I found this article to be very interesting. Avis Budget Group cut 7% of its workforce, Hertz net income fell 94% in nine months, Advantage Rent a car filed for bankruptcy, and Dollar Thrifty is soon to file for bankruptcy. In a world where many people travel, rental cars can be at high demand. For travelers and businessmen, they will often rent a car after their flight to get them from point A to point B. Rental companies are now keeping cars longer instead of purchasing a new one when it reaches a certain mileage. With heavy use on the rental cars over a short period of time means the rental cars are more likely to have road damage or face maintenance issues. It will be very interesting to see if travelers and rental companies face issues with their cars’ in the future.
In America the going price for the new PS4 is just a mere $399.99, a small number in comparison to what it’s listed in Brazil. It’s sad to say that for many Brazils they’re forced to pay R$3,999, roughly $1,849, for this counsel. This ridiculous pricing isn’t because of price discrimination but rather due to tariffs. In an attempt to eliminate gambling in Brazil, the government decided to heavily tax any item labeled as a “game,” especially ones imported into the country, thus the price of video games has also been affected. Yet regardless of the price, Brazils are still willing to pay the fee which has resulted in Brazil possibly being the “fastest growing games market in the world when it comes to total consumer spending [with an] anticipated growth of +32%[,] way ahead of the global average of +7% and even more compared to the US with +1% and Europe +3%,” says CEO Peter Warman on Newzoo’s website.
To read more regarding this issue, please check out Forbe’s “The PS4 Will Cost More Than $1,800 In Brazil“ article.
According to this Wall Street Journal article the 2014 Super Bowl will be powered by Solar Energy. The Super Bowl this year will be taking place in New York City. At such a high energy event it will be costly to the NFL and the City of New York to power this occasion. According to NFL officials the opportunity cost of further polluting an already highly polluted area does not outweigh having a “green” Super Bowl. Having enough solar energy to power the Super Bowl will take days to save up that amount of energy. New York City officials say that although solar energy is costly it will help the local economy and give a good image to the NFL and New York City. This could influence further Solar Panel use for larger events such as this.
As we learned in class, price floor is a government-imposed price limit on how low a price can be charged for a product. When the government imposes a price restriction on certain products, buyers find they must now pay a higher price for the same product. This causes the consumers to reduce their purchases or drop out of the market entirely. Meanwhile, suppliers find they are guaranteed a new, higher price than they were charging before. Consequently, suppliers increase production. This article talks about the United Nation’s attempt to impose price floor for carbon offsets to help revive the United Nations’ ailing Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). It is interesting to see how price floor method can be imposed in non-materialistic subjects such as carbon offsets. This new attempt will allow investors to build strong carbon-cutting projects especially in developing nations.
This article is about policy changes in Japan concerning the nation’s agricultural sector. Japan has a farming subsidy system in place called “gentan” but the agriculture ministry (with the support of Prime Minister Abe) has announced that the system will be slowly deconstructed and fully abolished by 2018. The system was designed to protect uncompetitive Japanese rice farmers from short turn price changes, but in reality has led to two-thirds of rice paddies to produce nothing while their owners pocketed government funds. The government hopes that ending the subsidy will allow free market competition and cause the price of rice to fall.
This article discusses how the unemployment rate has reached 7% which is the lowest in the last 5 years. This is a sign that the economy is somewhat accelerating. I think it is low right now because we are in the holiday season. The article discusses how during Thanksgiving many more employees are needed to work extra hours for the holidays. If the unemployment rate continues to drop the economy could continue to move upward and better the world market as a whole.
In this article of China’s largest cell phone company, China Mobile, there is a major downside when calls from each of the three cell phone companies (China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom) are made because they have to split the charges evenly since they share 4G licenses. However, there are concerns that China Mobile will become a monopoly since they are far beyond their smaller competition in network subscribers. Worries over China Mobile’s monopoly could push the regulator to make the fees asymmetrical, resulting in a profit for smaller operators. Do you think it is fair for smaller cell phone networks to compete with China Mobile’s lower prices? Or should the Chinese government get involved to tax on the monopoly heavier? Is this similar to Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint’s cell phone market?
Fast food workers are protesting in about 100 US cities, demanding higher pay. See article for more details: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/12/03/248567592/fast-food-workers-cry-poverty-wages-as-mcdonalds-buys-luxury-jet
Though another student posted about the same situation, this is new news as the protests are growing throughout the country. McDonalds bought a luxury jet, which was a major cause in lighting the fire for this protest. This protest is important because if the minim wage is increased, then it may effect the wages of other jobs. Others may demand more wage, which in turn will just bring all prices up, and in conclusion have no difference on those workers lives. This was an argument that, though I do not necessarily support, I have heard previously. Another reason this news is important is because if the minimum wage is increased, it will greatly benefit thousands of people and their families. A solution for not increasing minimum wage in country-wide would be if the employers would be required to pay more to their workers, which they easily can. This may cause protests in other fields that pay minimum wage, though.
As the protests continue to spread, important government decisions will be made.
I found this article and thought it had some very good points, although the demographic in which it is targeting may be very small. I feel that phasing out the usage of cars and progressively using bicycles more will only be effective in rural or rural/urban areas that aren’t auto-centric. The article also touches on other areas where money/energy/fuel will be saved: at the gas pump. It talks about how much money can be reallocated into the economy as opposed to being spent on constantly refueling a car every week or so.
A new online exchangeable currency called Bitcoins have been skyrocketing in value lately. They are a user-to-user currency with no central bank and are freely traded over many online marketplaces. But recently their value has gone from under $100 per Bitcoin to an approximated $1300. What causes these fluctuations? and will this online currency stay at this high price?