Monday, November 14, 2011

Nook tablet v.s Kindle fire

As most people know, the Nook tablet and the Kindle are technology advancements in the way people perceive reading. They are obviously from two different companies so they are competing against each other, but which is better? That is a matter of opinion but most people would choose upon price. The price of the Kindle Fire, which was recently released, was set at a low $199 which is close to $50 less than the Nook tablet. Both have many different cool features but the point of them is to have books easy to read and easy access for people. This concept brings in another competitor, the iPad 2 which also allows for the user to have a library of books but that is not the main purpose of the iPad 2. It will be interesting to see how the two competitors decide to change their way of business and sales because the consumers are not attracted to it as much as the other due to price or quality.

Gas pricing changes from the European debt crisis?

The European debt crisis has been changing the U.S. gas prices drastically. The gas prices have been going up and down for the past few months. The price of oil fell to almost $98 per barrel. Due to the craziness happening in Europe, the U.S. is also worrying if it could lead to other things such as bank failures and possibly another recession. If this were to happen it would mean a weaker demand for oil.

Chance of 2010 recession tops 50 percent

The Federal government has been staying aware that there could be a chance of U.S. recession in the year 2012. With the European debt crisis at hand it is inevitable for the U.S. government to be thinking more about what could happen to us. The Federal government states that they are taking steps to not let this happen. They are not saying it will happen but it is a better chance that it will in the year 2012 as we get closer to it. If the European debt crisis keeps getting worse than the U.S. needs to be very careful. Because our economy is so weak, it can go down very quickly heading towards a recession so we must be precocious.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Why the rise in oil prices might be a good thing

With the oil prices hovering around a height of $100 for the first time since summer it may not be good for microeconomics but it's a good sign for macroeconomics, thank you paradox of thrift. With the economy being able to hold the price of oil so high it is a good sign that the US economy isn't going to double dip into another recession. In line with that, the fear of Europe's debt crisis spreading to the US may have been slightly disproved as we see the prices of oil climb. Although there is a note of joy in this news we also need to take into consideration that with the prices of oil are climbing due to a decrease in the supply so we need to start looking for ways to conserve or find new sources of oil especially with the US exporting more.

Greek Debt Crisis

The problem of a growing debt in Greece increased when Greece swiched their currency to the euro. Government spending greatly increased when this swich occured sending the conntry into a plunging debt. During the time after this swich there was widespread tax evasion that allowed for the ratio of money flowing out of the government verus flowing in to be greatly skewed. When the international financial downturn occured Greece was far from prepared and because of this two bailouts were asked for in May 2010 and July 2011 at 110 billion euros and 109 billion euros each with the hoped for effect of controlling the crisis but with Portugal and the Irish Republic needing bailouts of there own, control of the crisis did not occur. When Greece asked for their third bailout in October they were denied and the question from the eurozone of whether Greece should be allowed to stay on the euro was raised. With no more bailouts Greece is having to go through extreme government spending cuts as well as raising taxes to account for this declination. This is causing Greece to fall into a reccesion which leads to higher unemployment and more benifit checks from the government, what seems like a downward spiral. With Greece now at a debt of about 340bn euros or $435bn it seems like there is no clear way out for them.
Lauren Edmond

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Modern Warfare Sales predict to Break Records

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 was released in stores this november and on its day of release approximately 1.5 million gamers lined up outside 13,000 stores to buy a copy at midnight. The games popularity is throught the roof because of the last Call of Duty game Call of Duty : Black ops. Black Ops holds the current record for the entertainment industry’s five-day opening sales revenue record at $650 million worldwide. The popularity has gotten of these games have gotten more fan including myself and anylst say thaty MW3 will break the records set by Black Ops. So far Mw3 is on the right track. While hard numbers haven’t yet come in for MW3, Amazon said it generated 32% more pre-orders than Black Ops.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Is it really worth it?.........IN 3DDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Many industries today, including Sony and LG, have joined the bandwagon for 3D-TVs. Why is a 3D-TV better than my HDTV without glasses? The answer is processing power. In 3D-TVs, the TV duplicates the image being shown and creates the optical illusion of a 3D image. The illusion is done either with glasses or the screen itself. The 3D-TV industry has gained demand because the 3D market is fairly new and many sports consumers want to see the football game in more depth and dimensions for analyzing sports games. The 3D industry is still in its infancy and the TVs have multiple errors. The 3D-TVs are only able to be viewed directly in front of the screen. Looking at the screen from the side causes the viewer's mind to hurt from translated images. The 3D-TVs also have a lower pixel count (due to 2 images being displayed) compared to the 1080p HDTVs currently. Will the 3D industry eventually dominate the TV market? Possibly, but not for many years. The issues with 3D-TVs need to be fixed and improved on in order for older people with poorer eyesight to be able to see the same image. Maybe in about 20-40 years, TVs everywhere will display information IN 3DDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Canadas Job Shortages

In the month of October Canada had a net loss of 54,000 jobs. There is obviously a shortage in jobs in Canada right now because it’s the biggest monthly drop since the depths of the global economic crisis, and the latest headwind to buffet one of the most resilient developed economies. Canada's jobless rate climbed to 7.3% in October, up from 7.1% in September, 54,000 more jobless people in one month! Because Canada has a heavy export economy and the United States is the main place the Canadians trade with. Since the US isn’t importing much from Canada right now there are fewer jobs in their manufacturing causing there to be layoffs. It is a causer and effect, the cause for the jobs loss is the bad economy in the US, the effect is unemployment in the Canadians manufacturing market it to rise. The small amount of jobs in the manufacturing market in Canada is a perfect example of a shortage.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Many people are being negatively impacted by our poor economy.

43% of young adults are not satisfied with their current employment.
It's hard to think that we have a chance to get out of debt when the government its self is so far into it.
We are lead to believe that they're making the wisest decisions for our benefit. In the long run we are still in debt and many Americans are putting their dreams on hold.

"69% prefer reducing federal spending over raising taxes on individuals in order to balance the federal budget."

More than half of the Americans for in favor of tax-cuts. They want to reduce government spending. How do they conclude that this is balancing the federal budget? The government is losing more money and future generations can conclude they potentially be the next victims of another recession.

Hotel Revenues on the Rise

"The point: recession or no recession people are still eager to travel."

For consumers finding a time to get away and relax isn't something they're willing to trade off. Dynamic pricing helps hoteliers as a tool to find equilibrium price. Consumers are spending a little extra cash to find exactly what they want. This exemplifies the role of a consumers self interest and elasticity. Differently priced rooms are available to all consumers to meet a variety of incomes. This is a wise way to prevent compromising margin.

Video Game Economics

It is no secret that many people, around the world, play video games.  Some more than others, but it's obvious that video games are a huge part of our culture.  To some, video games are a life style; to others, they are a way to waste time or hang out with some friends.  In 1996, the video game industry sold a compiled $2.6 billion in sales revenue.  In the 13 years to follow, video game industries upped their sales to about $20 billion dollars total.  This is unbelievable.  People spend more money on video games than other different goods produced by our country, and video games (although I play a good amount myself) are a huge waste of time.  Also, from 2005-2009, video game industry's annual growth rate exceeded 10%.  In the same time period, the entire US economy grew at a less than 2% growth rate.  This is again, unbelievable.  Maybe, if people put as much interest as they do in video games into other goods and services in our economy, things might get better than they have been. 

Dippin' Dots Files for Bankruptcy

Whether at Six Flags, Hurricane Harbor, or any other amusement park, we've all had Dippin' Dots: the little orbs of ice cream, commonly known as "the ice cream of the future". Thursday, November 3, Dippin' Dots filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in federal bankruptcy court in Paducah, KY, near their headquarters. In a statement, company spokesman Steve Heisner said the bankruptcy is a result of Dippin' Dots' "failure to reach an agreement with its secured lender Regions Financial." The company’s debt totals $12 million, with ranging from $657,000 owed to Peoples Bank to only $7.16 owed to Quimby Rubber Stamps Shoppe. People who are fans of Dippin' Dots, me included, don't have to worry - the company absolutely plans to stay in business regardless of the bankruptcy.

Redbox vs Cinemark

As the movie theaters begin to raise their prices, more and more companies like Redbox and Netflix are giving people more and more incentive to just wait for the movie to come out on dvd. 90% of american homes have DVD or blu ray players. The average price of a movie ticket has gone from about $5 to about $9. This isn't counting the gas money people are spending to even get to the nearest theater . The self intrest for certain people would rather be to just rent a movie for a dollar and stay in the comfort of their own home. Its cheaper and some people like who like the movies so much can keep them and watch them over and over till they get tired of it .

Unemployment Drops

News from this month just came in that America has dropped the unemployment rate down to 9% by adding about 80,000 jobs this last month says this Dallas morning news article. This is a good amount of growth coming from the august and September combined made 102,000 jobs. Also in the second quarter this year, almost 97,000 jobs were created for the complete second quarter. For the third time this year there are only less than 400,000 people that are unemployed. The increase is most likely helped by the growth of the economy in the third quarter. Although the unemployment rate is decreasing it can still not compete with the population growth in America. Employers are scared to hire people until the level of demand becomes steady. The Fed says that they expect the unemployment rate to reach about 8.6% by this time next year and remain steady for a while.

Blockbuster's Competition

The movie rental company, Blockbuster, has been dealing with many setbacks. The rise of online movie distributors like Netflix and also more convenient ways of getting movies like Redbox, which are conveniently located at many gas stations around the country. This competition has been making Blockbuster make some very important decisions. One decision they have to deal with is the shutting down many of the stores including the most convenient one by my house. Now I have moved on to the much more convenient road of Netflix and the occasional Redbox movie. Also, due to the demand being so high for Netflix and Redbox they upped the prices by two dollars. This forced Blockbuster to make the same decision because of competition says this article. I think that Blockbuster needs to start making some big decisions now to compete with Netflix and Redbox, or else bad things will happen.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Most Expensive Car on the Market!

The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport is 2.4 million dollars when fully upgraded. The base version is 1.7 million dollars and is the fastest street legal car. Its top speed over 265 miles per hour is no doubt a luxury good. A 2.4 million dollar car is defiantly not a necessity. A luxury good is something that is not a necessity and has great value. clearly a 2.4 million dollar car is an example of a luxury good, who need a car that can go from 0-60 mph in less than 2.5 seconds. The in side of the car is explained to be like a airplane cockpit. The car has an amazing horse power of 1200, thats the most any street legal car has ever had. Most cars cost a bit of money but are a necessity, but the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport is a extreme example of luxury goods.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 On Pace to Break Records

Call of Duty video games have been one of the top selling games with every new release. The newest game, Modern Warfare 3, is already on pace to break the record of the previous Call of Duty. Black Ops, last year's COD game, set records for the most pre-orders of a game. Modern Warfare 3, however, is already way ahead of that number. Consumer expectations grow with the success of this game and the popular game has a higher demand than ever. Call of Duty is capitalizing on the high demand of the game by releasing Call of Duty: Elite, a $50 a year service that is for the ultimate COD gamer. The company is using the Call of Duty: Elite as a complement to the game that they can profit more money from. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is scheduled to be released November 8, and is one of the most highly anticipated games ever.

NFL Team Losing Money

The Detroit Lions haven't just been losing game for the past few seasons, they've been losing money. The Lions are the only team in the NFL, that has a total of 32 teams, that actually lost money last season. What is to blame for the lacking profit? The Lions have a brand new stadium, but they have only managed to win 23 percent of their games in the last five seasons. The Lions poor performances have surely lowered fan, or consumer, expectations and has caused the demand for tickets and apparel to drastically decline. People don't want to cheer for a losing team, especially in a city like Detriot that hasn't had much success since they stopped being a world power for car production. Many people are pointing fingers at the owner of the team, William Clay Ford Sr., but is he really to blame? An owner can only do so much, it's not like he can actaully play out there and change the outcome of the game. Luckily, the Lions have been improving greatly this year with their play on the field and the future looks promising for the franchise and hopefully Ford Sr. might see a positive profit at the end of the season.

Call of Duty Elite Price Raise?

The once only good first person shooter now has some competition. Call of Duty predicts that the price will raise sometime in the next two years because of EA games' Battlefield. Right now battlefield is 14 dollars cheaper than the call of duty release price. But battlefield will raise the price to about 50 dollars their next game still making it significantly cheaper than call of duty. With the new call of duty elite coming out, it is projected to have 2 million subscribers the first two years and 5 million by the end of 2013. The price will raise because it is a yearly cost and the demand is so high people will buy it no matter what the price is. the reason the price will raise is because the now free Battlefield elite will raise their prices to 50 dollars which lets the high demanded call of duty raise their prices.

$8 million iPad

A regular iPad 2 can cost anywhere from $499 to $829 depending how much memory you choose and whether it has 3G capabilities. Although a regular iPad 2 may seem expensive to most Americans, it is nothing compared to the iPad 2 Gold History Edition created by luxury enthusiast Stuart Hughes -- with an $8 million price tag!
Starting with a regular iPad 2, the aluminum back panel is replaced with one made of solid 24ct gold. Then, the normal Apple logo is replaced with one made of 24ct gold and with 53 diamonds. The part of the front of the iPad that surrounds the screen is made of ammonite, one of the rarest rocks on the planet. Finally, the feature that really sets this iPad apart is the actual Tyrannosaurus rex bones shaved into the finish. The final touch is the home button is replaced with a platinum base complete with 12 outer diamonds and a single 8.5ct centerpiece.
As if the price tag alone doesn't make this iPad a luxury good, only two in the world are being produced. This iPad is certainly an extreme example of a luxury good, which only a few are able to afford.

Red Sole Law Suit

The pretty cherry red soles of the coveted Christian Louboutin shoes was copied by Yves Saint Laurent. While YSL has had shoes with red soles dating back to the 70's, Louboutin has had the red tradmarked in 2008. Louboutin argues that copying the red sole caused customer confusion, raising the demand for the YSL shoes because of his popularity. Louboutin is asking for over a million dollars in damage controll and for YSL to recall the millions in merchandise with the trademark infringement. In this situation, YSL argues that a color cannot be trademarked, but other luxury brands such as Tiffany's and Hermes have also done the same. The bright red sole that stands out is part of what makes the shoe a luxury item, the price is set much higher than equilibrium to keep the posh brand name.

Penny Auction Websites

Penny auction websites sell high dollar items like laptops, iPhones, iPads, etc, for extremely cheap prices.  Every time someone bids the price goes up 1 penny and 10 seconds is added to the count down.   But here’s the catch, you have to buy bids for 60 cents apiece.  The bidding process is also a cycle that really no one can hardy win, because every time the timer gets down to a few seconds left other people will quickly place bids which bumps the timer up a few more seconds.   Also, say if 20 people are fighting for an item a couple will eventually give up, but there are hundreds of other people jumping in and start bidding and adding time to the clock.  These websites are not scams and are extremely profitable, say the website sells an iPad for $100 but it is worth $700, the price only goes up 1 penny every time someone bids….That means 10,000 people bided on that iPad!! Each bid costs that individual 60 cents so that means in total $6,000 worth of bids were spent trying to get that iPad plus the $100 that the person who won had to pay.  The website made $5,400 by selling one iPad and the variable and fixed costs are minuscule, the buyer pays the shipping, and the website only needs less than a dozen employees to operate.  Kind of makes you want to own one of these websites.
Jack Leonard

Mad over Missoni

Over the past few months, Target has been marketing a limited edition line of Missoni For Target brand items. The line consisted of furniture, home accessories, clothing, shoes, and glassware. Missoni was trying to market a variety of items compared to their usual designer line of clothes, shoes, and small accessories. On the launch date of the new line, as early as 7 a.m. lines were forming outside of Target stores, many women wanted to get ahold of the usually $600+ dresses and clothes for a twefth of the price. The demand for these lesser quality, mass produced Missoni items was through the roof, the launch crashed the Target website within an house, and shelves were empty in some store in as little as 20 minutes after opening. Some consumers wonder, how was this a good business call for Missoni? the highly sought after designer brand lost many avid supporters from before the Target days who believe that brand lost its luxury after releasing this line. However the Missoni owner, Margherita Missoni, is planning on launching another lower price scale line after seeing how in demand her cheaper price range products are. The madness didn't end with the Target stores even, a secondary market was created. Over 44,000 Missoni for Target items were on eBay the day of the launch selling at prices two to three times higher than their original price. Perhaps the oweners of Missoni should look into upping their prices on their lower quality goods to help find equilibrium because obviously, consumers are willing to pay big bucks for their new line just to own the coloful zigzags and other bright geometric prints.

Stealing is bad.

In 2001, Apple came out with their new phrase "RIP, Mix, Burn", which was the new slogan for burning music on to CDs, creating playlists, etc. The company strongly asked people not to steal music, and actually placed a label saying "Don't steal music" on the back of every ipod. As time went on, Apple came out with new products, people were making new software that made stealing music easier, and the two had somewhat meshed together. Apple created a new product called Icloud, in which someone could transfer all of the apps, music, etc. onto a computer that the phone is wirelessly synced up to, as long as their account is logged in. As someone who loves listening to music, it's a hastle to buy every single song I want to listen to, and it's easy to believe that people don't have incentive to buy the music, but just download it for free online somewhere. People stealing music hurts the music industry without a doubt because companies aren't getting all of the money they deserve for producing the music. While they are they making a lot of money, producing companies do lose a lot of profit. It is hard to track down all of the people who steal music, but those who do steal music need to hold themselves accountable and be honorable when getting music.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Holiday Season

Although it's only the beginning of November, most retailers begin preparing for Christmas and Hanukah around this time in order to be prepared for the season of spending. As we learned in class, consumer spending has a lot to do with our country's GDP, so wouldn't it make sense that during the holiday season, in the midst of frantic Christmas and Hanukah shopping, that the United States' GDP would increase sharply for that quarter? According to the Nation Retail Federation (NRF), holiday sales, on average, have increased 2.6% for the last 10 years. Last year, sales increased a whopping 5.2% to $452.9 billion. That is most definitely a lot of consumer spending, which has proven beneficial for the macroeconomy. However, the problem that we face with this huge amount of spending during the holiday season deals with microeconomics, or inside individual households. Many people feel extreme pressure during this season due to financial issues, however they continue to spend a ridiculous amount on gifts, decorations, parties, etc. So how do these people balance their budget? How much is too much to spend on gifts and is their a minimum standard that our society has set?
-Natalie J

Bank of America backs down

Bank of America recently announced its plan to charge debit card holders a monthly fee of five dollars.  Bank of America members were out raged by this and threatened to leave the bank unless the plan was changed. this small change in membership would make the bank an estimated 410 million dollars in just one month.  because people were so repulsed by this plan the bank has discontinued the plan to charge debit card holders merely to retain members. the bank is even offering holders free admission to select museums this weekend as part of there "museums on us program." in my opinion bank of America really messed up by trying to pull a quick one their members and they will now pay for it in the upcoming months. i wonder how many insulted and angry members will switch banks this month.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Guns for Women?

in charleston south carolina a sheriff is urging women to buy and get permits for women to carry on them whenever they are alone. he exclaims that because of all the recent attacks and attempted rapes women shouldn't be taking any chances. this could bring about a large change in the market for handguns. there are 143 million females in the united states today and if everyone of them went out and purchased a handgun sometime in the next month the demand for guns would sky rocket.  the average hand gun is priced at around 300 dollars making the money pulled in by theses ladies would be somewhere around 2,490,000,000,000 dollars. this would cause a huge change for gun companies. unfortunately for gun companies i don't think every woman in the united states will go out and buy a gun but i think that the south carolina sheriff's press release will spark a small economic change in the gun market.

Peanut Butter Prices Are Nuts!

Trick-or-treaters may have paid more of a price this year during Halloween. Peanut butter and all the products associated with, such as Reese’s (the best candy on the market) are dealing with escalating prices due to one of the worst peanut harvests in recent years. Price increases ranging from 20% to 40% as early as last Tuesday have been issued for many Peanut butter producers. According to last year, the price for a ton of peanut butter has already gone up by $750 and continues to climb. Many experts agree that next years peanut butter prices can’t look any better until harvest time roles around. In addition, we can expect increases in many of the compliments associated with peanut butter products. Soon enough jelly will be sold at prices through the roof just because it is so closely associated with peanut butter. Next year’s harvest needs to produce a decent yield of peanuts because I don’t want to start paying the extra buck for something as simple as a Reese’s cup!

Monday, October 31, 2011

'Gossip Girl,' other CW shows coming to Hulu

Hulu is a popular website that allows people to watch TV shows, movies, clips, and trailers at any time, and with HuluPlus one can watch shows almost immediately after they air by paying a monthly subcription. Previously, Hulu featured shows from ABC, NBC, Fox, and Univision, but recently signed a deal with The CW and will now include them. Hulu now features shows from five of the largest six broadcasters, CBS being left out. Some shows on Hulu can be viewed freely, but others require an $8 per month subscription for HuluPlus. Under the subscription for HuluPlus, viewers will be able to get the five most recent episodes from The CW the day after they are broadcasted on television. Those same episodes will appear on Hulu 8 days later for a free viewing experience. Both versions, Hulu and HuluPlus come with ads, yet those ads are much shorter than commercials on TV, lasting only about half the time as regular commercials. For many, Hulu has several benefits that make it preferable over regular television. Shows can be viewed at any time during the day, and the commercials are significantly shorter. They can also be paused and picked back up at any time, and can be viewed portably on laptops. Hulu hopes to attract many more uses by adding The CW, targeting young women age 18-34. Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries are both shows on The CW and are widely popular among young women. Hulu hopes by adding a larger selection of shows to their library, they will receive more subscriptions, and therefore pulling in larger revenue. For the consumers, they must consider the costs and benefits of subscribing to Hulu. The benefit of subscribing to HuluPlus is that it would allow consumers to view the show immediately after it airs. The benefits also include shorter ads, and to ability to view the show whenever it is desirable. However, the cost would be $8 a month, or nearly $100 a year. It is all up to the consumer: Is it worth paying $96 a year to view the show 8 days earlier? Does the cost outweigh the benefit?

- Christina B

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Food Trucks in DFW

There's a new business that has become rapidly popular in the DFW area in the recent year, and it's different than any restaurant at which the average consumer has dined. They're called food trucks; they sell gourmet asian cuisine to homemade BBQ sandwiches directly from mobile restaurants that travel on the roads of Dallas daily. The food truck explosion has drawn attention with its uniqueness and affordable yet delicious food. Parish even hired Ruthie's Rolling Cafe to serve their "finest melt in your mouth grilled cheese sandwiches" at the recent senior tailgate. Although they seem relatively new to consumers in DFW, food trucks attempted to begin the trend early last year. So why didn't this business take off quicker? Many of the restaurants on wheels struggled the most with obtaining parking permits from the city of Dallas. The city believed these trucks would be a menace to firms that they would park in front of, not only taking up parking spots but also their customers. In other words, the level of competition would be thrown off by these food trucks, who would have an unfair advantage by parking in front of smaller shops while taking customer's of these stores parking spots. However, when Michael Siegel paved the way with his Green House Truck, it was proven that the attraction of the mobile restaurants helped increase the profits of the jeweler it was located in front of. The City of Dallas began granting more parking permits to different kinds of food trucks such as Jack's Chowhound and Ssahm Korean BBQ. Now these trucks travel around DFW selling food to hungry customers that are seeking out a new experience and savory food!

-Natalie J

Yoga: the zooming business of Zen

The yoga industry has greatly expanded in the past years, and is expected to hit $6.5 billion in 2011. Between 2006 and 2011 it experienced tremendous growth, with an average annual sales growth of 9.5%. A large number of yoga businesses have been started because of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are ambitious leaders who take risks by investing their own money to create new goods or services. In the case of Micah and Desi Springer, they took a risk in opening up a yoga company, which ended up pulling in great profit for them. They started their company in their basement, and later expanded and bought a small building to hold classes. Yoga businesses don’t have to spend an outrageous amount of money on fixed costs, which are costs that don’t change such as rent or purchasing a building. Yoga buildings and spaces are often small because people like a quiet and intimate atmosphere when practicing yoga. They have low operating costs as well, consisting mostly of electricity bills and teacher wages. Because they have such a low and simple operating cost, they can easily hire people by thinking at margin. They can easily add one more additional unit if necessary. If the business is doing well and there are many more people coming in to take classes, they can hire one more teacher, or they can hire 4 more teachers based upon the increase in customers. This is exactly what they did. As entrepreneurs, the two girls started out with just themselves as teachers. As their business grew, they hired the number of teachers they needed to to keep up with demand, adding more teachers as more customers came. Their company now employs 40 teachers. The story of the Springer sisters is a great example that demonstrates entrepreneurship, fixed and variable costs, and marginal thinking.

- Christina B

In-N-Out Shipping Service

Midnight Row, a luxury deal website, is now offering an overnight delivery of two of In-N-Out's double-double burgers for $50.00 plus shipping costs. The burger is in such high demand that people are willing to pay as much as a nice steak dinner for a FAST FOOD BURGER. With In-N-Out opening in Texas on May 11th, I have had the opportunity to try the hamburger. The burger is very good, but nothing to go crazy over. I even think that What-a-burger's burger is the same if not better. I also have to question the health of eating a burger that is shipped in the mail. It is hard to believe that a fast food chain has raised such high demand, but after the restaurant expands into more states I think the demand will lower. Before the openings in Texas, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, In-N-Out could just be found in California. I believe the source for high demand is the lack of shops established. Once In-N-Out restaurants spread more to the east, I'm sure the service of shipping In-N-Out burgers will disappear along with the obsession.

Online Commercial Experiments

Ads always get in the way of the show the viewer is trying to watch. Hulu and Youtube are experimenting new ways to make the ad watching process somewhat easier. These websites business models really depend on advertising and cannot afford to lose viewers just because of annoying advertisements. Hulu and Youtube are giving the viewer the option to chose which ad to watch. For shorter videos, Youtube gives a skip option. Advertisers are only charged when users watch the whole video. The newest strategy for advertising is creating that people want to watch or even look forward to watching. Commercials like Old Spice and Dos Equis send people to the Internet to watch them over and over again. Viewers have to make a trade-off of what advertisement they want to watch and it sometimes can be difficult. I for one choose not to even mess with online video, except clips on Youtube. My family chooses to pay for a DVR so we don't have to mess with online searching. I think DVR is also better because no Internet is required and there is no buffering to deal with. Also ads can be fast forwarded through in a second.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The College Loan Crisis

Since the very first steps in education our minds have been driven toward a path of honor, excellence, and responsibility, so that one-day we might land in a good college and have the possibility of a secure future. However, nothing is ever as easy as it sounds. Today, many people have been subject to a very tricky system that is placing a crutch on the youth of America. This system is otherwise known as College Loans. The problem that many people are facing today is that they cannot leave college behind and move on with the future due to incredible debts and unpaid fees to educational institutions. The problem is continuing to grow, becoming a crisis in the economy because college education is very expensive and if not paid timely then interest sets in and more and more debt accumulates over time. Many Americans have reached the point where their college bills are consuming their income, happiness, and ultimately their whole life. The overall student loan default rate jumped 27 percent from 2008 to 2009, according to the latest government figures, increasing from 7 percent of all loans to 8.9 percent. Most alarming was the 31 percent spike in defaults among those who attended for-profit colleges, where the default rate reached 15.2 percent of loans. This is significant because the evidence for this growing crisis is evident yet many people are still suffering greatly. Ever persistent college debts are taking over the lives of youthful Americans and not enough is being done about it. The system that allows loans to be given to college students needs serious improvements that help guarantee that debts don’t reach a level that can’t be fixed. College’s need to take a closer look at who they loan money to and how that money is repaid.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Space Shuttle: Economic Destruction or Potential?

With the last space shuttle being taken apart, more and more NASA employees are being laid off due to the lack of the Space Transportation System, or STS, program.The loss of over 3000 highly-educated workers, not including the construction workers who design and build the facilities, now being laid off, there is an ever expanding group of the educated unemployed. Even though NASA's STS program is now in its dying breaths, the United States is still the world's leading nation in space technology. This is because companies like Direct TV, Dish Network, Sirius Satellite Radio, AT&T, and other communication companies use space systems on a daily basis. Companies that use these technologies, such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Space X, and others are hiring  these unemployed NASA workers to help design the future Space Launch Systems. One of the closest manned launch systems currently is the Falcon-9/Dragon program. The Falcon-9 and the Dragon program both were designed by ex-NASA workers. While NASA is shrinking due to less government funding, the private space industry is growing and space tourism is closer than we think.

Are the costs of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars worth it?

Year by year we hear about the costs of the wars overseas, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. The question that is on everyones' mind is, is it worth the billions of dollars in tax payers money to try and keep peace in a foreign country? The estimated total cost since the start of the war in 2003 is $750 billion. Several factors have contributed to these costs. For example, the helicopters, the tanks, the warships, the trucks, the fuel to run them, the troops salaries, the cost of rebuilding Iraq, etc. Economists are working tirelessly to come up with theoretical figures for the final cost of the war. Some estimates put the total cost over $2 trillion. A more conservative estimate puts it at a little more than $1 trillion. These costs have greatly effected our economy and our every day lives. Most Americans are asking themselves if it's all worth it.

The 53%

They call themselves the 53% because they are the 53% of Americans that pay federal income taxes.  They are a backlash group that backlashes the “occupy wall street” movement.  The people that are occupying Wall Street are asking for government handouts.  The argument that the 53% group makes is, "We don't want to be the 53% who carries the 47% on our shoulders," says Gardner, a member of the 53% group.  The people on Wall Street don’t have jobs and don’t pay income taxes, “they are a parasite to America”.  Gardner tells his story, “My wife and I decided in 1996 that we were sick of poverty.  We went back to school.  We earned degrees.  We got a job.  No one handed that out to us.  We earned it.  We did it.”  His point is that it’s up to you to work hard and get a job even if it’s not the job that you want at least it’s a job.  The “53%” group blames the 47% of Americans who pay zero dollars in income taxes.  How is America Supposed to recover if only half of Americans are contributing?  The Occupy wall street members are also pushing for heavier taxes on the rich, aka the hard workers, but how can they demand this if they aren’t paying a dollar of taxes?  Why should they get to vote if they don’t contribute to society? These people on Wall Street don’t understand how economics works, if they worked hard, got jobs, and started paying taxes the economy could start recovering.

G.D.P. in America has Modest Growth

Although it may not seem like it to many Americans, America's economy is growing says this New York Times article titled “Economic Growth in U.S., Though Still Modest, Speeds Up”. From the second quarter to the third the G.D.P. increased 1.2%. Although that may not seem like much, that’s coming from a gradual 1.3% to a 2.5% growth in the third quarter. One of the most important questions to ask is where is this growth coming from? In this situation the main source of the growth is the consumer spending. Consumer spending in the economy has increased by 2.4%. This news is excellent because for the 25 years before the recession of 2008, the U. S. economy grew at a rate of 3.25% per quarter. Ian Shepherdson, the chief United States economist for High Frequency Economics, says that he wants the growth to eventually be at 4% but coming from 1.3%, he is fine with the improvement and he sees more improvement to come hoping to be around 3% of G.D.P growth soon. Even though the growth does sound promising many specific markets are still struggling. For example, the housing market continues to struggle with house values remaining low.

Can gripping the court make a significant difference in the game of basketball?

A company called Mission AthleteCare is trying to make a difference in the newest problem area that these athletes are facing today.  Dwyane Wade is a supporter and an endorser of the Mission AthleteCare company and is also trying to make a difference with the problem of griping the court. He had this to say about the issue at hand, "You could talk to any basketball player, any athlete, it's a huge problem," Wade told CNBC. "I can name some arenas that I go to and I have to adjust my game. If you know my game, it's all about traction, about changing direction, it's about explosion." Wade is trying to innovate the game and help him and his teammates out for the games to come in the future. The real question is, will this new equipment actually make a real difference when it comes to game time? Also, will gripping the court make a big enough impact, that it could potentially change the outcome of the game? Dwyane Wade certainly thinks so, he just hopes it will help him get passed the big German guy standing in his way on the path to the finals.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Decline of Netflix

Reed Hasting’s company, Netflix, has suddenly taken a big hit. Until now, Netflix has been flourishing. In July, the price of Netflix stock was around $300. Currently, it is trading at $79. What an outrageous drop! Along with the price change, Netflix has approximately lost 800,000 subscribers ion comparison with last quarter. Why has this happened? The old Netflix plan included Internet streaming and DVDs by mail for as low as $10 a month. In September, this same package costs $16 a month. Since there is such a high demand for Netflix a price increase is inevitable. Netflix has been growing non-stop and with this comes more expenses to pay. Paying $10 a month was not enough to keep Netflix running. The company needed more money to license additional material for online services. Reed Hastings increased the price too much in a short period of time and this startled subscribers. His price increase strategy was very poor in which he scared off customers. Even though Netflix is in a shaky position, I think eventually the company will rise back up. Netflix has little competition in online streaming and is by far the best quality.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Manolo Blahnik

As Homecoming quickly approaches, most girls that attend can tell you how important the right pair of shoes can be. Just how much is someone willing to pay for the perfect pair of shoes? In the mind of Manolo Blahnik, consumers should be willing to pay several hundred to over a thousand dollars a pair. In 2007, Women’s Wear Daily wrote an article on Manolo Blahnik in which they canvassed two thousand consumers about their buying habits. Out of all these women, 37% agreed they would gladly jump off the Golden Gate Bridge for an unlimited supply of Manolo Blahnik shoes. Clearly, their willingness to do something so senseless for a lifetime full of expensive shoes proves that these shoes cannot be found at Target or Payless; they're considered a luxury good. Shortly after this article was written, however, Blahnik’s name and label plummeted. Competition had arisen in the shoe market, making it much more difficult to sell his ridiculously priced shoes at such a high cost. Christian Louboutin, for example, stole a huge chunk of the shoe market which had once belonged to Manolo. Louboutin’s signature red sole indicates a high price and generally a fairly wealthy consumer that bought them, and although the apple red sole seems extremely simple, it was an excellent advertising technique that played a vital role in the success story of Christian Loubitan. Though Louboutin’s popularity has soared even in this sluggish economy, it appears Manolo is back in the game. While Louboutin’s are known for their over-the-top designs, Manolo’s have the reputation of being not only stylish but fairly comfortable. One of Manolo’s particular styles boasts a waiting list right now. Retail analysts believe the current demand for Manolo’s is a very encouraging sign for the economy. It appears the upper end of the market is driving much of the retail growth. The luxury market is strong, which is certainly good news for Manolo Blahnik!

Natalie J

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rangers Demand Shift

As the Texas Rangers enter the World Series, demand for the team's tickets increase.
"Rangers managing partner and CEO Chuck Greenberg told reporters that the bulk of the increase would be felt in premium seats and that some seats in more affordable areas would remain the same or even drop."
As the demand increases you would think that the management team for the Rangers would increase the prices of all the seats in order to make a larger profit.
There is an excess demand causing disequilibrium in this particular shift. They can't produce more seating in the stadium. Increasing prices for the premium seats pushes back to equilibrium. A secondary market would come into play if there was no increase in price for seats. Scalpers would purchase and re-sell them for a greater price.
By the team strategically planning their pricing it creates tougher competition for other teams.

Budgeting Hurts the Bridal Industry

When women were little girls, they always dreamed of their perfectly made wedding gown. But in todays economy, budgeting and the less forgiving economy have made many couple's dream weddings not quite what was expected. In many cases, couples who may be expecting a new baby would need to keep baby's best intrest in mind as well. The trade off of a dream wedding or a cute ducky lined wall paper for a baby room are decisions many are having to make. A survey taken by the National Association of Catering Executives concluded that 48% of people polled said that they were spending less than they would have expected on their wedding. While affluent Americans have shown little change in the amount spent on weddings, budgeting families are now looking for less costly options. Destination weddings are no longer as popular, and a custom made dress is not always an option for these spending friendly families. This has really influenced the way Bridal companies have been marketing goods. Less expensive lines have come out, Vera Wang's "Lavender Label" is a cheaper alternative to the usual four to five figure prices of her luxury line. These prices appeal to more consumers, and more units can be sold. Many other bridal companies have followed the trend: A budeget line of gowns. While weddings are always happening, companies are still coming up with many creative ideas to keep their products in demand.

Monday, October 17, 2011

the death of steve jobs

After a long battle for survival, steve jobs passed away at the age of 56 from pancreatic cancer. Steve died october 5th and it is rumored he died surrounded by his closes relatives. This modern day genius greatly impacted the way the world operates through technology. his death has popped a question into many peoples head; how will his death effect apple? many people have assumed that apple stocks might have a sudden raise in because of the collectible market of steve jobs death. jobs' memorabilia hasn't caused any major increase in apples stock and probably won't.  the main worry of most is that apple will no longer reign as the most technologically advanced company because of his death. they fear that man inventions such as the mac, ipod and iphone will be no more. since his death apple stock has remained fairly constant and the company has hopes the the release of the iphone 4s and iphone 5 will once again raise apple's stock.

Aquaponics and Agriculture

Aquaponics is a relatively new technology that presents potential solutions for increasing issues concerning energy efficiency, food production, and water recycling. In recent years many people have suffered greatly from natural disasters and economic downturns on a worldwide scale. More and more of the population simply cannot afford the cost of food, clean water, and energy. Aquaponics can solve all these problems. It can reduce at least one fourth of the cost of food by removing transportation and gas fees from the overall equation. It can produce locally grown agriculture in a water conserving cycling process. In a nutshell, an aquaponics system can produce urbanely grown organic produce, fresh water fish, and clean reusable water all in a self-sustaining system that is completely energy efficient. As a representative of the Environmental Science and Marine Biology research club, I find this idea revolutionary. It could possibly provide a new begging for the poverty-stricken people of Africa or perhaps provide relief for people devastated by natural disasters. Aquaponics is the future of agriculture and energy efficiency. All we have to do is integrate these systems in society and spread the word of this potentially life altering technology.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The USPS having problems with Unions

The United States postal service has been a very profitable and successful organization for many years, but in recent years it appears that unions have The USPS in a strangle hold.  The USPS has tough competition with UPS and FedEx and is starting to fall behind because UPS and FedEx have managed to avoid harsh Union regulations.  The USPS is struggling with a massive deficit in mail volume.  Most companies in this situation would lay off employees to remain profitable, but due to Union restrictions managers are not allowed to lay off employees so there for the USPS is forced to spend 50 million dollars a week to pay employees to literally sit in a room and do nothing because there is simply not enough work needing to be done.  The average postal employee makes 85,000 dollars a year which is way too much to even make since.  The only reason The USPS is able to keep their prices at a competitive level is because they have the advantage of the government, a home field advantage.  The government allows the USPS to have a slight monopoly and passed legislation allowing the USPS to forgo $4 billion in payments to retiree health benefits.  The ultimate goal for the US government is for the USPS to get back on top as the main postal service and free from government aid and Union restrictions.

-Jack Leonard

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Facebook's Ticker?

Now that Facebook has launched their new "ticker", a real-time news feed, almost everything you do is broadcast online: every song you listen to on Spotify (a music app), every story you read on Yahoo! News, and every video you watch on Hulu appears on Facebook's "ticker" for all of your friends to see. Spotify is the most intense example of forcing users to broadcast through Facebook. The company recently began to require new users to sign in with a Facebook account. Therefore, if you don't want to use Facebook, you aren't able to listen to music on Spotify. Even E-book reader Kobo is getting ready to launch "Kobo Pulse," an app that will broadcast what books you are reading. Even though it seems everything you do will be broadcast on Facebook, it is possible to turn it off. However, you can't choose to not have any updates broadcast on the "ticker" through Facebook. Instead, you must go to your settings in ALL of your accounts (Yahoo!, Spotify, Hulu, ect.) and turn off the feature, which becomes an inconvenience for many people who don't wish to share everything on Facebook.

There is only one way to stop all of the sharing altogether: delete your Facebook account. Consumers will have to make a descision of costs and benefits: does the benefit of being able to connect with people all over the world at any given time outweigh the cost of potentially having everything you do online broadcast for the world to see? Each user of Facebook will have to answer that question for themself.

Are Drones replacing our Aces?

In recent years, the advancement of computers has led to technological innovations in all industries, particularly the defense industries. The manufacturing of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, has grown dramatically and leading to a new version of warfare where the soldier is staring at a screen selecting targets for the drone to eliminate. The growth of UAVs has led to a major change in the function of modern fighter aircraft because the risk of losing a $20 million UAV is better than an $89 million state-of-the-art aircraft and a trained pilot as well. For the last 100 years of aerial warfare, manned aircraft have been the only competitors, and now advancements in technology have led to the decrease in demand for manned fighter jets. Advancements in aviation technology have led to "generations" of fighter aircraft which have adapted to the ever-changing battlefield. Over 30 years, 33 Fourth generation fighters have been manufactured worldwide (averaging about 1 new aircraft a year!). However, in the last 10 years, only 8 designs have been introduced. Of those 8, only 4 aircraft have been produced worldwide (averaging about 1 new aircraft every 2 years). This change in production of aircraft has changed from the change in demand for manned fighter aircraft. In contrast, over 30 military UAVs have been produced or are in production in the last 20 years in the USA alone! In conclusion, the evolution of technology has led to a decrease in the production of manned fighter aircraft because of the demand for the aircraft to become smarter as well as the growth of the UAV industry. While manned fighter production is on the decline, it will not be lost completely to the UAVs.

The NBA Lockout

There are many questions about the NBA lockout, one of the biggest being "Why?". With a disagreement between players and owners of all 32 teams, the NBA season is closing in on its official cancellation. The basic idea of this lockout is that owners want to prevent paying their players a high salary over a 5 year span (Amare Stoudamire will make 100 million dollars over the next 5 years), but the players feel that if the league is cut to 30 teams and a shared revenue system, those types of ridiculous contracts can be made. The players are looking out for their own self interest, wanting to recieve as much money as they can get, which is understandable for any working person. Another big point in the lockout is that teams, such as the New Orleans Hornets and the Sacramento Kings, are not making enough revenue money to keep their franchises alive. The players and owners want a system where each team creates revenue and shares a bit of it with the league, keeping the money going and balanced. The New Orleans team is actually costing the league money because the NBA holds ownership to the team (costs money) and the team is not creating a positive amount of revenue. So, with that said, why not just end the franchise? The NBA is looking to do so, but at the cost of losing fans and an important franchise to NBA history.

NFL Lockout Comes to an End

The NFL Lockout was a workforce strike by the players that demanded the CBA be reconstructed and bargining agreements had to be reached. The owners of the teams wanted to pay less and also to add two more games to the NFL regular season. They wanted to do this in order to maximize their profits by having lower wages to pay the players and more games to produce a larger income. However, both sides have to consider their own self-interest and they want to get the most profit out of their careers in NFL. The players also wanted more medical sercurity, this included having a league-sponsored medical plan for life. The players are constantly having to think at the margin because the average NFL career is only 3.3 years. Players have to think how much longer can I continue to play this game, and how much money can get before my career is over. On July 25, 2011, the NFL Lockout was lifted and the players and owners agreed to a new deal that will last for the next ten years.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

“Amazon’s Android Tablet is Coming Soon”

The iPad from Apple was and continues to be extremely popular, selling millions of iPads and pulling in huge revenue for Apple. Every firm’s goal is to maximize profit, and Amazon is doing so by creating an Android Tablet that will compete with the iPad. This tablet is a 7-inch touch-screen, slightly small than that of the iPad, but has additional features that the iPad does not, such as higher resolution. In terms of technology improvements, this device is not significantly more advanced or improved than the iPad, so Amazon will compete with Apple on price. They are going to price the Android Tablet at a lower price than the iPad. Consumers will buy the cheaper product out of their self-interest, and by pricing the Android Tablet at an obviously lower price to grab attention, Amazon hopes to win over consumers’ purchases. Analysts have made predictions that the Amazon will be Apple’s top competitor in tablets, and that the tablet is “going to be a big deal.” As of right now, Apple dominates the tablet market. Other companies such as HP and Blackberry have tried to do what Amazon will be doing, but have failed because their tablets were not able to compete with Apple and had to be taken out of the market. Amazon on the other hand is likely to stay in the market if they “compete on price, content, and commerce,” states Rotman Epps. Amazon plans to price the tablet at a lower price than the iPad, and by lowering the price, they hope demand for their product will go up. This would follow the law of demand which states that as price decreases, demand for the good increases. They hope consumers will notice both the lower price as well as the quality and features the Android Table has to offer.

Trend in jobs in the field of Psychology

In today's economy competition for jobs is extremely high. The demand for jobs is continuously rising while the supply is falling. Perhaps though one career path that is on the up curve is psychology. Several different occupations within this broad field are experiencing an increasing demand for highly trained psychologists to fill the spots. Some of these occupations include career counslors, school psychologists, genetics counslor, or forensic psychologist. On several college campuses now one of the most popular majors is psychology while the modern science of psychology was not even invented until the late 1800's. The higher level of degree that is earned is better for the chances at receiving these interesting jobs.