Archive forSection 01

Fast food protests

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.

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Financial savings from cows

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21587226-cattle-may-be-terrible-investment-decent-savings-vehicle-udder-peoples Cows are highly valued in India.

Many people have cows here, particularly in the rural areas, and much less so in the cities. Regardless, this is not only because cows are valued religiously in the Hindu culture, but also because they are used as a form of savings. Cows are very valuable because they can produce milk, dung, and calves. Of course, they can also be expensive to take care of.

Economic myopia discusses how people often impulsively spend money rather than saving it. In other words, spending is much easier than saving. One of the major reasons cows are used in India as a form of ‘savings’ is that a cow is not cash. Of course, if one sells the cow, he will earn money for it, but the cow itself is not bills of Indian rupees piled up.  People can also become attached to their cows (like pets), so trading it for money has more psychological affects than just spending money. It is harder for someone to sell their cow than to just spend, and this is a huge reason as to why cows are used as a form of savings (instead of money).

Similar things are done in other countries. Some people use their sheep, goats, horses, etc as forms of savings. Others save gold and silver jewelry, pass it down within generations, as a form of savings.

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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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Effects of Technology on Supply and Demand Curves

This article talks about how technology impacts and changes the equilibrium price point, supply shifts, types of goods and other firms. It summarizes what we have been talking about in class really well.

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/effects-technology-supply-demand-curves-30626.html

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Chocolate Prices Soar in Dark Turn

This article discusses how the shift in consumer preference, from milk chocolate to dark chocolate, affects the chocolate supply and demand curves. Recently there has been a higher demand for cocoa beans which causes the price of chocolate bars to increase. The switch towards dark chocolate could come as a result of the health benefits that dark chocolate provides compared to milk chocolate. It requires more cocoa beans to produce dark chocolate which impacts the resources required to make the chocolate bars. The article touches on how this will impact major chocolate companies (mainly Hershey) and how they will respond to the new demand.

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3D Scales Up

http://www.economist.com/news/technology-quarterly/21584447-digital-manufacturing-there-lot-hype-around-3d-printing-it-fast

This article “3D Scales Up”, found in The Economist peaked my interest after reading an article in The Dickinsonian’s most recent investment in a 3D printer last year.    The world’s leading manufacture, GE is using the 3D printer in many areas of the company from energy to health care.  GE is using proprietary technology because it is providing them with the competitive advantage against other manufacturing companies.  A quote from within the article states, “3D printing is not competing with conventional manufacturing, but is hybridizing with it”.  China’s increased interest in the 3D printing has led them to upgrading their manufacturing technologies as well.  Their ambitions are great and may have a few advantages based on their low labor costs and material production cost.  When China begins to use these 3D printers at a greater scale it will surely give them the comparative advantage at selling goods for a much lower price.  However, the United States will be able to hold their own.  Although the products from printing will be at a higher cost, by using higher quality material, the U.S. will have a quality comparative advantage over China.   An example of this would be if a hospital is looking to invest in a new MRI machine and there are two products, one from China and one from the U.S.  China is willing to sell their product at a much lower cost, but a company such as GE is willing to sell a much better quality.  In this case, a hospital would choose GE because of the importance of the accuracy of this machine used health care today.

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