Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Oil Project

This article is about new changes in oil production. After the big oil spill in 2010, many more rules have been set in place to help prevent any more damage to the environment. The United States approved a Royal Dutch Shell plan to drill for oil in five locations under the Gulf of Mexico. As we all know, gas prices have been rising. With the recent great recession, people are very cautious with how much they use their cars. I think this new oil plan will help the economy. It may not help the environment, but if more oil is pumped, there is more oil to sell, if there is more oil to sell, the prices will start decreasing and the demand will go up. Price, as a factor of demand, should be in a range that people find affordable. Consumers need to spend money to help raise the GDP. The law of demand tells us that when prices are too high, the demand goes down. This plan shows the government kicking in. A lot of money is being put into create these oil wells, and that is exactly what our economy needs. We need a constant flow of buying and selling to bring our economy back to health. I think this is the perfect project to help bring our economy back to life. The trade-off to drilling more oil and bring down prices is that if too much oil is pumped out and sold at low prices it could hurt the environment and eventually lead to more problems.

Elianah- lead author
Haley- lead researcher
Iram- secretary

Should the Decriminalization of Marijuana be the next move for our economy?

Our economy is still suffering from a recession with GDP still very low and Unemployment rates have hit an all-time high. Serious action needs to be taken in order to fix Americas’ economic problems and the decriminalization may be the solution to our problems. Studies show that if marijuana were to be legalized and to be taxed as much as tobacco and alcohol are there could be a potential revenue as high as $6.2 billion dollars annually. It was also estimated $7.7 billion per year in state and federal expenditures on prohibition enforcement would be saved. These numbers are staggering sand such cash flow would give our economy a huge boost and take the first step toward the expansion of our economy. Regulation of the product would eliminate the need for a black market and therefore would allow the purchases of marijuana be included in GDP. The elimination of the black market would also prevent Americans money from going out of our borders due to the fact most marijuana is purchased from out of the country. However there is some uncertainty around the elasticity of demand for the product due to those who engage in home cultivation. source:
Will Noble, Andrew Velvin, Cameron Casey

Oil Prices Drop Below $100 a Barrel: Gas Continues to Go Up

An odd fact recently, is that gas prices continue to go up, but the price of the oil used to make gas goes down. Hawaii has the highest gas prices in the world still today, but unfortunately the heartland of the U.S. is catching up to Hawaii in gas prices. For example, Illinois’ average price for gas is $4. 32 for a gallon. Another example is the average gas price in Idiana. They have an average gas price of $4. 24. For the first time since March 16 the price of a barrel of oil was lower than one hundred dollars. Miraculously, oil prices have gone down. The oil price went down because there was lower consumer demand for gasoline and a concern about slowing global growth. The latest government measure of demand for gasoline in the U.S. shows that overall, drivers have cut back gas purchases by almost 2 percent in the past four weeks compared to a year ago. That kind of significant downward move in demand, coupled with rising stockpiles of oil in the U.S., mean prices of crude should be headed downward. Gasoline fell further after trade resumed, breaking technical levels. Total volume reached a record 240,000 lots.Brent crude settled down $5.06 to $112.57 a barrel. U.S. crude fell $5.67 to $98.21 a barrel, after touching as low as $97.50 a barrel.U.S. gasoline futures suffered the biggest daily drop since September 2008, with the June contract settling at $3.1228 a gallon, losing 25.69 cents, or 7.6 percent. It was the biggest loss in dollar terms since September 2008.Rising fuel costs this year have fueled calls by U.S. lawmakers to cut down on speculation in oil markets.

Commodities, U.S. Stocks Drop on Inflation

On May 11 commodities fell for the first time in three days. Following these commodities were silver and water. U.S. stocks retreated from London and Beijing because of the inflation they were having. This inflation in turn made Beijing and London raise their interest rates. The euro will be forced to restructure debt. The Bank of England Governor Mervyn King rose the cost of their pound value. He says that the inflation occurring in England remains uncomfortably high and that interest rates will more than likely rise. As prices grew in Germany and China, Poland unexpectedly increased its benchmark rate. Europe’s debt scared them and they weren’t too sure about their stocks. Even after the economy started to get better Europes’ stocks still decreased. Unfortunately for Europe, since it went into debt and had to recover, global rates will go up. Global rates always go up after state recovers. The pound gained against 11 of 16 major peers, rising 1.3 percent versus the euro and 0.7 percent versus the Swiss franc. The won appreciated versus all 16 major counterparts after South Korea’s unemployment rate fell more than economists estimated. The euro lost more than 1.3 percent of its dollar. The Euro is now a laggard in its environment.

Gas Prices

A big problem in our economy is our gas prices and is about to get worse. Prices are continuing to go up due to our necessity for oil. One way to help fix this problem is changing cars and how they run such as, electric cars. Cars that run on electricity definitely save money and also it is better for nature because it doesn’t pollute the air that we breathe and also the gas mileage is absolutely astonishing and is better than what you would get with gas. The average cost to drive twenty-five miles on an electric car is $1.03 while with a regular car that runs on gasoline gets an average twenty-five miles at $4.00 which is a difference of $2.97 which in the long run would save you a lot of money and would keep our air safe to breathe. The annual fuel cost for an electric vehicle is as low as $561 to $644. If we (The United States) all transformed to use electric cars the government could also benefit from this because they could save millions of dollars that they could use to pay off their debt instead of using it to buy oil. Overall everyone benefits from this because the government saves money as well as the people but also we protect ourselves from polluting the air which helps us live longer and live in a safer world and we can feel safe to breathe our own air.

Oil Spill in The Gulf

The Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico couldn’t have come at a worse time in our economy. This oil spill probably has to be the worst crisis besides the Debt that the government is in because gas prices and oil has been the main talk about how prices would go up and with this happening the prices will go even higher. This could also cause an energy crisis that we have been through before in the 1970s when we had to drill offshore. The chances for this to cause a long term affect in the coming decade is probable due to the fact that we were already in a crisis. This Oil Spill in the Gulf has also because other crises that has to do with our food intake. A lot of people like fish and other sea creatures. Also, it has decreased the tourism around this area and no one wants to live near or by the place where there was a spill in oil because the beach is no fun if all you can do is tan. Lastly, scientists are warning people that massive quantities of methane that are being spewed into the water could create dead zones where there is absolutely no oxygen and literally nothing lives in this region.

NFL Locks Out Economic Benefits

Due to the NFL lockout of the 2011-2012 season many workers could lose business along with their jobs. There are many people whose jobs and businesses depend on the NFL. It’s the 2,500 ticket-takers, janitors and other game-day employees at the Superdome in New Orleans, and the suburban dry cleaner who washes all their uniforms. It’s the receptionists and accountants for the New York Jets, and the high school band booster club that sells burgers and beer at Carolina Panthers games. It’s the Episcopal church that sells parking spots for Tennessee Titans games, the hotel across the street from the stadium in Houston and the ticket broker who opened a store facing Cowboys Stadium. And on and on it goes, across the communities of all 32 teams. If there is no 2011-2012 season then many jobs will be lost and many businesses will close. The bars and restaurants around the stadium depend mostly on game day dinners. Consumers don’t go to the stadium to eat unless there is as game. It is like a ripple affect. Sporting events help the communities in which they are held substantially, even the move of one player can change the economy around the community. Take a look at Lebron James, changing the economy for Miami and Cleveland with one move, Clearly better for Miami and hurting Cleveland. If one player can make this big of a difference could you imagine the difference having no NFL teams could make. If the NFL lock out continues the effects will to large for businesses around the sporting events to survive.

Recycling Our Economy

Recycling might be good for our planet but it is also good for our economy. Recycling can save money due to the cheaper prices to make products from recycled goods. This cheap price to produce goods also means they can be sold for lower prices as well. This large number of goods that are not being produced due to the recycling means less waste that needs to go through landfills or incinerators. With recycling, everything can be used to its maximum potential, nothing is wasted, and such cost-effective practices not only save money, but the environment and our resources too. Recycling doesn’t stop at saving money. Recycling also creates new jobs. Recycling creates new business such as transporting, processing and selling recovered materials as well as companies that manufacture and distribute products made with recycled materials. When you recycle more jobs are created than when you just dispose of waste. Dumping 10,000 tons of waste in landfills only creates 6 jobs while recycling 10,000 tons of waste creates 36 jobs. In California, waste recycling and management rank higher on the economic and job creation scale comparable to the state’s entertainment industry. Through recycling, a mainstream industry comprising 5,300 business operations and employing more than 85,000 workers has been created in California. Overall, $4 billion in salaries, along with $10 billion worth of goods and services, is generated each year. If the United States continues to grow as a recycling country it will create many new jobs, save money, and helping our planet is nice too.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

2012 Olympics Could Boost the Economy

It is obvious that wherever the Olympics are held, there is big money. The Olympics can make a completely normal city into the spectacle of the world. It is very likely that London will see some amazing changes to its economy come 2012. I believe that the 2012 Olympics will inspire people to spend more, which will cause a tremendous boom in the economy. In 2008, China went so far as to construct entirely new buildings just for the games. If England chooses to follow in this path, new jobs will be created and people will in turn be happier. When the vote was final, Tony Blair called it a "momentous day for England". Also, because of the 2012 Olympics, many tourists and athletes from around the world will travel to London which will be a huge boost for the travel industry there. In conclusion, London is a terrific place for the games in 2012 and it will truly make the best of its much needed economic upturn.

New Gas Prices Affecting the Economy

Recently, due to various causes, gas prices have risen dramatically. Prices in the United States have gone from a standard 2 and a half dollars a gallon to almost 5 dollars a gallon. Because of this dramatic rise in price, many people are beginning to cut down on spending. For example, people are spending less money on various things in order to save money for gas. Even though saving money is good for the individual, it can be very bad for the economy. Also because of these gas prices, demand for more fuel efficient cars which is putting the SUV business down the toilet. If gas prices continue to rise, I believe that people will attempt to draw from other sources of transportation such as the dart rail way or public buses. It is interesting to see how when one business weakens, another grows strong in its place.

Microsoft purchases Skype for 8.5 billion

Microsoft's recent 8.5 billion acquisition of the Internet telecommunication giant Skype, shows Microsofts willingness to capitalize one the high demand that the public has for communication over the Internet. By making this deal Microsoft has acknowledged that their telecommunication technology is greatly inferior to that of their competitors Google and Apple, this will change soon though because as a result of his purchase of Skype, Microsoft will have access to Skype's superior telecommunication technology and Capitol. Over time Skypes technology will trickle down to many of windows products such as the Windows phone and the Xbox 360, demand for Windows phone 7 will also go up for a time because it will have superior video chat technology than the iPhone or Android phones. The acquisition of Skype could also help end the common misconception that it is less "hip" than google and Apple and that it is behind the curb in regards to video telecommunication technology. Sales of Microsoft product should also soar, because Microsofts products are already cheaper than their competitors products, the only reason Apple's products sold better was because they were of better quality and more high tech, and the majority of those thinking at the margin would rather pay up a bit more to get a better product, but now that Microsofts products will be more up to par, their sales and demand for their products will likely rise because of this. What do you think, do you think Microsoft's acquisition of Skype will have as big of an impact as many believe?

-Andrew Velvin, Cameron Casey, Will Noble

Demand of Houses Drop Along with their Prices

As the economy gets worse, people tend to save their money rather than spend it. When the economy goes into debt, the demand for high priced items is very low. Since the Lehman collapse, the demand for houses began to drop. In order for something to receive a higher demand upon it then the price must drop. This is what is happening to houses that are on the market. The government has spent their money in the past to help the housing market, however it did not help with the price and demand and money was waisted on this idea. People that receive home loans will never be able to pay off their home. They could have purchased their house when the economy was good, or at least better than it is now, and now since the prices of houses are dropping, their house could be doing the same. The debt that people are in and the low demand of houses on the market are bad for the economy and bad for businesses, such as real estate, trying to make money. However, the people that have saved most of their money can find a great deal on a home. They can buy a house for a price a lot cheaper then it originally was. The demand of people buying houses maybe low but it is beneficial to some individuals and family that have saved their money and are looking for a nice, cheap house to buy.

Bri Sharp, Catherine Gregory, Chris Kennard

Monday, May 9, 2011

The iPad 2

The iPad 2 will sell 1 million units faster than the 28 days it took the first-generation iPad to sell according to this article. The demand will eventually increase because the new tablet will be available in more stores, instead of just the Apple store. As the supply of a product increases the price will decrease because the producer will have more of the product to sell. The iPad 2 will sell at 236 U.S. retail stores and in more than 10,000 other stores, including AT&T and Verizon stores, as well as retailers such as: Target, Best Buy and Walmart in the United States. The supply for the iPad 2 will be much higher than the iPad 1 because Apple expects to be in 27 countries rather than 10 for the first iPad. Apple CEO Steve Jobs launched the iPad 2 on March 2nd; one week after Verizon Wireless launched the Motorola Xoom Android. The iPad 2 is thinner, lighter and faster and includes dual cameras for video chat via Apple's FaceTime application.  Even though the price will remain the same, the quality of the product is much better and it’s still offered at the same price.  The better quality for a lesser price eliminates competition such as the Android xoom.

Easter egg woe for chocolate makers as costs rise and prices are slashed

Everyone expects Easter weekend to be a huge weekend for chocolate to bring in a huge profit. This Easter chocolate makers are feeling the pain of their favorite chocolate eggs and bunnies not being as popular. Because of the low demand the chocolate makers are forced to lower prices. Even popular favorites such as Cadbury's Creme Eggs are finding it hard to make a profit with the rising prices of sugar and cocoa. The price inflation of these items makes the cost of production higher and low demand causes the price to remain low. Many stores use the deals on these Easter favorites to draw people into their stores so they can make a profit with other products. Although the demand of these items is obviously higher this time of year the profits are still not comparing to previous years. The amount of independent chocolatiers is slowly decreasing as large companies take over the marketplace. Rising prices of necessary ingredients may just cause these independent chocolatiers more discouragement from continuing in their business. While the Easter bunny may be enjoying the low prices the manufacturers and sellers are finding it hard to make their usual profit.

The Wedding Dress, Bridesmaids' Dresses and Pages' Uniforms

The royal wedding was all that anyone has talked about for the past 2 months. One aspect of the wedding that was the most anticipated was Cate’s dress. It was the dream of any designer to get to make the first dress ever to be worn by the new princess. This is because the designer who is selected will be classified as the best of the best. Cate decided to wear a dress designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen. The demand for her as a designer will skyrocket because of Cate’s selection. Her beautiful design and craftsmanship will be showcased on a worldwide stage. The cost of the dress would not have been an issue because the advertisement alone would bring endless opportunities for the designer. Based on the principals of economics the price of dressed made by this designer will continue to go up as the demand goes up. The dress is the centerpiece of the wedding and will continue to be talked about by everyone. The fact that Cate chose to wear this dress shows that she approves of the quality and craftsmanship. This dress will also stimulate the market for “look alike” dresses and I can imagine that the wedding dress industry will benefit due to high demand.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Will recent natural disasters in the south effect the economy of the whole country?

Will recent natural disasters in the south effect the economy of the whole country? In the long run will government continue to give money for these natural disasters on our home front? The recent tornadoes that swept in Alabama took out many lives and homes. In the article federal emergency management agency administrator Craig Fugate thinks its imperative to make the response time to disasters quicker. This might mean that we as a country need to be economically ready if another disaster shall strike.  A quicker response time will allow for more people to get back on their feet sooner but what if the disaster reoccurs in two days or two weeks after the “fixing” process has already started. That would result in thousands of dollars lost.  A benefit of a quick response besides the fact that things are indeed being fixed is that citizens feel like the government does care about them. And when citizens or voters think they are cared for people get votes. On top of fixing homes and other buildings the loss of life would play a big role on getting a state back on its feet, there is a loss of jobs and people to work in those jobs. When companies are destroyed they don’t just losses the four walls but they loose the materials necessary to run the store. If there were a big hurricane in Florida that wiped out the orange groves that would affect Florida’s ability to sell and produce there biggest ticket items and income for the state would go down. Is there a way for the government to be able to make that up and support states who go through a traumatic state in history? 

Whats more important more money or the luxury items?

The price of luxury items has continued to go up and up, while the value has not changed. Many people would rather spend their money on a starbucks coffee then saving it. In this article the author makes it clear that she would much rather look at coffee as an occasional item even though it is something she buys daily. A daily item like coffee is for most people is not the same as going out at buying a new watch, which would be considered an extra expense, and not something bought every day. When her husband recommended putting it in the family budget she found it unnecessary, and said she could cut back. Instead of reducing spending in other places like excess shopping, pampering, etc. Even when her husband bought her a complex coffee maker that had the ability to make her regular order she only used it on the weekends and for parties instead of everyday to cut down that extra expense. The American dream has been to make money and live prosperously. When people don’t take inconsideration to save money for the stuff they want people end up spending on credit. During the Great depression this took a massive toll on a lot of people and again in the rescission. When people get to confident with their money it leads to more credit and in the case of the author an excess of money going to coffee could take a toll on the family’s budget. A $4 coffee everyday could be almost $1,000 over a whole year. This money could be used for many other more valuable things, but it’s all a matter of what is more important luxury items or money in a bank. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

General Motors Advertising

General Motors is known for their great deal of advertising, spending millions of dollars to accomplish what they want. With the demand being very large for the Super Bowl, General Motors decided to launch many commercials for their cars during this time. They also saw that the television show "Glee" would be coming on afterward so they were able to present themselves in the show. To show off their cars, they decided to give one of their models, a Camaro, to the game's most valuable player. Spending so much money on advertisements is helping our economy because they are giving away so much. Even though General Motors is spending so much money on these commercials, it well help them in the long run because so many people watch the Super Bowl and they are being exposed to all the vehicles they present in the commercials. If the demand to watch the Super Bowl is very high then many consumers will see the cars and more than likely become interested. They used commercials that would draw people in and find them interesting so they were able to watch. However, they did not drift away from the point of presenting their cars because they wanted consumers to stay focused on the main topic. This auto industry became bankrupt a couple years ago and was not able to do advertisements but as they rose out of this bankruptcy they were able to do advertisements again and draw in consumers. All of the companies advertising in the Super Bowl are spending a lot of money, however it is helping our economy. General Motors is being intelligent when they spend their money on advertisements during the Super Bowl because the demand is so high and they will be sure to attract many consumers from it.

Bri Sharp, Catherine Gregory, Chris Kennard

Easter egg woe for chocolate makers as costs rise and prices are slashed

Everyone expects Easter weekend to be a huge weekend for chocolate to bring in a huge profit. This Easter chocolate makers are feeling the pain of their favorite chocolate eggs and bunnies not being as popular. Because of the low demand the chocolate makers are forced to lower prices. Even popular favorites such as Cadbury's Creme Eggs are finding it hard to make a profit with the rising prices of sugar and cocoa. The price inflation of these items makes the cost of production higher and low demand causes the price to remain low. Many stores use the deals on these Easter favorites to draw people into their stores so they can make a profit with other products. Although the demand of these items is obviously higher this time of year the profits are still not comparing to previous years. The amount of independent chocolatiers is slowly decreasing as large companies take over the marketplace. Rising prices of necessary ingredients may just cause these independent chocolatiers more discouragement from continuing in their business. While the Easter bunny may be enjoying the low prices the manufacturers and sellers are finding it hard to make their usual profit.
Catherine Gregory, Bri Sharp, Chris Kennard

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Best Companies

After reading this article about some of the best companies for I thought about how the employees of a company affect the consumers. For example when I go to a restaurant where all of the wait staff seems happy, upbeat, and willing to do their job I am more likely to go back, rather than a restaurant where my waiter seems tired, bored, and ready to leave. The attitudes of a company’s employees directly influence the perception of the consumer. This was one of the comments posted by another person who read the article, “Thats probably why Zappos is one of the best businesses to order/purchase/work with ever!! Zappos is the best online shopping; they have the best stuff, the best prices, and the best shipping ever!!!! Coincidence? Probably not.” I think that the companies who put effort into making sure that their employees get good training, good working environments, and make the job at least somewhat enjoyable are benefitting their business outcome in the long run. On top of that, when you have employees who enjoy their job you will have less employees who quit. It takes time and money to train a new employee because with a new employee a business owner increases their variable costs because they must pay the new employee to work and a more experienced worker to teach them what to do regardless of if the job only requires one person.. It is financially smarter to keep people working for the company for long periods of time; they will be able to master the system saving the business owner time and money. 

The New Nook is a great Investment

The new and improvised nook uses new Android technology, a universal company, increasing the demand for the product because of the population that uses it.  According to this article by CNN, the nook color creates a bridge between the Amazon Kindle and the Apple’s iPad at a reasonable price of $249. The new nook is now capable of handling apps, Flash, interactive books and generally most of the tasks modern tablets can. The Nook Color is now a very attractive proposition.  The built-in e-mail reader lets you check several webmail accounts (such as Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail and AOL) from one place. The BlackBerry PlayBook, a tablet selling at double the Nook Color's price, currently doesn't have this functionality. Because of the reasonable price of the new Nook, there will be excess demand for the product.  The only problem is that the nook is not as well-known as brands such as apple or blackberry. The search cost will lead people to buy the nook, because o the convenience of it being sold in Barnes and Nobles and other book stores nearby. However, because of the lack of advertisement and popularity there will be people who are still willing to buy blackberry or apple. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Can someone benifit from the NFL lockout?

As many of you guys are probably already aware, the NFl lockout may potentially cause the cancellation of the 2011 NFL season. The cancelation of the NFL season would result in finical losses for many businesses, because Sunday Football is not just a source of income for the NFL, it is also a source of income for sports bars, city governments, and many casinos and countless other businesses. The National Hockey League is not one of these businesses, in fact the cancellation of the 2011 NFL season would be great for the sport of Hockey. The NHL would benefit from football not being played in 2011, because with no football to watch there will be many people looking for another sport to watch, and the NHL would be able capitalize on this because as a substitute sports league to the NFL, it would be able to get higher ratings because there will be many sports fans with nothing else to watch. demand for hockey tickets would also go up because in some citys such as Nashville that is the only other team in town and there is less supply of sports tickets. Once these fans get a glimpse of the greatness of the sport of hockey, the league may have potentially gained new fans for years to come even after the NFL lockout ends. As a league that had it's entire 2010-2011 NHL season cancelled by lockout the NHL should be well aware of the damaging effects of a labor stoppage and know they can capitalize on it now that one of their competitors are in trouble. In fact some teams have started playing the lockout card now, in a recent advertisement the Florida Panthers have declared themselves as the " only team in South Florida guaranteed to play in October 2011". What do you think? Do you think the NHL can benefit from the NFL lockout and the potential cancelations of the 2011 NFL Season?
Andrew Velvin, Cameron Casey, Will Noble

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Is Netflix Taking Over?

After reading this article, it is plausible to believe that Netflix is taking over. Netflix is a rising competitor with TV Cable and DVD sales.  As more people are turning to on demand TV the demand for DVDs and TV cable is decreasing tremendously. Netflix has original content and is evolving from DVD rental service to a full-fledged network. It’s not hard to imagine people choosing Netflix over an HBO subscription, especially if it has a stable variety of shows exclusive to their paying audience.  Netflix is thinking about exclusively distributing an original TV series by David Fincher and Kevin Spacey, which would put it in direct competition with HBO and other premium cable channels. Different from other networks, Netflix commits to two seasons’ worth of the show (26 episodes). Most networks require a pilot to be produced before committing to even one season of a TV show.  To be a Netflix member one must pay 7.99$ a month to watch TV instantly. Why would one want to drag themselves all the way to Blockbusters when they could watch unlimited shows and movies in their own homes.  The supply for movies is extremely high, yet most people would prefer to watch movies in their own home. The demand for Netflix has increased tremendously creating extreme competition with Blockbusters, HBO, and TV cable.  If one buys an excess amount of movies, the Netflix steady price of 7.99 a month is a much better investment than purchasing multiple movies at Blockbusters per month.  

Monday, April 11, 2011

Charlie Sheen's Show Back on CBS?

Would we really put a narcissistic alcoholic piece of trash like Charlie sheen back on the air?  That would be terrible publicity for CBS.  The fans that Charlie Shene has lost will stop watching the show and CBS fans will probably stop supporting the network as well.  I think that until Charlie Sheen gets himself together, and actually shows an effort to better himself as a person, he should not be let back onto the set of “Two and a Half Men”. Even if he has made amends with the producers, directors and his other employers, he still can’t just be forgiven. The CBS directors are wrong by wanting to “forgive and forget”.  I agree that he would have to show tremendous effort in making it right between CBS and Warner Bros. Before he is allowed anywhere near the set. Charlie Sheen has done unforgivable things, awful things towards that studio.  Not to mention a $100-million lawsuit against the company.  Good news for Charlie is that he will have plenty of free time to think about things and “find himself” on his new "My Violent Torpedo of Truth" concert tour.  He can take the time and do plenty of self-meditation and plan out the rest of his life.  
Chris Kennard, Bri Sharp, Catherine Gregory

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Obama's Anti-Populist Budget

Obama has gone too far with putting America in debt by using the money we dont have to spend. Obama is doing absouletly nothing to help out the economy right now with the recession we are having. Year's ago during America's Great Depression, FDR did everything he could to bring things back to normal. His "deal" brought people to work again and found them new jobs. He aalso renvovated many buildings such as schools, hospitals, bridges, and roads. Lastly, and more importantly, he helped people with their needs. It's too bad people can't say the same for Obama. In Obama's case, he is doing the complete opposite of what he should be doing. He ignores people's vital needs, does little to create new jobs, and spends over one trillion annually on war and the military when America has no enemies to use these forces on. He invests America's money at the wrong time and on the wrong cause. On top of that Obama is issuing his Anti-Populist Budget". His plan with this is to reduce the annual deficit in America. Obama is pretending to care about people's needs when he is really still using more money on other wrong causes and not reducing deficits at all. What should America do about Obama? One things for sure, it's a good thing the next election isn't too far away. -George, Dallas, Austin

The Final Four

The final four were huge games for many people this year. Located in Huston this year, the revenue in the city would be expected to rise for the duration of the games. In this article, it was also made clear that the Connecticut Huskies were also in for a raise in their future revenue. The Huskies wanted to make sure that their image to people was that they were a very supportive school, possibly hoping to increase upcoming freshman applications to their school. The Huskies made sure of their presence by presenting 300 free tickets to the games to all Houston and Rice students.  By making sure they had a full fan section even though they were not the home school, there presence is more appealing to the outside eye. Although Connecticut had to pay for the 300 seats, which decreased the amount of profit they made, Huston continued to make a profit from all of the drinks and food consumed by these 300 fans.  It was made obvious that the demand for the tickets was beyond low. The Huskies made an economically wise choice by allotting 300 of their designated seats to be free hoping to fill up their stands, where UConn had a great amount of empty seats out of their designated 800. The huskies were able to supply multiple tickets even with a lacking demand, still making revenue from the seats that family members and school mates paid for. On top they expect to see future funds from tuition and donations for the support of their basketball team. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Will Online Shopping Be the Demise of Stores of Brick and Mortar?

On April 2nd 2008, ITunes surpassed Wal-Mart and established itself as the number one music retailer in the U.S. This historical event marks a serious transition from the use of record stores distributing music to the use of technology to buy ones music. The benefits of buying online are obvious. It takes away the hassle of having to get in your car and go the store and purchase music. All your needs can be fulfilled with a few clicks of the button. ITunes and other online sources for goods and services have eliminated the need for customers to have to leave their homes and wait in line for the item they wish to purchase. They also eliminate obstacles such as shortage of supply by having an almost unlimited amount of quantity supplied due to the fact their item is either digital or shipped directly from its origin. Online markets such as ITunes, Netflix, and Amazon have dominated customer’s preference of shopping for the past years with % of shopping being done online. Is this new sudden demand for goods online good for our economy? Recent studies show it’s resulted in several companies filing for bankruptcy. Companies just can’t compete with the convenience of online shopping and stores such as Tower Records, Blockbuster, and Borders Books have been forced to go out of business. There isn’t room for stores of tradition like these in our modern society of the internet and technology. The demise of these establishments causes loss of jobs and with one out of five Americans being unemployed is this really what our economy needs? How far can technology help us until it ultimately destroys us?
Will Noble, Andrew Velvin, Cameron Casey

Why is the McRib so appealing, yet only sold for limited periods of time?

Unless you were away or completely secluded from everyday life during this past holiday season, you are probably very well aware of McRib’s reappearance for a 60 day period in the months of December and January in its 2nd ever nationwide appearance. McDonald’s probably owes the astounding popularity of the McRib to it’s almost cult like followers. The limited availability of the McRib has also led to an excessive demand for the product throughout the country. McDonald’s probably keeps a low supply of this product on person in order to add an aspect of exclusivity and rarity to the product, that enables them to be sold very quickly during the limited amount of time during which the product is on sale. In fact if it were not so exclusive I doubt it would be as appealing of a sandwich to many because I personally find it to be disgusting. Some McRib consumers are so dedicated that they travel long distances in order to go to markets where the McRib at the time is being sold, another went as far as going to Germany, the only country whose McDonald’s sell McRib’s year round. The exclusivity is a good thing for McDonalds, in fact during the 3rd quarter, the quarter in which McRib’s were sold, McDonalds sales went up 5.3% percent in the United States. Tell us what you think about the McRib and rather its better being exclusive instead of being sold year-round? Or if there are any other products that are exclusive like this one? Also if you want to read the articles go to

-Andrew Velvin, Will Noble and Cameron Casey

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dallas ISD offers incentive to noncontract employees to resign

In this article we see basic principles of economics at play. The effects of the hard economy are showing in many fields, especially in school districts. As a way to cut spending, DISD is offering incentive packages to noncontract teachers in order to persuade them to resign. DISD is offering these noncontract employees fifteen percent of their annual salary (up to $10,000) to leave the district. These noncontract employees include food service workers, teaching assistants, central administration and other support staff. DISD which is facing major budget costs hopes that this incentive deal that costs up to 2 million dollars will keep them from having to spend significantly more to keep these employees on staff. DISD has already made a similar deal with contracted teachers which ended up costing over 6 million dollars but saved 45 dollars based on yearly salaries. Here, we can see the importance of incentives when making financial decisions. The opportunity cost of DISD to lose so many teachers is that they will not have as many people capable of doing different jobs but based on their decisions it is apparent that they put a higher value on saving more money in the face of major state funding cuts. We can also see it from the teacher’s point of view. They teacher will be more likely to resign if they are offered something in return. Because the teachers are being offered money to leave they might find that they are in need of that money now and would be more willing to take the package. Other teachers may find that 15% of their yearly salary is not going to be enough for them to live on while looking for other teaching jobs that are getting increasingly harder to find. Incentives play a huge role in making large financial decisions.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Japan’s Economic Crisis and the Global Economy

After reading and article based mainly on the risk of seafood contamination due to the crisis at Japan’s atomic plant leaking radioactive particles into the ocean surrounding Japan, I began to consider how this would affect the global fishing and seafood economy. Obviously Japan’s seafood sales have and will continue to drop for sometime because of the crisis, but Japan is also a major seafood supplier to other nations. If the supply of fish from Japan is dropping but the demand of seafood restaurants stays the same, “the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has played down the risks of seafood contamination,” then other fisheries will have the opportunity to, sadly, make profit from the disaster. Not only will the price for fish rise but buyers will want to buy fish from fisheries that are not near the disaster, increasing business and therefore increasing profit for those fisheries. Considering there is no way to instantly produce a fish to sell, it will take some time for fisheries to catch up to the demand for fish but since Japan does not seem to be gaining much progress, these other companies will have time to increase their amount of fish raised and then sold. This is a great example of how competition can be a factor of demand, when a competitor’s product is labeled unsuitable the demand for the other companies product will rise. Also, it is an example of elasticity. Fish are not elastic, but in this scenario it is still smart for fisheries to plan ahead for the long run and raise more fish even though it will take some time.

Monday, March 28, 2011

How Gay Marriage is Good for the Economy

No matter what your politics are or your beliefs on if gay marriage is right, studies by the Williams institute has proven that if all 50 states in the U.S. would allow same sex marriage, the federal government will benefit almost $1 billion a year. The number of marriages will start off very high but even once they taper off they will be accepted to stay at the same rate as their heterosexual counter parts. Estimates claim that 10% of all Americans are gay. This number might seem low but not when you add in the numbers. According to the Wedding Professional International, the wedding industry in the U.S. forks in a whopping $86 Billion a year without including honeymoons and other expenses. And let's not forget the pre marriage costs. Just adding on the costs of the previous 6 months brings the total to $120 billion. Now add the 10% that is that of the Homosexuals. The reception site, jewerlers vacation sites, photohraphers, restaurants, and etc. benefit from this. And let's not forget the tax revenue and the marriage license fees. Acording to Wiliam Institute the taxes and licenses would bring in $63 million alone. No matter your belief on the issue, you can fight the number.

"The Rising of Tuition on Higher Ed"

Legislators have come up with ideas to cover for the cuts in state funding by raising the tuition of colleges. Their ideas are coming up with money from the private sector, ending tax exemptions, and protecting higher education in the state constitution. Since it's in a dangerous position ideas have been proposed. Increasing tuition and having more a more flexible tuition is an idea. Even though this is making many students pay more, it is helping the state cuts. This has an affect on who will be attending these colleges though. Students start raising money at a young age to make sure they are able to go to college but with this drastic increase in tuition, it is stopping them from getting to where they want. If the price goes up, then the quantity of people attending these colleges will go down. Having such a high tuition for these schools will probably create a more competitive scholarship program and even student loans. These student loans can lead to debt with such a high cost of schooling.  Another idea is offering tax incentives to businesses that contribute to scholarships endowments, which would raise $1 billion over 10 years. Students are unaware of these cuts in higher education so it is making students drop out of school due to them going into debt. Another idea is that colleges and students can get money from the state business and occupation tax if they are required to give it to the public university system, which is also a cause of debt. It is a necessity to cover all the cuts and this could come from the increase of college tuition. However, raising money and taxes to cover for college education has the ability to make our economy come to a crash.

Bri Sharp, Catherine Gregory, Chris Kennard

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ronald McDonald Where Did You Go?

According to Bloomberg, McDonalds is taking a new turn in their advertisement. We do not see Ronald as much as we did before. In recent commercials, the focus has not been on children and the happy meal; it has been on coffee, Wi-Fi, and healthier food. I think this is a great idea on the business side of the restaurant. They have not gotten rid of the originals but are adding more adult desirable items on to the menu. People want something cheap, something they can find on every street, something generally easy and fast. McDonalds is keeping up with the economy by keeping in mind how busy adults are, and how keeping a clean and pretty environment can attract customers of all ages. They are not getting rid of the play place, the happy meal, or the family friendly ambiance but are just adapting to the changes around the world money and health wise. McDonalds is the wealthiest fast food chain on the market right now valued at $33.6 million, with KFC for second-place valued at $5.84 million. Their competition will need to step it up if they want to be able to compete. McDonalds has been successful with children, adults, and after the movie Super Size Me, health conscious people. We all miss Ronald but McDonalds has seen that focusing on children is overrated and that adults are the new focus.

Elianah (lead author)
Haley (lead researcher)
Iram (secretary)

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Recently, representatives from AT&T have annouced that the company will aquire T-Mobile for 39 billion dollars. Just 30 years after the company had been broken up by the government because of their monopoly, AT&T is at it again, slowly taking over the cell phone market once again. Suspected to go through sometime next year, the purchasing of T-Mobile will give AT&T much more power economically. It can be expected that AT&T will infact charge lower monthly rates and offer more affordable plans due to the enormous quantity of servives combined with their large customer platform. Also, one of the main reasons behind this transaction, is that AT&T wants to come off as the larger, more powerfull, and more affortable phone service provider; demonstrating that this buy wasn't just for the money, it was for the reputation. In result, this transaction should make other service providers such as Spring and Verizon lower their rates for serives in response. In conclusion, these are merely predictions based on economic principles. In the end, the only way to find out what the future of phone prices will be is to just wait and see what happens.

-Cameron Casey, Andrew Velvin, Will Noble

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Super Bowl Helps the Economy

The Super Bowl is a huge event in sports encompassing the United States annually. Not only did the Packers win the Super Bowl in 2010, but Sponsor Papa Johns did as well. Papa Johns expected to deliver 1 million pizzas to viewers all over the country. 110 million viewers watch the game on TV which means the Dallas Metropolex will rake in $611 million; and the NFL got a $720 million check from Fox for this season’s broadcast rights. PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that visitors to Dallas spent 202 million dollars on everything from hot dogs to hotel rooms.  If the accounting firm is right, Super Bowl XLV would beat last year’s record of $197 million. Besides from the overly expensive cost for seats at the Cowboy Stadium, hotel rooms, and parties hosted by celebrities, most fans will choose to enjoy the game from their homes. Add up the 7.5 million parties hosted by the TV audience, including dipping chips into nearly 70 million pounds of guacamole washed down by approximately 50 million cases of beer, the supply and demand needed for the Super Bowl may just be what the economy needs to end the recession.  Every year the Super Bowl will continue to spend an immense amount of money, helping the economy tremendously. The products purchased for the superbowl is a result in shift in demand because so many people are interested in buying party beverages and snacks at the same time. As the quantity of supply increases the price decreases, so more people purchase items needed for the superbowl.