Thursday, February 22, 2018

Are We at Full Employment?

Are We at Full Employment?
Bella Dettlaff

We have reached Full Employment. As of 2018, the United States is arguably close to full employment for all citizens in America. When citizens and economists communicate on full employment, that doesn’t mean that you can cut unemployment to zero and that does not mean that everyone has a job. In that case, if unemployment falls too much then inflation will rise as employers will compete to hire workers and push up wages too fast. In other words, the real definition of full employment is that unemployment has fallen to the absolute lowest possible level that would not cause inflation.

According to the The Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report, it showed that for nearly about a full year straight, the unemployment rate has remained under 5%. That’s praiseworthy. This is considering the interesting fact that unemployment rate has exceeded 10% during the grand height of the recession. Now, in the recent days, some are saying the constant streak of low unemployment says that the country has reached a big post-recession goal: full employment, which many economists will define as the point where everyone who wants a job has one. This is then essentially, how economists ask whether this is as good as it gets for labor markets. But is America really there yet?

I believe that yes. Yes, the United States is currently at full employment. I believe that they should declare that we are in full employment or that we are at the optimal position. This is because there are economic consequences to calling it too early or too late but I believe that it is the correct time to call it. In theory it would occur when unemployment is as low as it could go. Like stated, the labor market is employing everyone, all citizens who wants to work, but the supply-and-demand dynamics have not yet shifted in a way that causes wages and prices to rise. As teengaers, it’s time to search for that after school, weekend job. This is because employers are willing and wanting to hire all who are willing to work and do their job. Us as teenagers and even citizens older than young adults should be searching for that job as employers will be willing to hire you. So although there has not been a full declaration of the full employment, the United states is there! Teenagers and all who want a job and are willing to work and do what has to be done, should. It’s the time.

Works Cited
Crook, Clive. “Full Employment.”, Bloomberg, 10 Apr. 2015,

Leubsdorf, Ben. “Economists Think the U.S. Economy Is At or Near Full Employment.” The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, 11 Jan. 2018,

White, Gillian B. “Full Employment: Are We There Yet?” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 27 May 2017,

The Macroeconomics of Valentine’s Day

The Macroeconomics of Valentine’s Day
Janie Xue

As with every major holiday, Valentine’s Day is characterized by a boom in consumer spending.  Couples are splurging on fancy dinners, chocolate sets, and flower bouquets; single individuals buy gifts for family, friends, or themselves. Everyone is buying something --  and this dramatic increase in spending results in significant economical impact.

Valentine’s Day spending has been on the rise. The National Retail Federation estimated that Americans were to spend $19.6 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2018, with the average consumer
paying about $145. The increase the spending could be partially attributed to the wealth effect. Price levels of popular Valentine’s Day goods -- candy, flowers, greeting cards -- have remained relatively stable, allowing consumers to have more purchasing power. The increase in purchasing power in turn causes consumers to spend more. Additionally, America has been in the expansion phase of the business cycle, offering more confidence to consumers as a result and encouraging a more expensive night out.

The holiday is a clear contribution to our gross domestic product, which is calculated based on expenditures largely consisting of consumer spending. When consumers are spending more and saving less on Valentine’s Day, our GDP benefits. The effects of the holiday spending are further amplified by our current low interest rates.

The infographic displays consumers’ top spending categories. Even non-celebrants will be participating  For the full chart of consumer spending statistics on Valentine's Day, visit

Works Cited
Amadeo, Kimberly. “Shoppers Feeling the Love This Valentine's Day.” The Balance,

FEBRUARY 4, 2016 | FINRA STAFF. “Love, Romance and Dollars: The Economics of Valentines Day.” Love, Romance and Dollars: The Economics of Valentines Day | FINRA.Org, 18 Jan. 2018,

Kurtzleben, Danielle. “CHARTS: The Economics of Valentine's Day.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report,

McCarthy, Niall. “The Key Consumer Spending Trends On Valentine's Day [Infographic].” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 9 Feb. 2018,

The Rise of the Student Loan Interest Rates

The Rise of the Student Loan Interest Rates
By Kate Majeskie

It is not a secret that secondary education can cost an individual their lifelong savings and more. Most students are dependent on being granted loans to pay for college, even in addition to government financial aid and merit scholarships. In fact, the average American student graduates college with about $25,000 in student loan debt, meaning they will have to pay about $280 each month over a 10-year period (“Budgeting”). Now, what some people might dismiss is the interest rate for student loans repayments. With that same statistic in mind, remember that the student still has to pay back that interest amount as well. According to a financial website called College in Colorado Money 101, student loan interest rates are - on average - 6.8% (“Budgeting”). Paying back an initial loan for college plus that whopping 6.8% interest rate is hefty, which is why it is important to understand the economy at large, as well as the interest rate effect. In addition, knowing how aggregate supply and demand impacts the nation’s purchasing power after college is crucial, simply because the interest rate of the student loan is continuing to rise. This is negativity for individuals that have passion for learning and a personal need to attend a secondary education institute.

As just previously mentioned, we all know that college is insanely expensive and it needs to be paid for somehow. Yes, parents, financial aid, and scholarships help, however, that is not nearly enough help in 2018. As of January 2018, there are “44.2 million Americans with student loan debt” (“A Look”). The numbers are skyrocketing, and the interest rates are following that trend as well. For example, according to an article on TIME Magazine’s website, “The interest rate for undergraduate students is 4.45% for the 2017-18 school year, up from 3.76% for the current year. Graduate students can borrow at a rate of 6%, up from 5.31%. And for graduate students and parents who take out PLUS loans, the interest rate will be 7%, up from 6.31%” (Mulhere). See the image to the for a visual representation of the increasing rates. These numbers are staggering and the interest rate effect states that the borrowing cost is increasing because the price level of the economy is increasing, but students need the loans at that moment to afford their education. There is not waiting or holding back, which can be a difficult situation during a certain point in the nation’s economic state.

According to an article published on CNBC, “Inflation is accelerating and may well push interest rates higher, allowing the fed to move policy rates three times this year, and perhaps even four” (Dickler). While the United States economy is doing better than in previous years, young adults are not looking forward to paying a potential 6.0%+ interest rate after already spending thousands on college alone. However, due to demand for education and the fact that many careers require post secondary education, people consider it a necessity to pay these increasing interest rates even though, according to aggregate demand, their money is not going as far. You see, if the government and banks increase their interest rates on student loans, the aggregate demand curve will actually shift leftwards (see image) simply because the consumer’s money is not going as far. This is called a demand shock. According to an ACDC video specialized in aggregate demand, Mr. Clifford states that when this happens, it is due to inflation, meaning that the price level is increasing and people do not want to spend as much (ACDC). However, students will spend that money because they want to succeed post high school and post college.

Student loans are a hassle, and these increasing 6%+ interest rates do not help these poor college students. There needs to be a sudden change in these rates because as the price level begins to increase more, those interest rates will do the exact same. Borrowing money for college is not the same as borrowing money for a material good; it is a necessity for some and the interest rate effect is not helping for the overall aggregate demand of the nation’s individuals seeking further education.

Works Cited 
ACDC Leadership. “Macro 3.1 - Aggregate Demand Practice.” YouTube, 2 May 2014, https://

“A Look at the Shocking Student Loan Debt Statistic for 2018.” Student Loan Hero, 24 Jan. 2018,

“Budgeting for Student Loan Repayment.” CollegeInvest, 2012, Articles/Budgeting-for-Student-Loan-Repayment.aspx.

Dickler, Jessica. “What You Need to Know About Rising Interest Rates.” CNBC, LLC., 17 Feb. 2018, rates.html.

Mulhere, Kaitlin.  “The Rate for Undergraduate Student Loans Is About to Climb to 4.45%.” TIME Inc., 11 May 2017, -increase-2017/.

Economics of the Shamrock Shake

Economics of the Shamrock Shake
Hailey Johnson

As winter begins to fade, there is an indisputable excitement that clearly indicates Spring is approaching: the release of the McDonald's Shamrock shake. This famous minty-flavored drink has been an popular item on the seasonal menu, reappearing in the market every late February to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The shake first appeared in the 1970’s being called the St. Patrick’s Day Shake. However, as the name was not catchy enough, Mcdonald’s took an alternative approach and renamed the drink the Shamrock Shake. And, due to high marketing and advertising, using sayings like “back for a limited time”, a variety of people began noticing this seasonal treat. Since more than 33 million Irish-American people in the United states celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, according to a senior writer, John Kiernan, there will be more of an incentive for them to buy the green drink as it corresponds with the very festive holiday. Therefore, as the Shamrock Shake sporadically makes its way back into the Mcdonald’s menu, people will fall into temptation and buy as many Shamrock Shakes as they can before they are gone until 2019.

As the popularity of the shake increases, the consumer spending brings us into the economics. Since the most important factor of consumer spending is made up of a person’s disposable income, this gives people the opportunity to make choices on what they spend their money on. Specifically, since the popular shake is a highly-anticipated item - being in demand for months before the release of the shake - people are willing to spend their current disposable income on this product. While the shake is only at a low price of $2, its seasonal aspect only gives consumers so much time before it disappears from the Mcdonald’s menu once again. Since the item is so scarce and supply is low, the demand of the product is extremely high. Even if aspects change of a person’s income, causing their disposable income to either increase or decrease, the scarcity of the shake may still be enough for consumer to spend their money on the delicious minty treat.

People all over the nation are anxiously waiting for the Shamrock Shake to arrive at their local Mcdonald’s. Due to the popularity around the item, people would be willing to spend their disposable income on the product, ultimately increasing the country’s GDP for a short amount of time whether they know it or not.

Works Cited
Harvey, Olivia. “When is the Shamrock Shake Coming Back?” Hello Giggles, 15 Feb. 2018.

Kirnan, John. “St. Patrick’s Day Facts.” Wallet Hub, 9 Mar. 2017.

Mcdonald, Andy. “Here’s Everything you Want to Know About the Shamrock Shake.” Huffpost, 6 Dec. 2017.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Super Prices

Super Prices
Jack Doubek

As the end of the professional football season draws to an end, the USA receives one of the largest spending days of the year, the Super Bowl. An event this large is no joke and plays a major role on the country’s GDP for the entire year. Not only is there an enormous amount of hype leading up to the big game, but football fans across the country stock up on millions of chicken wings, beverages, and lots of other necessities to throw a good Super Bowl party. Even if they aren’t watching the game at a party, restaurants are packed with fans. The average Super Bowl related consumer spending has almost doubled from 8.71 billion dollars in 2007 to 15.3 billion in 2018. 

Not only do stores and restaurants make an huge profit on Super Bowl Sunday, it one of the biggest days for TV advertisements. With an estimated over 100 millions viewers of the game, it is the best chance for companies to get their word out and attract new or returning customers for their products. But getting all these viewers for an advertisement doesn’t come without a super price. Since Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002, advertisement prices have more than doubled for a 30 second commercial from 2.3 million dollars to a whopping 5 million in 2018.

With all of the prices from food to advertisements to tickets rising dramatically over the past few years, what is the cause? Besides the high demand and low amount of tickets creating scarcity among fans, some say that it is due to our economy. According to NBC News, the high costs for Super Bowl tickets is caused by the “low unemployment and a booming economy…”, creating more “Americans willing to splurge…” (Spector). Due to the growing GDP of America, people are making more money and more willing to spend on Super Bowl Sunday. Not only are people able to pay for higher for tickets and buy more food, but businesses are able to pay more for an advertisement on the one day a year where some people admit that they watch television for the commercials. So while we wait for the Green Bay Packers to get their act together and get to the Super Bowl again so us Wisconsinites can actually care about the game, the numbers will continue to rise as long as America’s economy continues to grow and we care about the real kind of football.

Works Cited

All products require an annual contract.    Prices do not include sales tax    (New York residents only). “Super Bowl 30-Second Ad Costs 2002-2018 | Statistic.” Statista,

Gordon, John Steele. “The Super Bowl and the GDP .” Commentary Magazine, 30 June 2015,

Spector, Nicole. “Has the Booming Economy Led to Pricier Super Bowl Tickets This Year?”, NBCUniversal News Group, 4 Feb. 2018,

“Super Bowl Consumer Spending 2007-2017 | Statistic.” Statista,

Staff, Marketplace. “5 Things You Need to Know about the Super Bowl Economy.”Marketplace, Marketplace,

The Power of Social Media

The Power of Social Media
Calista Bulacan

Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are all phone applications that are the social media powerhouses in the United States. With almost 81% of the nation having at least one form of social media and 98% being connected to wifi, these applications are more accessible than ever. What started as a way to connect people, now has transitioned into an aggravating game for users between social media platforms and advertisers. Recently, ads have started to take on a greater role in all of the big name apps. There are now advertisements between stories on snapchat, advertisements that are disguised as posts on instagram and paid marketing on Youtube and Twitter. The advertisements are a smart way to make money for companies, but can become a hindrance on the enjoyment of these platforms by the general public.

When scrolling through Snapchat stories, the user generally is not looking for anything other than becoming informed on what friends are up to. However, when a movie advertisement pops up, it can form one of two reactions. Either the user will become interested in the said advertisement and then in return, the movie will receive a larger profit when it is released or the user will simply click past and forget it ever even was on the screen. Ignoring the latter of the two reactions, advertising on social media platforms is actually a smart move. With over 600 million Instagram users, billions of Youtubers and 300 million Snapchat users, the companies can reach a good population of people. Even if only a small percentage of users actually become interested in the advertised product, that still is a profit they otherwise would not of been able to earn.

From 2014 to 2017, it is estimated that the advertising revenue on social media platforms has increased by 23.1 billion dollars. This positive relationship between the apps and the advertisers may actually keep some apps able to continue to cater to their many users. The more users that start using an app, the higher the demand is for applications to continue updating and improving. The advertisers must pay to have their products featured on the application which can help fund the cost of keeping the company from sinking as well as help make an overall profit. This advertising then will bring the possibility of new consumers and, in turn, help make the business make a profit as well. This is a mutually beneficial relationship, that really only can be a negative for the consumers themselves as a third party.

This benefit, though, prompts companies to make internet even more accessible around the world. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is trying to make internet more accessible in parts of the world where internet connectivity rates are relatively low. In fact, only about 2.8 billion people out of 7.2 billion people in the world have internet access. He plans to implement balloons and drones that will bring free or extremely cheap wifi to the less technically advanced countries. This would help people who never had the option to be online and also encourage technological innovation. On top of this, however, advertisements would be able to become even more widespread than they currently are.

I agree that advertisements are annoying when I am just trying to catch up on what my friends are doing. Yet, those couple seconds of my time used to watch that ad are indirectly helping people around the world gain internet access and have a better quality of life.

Works Cited
Evans, Chris. “98 Percent of Americans Are Connected to High-Speed Wireless Internet.” National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives and Records Administration, 25 Mar. 2015,

Silva, Joao Fernandes. “The Economics of Social Media.” The Market Mogul, 23 Apr. 2017,

“U.S. Population with a Social Media Profile 2017.” Statista, 2018,

Video link to “Social Media Advertising” on Youtube:

Trump's Major Impacts

Trump’s Major Impacts
Alex Kraussel

After winning the election in 2016, Donald Trump looked to “Make America Great Again”. But what has he really done? When looking at the statistics, he has had a yuuuuuge impact on the stock market. The S&P 500 was at a decrease right before Trump was elected, but after, it was at a major increase. It had increased around 550 points. Not only has the S&P 500 risen, but the whole stock market in general. The market has hit record highs ever since Trump was elected. Last month in January, the market had been thriving. Although, it has hit a bit of a wall. High interest rates and inflation are to blame. This has been a problem on notice for a little while now. But it is finally being realized that this problem is real and happening.

Not only did Trump help the stock market, but he has brought unemployment down to a record low too. It is current
ly at 4.1%. This is the lowest in recorded U.S. history. This is also a huge deal because this was one of the topics Trump had promised during his campaign. This has also lead to a tax break, saving many less wealthy families extra money that they can utilize for basic needs.

To close, I believe that people should put their grievances against trump aside and give him a chance. He may not be the best person personality wise (based on opinion), but he sure has done a lot for our economy and market. Personally, I believe that he has had more benefits on our country than drawbacks. I also think that he is a great leader for us. He is one of the first presidents who tells it how it is, and I really admire that about him.

Works Cited

 Chu Economics Editor, Ben. “What Has Donald Trump Achieved for the US Economy 12 Months after Winning the Presidency?” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 8 Nov. 2017,

Shen, Lucinda. “Trump Loves Taking Credit for Stock Market. Other Presidents Did Better.”Fortune, 8 Nov. 2017,
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