Archive forNovember, 2013

Wealth and Education Distribution in the United States

This article talks about the wealth disparity in the US and how hard it is for young people to achieve the financial success their parents had.  It also has a really cool feature where you can type in your zip code and it tells you the average median income and the percent of college graduates living in the area.  Carlisle has a median household income of $52,685 and 30% college graduates putting it in the 58th percentile in the country.

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Onion Trader’s Monopoly

I found an article about a “monopoly” of wholesale traders in India that has caused prices for onions to go up to 90 Rs per Kg. The fault of the increased price is due to a lack of rain as the harvest season approached. However, the reason for the price increasing to high is due to the fact that there are only 1,500 wholesale onion traders. Without enough competition, the supply is more elastic than the demand, thus the sellers can raise prices without worrying that consumers will quickly find alternatives.

 

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-10-23/news/43326545_1_apmc-act-agriculture-produce-marketing-committee-wholesale-traders

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Minium Wage in Germany

 

Unlike most countries, Germany does not have a minimum wage.  Instead wages are usually fixed by management and union organizations.  Now in Germany a minimum wage that is 45 cents above that in the US is being proposed.

 

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Mexican drug cartels move deeper into United States to maximize profits

There are 2 similar articles here on a drug cartel in Mexico. They discuss how the cartels will do anything to increase their profits. The drug cartels have been using violence against enemies or competitors and are now venturing further into the United States, especially by hiring U.S. soldiers to do their kills in the U.S. The “Kingpin” of the cartel has been named the number one public enemy to the city of Chicago. I find it interesting how powerful this drug cartel has become.

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/mexican-drug-cartels-move-deeper-u-s-article-1.1304401

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/drug-cartels-mexico-hire-u-s-soldiers-assassins-article-1.1454851

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Price Floor – Minimum Wage in Malaysia

This article shows how the price floors on the minimum wage in Malaysia affects different individuals and how they feel about it. The graph also provides a visual picture of what is really going on.

http://microarticles04.blogspot.com/2012/10/price-floor-minimum-wage-in-malaysia.html

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Buying Foreign Cars in China

This article from the International Business Times explores the reasons why foreign cars cost so much more in China than they do in the United States. Buying a foreign vehicle in China is an expensive proposition, as illustrated by the fact that a $100k BMW SUV can cost up to $330k in China. Certain critics, such as the state-run Xinhua news agency, blame car manufacturers for the price hikes. These individuals assert that multinational corporations like Volkswagen are exploiting their market dominance to price-gouge wealthy Chinese consumers. On the contrary, car companies point to China’s steep taxes, tariffs, and other charges to explain the outrageous prices of foreign vehicles in China. This is illustrated by the fact that China imposes a 17% import tax for cars while a state like New Jersey charges a mere 2.5%. Either way, Chinese consumers are getting shafted when it comes to purchasing vehicles such as Audis, Mercedes-Benzes, BMWs, etc. Nonetheless, the article claims that China’s newly rich are willing to pay a premium for flashy cars to show off their wealth.

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Diamond Monopoly

This article from the MIT Technology Review discusses how De Beers, the World’s oldest diamond monopoly , is expanding its reign into the synthetic diamond trade. Initially, the company refused to acknowledge synthetic diamonds as viable substitutes to the real thing, however they soon realized that these chemically-indisginuishable “knock offs” have extreme profit potential. Although not as rare or organic, synthetic diamonds can be produced in larger quantities at a fraction of the price of naturally occurring diamonds. Furthermore, diamond is the best thermal conductor on the planet, making it an excellent material for the manufacturing of microchips. De Beer intends on becoming the dominant supplier of synthetic diamonds for the production of diamond microchips that can run ultra-hot without a conventional cooling system. Having embraced the fact that synthetic diamonds are the way of the future, De Beers has decided to to conquer the entire realm of diamond production.

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The Implications of The U.S. Being the World’s Largest Producer of Natural Gas

This NPR article describes the implications of the U.S. being the world’s largest producer of natural gas, both domestically and internationally. It provides information on how the U.S. has been able to produce more natural gas than ever before, resulting in natural gas becoming much more affordable. It also provides some information on its exportation (or lack of), and what this means for international parties interested in U.S. natural gas. The article also has several graphs visually representing information about natural gas production over time, natural gas prices, and countries with the largest shale gas reserves.

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Sleeplees Nights

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21589459-after-decade-long-boom-emerging-markets-have-flopped-and-then-bounced

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The Economics of Sexual Inequality

This article from The Economist discusses how the failure of many third world countries to educate girls is a wasted resource.  The author points out that reducing sexual inequality, especially in terms of education, will provide many benefits, including improvements in female health and a decrease in child mortality.  However, there are no incentives in many of these countries to improve girls’ education.  In Uganda, for example, females comprise the majority of the agricultural workforce, so families put their daughters to work in order to support the family income.  However, this is only beneficial in the short term.  There is a greater incentive to keep boys in school, since educated males are more sought after in the job market than are educated females.

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