Charles Edison

"Economics, politics, and personalities are often inseparable." - Charles Edison

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Traditional Sytem

Recently, I have learned about the four economic systems, one of which is the traditional system. The traditional system uses a system of passed down techniques in or order to accomplish their own economic growth. However, this particular system often leads to a stagnant economy. On the other hand, a traditional economy is the original economy from any part of the world. In other words, no country began with a developed economic system. That being said, most countries today with this traditional system have underdeveloped economies. Upon learning about this economic system I became curious if their still remained any purely traditional economic systems. Any traditional system today would most likely focus on agricultural. However, even the small underdeveloped countries are transforming their economies to keep up with the modern changes of society. Although this is true, the idea of a traditional economic system is not extinct. Many indigenous countries such as, Papa New Guinea, Brazil, and other African and Asian countries still practice traditional concepts. Traditional values remain prevalent in these countries, with the understanding that in order to survive they must use some of their production as a mean of commercial use.
But why would these countries still practice these ideas if they are proven less efficient than other economic systems? A traditional economic system has some valuable benefits that can only be achieve by the social nature this type of economy creates. Traditional systems require a group effort among the people. Thus, this system unifies them and nurtures their beliefs and cultures. Unfortunately, in order to survive, the main principle of the traditional system, each person has a set job to perform to keep society running. With less governmental control there is more freedom of thought, so why do the people continue performing the same jobs the same way without question. In my opinion, it’s because they value their cultural practices more than they do an advanced economy and they lack the resources need to make an economy thrive. Though they aren’t the wealthiest of nations, a society with this system can enjoy certain independence without feeling a financial strain.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Obama Rejects Pipeline

Last week Obama rejected the idea of the Keystone Pipeline, which transported oil from Canada to the US. This is hard to understand, considering the pros and cons. Canada has a huge abundance of oil sand reserves and they are wanting to build a pipeline to the US to sell to us. Being in AP environmental science, we have studied different ways of extracting oil, and oil sands are a lot less environmentally detrimental compared to the other possibilities, such as deep sea drilling- which a lot of our oil comes from! It does have its negative impacts however, mostly taking away from the natural beauty by digging up large areas. But the real deal is that if we dont buy it, someone else will. There is a growing demand in energy resources as technology is ruling the world. It is expected that if the US does not buy the oil, that Canada will make an agreement to build a pipeline to China. The only reasons that i have heard about Obama rejecting it is the negative environmental impact. So if thats the only con, let me tell you all the pro’s -- it will help the economy, increase job opportunities, lower oil prices and decrease dependency on the Middle East. Also, if the US wont buy the oil from Canada, TransCanada Corp. says that they will sell it to other countries instead. Therefore rejecting the building of the pipeline to the US will not help the environment; it is inevitable that Canada will sell it to someone else. Along with all of this said, many believe that Obama has only rejected the pipeline for the time being so he doesn’t have to make any big political decisions with the chance that he might loose votes in the upcoming election. As far as I can see, the only ones that would be against this would be radical environmentalists, who usually lean towards a more liberal standpoint. But I think more people would want to see this getting built than not, so I think he would actually gain support, especially considering how rising gas prices will only get worse as the weather warms up and people begin to travel. So are their any other reasons not to build this pipeline that I am missing? And do you think Obama will go back and end up approving it if he is reelected?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rangers Big Gamble

Texas is known for several things, one of them is being home to the Rangers. The Texas Rangers have been the ALCS( American League Championship Series) winner for the past two consecutive years, this leaves fans with high expectations. The owners and managers recognized this and realized that it was crucial to keep their line-up stacked and record filled with W's. They decided that one of the keys to these two goals lived across the globe and was an icon in his country, it was Yu Darvish. Yu Darvish is considered the top pitcher in Japan, at 6ft.5in. and 215 lb., he's not doing too badly for being 25 years old. Rangers managers decided they not only wanted Darvish, they would do whatever was necessary to have him. They settled on a $60 million six year contract. Now the question is , Will he meet expectations? The Rangers have a solid batting line up as well as defense, the only area debatable is pitching. Darvish is expected to be a key element in it's build up after what some consider a huge loss by losing Wilson.

There are many odds against Darvish being successful. He is away from his homeland, dealing with completely new ranges of temperatures, and pitching against a whole new group of players. All three factors could be reasons for his failure, but as a Ranger fan, I am hoping it is all handled easily and Darvish will be a great success while on our team. If not, the Rangers will have suffered a huge opportunity cost which will follow them the next six years.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Finding Value in Higher Education & Marriage

An interesting article on the premiums earned for post-grads and married men highlighted how economists are encouraging men to pursue a degree to increase their income versus their zipped lips on the bonuses that come with marriage and a comparable premium return. Mr. Caplan proceeds to list several possible, semi-thought out reasons possibly explaining how this could possibly happen, using the "you could think" starter to hide behind the fact that his reasons are mediocre. Still, to give Caplan some credibility, he at least takes the time to present counterarguments to the arguments he himself developed. They range from a man's distaste for marriage to the lack of freedom that comes with eternal union.

I am uncertain if there is a positive correlation between marriage and age, yet there is most likely a positive relationship between salary and age. Employers desire experience, and seniority in the workplace more likely than not secures the employee higher wages. That's not to say, however, that all elderly job-seekers are guaranteed work. Caplan brought to light an interesting "discrepancy" that may be explained by means other than economists have established a "double standard." For one thing, there may be a large proportion of single, white males that believe marriage would lead to children. The thought of having kids intimidates the college-grads or high income hopefuls from settling down until they themselves have a steady/larger salary. From another perspective, being married with kids could act as motivation for the male to work harder and secure a better job to provide for his family. A wife may act the same way.

While the statistics lead one to believe that marriage may lead to a higher premium, speculation of divorce, along with alimony, is certainly not encouraging. Also, marriages may be a direct result of a man's income. There is a higher correlation of marriages for men with higher incomes than those who merely "get by." The 44% premium with marriages may be an after-effect to an up-and-coming mate's promotion or line of work.

These points are all speculation, however.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Financing a Higher Education in a Struggling Economy

Prospective and current college students face the dilemma of how to pay for their education because of the decline in the economy. Many college students in fact believe the US economy is doing poorly or is “on the wrong track.” A major concern of many of these students is finding a job after they graduate. These students as well as future students want to see the job situation in the US improve so that they can feel secure. Without such improvement, students will have to accept low paying jobs with no benefits. In addition to their own financial burdens, these students can no longer turn to their parents as much as they use to because their parents are struggling to find work too. However, this does not necessarily mean that students want the government to give them more money, but rather have a deficit reduction in order to help the economy. Some students on the other hand, feel that by the time they graduate there will be available jobs, but they still believe the economy will continue to face big issues even after some are resolved. Basically even though students feel they have future job security they still feel their economy will continue to struggle. Thus, many college students feel the extra money they put into their education will pay off in the long run. As a future college student I am facing this same dilemma as I choose which college to attend considering the economic struggles. Would it be more advantageous to attend a college that cost more but offers a better education than a more affordable school?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Command System

When reading on economic commands systems I realized how detrimental they could be to an economy. I first believed that if the government ran the entire operation, that our country would be stable, with a constant exploitation of rescources. After reading more into the system, I realized that the government would have all power and the people would basically be under control having no working freedom. Each individual would be working for a designated amount that was issued to them by the government. This would become controversial now because each individual person would not have any incentive to finish their own work. Each persons success would depend on others to fullfill their duties as well. This made me realize that the Command system and the Market system are actually polar opposites. The Command system has an absence of private property while there is private property in a market system. I realized that it would take a very strategically planned and developed Command system for the nation to actually succeed and flourish. This made myself question why any nation would convert to this type of economic society when your sole purpose in work is to please the political figure.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Colombia's Production Possibilities

Colombia produces 10% of the worlds coffee, making it the 2nd largest coffee producer in the world (beneath Brazil). If you try to imagine how much coffee is consumed by the average person everyday, you will realize how important coffee production really is to the Colombian economy. Keeping this in mind, Colombia also produces 90% of the worlds cocaine. The Colombian coffee industry is at risk because the opportunity costs of production are increasing. Rising temperatures, unpredictable rainfall and the intensive labor that goes along with producing coffee is making it more and more undesirable to farmers. As a result, farmers have begun to abandon coffee and take on the coca plant, which produces cocaine. The popularity of cocaine production is increasing because of the multi-billion dollar cocaine trade between South America up towards Mexico into the United States. Poverty stricken families have either added coca plants to their coffee farms, or switched over to coca all together. As the popularity of cocaine production in Colombia has increased within the years, the US has given money and supplies to destroy coca crops and aid the government in reducing production. The UN has also invested in coffee to reduce the drug trade. Though these factors might stunt the amount produced, coca will continue to be farmed in Columbia because of money that is entailed. Though coffee is and will continue to be the more popular crop, production continues to be shared with the coca plant. This is sad to see knowing that the out-of-control drug trade is inevitable and there will always be a demand for cocaine. Maybe if other countries continue to help, technology can aid in making coffee farming more efficient to increase production. So pick your stimulant- cocaine or coffee?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Olympic Fraud

It has been discovered that the security director of the 2016 Olympics is being charged with over billing the Brazilian government by 80% four years ago for the Pan American Games. The same man, Luiz Correa, was placed in charge of heading the Olympic security for the 2016 games until the government did its mandatory check over its past finances and discovered the true market prices totaled to $11 million instead of the requested $20 million for the Pan American Games.Correa has not been tried but remains the director of security for the Olympics as was the decision by an Olympic official. The evidence has been collected and given to a federal judge who will determine if the case will go to court. If found guilty Correa will have to pay back the government the amount over billed, a total of $9 million.

This issue can be an example to the world that in an economic downfall that we are currently in we must watch finances carefully. With people being in a desperate state for money even the government must stay on their toes. People are in need for money and are willing to go to endless means to get the money they believe they need. With millions of dollars having been over looked, who knows how much money has been taken without having been discovered. We must all be especially careful with our finances as of late years and as proven by this new discovery in Brazil.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Mitt Romney, the GOP candidate that has essentially locked himself as the front-runner for the Republican party has many potential voters and international markets cocking their heads in anticipation of the alleged flip-flopper seizing the presidency.

He is remarkably non-charismatic for a Republican candidate, yet manages to run one of the most impressive campaigns in recent elections. An Economist article claims Romney is not as much of a buzzer-beater candidate as his party believes. One of its primary arguments is that Romney possesses true business experience, something lacking not only in President Obama, but in the remaining GOP primary candidates as well. This is virtually meaningless. The United States does not need a CEO at the moment: it needs a unifying leader. Unity can lead to legislative progress, and eventually, accomplishment... of anything really. Nevertheless, why are the Republicans continually searching for a replacement for Romney when he presents himself as the professional, the businessman, the job-maker, the no-scandal straight-edge? Could it be because he would claim that the sky was green and the grass was blue if it would help him win an election? His speech is arguably lacking in comparison to President Obama, and his own party has witnessed Romney's lack of "core" beliefs. Strangely, some are in favor of the non-ideological candidate, and voters remain hopeful that his changing stance of an array of issues shows an intelligent man whose ideas and dogmas change and adapt to new policies and social evolution. You can decide if this is true.

While the majority of the party outside his opposition brings his "flip-flop" history to light (X Republican will always be more welcome in the GOP than A Democrat), they should really appreciate his business aptitude more. It could hold the key to a potential win. Still the 2012 election is one of social issues, not economic policy.

With Bain, Romney accomplished a great deal for the company. He generated profits for their shareholders, allegedly created 100,000 jobs, and cut spending. What the American people need to understand is that the Presidency is not a company. In a company, one business succeeds, and the other struggles. One wins, the other loses. A country cannot run in similar fashion. While this may satisfy the "win, win, win" mentality that the GOP seems to idolize and epitomize within the legislative branch, it has no place in a position of leadership that should primarily be supporting compromise and unity.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Effects of Recession on Dentistry

Aspiring to be a dentist, it is important for me to be aware of the effects that our economy has had on the dental industry. The recent recession our country is going through has made a pretty big impact on many dental clinics. Due to these economic changes the business of dentistry has slowed down quite a bit. As our economy slowed down dentists were pushed into running business more professionally. Those dentists who have changed their practices to manage business efficiently have flourished with the economic changes. Others have let the negative effects of recession take a toll on their business. Because fewer new patients are available to the dentists and their current patients leaving the dentists are losing business. Practices losing patients however, are losing them because they are inaccessible to many people. Dentistry can only prolong if the clinics use better marketing strategies to attract new patients and persuade old patients to return. In addition to the lack of patients, many patients are also rejecting treatments, therefore, dentists are losing profit from the few patients they do have. Thus, dentists are losing revenue and are unable to purchase better equipment. People on the other hand always want to improve their smiles. If dentists could convince their patients to accept more treatments they could easily increase their production rates. Unfortunately, dentistry is also declining in production due to the lower reimbursement plans offered by insurance carriers. In order for a dentist to recover from this in our economy they would have to increase noninsurance costumers. Although marketing is necessary for dentists to continue their practices, internal marketing is the best solution. Many dentists are spending way too much of their profits on advertising which is actually damaging their business instead of helping it. Another effect of the recession in our country on dentists is the increasing amount of debt they hold after graduating dental school. This has led to a rising number of regional and national owned dental companies. In this situation more dentists are employees of a practice rather than owning their own. The benefits of company owned practices lie in their ability to be more flexible with their patients. They tend to accept all types of insurance and extend their hours of operation for the patients. This convenience has led to an increase in the number of patients that choose companies over private practices because they do not have to give up as much of their valuable time and money. Private practices will have to offer the best level of customer service in order to compete with these dental companies. The loss in numbers of patients for dentists has occurred primarily because during this time of recession people do not have the extra money saved for a trip to the dentist. In order for dentists to keep their businesses running they have to offer flexible financial plans for their patients. With this loss of profit many dentists will retire much later in life creating other issues within our nation.

Monday, January 16, 2012

College vs. Jobs after graduating high school

In a recent article by Leah Konen, she states how a majority of college graduates are unsuccessful in finding a job after receiving their degree. I find it interesting because it made me contemplate whether or not going to college immediately after finishing high school was going to benefit me later on in life. Obviously this has no affect on my choice of attending college, but for many people, how would going to college after high school benefit them in any way? When they see that the average college graduate is $25,000 in debt and cannot obtain a job to begin their life and begin making money, why would people believe that was the most advantageous choice they could make? But if this were the case then it would be unfortunate for the ones seeking jobs at that time because the high school students whom are now looking for jobs instead of pursuing a degree will be taking up job opportunities for others. This would make our economy have an even stronger need for jobs. Thinking about this was very interesting to me because its a very possible occurrence. I know that there are many people out there who actually pursue this idea and in the long run I do not believe it benefits them. Therefore, in my opinion, it is in a persons best interest to attend college immediately after high school and allow their self to have a plethora of options when deciding their career. Not only will this allow them better career opportunities but it will also allow others to find jobs, while the high school student attend college.