Archive forOctober, 2013

Minnesota Tobacco Tax Increase a Victory for Public Health

This link shows the benefits of taxation on cigarettes in Minnesota. The benefits shown are an increase in State revenue, less young people starting the habit of smoking, more smokers quitting, and a decrease in cancer. The reason why I posted this article is because unintended consequences are a key theme throughout history and especially in economic history as well. What are some unintended consequences of an increase in cigarette taxes that are not displayed in this article? Is an excessive increase in cigarette taxes a form of prohibition? The basic economic theme of this article is that when the price of cigarettes goes up, the quantity demanded goes down.

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Video on Distribution of Wealth


I found this video and attached article about the distribution of wealth interesting in that it broke down the population to 100 individuals to demonstrate the ideal, understanding, and reality. By doing so, the economic state of America was displayed in a unique way. Although no plan was created to fix this issue, it serves as an education tool to demonstrate the misconception about the wealth distributed in the United States.

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Small Business Benefits from Affordable Care Act

This article by James Surowiecki in The New Yorker argues that the concerns that the affordable care act will raise costs of production for small businesses are unfounded. Surowiecki argues that by making more workers willing to take jobs without employer provided health insurance, Obamacare may lower costs of production for small businesses.

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Price Ceiling in India

This article announces a change in price ceiling in India on pharmaceuticals.  Because of the current state of India’s health care system some of these changes will help people be able to afford necessary medication.

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Halloween spending seen cooling down this year

The National Retail Federation estimated about $1 billion dollars less would be spent this Halloween compared to the $8 billion dollars spent last year. They believe this is caused by a decrease in consumer confidence due to expectations of the economy to drop. In other words, the expectations of a declining economy  has resulted in less consumer spending on recreational goods such as costumes and candy for Halloween.

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Stock markets await U.S. debt, shutdown solution

This article discusses how stock markets are in a lull period as traders wait for more information about government action in response to the shutdown and debt ceiling. This relates to the discussions we had in class about how future trends can determine prices and affect markets.

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IMF on the Gloal Economy

The International Monetary Fund is optimistic, saying that the global economy looks healthier, but still expresses concern over it being weak.


Gasoline prices in Venezuela

Although this article is now a little out of date, it connects the new report on the impact of gasoline subsidies in Venezuela to the in-class assignment on subsidies.


Innovative Success: the Rainbow Loom

This web article outlines the hard work and element of luck behind the popular children’s product the Rainbow Loom. It is an excellent example of innovative success and the creation of a market. It will be a good example for our later discussion of monopoly.

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Elasticity of Milk

Because of government shutdown, the latest Farm Bill has expired. The result of this is the chance of milk prices doubling, which are making consumers looking for an alternative. This is addressed in a video published by Time Magazine

VIdeo Link

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