac itself is more superior because of it's durability, less pron to malware attacks, powerful, and stable. I haven't had one single problem with my computer since I have got it and it has been 3 years since I got it. As a Mac owner I have to say that Macs are amazing computers. You just have to experience one for yourself.
There are a lot of Window users that have invested hundreds to thousands of dollars in software designed for Window computers. Which means buying a Mac back then meant re-buying and relearning a new set of programs. This is no longer a problem because the new Macs can now read Windows programs. Which makes the transition from a Windows to a Mac very easy.With this new program gives no reason not to switch computers.
This new break threw for Apple can their market share. People who use to prefer Windows will now experience an Apple computer. They will see all the Mac's features that Windows do not have and more with the new program which allows Macs to view Windows images. Having people switch over to Macs means less people buying Windows which means the other computer companies like Dell are losing revenue. The transition to a Mac from a Window is not so easy because it means buying a new computer (the new Mac). Everybody knows that Macs are a bit more expensive then Windows but Macs have more features then Windows.
I have used Windows through my whole life till I hit college. A Mac itself is more superior because of it's durability, less pron to malware attacks, powerful, and stable. I haven't had one single problem with my computer since I have got it and it has been 3 years since I got it. As a Mac owner I have to say that Macs are amazing computers. You just have to experience one for yourself.
Posted by kozono at 4/10/2006 07:17:00 AM
Speed limits are meant to put a limit on how fast drivers can go. But for whatever reason, most of society sees speed limits as a minimum. According to an article in USA Today, speeding has not only increased, but speeders are now being clocked at speeds far beyond the speed limit. This may not be news to any body that has driven a car lately, but what the statistics in the article show is a significant increase in the speed of traffic and a higher leniency on the part of officers; who now ticket fewer people going between 10 and 15 mph over the speed limit. Everyone has a different reason for speeding, but do they truly consider the possible consequences of their actions? If they are caught, not only do they have to pay the ticket, but they get points on their drivers license and their auto insurance price can increase. But for whatever reason, people think that the benefits brought by speeding are greater than the possible cost of being caught. Do you think this is a problem, and if it is, do you think it is correctable? How high do you think the price of a speeding ticket would have to be before people really slowed down on the road? How can society create an incentive for police to ticket more?
Posted by Eric Taylor at 4/10/2006 01:11:00 AM
The gas station we all know as BP, which once stood for British Petroleum, has lunched a new advertisement identifying the company not as British Petroleum but with a new slogan "Beyond Petroleum." This is due in part to a new campaign that was announced in November 2005 and is now getting its feet off the ground. BP is working their way into the new age of hybrid and alternative energy. Over the next ten years the company plans to spend an estimated 8 million dollars to recreate itself as an alternative or green energy supporter and producer. The article states, "We foresee a huge market for cleaner power in the future. About 40% of the world’s CO2 emissions from fossil fuels come from power generation, yet up to 40% of the power plants that the world is expected to need by 2020 have not yet been built." The company expects to expand by five to ten times with this newer greener introduction. But will green energy be as expensive as the new green cars? If so, are BP's predictions rights, or could their new energy ideas go south? How much are consumers willing to spend to help the environment?
Posted by MeganSw at 4/10/2006 12:34:00 AM
Sunday, April 09, 2006
In this article, there is talk about how most houses along the coast in Fla. and CA. in example both have very high prices for the houses. California for example is 83% higher than the equilibrium price than it should be. While there are other states such as NC who are not even hitting the equilibrium price of the houses so they are losing money. This article makes me wonder if the coast houses are more elastic than inelastic because if people cannot afford them the price will obviously have to be dragged down in the long run, but yet, I am sure that there are many people willing to pay that high of a price for a coast house, but how high is too high? If people cannot afford the houses, would the coast become a deadweight loss or would the price just get dragged down towards the equilibrium?
Posted by RAnderson at 4/09/2006 11:13:00 PM
Japan is now allowing the import of fresh U.S. potatoes. Japan put the ban on fresh U.S. potatoes because of diseased and pests. Since the U.S. eliminated the diseased, Japan lifted the ban. Now, the U.S. will be allowed to ship fresh potatoes from February to June under the new trade agreement to Japan for potato chip production. This is very good news for potato farmers who have been struggling in past years due to America's sliding prices and low-carb diets. Potato farmers from 14 states in the U.S., including Washington, Idaho, and Oregon will be allowed to trade to Japan, which together produce about 60 % of the nation's potato crop.
As was mentioned in the article, this trade agreement will be very profitable for potato farmers. Expansion of the potato market overseas will benefit the farmers since demand for potatoes has decreased in the U.S. because many Americans have become more health conscious over the years. More potato exports from the U.S. might result in a decrease in the supply of potatoes available to U.S. consumers, which will, as a result, increase demand along with the price, and doubly benefitting potato farmers. While potato consuming Americans might not be thrilled with the price increase, potato chip lovers maybe won't mind quite as much.
Posted by Ashley Freeland at 4/09/2006 11:05:00 PM
Starting out by saying that something looks really sharp is a good thing: saying except for when it comes up with a blue "signal unavailable" message, is not. The old-fashioned cathode-ray style televisions will be in abundant supply if congress passes a bill that requires analog tv broadcasts to end in February 2009. The government will try to make money by auctioning off spectrum used by analog channels today. When and/if this happens, the people who watch over-the-air will need either a converter box, or a set with a built-in tuner. The RCA model in the article will retail for $359. However, it isn't a large one, or flat-panel. It is a regular television, and it weighs 130lbs. in its box, is 27" wide, and takes a good ten seconds to turn on. When there's a strong enough signal, digital channels come in perfectly. ABC, CBS, and NBC offer multiple digital channels, and PBS offers three. If however, the antenna isn't positioned correcty, or the signal wavers, then the image becomes blotchy, and the ominous "signal unavailable" screen could appear. If you use and old satellite or antenna, then your chances of a clear picture are better. Chances are that the government's intervention will cause demand to go down and prices to go up, but we'll just have to see. The bill might not even pass.
Posted by Jeremy Cunningham at 4/09/2006 10:55:00 PM
A study done by the Center for Housing Policy, released in March, found out that the percentage of working class families who own homes has gone down since 1978. In 2003, the percentage of working class families who own a home, those with incomes from $10,700 a year to 120% of the median income in their area, was 59.6%, down from 1978 at 62.5%. This trend can be attributed to many different factors. In the forefront would be the fact that the cost of homes has increased at a faster rate than that of the wage rates. A family making close to a minimum wage income has no chance of owning a home let alone supporting a large family.
So whose fault is it? Those who are providing the wages for these families or those who are selling the homes and hiking up the prices? It's tough to determine why there is such a divergence in the markets. One must look at many outside factors, such as increasing costs of other family necessities like health care, gas, and education. The study cited a combination of these reasons as well as the rise of single parenting. But shouldn't inflation take care of all of these factors? Apparently so since the overall home ownership in America has actually risen, up to 68.3%. This is probably one of the leading arguments for Congress to raise the minimum wage rate. It's time to ask ourselves, "What's more important, a competative market or homes for all working class families?"
Posted by Dock at 4/09/2006 10:25:00 PM
Thousands of illegal immigrants are protesting, peacefully, a new bill that was passed by the White House in December. The bill stated that anyone who helped an illegal immigrant would convicted of a felony rather then a civil infraction. It also stated that the US was going to build more walls along the border of Mexico to stop people from entering the country. Protesters are hoping that this will become known as the “immigrant right movement” much like the civil rights movement. Protesters are walking down the same streets in Birmingham, Alabama where the infamous clash between police and civil rights activists, currently a statue of Martin Luther King Jr. stands. There are citizens of the US that are supporting the bill, they claim that if it doesn’t get passed that the US will be sending a message to everyone that they can come here illegally if they wish. Protesters have arranges a “Day Without An Immigrant” (May 1) in which they encourage immigrants to stay home from work and not to buy any American products. The US is giving immigrants a chance to register and take education class on citizenship are set to start May 2.
I can understand where these protesters are coming from, because they have a good chance that they will be losing their home, but I do think the US has to do something about all the illegal immigration that is happing in the US. They are hurting the growth of our economy, even though ours is better then where they are coming from. The US has a responsibility to its citizens not its illegal immigrants and those who are aiding illegal immigrants should be punished. Over the past few years I have seen how immigrants have congregate in spot taking up all the possible work from citizens who have a right to that job. I have to admit I never knew that immigration was a problem for the US until I saw the speaker that came to our school. I walked out of the room knowing that the government has to do something if we want our economy to grow and recover from some heavy losses.
Posted by Mindy at 4/09/2006 10:08:00 PM
Just when the common consumer was worried enough about how much money he/she would have to spend to fill up the tank, now the common adolescent population has to wonder how much money their college tuition will total up in the up coming years. In this research study, plans have been approved to increase the tuition costs for state universities across the nation. This is worth much attention because who knows how many high school graduates will end up dropping out or not attending college at all?
This could cause a decrease in the consumer demand for college attendance. Although this would produce a price drop in the market, it still would harm the chances of promising young people thier dream jobs because neither they nor their families could afford a bill as large as college tuition. Not only that, but it would probably stress parents to stress their own children to do good in school to earn numerous scholarships for college. What could the government be promising with the increase in college tuition? It makes no sense to me and I believe that all this could do is tarnish the futures of millions of talented youngsters everywhere.
Posted by Adam Marzheuser at 4/09/2006 10:06:00 PM
Yes, you've guessed it. Wal-mart is at it again. In its quest to take over every kind of industry possible and monopolize the entire world, Wal-mart has asked the FDIC to allow itself entry into the banking industry. What does this mean? Simply, Wal-mart is seeking to operate its own in-house banking industry where it will be able to process millions of checks and credit-card payments each month. This is obviously cheaper than paying a bank to do it for them. The question that arises is will the retail giant be able to handle it? Banking is an important operation within our country and the U.S. government isn't quite sure if Wal-mart is ready for such a high responsibility.
Another hot topic that comes about is the possibility of a consumer bank of Wal-mart. What if Wal-mart is allowed to operate their in-house banking system and get good at it? If I'm not mistaken, Wal-mart's main objective has always been to make more profit. Even though they claim no desire to enter the consumer banking industry, one has to think that it could still be a possibility in the mere future. What would this do to the U.S. economy? I'm not so sure it would be a good idea, what do you think?
Posted by Jared Hanson at 4/09/2006 10:00:00 PM
President Bush is attempting to increase the area of a new drilling site 1.000 miles off the coast of Pensacola, FL that has enough oil to fuel one million vehicles and half a million homes for nearly 15 years. He wants to obtain more oil for the country, but there are definitely opposing sides. The two state senators of Florida and other state delegated authorities oppose the increase; and actually are fighting for a smaller area. Administrative officials believe that the expansion in drilling area could help bring short term relief to the oil-crisis. For short term relief, the idea is great although what long-term effects will this have on the economy? There will be more limited resources to choose from in the future; although knowing this, scientists may be more motivated to help develop new fuels that can be used in the place of oil.
Posted by Caitlin Browdie at 4/09/2006 09:40:00 PM
Gas Prices Jump Nearly 17 Cents in U.S.
Gas prices across the country soared an average of nearly 17 cents in the past two weeks, according to a survey released Sunday.
The weighted average for all three grades increased to $2.69 a gallon by Friday, said Trilby Lundberg, who publishes the semimonthly Lundberg Survey of 7,000 gas stations in the country.
Self-serve regular averaged $2.67 a gallon. Mid-grade cost $2.76 a gallon while premium hit $2.86 a gallon.
Among the stations surveyed, the lowest average price in the country for regular unleaded was in Salt Lake City at $2.28 a gallon. The most expensive was in Honolulu, where drivers paid $2.88 a gallon.
Why the price of gas go up? Iraq war? I don't know, but I'm very happy to see it although it make people pay more money to driver their car, but when they driver car they will think about the price of gas had went up. when people buy car they will think the price of gas, nobody want spend 100thousand to buy a car and spend 200 thousand to drive it. Price of gas go up can save the gas and save the gas will save the Earth.
Posted by Chengkai Zhao at 4/09/2006 09:28:00 PM
Interest rates of zero occur when the inflation rate is the same as the interest rate. The two rates will be the same, so if you lend money to someone and are paid back a year later with interest, you do not actually make any money by lending them money. This happens because the rates change together. When a country goes into recession, the central banks lower their nominal rates. They do this to get people to lend money more, but if they do it too quickly inflation occurs. Negative interest rates also happen when it's believe that the currency will rise in the future.
Posted by Zenny Frary at 4/09/2006 09:23:00 PM
Global warming is an issue that is widely discussed by countries and environmental groups around the world. When greenhouse gases trap in the heat of the sun and warm the earth, there are consequences; one of which is the melting of glaciers.
In the article “Melted Ice Threatens Sea Level Rise”, the issue of melting glaciers is discussed. Scientists are predicting that by the end of the century the earth will be about 4 degrees warmer, with the sea level being 1-3 feet higher. But these long run implications are not the only thing to be concerned about. As the glaciers melt, they have the potential to move at about 10 meters per minute. This movement has caused an increase in earthquakes in Greenland; especially during July and August.
There are many negative consequences of global warming. Earthquakes and rising sea levels are simply two examples discussed in this article. But global warming can also lead to changes in weather patterns. This past year, global warming was discussed when the hurricanes hit the United States. By changing the seasonal patterns, weather changes could also hurt food production (farmers).
Damage caused by weather can hurt everyone economically. Weather conditions can destroy companies, the can destroy homes, they can wipe out cities. What can be done to correct this problem? Whose responsibility is it to correct it? It is obviously in everyone's best interest to try and reduce global warming, but who should bear the costs?
Posted by cameron cimino at 4/09/2006 09:19:00 PM
Gas consumers can hopefully soon find a relief in prices, but not before they go up once more. Surveys showed that prices increased by 7 percent over the last two weeks and about 42.4 cents throughout the last 6 weeks. Because of refiners converting to new specifications, it added on 14 cents to what distributers and consumers pay. Higher crude prices also added to the increase in cost and because of all of this, retailer's profit margin sank as buying prices rose more then retail prices. Consumers should not worry too much because with an increase in the refining capacities could end the increasing prices. Once the refineries get out of their idle period, gasoline prices will increase and peak, then finally slip in the coming two to three weeks. I think even though they will increase at first, this is good news for both consumers and retailers. Even with a slight increase, once the prices finally fall, consumer purchases should increase greatly. Therefore the retailers profit margin will rise again. Anytime gas prices drop even just a few cents, people are running out to the cheapest station to fill up while the low prices last. As soon as these prices drop, the quantity demanded will increase. Just how long it lasts will depend on how long the decrease in prices will.
Posted by steph at 4/09/2006 09:16:00 PM
Education is a service that benefits society. Educated people have better jobs, make more money and live in better neighborhoods. They are productive individuals whose higher paying jobs lead to increased tax revenue and already having much of what they need, educated people tend to commit less crime. Based on this, why are teachers' salaries so low in the United States?
The Associated Press recently reported that 1500 teachers in Detroit - who were forced to give up 5 days of pay to help balance the city budget - called in sick. This forced 53 schools in the area to close. These teachers couldn't understand why they are giving up some of their salaries to balance the budget, but at the same time principals are getting raises. The school board justified this action by comparing the salaries of principals that had recently been hired and those that had been in the system for a long period of time. Those that were just hired were earning more, and they felt that was a problem that needed to be corrected.
Is a teacher's salary equal to the benefits that education brings? Should they earn more money? Or do you think that the market for education is already in equilibrium therefore no change is needed?
Posted by cameron cimino at 4/09/2006 09:14:00 PM
This article explains how gas prices in the last 2 weeks have risen 7%. It also claims that prices are expected to fall because more suppliers or crude oil are expected to enter into the market.
Something else that is affecting the price of gas are substitutes that are begining to enter into the market as well. The demand for gas in the coming years could fall drasticly as technology allows consumers to choose a cheaper, more ecological, and efficiant way for fueling their cars.
I'm excited to see how the gas industry reacts to more prominant subsitutes for gas that is sure to become readily available.
Posted by Claire Reintgen at 4/09/2006 09:09:00 PM
New drugs are developed every year thanks to the research efforts of pharmaceutical companies. These drugs often make the lives of people easier and more tolerable to live. But before a drug can reach this level, it must be tested. It is tested on animals and then on people.
But what happens when pharmaceutical companies begin hiring others to both run and review their studies? These “middle men” have an incentive to get people to sign up quickly, compensate them, and get the results to the pharmaceutical company faster. But they do not necessarily put the subject welfare first. In the article “Risky business: Human testing for a profit”, two recent studies have led to severe consequences. Two American companies hired research companies to conduct medical studies in
Who should be held responsible for these mishaps? Is it the research company’s responsibility to conduct better studies? Is it the pharmaceutical company’s responsibility to make sure that no harm is done while testing their product? Or do you think that people understand the risk that they are succumbing to when they begin the study? If they are willing to accept the risks involved for the amount of compensation provided, is it a problem at all?
Posted by cameron cimino at 4/09/2006 09:09:00 PM
This article describes a new technology - Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). VoIP has recently made a large jump forward to expanding its market. VoIP uses Wi-Fi, which according to Dictionary.com is "a local area network that uses high frequency radio signals to transmit and receive data over distances of a few hundred feet." Wi-Fi communication has existed over the past few years, but mainly in the form of phones or walkie-talkie like devices within hospitals and offices. Today, manufacturers and mobile carries want to and are ready to link this technology to cell phones. According to the article, this will expand coverage and hopefully lower the cost of minutes for cell phone users. In expanding coverage, this will also aid in preventing dropped calls and poor coverage "spots" in ones house or business. Wi-Fi capable handsets are expected to reach 100 million units (annually) by 2009. A common issue regarding this technology is pricing. Cingular spokesman Ritch Blasi specifies,''Who's network are you going to be using, and do you share minutes? ... People might expect that because they're calling on a Wi-Fi that they're paying for a broadband connection into their home already.'' It is believed such technology will aid land-line phone companies in customer retention. Products such as Skype offer free communication from computer to computer over the internet. I have actually used this product to speak with friends in Brazil... the only cost being my time and a monthly internet bill, which I would pay anyways. The price of that call using Wi-Fi technology is obviously dramatically cheaper than a land-line call to Brazil. If this new technology expands to cell phones and even land-line phones, it is predicted this would lower phone bills and hope to revitalize the land-line phone industry. Free is still free though, for the most part, right? Will more users switch to the Skype (and similar products) on the internet for free - a technology they already have, with no additional cost or will consumers buy these new phones with the new technology, and still pay their monthly bills? Will the currently free services introduce a price if this technology catches on among consumers? An interesting dilema to watch in the next few months and years. There ain't no such thing as a free... phone call.
Posted by Allison LaRocca at 4/09/2006 08:53:00 PM
Ice Age kept its place at number 1 this weekend, soaring above the competition. But is Hollywood behind where it was last year in earnings? According to the Associated Press, "It became the first movie released this year to cross the $100 million mark. ... the industry usually has produced a $100 million hit by February or March." Is Hollywood slacking on quality films or is the public spending its money elsewhere? To find out whether or not the money is being spent in other markets, economists would need to consider substitutes and how they are doing profitwise. Whether or not those markets have increasing, steady, or decreasing profits will be an indicator as to whether or not the movie industry is being replaced by its substitutes.
Posted by Danielle at 4/09/2006 08:52:00 PM
Pepsi will launch a fruit-flavored diet cola this summer named "Jazz". As mentioned in the article "The diet cola category is still growing and both Coke and Pepsi already have flavored cola offering which have done well." The purpose of luanching new product might be an attempt bring more excitement to it's flavored cola family which is popular with consumers now.
Since diet cola made by Pepsi or Coke are pretty much substitutions, the two companies are seizing the market share to gain more profit.
Posted by patrick (motao hao) at 4/09/2006 08:39:00 PM
In this article, by Darren reveal of ESPN.com, states that the panel reports for MLB teams show a loss of over $1 billion during a five-year period (1995-19990. It also showed that only three teams earned a profit (Cleveland, Colorado and the New York Yankees). Also in the article it states that there has to be some kind of manipulation involved with franchise accounts and their books to show this lose. They are repositioning profits to show this debt, but why would they do this? Not only is this number blown out of portion, but there has to be many other teams that are making a profit simply on TV contracts. There are many teams that have television stations that simply show the team in action. What happened to the money from these contracts? Advertisements are a huge money maker especially during baseball games because of the number of inning breaks, pitching changes, and the length of the games themselves. So where is all this money?
$ports create lots of revenue through TV for the professional teams, and you would think American's most watched sport (Baseball) would be raking in the dough just from TV. Not to mention the constant increase in price for tickets all across the league.
Posted by demark at 4/09/2006 06:30:00 PM
This article, by John Rogers, debates whether or not there should be an increase in minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.15 in Tennessee. Not only is this topic currently being discussed in Tennessee, but it is being debated in almost every single state all over the United States. Surprisingly though, not everyone is agreeing with the wage increase. Many people feel that if wages increase, then employment will fall. But hasn’t employment already fallen to some extent because of the minimum wage? I mean how many of us have worked at a job, only to quit after a few months because we are not being paid enough? It’s hard for people to work at a job for a while that does not pay very much over minimum wage, especially when according to Senator Doug Jackson “the $5.15 rate has failed to keep up with inflation.” Why doesn’t the government want to do something about it now instead of waiting until people are fed up with low wages? Shouldn’t the government be more worried about keeping the employees happy instead of trying to save a buck or two?
Posted by Tiffany Hlubb at 4/09/2006 06:17:00 PM
On Saturday the first Harley-Davidson dealership opened its doors in China. They are hoping that wealthy Chinese will buy their bikes. China is a huge country with a growing upper-class population. One issue with selling bikes in China however is that there are many restrictions on riding motorcycles. Harley's plan is to establish their brand in China and hopefully have some of the restrictions relaxed over time.
If Harley-Davidson is able to establish their brand in China, this could be a great source of revenue for the company.
Posted by Marie Kramer at 4/09/2006 04:58:00 PM
According to April 6, 2006 Wall Street Journal--"Apple Opens The Mac To Windows", Apple released a brand-new software program that allows users switch their computer between both Windows and Mac OS.
Apple's flagship model, the iMac, is the best comsumer desktop on the market right now. Apple have huge advantages, such as better built-in software, virtually no exposure to viruses and spy-ware. However, there's a problem for windows users to switch to the Mac, some windows programs cant exchange to Mac system. Right now, the Apple users can easily log on Apple's official website, and download a software named "Boot Camp". This program allows you to start up the Mac in either Windows or Mac OS system.
This historic change definitely will bring Apple an unexpectable benifit. In the article shows that the Apple computer's daily closing share price boot up as soon as Apple released "Boot Camp". No wonder to say, the program may increase sales of Apple's Macs. Since 1993, the sale of Apple's personal computers slided down a lot. "Boot Camp" will be the strong market weapon to make the Apple sales go up.
Posted by Bella Tung at 4/09/2006 04:14:00 PM
Google and Earthlink are now providing free wi-fi service all over San Francisco. Google users with wi-fi transmitters can be located to within a few blocks, so that they can provide local advertisements from the immediate area. Google is working with Motorola and Tropos Networks to make a mobile network for businesses and residents as well. Earthlink will also be building a wi-fi network in Philadelphia and Milpitas, California.
Posted by Erin Jackman at 4/09/2006 03:32:00 PM
Because of recent problems and over-spending, BAE Systems have decided to withdraw their 20% stake in Airbus's new projects. Additional costs have been linked to research and development for the Airbus and for extra spending on a new military transporter. BAE's decision came last week along with the announcement that Singapore Airlines, the world's 2nd-biggest carrier, will be redesigning one of their planes to compete with Boeing's 787. The article states that BAE calculated the future financial performance of Airbus and as a result came their decision to "get out."
According to class discussion, the money BAE has already put into the Airbus should be initially ignored. What this article lacks is the estimated total benefit the Airbus will create in regard to the total costs it will incur. BAE would be justified in their withdrawl from this project if the marginal cost of funding this plane were greater than the expected benefits. Without such information I find it hard to fully justify BAE's decision to cut it's funding.
Posted by Allison LaRocca at 4/09/2006 03:29:00 PM
Because people today are more health concious, they are steering away from drinking soda and leaning more towards drinking healthier drinks such as bottled water and sports drinks. The leading manufactures of soft drinks saw their sales decline the last three quarters of 2005. The soft drink manufacturers are watching the sales figures, which increased in the first quarter of 2006. Even though more people are drinking healther drinks, the sales of carbonated soft drinks is also popular and the companies are focusing on the sales of both groups of drinks.
Posted by DarrenLott at 4/09/2006 02:50:00 PM
Recent days, much talking is around the world about the Chinese currency-RMB'appreciation. Europe and countries like America and Japan are pressing Chinese currency value to be higher. Most of the Chinese people are expect to see the currency appreciation. However, according to People's Daily, The appreciation of RMB will incur more disadvantages than advantages to the sustainable development of the Chinese economy, nor will it help improve the Japanese and American economies.
i)Chinese people will get less salary after the currency appreciation
ii)The Chinese products would be less competitive than the products from other Asian countries.
iii)Employment will be affected due to the more expensive human resources.
iv)Chinese currency appreciation will cause economy bubble and inflation in the long run.
Facing to these problems above, the Chinese currency value should better stayed the same.
Do you have any opinions about this topic?
Posted by wang xiao ou at 4/09/2006 01:54:00 PM
Major League Basebll has raised the price of tickets 5.4 percent compared to the average ticket cost last year. Last year the MLB set a record in ticket sales. The rise in prices could be due to a lot of the stadiums reducing the number of seats available. Of course the seats to go are the upper deck "cheap seats". The big question here though is what will this average price increase due to baseball. With the MLB becoming less and less popular in a lot of americans' eyes, due to the whole steroids issue, will this just be another dagger into the MLB?
Posted by D.J. Martin at 4/09/2006 01:48:00 PM
The advertising is a best way to propagandize a product because so many people watch TV and have to see the commercial. Even though nobody want to watch the commercial, it still the best way.
Several days before, I saw a commercial by DQ. The product is a spicy hamburger. Everybody knows that DQ is a company for Ice-cream, but why they want to product a spicy hamburger? And propagandize a not main product of the company?
Let's talk about it. They produce the spicy hamburger and propagandize it, the purpose absolutely is to sell more hamburger. If more people watch the commercial of the spicy hamburger, more people will buy the spicy hamburger. Because it is a "spicy" hamburger, after people eating, they will fell hot. Then they may buy a Ice-cream.
That's make more trade by the spicy hamburger. DQ company sell more new product and also sell more main products.
Posted by hanfeng at 4/09/2006 12:55:00 PM
In this article it talks about making a tougher law on lobbyists. By doing this and controlling how much money lobbyists can use to influence lawmakers, senaters, and other political figures. Controlling how much money that lobbyists can use can put a glitch in the economy. Because this casuses money to stop moving as quickly back into the market as it normally would.
Posted by bjp001 at 4/09/2006 02:04:00 AM
Saturday, April 08, 2006
According to the article, 211,000 U.S employees have gained jobs in March; therefore, the unemployment rate unexpectedly went down to a 4 and half year low of 4.7 percent. However, the government said it carefully keeps watching for potential inflation pressure because the pace of hiring was not only stronger than what analysts expected, but analysts also expected the unemployment rate to stabilize at 4.8 percent in February.
The Labor Department cut down hiring of new employees to 225,000, less than the expected 243,000 in February while new jobs totaled 154,000 instead of 170,000 in January. Not all sectors hired more employees; manufactory employment decreased by 5,000 jobs in March after reducing 10,000 in February and transportation industries decreased 7,900 jobs in March. Hiring in service businesses jumped to 202,000 in the last month after increasing 191,000, while goods-producing industries increased payrolls mostly by 9,000 employees in March, fewer than the 31,000 new hires in February.
Posted by Gun at 4/08/2006 10:47:00 PM
I think Illegal immigrants in US could be competitive workers who contribute to economy’s overall growth with taxes and sales.
About 11 million undocumented immigrants are now in the US. Specifically, about 56% comes from Mexico and 22% from other Latin American countries. Many Latino immigrants are working in California, Texas, and Arizona. According to the pew Hispanic research center, undocumented immigrants account for about 4.9% of the civilian labor force, or 7.2 million workers out of a total US labor force of 148million.
In fact, each year, the US Social Security Administration maintains roughly $6 billion to $7 billion of Social Security contributions in an “ earnings suspense file” an account for W-2 tax forms that cannot be matched to the correct Social Security number. The vast majority of these numbers could be attributable to undocumented workers who will never claim their benefits.
However, Analyses consider these workers contributions beyond payroll and taxes. Undocumented immigrants are consumers who contribute to the both the economy’s overall growth with their purchases and to state and local sales taxes. Many undocumented immigrants also pay real estate taxes, either directly as homeowners or indirectly as renters. Those taxes are a prime source of funding for state and local governments.
Posted by GiYeol Jeon at 4/08/2006 08:42:00 PM
According to this article, there is a big increase in the price of the medicine which is used to treat the cancer. This medicine is known as Mustargen, which “has been blended into an ointment by pharmacists and used as a topical treatment for a cancer called cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a form of cancer that mainly affects the skin.”
Last August, Merck sold the rights of producing and marketing Mustargen and Consmegen, another cancer drug, to a six year old company, Ovation. As a result, an perfect monopolization was created. As there is only one company, Ovation, in this market, they can charge any price for their medicine. In addition, their total revenue won't change a lot because the demand curve for this life-saving medicine is close to perfect inelastic, as the patients will to pay any prices to save their lives.
However, since the Mustargen is covered by almost no insurance plan, the whole burden of the price rise has fallen on the patiens who relay on this medicine. “Don Schare of Saratoga, Calif., said he paid $1,260 last month for 200 grams of nitrogen mustard cream, about 10 times what he paid for his prior prescription.”
Finally, I have to say, if no one stands out to depress the price or make this medicine be covered by insurance plan, these patients will burn all of their money and leave nothing but their lives at their very last gasp.
Posted by Hang Li at 4/08/2006 08:19:00 PM
A recent article written by the Associated Press claims that the average college graduate from both two year and four year programs lacks common skills needed in today’s world. The study found that about 75% of two year program graduates and 50% of four year program graduates have trouble with balancing checkbooks, leaving tips at restaurants, understanding and analyzing news articles and understanding the differences among credit card offers.
If college graduates can’t perform these simple tasks, how valuable can a college education really be? An educated population is supposed to lead to better jobs, higher salaries and an overall better life. That is the benefit of going to college and not entering the workforce directly out of high school.
But if this information presented is true, and our education system is failing, what are the consequences and can the situation be reversed? In a competitive world where knowledge can lead to success, I certainly hope so. Otherwise, those higher paying jobs that college is supposed to help us get are going to go elsewhere. When that happens, unemployment will rise; making that college degree almost worthless.
But I think there is another dimension to this issue. There is obviously a hole somewhere is the education system, but is it at the college level? Knowing that not everyone will go to college; shouldn’t high schools be teaching students this basic knowledge? College graduates are not the only people who are going to eat at restaurants, balance checkbooks and read newspapers. What do you think?
Posted by rachel at 4/08/2006 07:46:00 PM
Alltel had offered a buyout for some of its workers in order to cut the costs and improve operations. These costs were mostly created by Katrina and other hurricanes last year. The number of employees were higher than expected; Allstate planned on only 700 of the 6,800 eligible workers to accept the voluntary buyout. Allstate will also be limited the types of insurances it offers in hurricane- and earthguake-prone regions.
This can be explained by both short run curves and long run curves cost curves. The short run cost curve shows how it was better for Allstate to stay open even when it lost $1.55 billion. However this lose is not greater than their total revenues, so they should not shut down. This situation can also be viwed using a long run cost curve. Allstate needed to trim some of its workers so it could run more efficiently because it had it was past the MES and moving up the diseconomies of scale. So the buyout allowed Allstate to move more toward the MES. This will help Allstate as it tries to become the leading personal-lines insurance provider; it is currently second behind State Farm.
Posted by Adam Hopkins at 4/08/2006 01:17:00 PM
With the opening of their first store in
To counter these problems, Harley Davidson states that it is planning for the long run. This most likely means that even though they won’t be able to meet their fixed costs for operating a dealership in China, and all the other costs that come with selling units there for a significant period of time, they do hope to meet their variable costs. If they can do that then the dealership will stay open even if they are not making any economic profit at the moment, and even if they are operating at a loss.
Posted by Daniel Stanley at 4/08/2006 11:19:00 AM
Friday, April 07, 2006
The plans for a megasuburb in Utah are falling into place as builders have been hired to build the first of many little towns. This piece of land is bigger than San Francisco, and will not be fully developed for about 50 years. The plan is estimating a half million residents will someday live in the 162,800 houses. American's are apparently welcoming the idea of a planned community outside a metropolis; when the builders began selling the houses, they sold about 40 per week. Approximately 800 houses have been sold so far.
Is this company setting new standards for suburbs? These communities emphasize connections to the nearby city, and the open land surrounding the communities seems very appealing. Although suburbs are popping up fairly frequently, this is not your average suburb. This company has found a way to make their product no longer homogeneous.
Posted by Jen Bachelder at 4/07/2006 01:05:00 PM
Playboy recently joined the ranks of FHM, Maxim and British men’s magazines in the contest for readers in
Nonetheless, there has been a good deal of uproar from both sides of the argument. As expected, radical Muslims in the country are quite angry at the corrupting effect that they believe Playboy will have on their culture. Interestingly enough, there are also a number of complaints coming from the first purchasers of the magazine in its new condition. They feel cheated at having bought a playboy without any nude photographs. In this sense, by removing actual nudity Playboy has transformed itself from a superior product in comparison to Maxim and FHM, to one that is a perfect substitute with nothing other then the name to go by. And name brand recognition may only take them so far.
Posted by Daniel Stanley at 4/07/2006 12:48:00 PM
Mick Jagger and the rest of the Rolling Stones face censorship in China. This comes from suggestive lyrics in several of their songs from their greatest hits album 40 Licks, and also applys to a concert they will play in China. Censorship of the Rolling Stones could lead to a decrease in album sales because of the songs omitted being downloaded and sold illegally through the massive music black market. With the increase in music censorship, the black market for censored songs will increase because people will also get complete CD's over the truncated legal ones.
This censorship does not apply to China only. The Rolling Stones were also censored during the Superbowl so sexually suggestive lyrics would not be heard. This is even a more important lesson than if a beer has great taste or is less filling. The band seems to not care about the censorship even though it could decrease legitimate sales, and therefore profits. When should a government/organization decide to draw the line between protecting the public from naughty lyrics and allowing it to corrupt the children? Should the economic ramifications also play a large part in deciding what deserves to be cut?
Posted by Matt Hunnefeld at 4/07/2006 08:29:00 AM
Apparently with the strengthening and rise in the US economy comes a rise in heart attack related deaths. This is explained by Professor Ruhm at the University of North Carolina by the statement "During that period of time chances are you are working so much you are not exercising, haven't had a chance to join a gym, you're eating out a lot, maybe smoking more,". I find this sort or presumption to be quite inaccurate. While it may be true that the amount of heart attack related deaths does increase during an economic upturn, I am quite shocked that an economics professor would provide a quote to propel the idea that the stronger economy caused the increase in heart attacks. Has this article missed on the key idea that "correlation is not causation"? Does Professor Ruhm need to re-evaluate his assumptions made in his statement? If a stronger economy is associated with more heart attack related deaths, is this opportunity cost worth it for the rest of the nation?
Posted by Charles Reynolds at 4/07/2006 08:26:00 AM
Chimpanzees and other members of the ape family are popular "actors" in a variety of television commercials. However, as the article linked (pun intended) above indicates, the price of employing apes has jumped over 30% within the last couple of years, primarily due to a spate of retirements among older simians.
Posted by Greg Delemeester at 4/07/2006 07:39:00 AM
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Once again the price per barrel of oil is going up. While the effects of the previous price increase had relatively mild effects on the economy, analysts believe this time serious financial consequences will occur for consumers and businesses. Because it seems these prices are not going to change, there will most likely be changes in driving habits and behavior. Also, because the price of oil is being increased again, and has been sustained for a period of time now, discretionary spending should decline, hurting the economy.
Posted by Bethany Blackhurst at 4/05/2006 08:34:00 PM
Southwest Airlines recently announced the addition of flights at Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C. Southwest, the nations largest discount airline, is expanding services to Washington D.C. because of the large size and rapid growth of the area. Southwest will be competing against other airlines that include JetBlue, AirTran, and United Airways.
With only three airlines servicing a large number of people, there is an opportunity for economic profits to be made at Dulles International Airport. Because there is an opportunity for economic profits, firms will enter the market. Airlines will continue to join this market as long as economic profits can be made. Southwest saw the potential profits at Dulles International, and decided to expand to that market. The addition of Southwest Airlines will drive the airline prices down. Eventually, the increase in the number of firms, and the lower prices will make it so the total economic profit is zero. At this point it will not be profitable for additional airlines to enter into this market. In the short run, economic profits will be made. In the long run however, economic profits will equal zero for the airlines involved.
Posted by William Johnson at 4/05/2006 07:42:00 PM
Do we need to worry about the economy going in to a recession? Some economist believe that with the housing market that began to slow late last year could have an economic burden on more than just the housing market. When all this happened interest rates went down, people refinanced and in turn had more money in their pockets to spend. So they did. The boom also created more jobs because companies were expanding to keep up with the growth of the housing market. Other economist feel that the housing market will gradually decline in turn making it possible for other markets to fill the void of the housing market. According to the article U.S history relates this past experiences where the market has declined quickly and dramatically and caused a recession but yet the evidence in the article is showing that the market is slowly declining. So where do you stand?
Posted by Brian Bugge at 4/05/2006 11:55:00 AM
In a recent article written on the foreign immigration occuring in the United States, Virginia shows a different approach has been taken to the problem. In an area where there was a lagre percent of Latino workers (some legal and some illegal) the immigrants were causing many problems with the social aspects of the community. In the town of Herndon Virginia the mayor and other officials looked at this as an economic opportunity rather than a burden. The mayor looked at the problems some of the Latinos were having (being homeless, poor, not speaking English, not finding jobs) and set up a way for these problems to be overcome. He made available a seperate section of housing options and put forth job oppurtunities for the Latinos to have. In addition, English classes were given to the Latinos so that they could interact with the rest of the workforce in Virgina. As a result, the Latinos were able to sufficiently help the economy by working and making wages rather than standing on a street corner hoping to find work. I think it is a factual statement to say that there will always be immigrants (both legal and illegal) present in America trying to find work. Instead of complaining about them and the poverty lives some of them live it would make more sense to help them to adapt to the American lifestyle. Sure, most of these immigrants will find work with homebuilders and other household jobs because of their low educational background but they can still prove to be an economic plus to us as a society rather than a burden.
Posted by Joe Schanken at 4/05/2006 11:30:00 AM
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
In a perfectly competitive market, all consumers and producers are price takers. In addition, the market will have many producers none of whom have a large market share, if consumers regard competitors as equivalent and producers have free entry and exit into the market. From the sound of it, the home mortgage business is a pretty competitive market. The home mortgage market? Sure, think about it. No one lender has a large enough market share to influence the market. If Third Federal Bank stopped doing mortgages you would probably not see blip on the radar. Same goes for Charter One, Key or Huntington. For the most part, consumers see mortgages as equivalent goods from one lender to the next. If you do your homework, the best deals all have comparable interest rates, points and closing costs. And finally producers have free entry into and out of the market. The last decade or so has seen a huge growth in mortgage brokers and with interest rates climbing (though still at historic lows) it’s safe to assume producers will continue to enter and exit the market. Last week the Federal Reserve bumped interest rates up again. Consensus is that should be it for awhile. So consumers will keep being price takers because there really isn’t much you can do about the rates. And producers will continue to be price takers because there really isn’t much they can do about the rate. With this market it’s all about taking what you can get while knowing when to get in and get out.
Posted by jmazzola at 4/04/2006 09:31:00 PM
With Apple's legal downloading being so successful, Music labels have recently asked to increase the price per download. This worries Apple because it may cause a loss in customers. Apple also feels the price raise would be a bad move for the music labels because it could increase piracy. Apple also says that the market is not stable enough to increase prices quite yet. Many music labels also are worried about Apple becoming too powerful. They fear Apple might develop a dangerous monopoly since the music downloaded from iTunes can only be used for iPods. The music labels do not want to be used to sell iPods.
If only Apple and the music industry would think about calculating elasticity of the iTune downloads, they could solve their problem. They would know whether it is safe to raise prices or not. My guess is that the consumers are very price sensitive when it comes to these downloads. The fact the this product is probably very elastic has to do with the idea that consumers can illegally download music instead of buying. The greater the number of substitutes (illegal downloading), the greater the elasticity of the legal downloads. According to economics, if the demand for a product is elastic and price goes up total revenue will go down. Therefore, I feel that at this time, looking at the short-run effects of raising the price, Apple should not raise their prices like the music labels have asked.
Posted by Khrista at 4/04/2006 09:21:00 PM
Recently, George Mason University has went from a school with very little public press to a school with overwhelming public press. One might ask the question if this is a good or bad economic position for a school to be in. It has been shown that after a very successful sports run (such as making it the final four) that enrollment in a university or college will have a significant increase the following year. A perfect example of this was shown in 1984 when Doug Flutie threw a hail mary to defeat Miami. Doug Fluttie was playing for Boston College at the time (a school with little sports recognition) and the following year enrollment saw a dramatic rise. Sure, one may view more enrollment as a good thing because more profits will be made, or will they? Looking at most successful sports programs it is obvious that the schools who spend the most money on the programs are generally the schools that have the most success(George Mason spends 10 million dollars annually on sports programs whereas Florida spends 63 million dollars). For example, if alumni and the university's themselves are funneling more money into a sports program then that means less money for academics. In addition to money issues one would have to look at academic success. If there is a large pressure for success in sports and athletics at a paticular university one would easily be able to understand how that could pose as a distration for studying and other educational events. Now I am not saying that it would not be great to be able to see every Ohio State football game or go to all the Duke basketball games but being an avid sports fan I know that I would be spending less time studying economics and more time studying and going to athletic events.
Posted by Joe Schanken at 4/04/2006 08:45:00 PM
Lately, there has been much discussion on our Blog about the merchandising giant that is Wal-Mart. Well, now we see another attempt by Wal-Mart to further diversify itself. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. recently released plans to build more than 50 stores in struggling communities over the next two years, as part of a goal to create between 15,000 and 25,000 jobs. Wal-Mart plans to build the new stores in areas of high crime and/or unemployment rates, on sites that are environmentally contaminated, or in vacant buildings or malls in need of revitalization.
How will this influx of Wal-Mart stores affect the economy, more specifically, the economies of each town the new Wal-Mart store inhabits? If the stores are going to be built in such undesirable areas, how much economic (as opposed to accounting profit) cost will the stores face? In examining the issue, we must examine the possible intrinsic costs. If the Wal-Mart store is successful, this could decrease the demand for merchandise/services from local businesses. In turn, many small businesses would be forced to go out of business. Also, how much is it going to cost to perform proper and efficient clean-up of the aforementioned environmentally contaminated or vacant properties? Will the profits earned by the store be enough to reconcile for the costs that it took to build the store? Perhaps in the long-run they will.
Posted by Zach Hart at 4/04/2006 01:13:00 PM
Monday, April 03, 2006
From Michael Munger, Chairman of the Economics Department at Duke University, comes this little tidbit on opportunity cost (by way of Joshua Hall over at Division of Labour):
The face value of a basketball ticket to Cameron Indoor Stadium is $40. But for most games one could get a lot more than that. For some games, in fact, like Duke vs. UNC, the value of a scalped ticket is well over $1,000. In 2006, the value was more like $2,500. So, when faculty ask me (as department chair) for a raise at the end of the year, I will remind them that they don't need more money, because they are already rich.
"What do you mean?" they ask.
I reply, "Well, you can afford to spend $2,500 to go to a basketball game. You must be wealthy."
They show me the ticket. "$40! It's a $40 ticket!"
My response? "Tell you what. I have $50. Will you sell me the ticket for that price? After all, you claim it's a $40 ticket."
So far, I haven't been able to buy any tickets that way, even from people who tell me that opportunity cost is a stupid concept.
Posted by Greg Delemeester at 4/03/2006 02:11:00 PM
So it has finally happened...the unbeatable giant known as Walmart was pushed off of the top of the Fortune 500 list. On the heels of rising oil prices and increased consumption at the pump Exxon has returned to regain its throne from which it was removed in 2001. Exxon is flying high on an enormous 25.5 percent increase in revenue...(TR as put in class)...enabling it to surpass Walmart which posted a measly 9.5 percent increase in revenue. Exxon has managed to increase its profit to achieve the largest "pie" in U.S. history totaling 36.1 billion dollars. Other than rising oil prices, what factors could have gone into Exxon's ability to increase its revenue by such a large percentage? How important are factors such as developing technology in maintaining Exxon's record profit? Will the growing interest in alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles greatly effect Exxon...if so how can Exxon adapt to stay on top of the game?
Posted by Charles Reynolds at 4/03/2006 08:24:00 AM
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Well it's yet another post concerning gas prices, but this one is a little different. The is an all encompassing average for not only the gas prices, but the maintenance and any other costs concerning your movement from one place to another in your personal automobile. Gas prices are only a portion (though a considerable portion) of the total cost of operating a vehicle. Maintenance, insurance, tires, fees, and taxes are also included in the total cost. One thing that I've noticed is a surge of insurance company commercials showing deals and making service better for their consumers. This could be related directly to gas prices and people trying to make their average cost of driving go down by any means necessary, even changing their insurance policies. Though fuel prices will always be a primary cost for driving, I can see the potential demand for lower costs in other more flexible areas of auto-related costs. What do you think? Would there be a demand for lower maintenance and tire prices? Maybe lower registration and taxes for automobiles or more tax breaks for hybrid and non-polluting alternatives? Will people give up cars all together as this cost rises and go for alternatives such as mass public transportation?
Posted by Robert Life at 4/02/2006 06:27:00 PM