Thursday, May 17, 2018

Macy's is Closing

Macy’s is Closing
By,
Megan Willborn

Macy’s has been in business since 1858, and is one of the oldest stores the U.S has to offer.  The store’s long run history all began with $11.06 in sales, and led to becoming one of the world’s largest retailers.  However, it's all coming to an end.  Macy’s has been struggling for a while ever since 2015.  Online shopping has dominated the retail market, pushing brick-and-mortar businesses out of it’s way.  Since then they have closed more than 100 stores across the nation resulting in over 5,000 jobs loss.  11 of those are expected to close this year in 2018.  That is 15% of all their stores.  

Amazon surpassed Macy’s stock in 2015, and stayed on top  The internet age has left  American’s without a need to go to stores anymore.  Everything they need can be sent by drones to their doorsteps.  Look at these graphs.  Macy’s is nowhere close to amazon's profits.  Amazon has managed to surpass Macy’s stock in 2015, and ever since has been on top.  This shows how the online era is making brick-and-mortar businesses worry.  Through the century, businesses showed their growth as a company by building more stores.  Now, that is meaningless when a entire store can be compacted into a website.  Lately many large retailers have been closing their stores due to the rise of the internet age.  
Macy’s is not done for however.  The retailer is worth $6.4 billion, but owns more than $16 billion in real estate.  They have been slowly selling off parts of their estate ever since 2015.  Even though it may seem terrible for the company to e selling off parts of their business, they are saving over $300 million in annual expensive.  By shutting down stores early, Macy’s saves money and it helps them transition more quickly to becoming a online market.

Sources:
Bowman, Jeremy. “Why Macy's Is Closing Even Profitable Stores.” The Motley Fool, The Motley Fool, 21 Jan. 2017

Thomas, Lauren. “Here Are the Stores Macy's Is Closing Next.” CNBC, CNBC, 4 Jan. 2018

This is America

This is America
Connor Vogt
Whether you’ve heard of Donald Glover a.k.a Childish Gambino through song or through his many roles in the art of television entertainment. You might also know him for his grammy nominated show Atlanta. But recently he came out with a music video titled “This is America.” Pulling out over a million views in just seven hours. Currently after nine days reaching a very impressive 100 million views. Which consisted of explicit images, gun violence, tropical dancing, choir singing, and touchy subjects. In this song Gambino travels through a chaos infested party dome where a lot and I mean A LOT is going on. Too much to try to recap in this blog post.

There had been, to be sure, an alternative vision embodied in the word “America,” one that placed an emphasis on ideals like universal liberty and equality of justice under the law, but this lofty mirage had never managed to shy away from the matter of its implication in the violence of American racism. Created by guns, overflowing with guns, America had always been a sort of rhetorical weapon.What the Trump campaign and election signaled was an abolition of all alternative Americas, the permanent reduction of the nation to a weapon directed at people whose skin is not pale. In the video, when Glover stages the murder of a black guitarist and a black church choir, it’s not a white policeman pulling the trigger, but Glover himself, and after each killing he resumes his dancing with the same uplifting energy and his rapping with the same assured flow, as if nothing had happened.

Also with his different flows, on particularly stands out as this new “wave” of hip hop’s Lil’s “mumble rap” which stands out as him possibly mocking the way rap is portrayed right now. Donald Glover coming from middle class and using lyrics like “gun you down” and talking about his mexican drug supplier is all intentional. Instead of talking about his personal life he’d rather get the audience to focus more on what he is saying and the many problems he is trying to reach and push.

Overall this gruesome and exciting/powerful video has indefinitely raised some eyebrows on current topics that most artist won’t touch on especially the creative way Childish Gambino layed out. With his creative mind and team Donald Glover in my opinion put together the most controversial and well put together work of art in a very long time and has grabbed people’s attention to some of the topics America wants to shy away from. 


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Trump's Economy

Trump’s Economy
William Seif

Governments hold vital assets needed to sustain any healthy economy. There isn’t any successful countries without laws, and regulations that support a “free market”-meaning prices are decided by suppliers. However, these aren’t truly “free” but somewhere in the middle because without government interference monopoly’s and other negative influences on the economic infrastructure. That’s why it’s important to keep up with politics because representative can propose bills that can benefit the economy. Recently, Trump has established a new tax plan which will affect the economy in that it’ll send it in a expansionary motion.

   This graph depicts the effect of Trump’s plan made on the economy. Programs like Obama-Care has also bid cut, and demolished which adds more to the federal budget. These economic decisions are beneficial because they’ll lead to interest rates lowering. This aids with small business, and the working class by making it easier to take out loans. The actions of Trump’s party boosted his support but these were reversed by bad press about recent scandals. Also, decisions made with foreign relations have increase the tension in middle east causing friction that’ll result in conflict. These can lead to economic downfall into a trough in where consumers have less money, and employers are forced to cut people leading to increase in unemployment. Lastly, Trump Tax plan is good for the economy while his other decisions aren’t as good.

The Harmful Effects of Yang's Universal Basic Income

The Harmful Effects of Yang’s Universal Basic Income
Matt Wildman

Recently a newcomer to the political scene, Andrew Yang, has announced that he will be running in the 2020 presidential campaign on the democratic platform. While a new candidate is relatively boring news, Yang’s entire campaign rests on his idea to “implement a Universal Basic Income, ‘the Freedom Dividend,’ of $1,000/month, $12,000 a year for every American adult between 18 and 64”(The Freedom Dividend). Universal Basic Income, referred to as UBI from here on out, isn’t a particularly new idea. But it has been gaining some traction within particularly left leaning groups because of recent advances in automation.

Yang’s believes that implementing UBI is necessary because according to him automation will upset America’s economy by displacing enough workers to cause either a significant depression or at the very least more poverty. Here’s the catch that Yang likes to brush over though, a conservative estimate of the number of eligible citizens is 201,945,890(U.S. Census Bureau). Which means that the cost of implementing his UBI is about 202 billion usd a month or $2.43 trillion annually. That number is over half the total U.S. federal budget last year and more than four times the annual military spending. To put that into perspective, if the U.S. Government were to cut all subsidies and spending in: Medicare and Health, Military, Food and Agriculture, Education,Transportation, Science and Environmental efforts then there would be just enough money to implement UBI, assuming there was still a country left to give it to and no government overhead.

So something's got to give obviously, and that “thing” is that Yang proposes a 10% VAT in order to cover about a third of the UBI costs. He has yet to state how he will get the rest of the money. For those that don’t know, VAT stands for value added tax and functions essentially the same as a sales tax, but with the producer paying the tax instead of the consumer. The effects of such a tax are quite simple, prices of goods and services affected will go up in price by about 10%, or more accurately, the supply graph in a supply and demand graph will shift upwards resulting in a new equilibrium price that in this case will be about 10% higher.


Value added taxes are dangerous for several reasons. First of all, they are hidden from consumers. If you or I went to buy gas there is no way for us to know whether the government is taking 5% of our purchase or 20% despite still having to pay that amount of money. Secondly, VAT is regressive since it is a consumption based tax meaning that you are hurt more the poorer you are. Considering that this tax is supposed to fund a program to help poor people that seems a bit backwards to me. Additionally, taxes beyond a certain level have been proven to reduce economic growth(Gale) which means that the quality of life overall will not increase as quickly as it has in past, potentially leading actually worse conditions for Americans even with an extra $1000 in their pocket every month. Unfortunately the economic effects of a rise in taxation as extreme as this one is unstudied, but they will for sure be harmful to the economy.

Yang hopes that the economic benefits of automation and more spending money for low income groups will offset the tax burden, but even optimistic economists are quite uncertain about the effects of UBI since the trials in Canada and Scotland are under a year old and the trial by the Finnish government only targeted unemployed citizens There are a couple of other problems theorized to be inherent to UBI that I haven’t mentioned yet. For one, the inflation of prices for staple goods and services such as food and housing is likely to increase as an increase in disposable income could shift the demand curve to the right. Unemployment would also decrease significantly since UBI is a disincentive to work. This unemployment means we produce less as a country, meaning we have less money, making UBI even harder to pay for.

Finally consider immigration problems. What will certainly happen if the U.S. were to start giving all people “free” money? We become an immigration hotspot for everyone, which means that the smart and productive potential immigrants are less likely to get in and we will be flooded with immigrants that provide no value. Additionally, the increased taxes will cause companies and people capable of moving away to do that. Without the rich paying the taxes the government would have to increase taxes more, causing more people to move away, eventually ending up with a situation like Chicago; and let me tell you, the U.S. does not want to emulate Chicago.


Works Cited
“File:TaxWithTax.svg.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TaxWithTax.svg.
Gale, William G., and Andrew A. Samwick. “Effects of Income Tax Changes on Economic Growth.” Brookings, Brookings, 8 Aug. 2016, www.brookings.edu/research/effects-of-income-tax-changes-on-economic-growth/.
“The Freedom Dividend.” Andrew Yang for President, Andrew Yang, www.yang2020.com/policies/the-freedom-dividend/.
“U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: UNITED STATES.” Census Bureau QuickFacts, 2018, www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045217.

Do Professional Sports really affect the economy?

Do professional sports really affect the United States economy?

May 2018 by Alex Clementi, Pewaukee High school Junior

What would result if professional sports and the sport industry discontinued all leagues and competition? How would the economy be impacted if this world of competition was destroyed?

Despite popular belief, the sports industry a major contributor to the United States economy and contributes to the employment rate immensely.  “The sports industry as a whole brings roughly $14.3 billion in earnings a year”(Burrow). The counted $14.3 billon does not even include the  indirect economic gain caused by various sporting events for example, Super Bowl Sunday which is the second largest food sale day in the country, right behind Thanksgiving. “The industry also contributes 456,000 jobs with an average salary of $39,000 per job”(Burrow). With these towering numbers of sales throughout each sports season, a loss of professional sports would send the United States into an economic hole. The thousands of jobs created due to these large sports events such as, security, food vendors and event planners. Not only are thousands of jobs created through professional sports, but millions of tourist dollars are brought in every year to cities around the United States. For example, “In 2010, the New York City Marathon boosted the city’s economy to the tune of $340 million.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the Chicago Cubs generate $600 million annually for the state of Illinois”(Depta).  Without these professional sports  and live events the United States economy would be set to decline and thousands of people would be out of their jobs. Local businesses would also lose money because with these large events fans are bound to buy souvenirs and products from these local companies. Overall, professional sports are way more than an overpaid athlete throwing a ball, it is an economic powerhouse that the United States continues to benefit from again and again. 


Works Cited
Burrow, Gwen. “Not Just a Game: The Impact of Sports on U.S. Economy.” Emsi, 9 June 2017, www.economicmodeling.com/2013/07/09/not-just-a-game-the-impact-of-sports-on-u-s-economy/.
Depta, Laura. “12 Ways Sports Make a Positive Impact.” Bleacher Report, Bleacher Report, 12 Apr. 2017, bleacherreport.com/articles/2347988-12-ways-sports-make-a-positiveimpact#slide0.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Shortage of Nurses

Shortage of Nurses
Abby Fox

Whenever you go to the hospital, you taken care of by the nurses long before you meet with the doctor. They give you shots at your doctors office, they check up on you and make sure you are okay, and many argue that they are the backbone of the healthcare system. During the past few years, the healthcare system has been in crisis mode trying to fill the open slots in their offices and hospitals; and with the high job growth projection it should be easy to fill the slots.

The cause for such a shortage is because the age of the nurses. Many are apart of the baby boom generation and they are now starting to retire. The reason that this is such an issue is because they are retiring in the masses and there aren’t enough applicants and graduates to fill the spots; yet colleges are still turning away perfectly good applicants who are more than qualified. Since there are so many professionals retiring all around the same time, that is why it is such a job crisis. According to CNN Money, there are about 3 million nurses around the country and by 2022, there needs to be 1 million more. Colleges cannot have all of hopefuls applying to nursing school because there aren’t enough teachers to teach them.

The supply and demand for nurses is so great due to the rise of the population and the job growth rate of 40% in the coming years. The reason so many people gravitate towards nursing is because of the scheduling and they get to help people. In the graph, it shows the supply and demand curve for nursing. It explains that by 2020, there will be a shortage of over 800,000 RN’s across the country. This along with NP’s and other specialty nurses, the growth rate will continue and the demand will try to be met.

All in all, there are more nurse openings then there are nurses which can cause issues down the line when it comes to employment rates and job openings. Luckily, there are more and more colleges that are opening nursing schools and giving more opportunities for the roles to be filled in the hospitals and the offices. 


Works Cited
America, In. “Amid US Nursing Shortage, Colleges Reject Thousands of Applicants.” CNNMoney, Cable News Network, money.cnn.com/2018/04/30/news/economy/nursing-school-rejections/index.html.
“Nursing Shortage Will Continue to Pinch Hospital Margins.” Modern Healthcare, www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20180307/NEWS/180309921.

The Avengers: Infinity War’s Effect on Marvel’s Success

The Avengers: Infinity War’s Effect on Marvel’s Success
Lauren Wroblewski

Recently, Avengers: Infinity War has been spreading through theaters across the world. Fans have been waiting years for this movie to arrive and finally, the time has come. It was known that the theaters would be filled on opening night, and its budget recieved $106 million Friday, April 27. As people continue to visit the theaters to see the Avengers in action, Marvel’s budget continues to increase. As Marvel continues to grow, the demand for merchandise will increase and supply will decrease. Due to their high grossing films, merchandise has been a huge hit in every store. Children want toys of their favorite hero and fans would want apparel and collectibles. As the popularity of Infinity War increases, products will keep up their prices until it dies down, which causes elasticity. The Law of Demand states that consumers will buy more of a good when its price is lower and less when the price is higher, so when the popularity of the movie decreases in time, prices will decrease and consumers will buy more of that product. This will still benefit Marvel greatly since their franchise is so large and they’re still releasing movies.

Photo: https://wall.alphacoders.com/big.php?i=857340

Marvel started off in financial ruin, and as stated by Mark Savage, “The comic book market crashed in 1993, thanks to a glut of underwhelming titles, and a crisis of confidence amongst collectors. Sales dropped by 70 per cent and Marvel was left heavily in debt. Shares that had been worth $35.75 in 1993 dropped to $2.38 in just three years” (Savage). This caused cyclical unemployment due to the market crash and since sales dropped, supply dropped. The demand for comic books wasn’t as popular, so there wasn’t much income coming in to the Marvel industry. After a while of fighting through the financial ruin, Marvel required the funding they needed to start their franchise with a character that wasn’t licensed anywhere else -- Iron Man. Iron Man was their first movie as an independent company, and it was a huge hit. This started their rise for success as they continued to create more and more movies. Each movie built up on their company, which helped create the funding they needed to continue creating fantastic movies. They were able to use the technology they wanted and needed to gradually build up to Avengers: Infinity War.

Photo (make bigger in blogger): http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-32379661

As fans continue to support Marvel’s upcoming movies, the company’s income will keep increasing for more years to come. Since Deadpool 2 is soon to release in three weeks, the company is doing great on their continuation of the franchise. Their budget has been a huge help in creating popular, successful movies and it has created more jobs in the long run. This helps decrease the unemployment rates by creating opening positions for each film for actors, cameramen, makeup crews, tech crews, and more. Avengers: Infinity War is so far, one of the biggest Marvel hits yet due to the movie’s crossovers, but we will hope to see more from the Avengers.


Video:
http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/5777230368001/?#sp=show-clips

Works Cited
“‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Already Breaking Records.” Fox Business, Fox Business, 27 Apr. 2018, video.foxbusiness.com/v/5777230368001/#sp=show-clips.
“Avengers: Infinity War 5k Retina Ultra HD Wallpaper and Background Image | 8400x4299 | ID:857340.” Wallpaper Abyss, wall.alphacoders.com/big.php?i=857340.
Mendelson, Scott. “Box Office: 'Avengers: Infinity War' Superhero Fatigues To Record $106M Friday.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 28 Apr. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2018/04/28/box-office-avengers-infinity-war-superhero-fatigues-to-record-106m-friday/#20d626e0774c.
Nyren, Erin. “Box Office: 'Avengers: Infinity War' Sails to $240 Million-Plus Opening Weekend.” Variety, 28 Apr. 2018, variety.com/2018/film/box-office/avengers-infinity-war-box-office-opening-weekend-1202791140/.
Savage, Mark. “Marvel Avenged: From Financial Ruin to the Biggest Film Franchise in History.” BBC News, BBC, 23 Apr. 2015, www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-32379661.
Tartaglione, Nancy. “'Avengers: Infinity War's $630M Global Bow Sets All-Time Record – International Box Office.” Deadline, 29 Apr. 2018, deadline.com/2018/04/avengers-infinity-war-worldwide-opening-record-all-time-international-box-office-1202378926/.
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