Thursday, April 19, 2018

China Boosting Tariffs on U.S. Goods

China Boosting Tariffs on U.S. Goods
Ben Miller
AP Economics

With tensions rising among some of the global superpowers in the last few months, China has not made anything better by now announcing they have boosted tariffs on U.S. goods. Some of these goods are apart of huge industries within the US, such as soybeans, aircraft and vehicles. Experts have estimated that the tariffs are worth a combined $50 billion, and are at this point praying that they won’t see a full-scale trade war. Tariffs are the tax paid on a particular import or export, and a $50 billion increase to these US goods is a significant and statement move by China.

This action did not come out of the blue, as it was provoked by recent economic moves performed by the Trump Administration. Recently the Trump Administration has published a list of nearly 1,300 Chineses products that they plan to impose with a 25% tariff. Of course, the Chinese Embassy was the first to condemn the action by saying: “Such unilateralism and protectionist action has gravely violated fundamental principles and values of the WTO (World Trade Organization). It serves neither China’s interest nor U.S. interest, even less the interest of the global economy,” they go on to state, “As the Chinese saying goes, it is only polite to reciprocate.” China got creative with it and even listed several agricultural products with the goal being to harm the economy of Iowa, whose ex-governor Terry Branstad, is the current U.S. Ambassador in China.

As seen in figure one, Trump responded on Twitter by saying: “We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S. Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 billion a year, with Intellectual Property theft of another $300 billion. We cannot let this continue!” This situation is interesting considering Trump has reached out to China as an ally to counter North Korea, but from an economic point of view, these two powerhouses are nothing short of enemies at the moment.

I understand the justification behind the decision to increase tariffs on China as unfair trade practices in the past (with the current tariffs), has caused the economy to see an increase in unemployment by 6 million people and also has caused 60,000 factories to close, according to the Time.com. A decrease in factories within the US would cause a decrease in capital stock, thus leading to a decrease in investment spending which would lead to an overall decrease in GDP. With a decrease in the GDP, to me, it justifies the Trump Administration’s decision to increase the tariffs on China. On the other hand, though, I believe that the situation must have  been handled in the wrong way considering China came back and raised the tariffs on the US even more. Especially in this current time period, I believe that government actions, especially relating to the economy, must be done with great attention to detail and to a certain level of precaution. If the US simply sprung this increase in the tariffs on China with no warning or explanation, that would justify the response that China had. Trump also claimed according to Time.com that the trade deficit of $375.2 billion between both the US and China is costing the US a significant amount of American jobs. This again justifies and proves to me that increasing the tariffs on China was initially a good idea with the proper intentions in mind, but was simplied carried out in the wrong fashion.




Works Cited
Chandran, Nyshka, and Everett Rosenfeld. “China Announces It's Imposing New Tariffs on 128 US Products.” CNBC, CNBC, 2 Apr. 2018, www.cnbc.com/2018/04/01/china-announces-new-tariffs-on-us-meat-and-fruit-amid-trade-war-fears.html.

“China Hits Back at Trump by Targeting U.S. Goods Worth $3 Billion.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/china-imposes-additional-tariffs-response-u-s-duties-steel-aluminum-n861916.
“Twitter.” Twitter, Twitter, twitter.com/.

“China Increasing Tariffs - Search Results.” Time, Time, time.com/search/?q=china+increasing+tariffs.

Free Trade, or Trade War?

Ian Reinke

Mrs. Straub

AP Economics



Free Trade, or Trade War?


If anyone has been paying attention to news in the business world recently they’ve most likely come across some headlines reading along the lines of “Trade War With China”, “Tariffs Imposed on Chinese Goods”, or something of the like. Recently, in an effort to crack down on what the Trump Administration views to be “unfair” trade practices being committed by China on the United States. To enforce this crackdown, the administration has decided that the route that they would like to go about in would include posing trade tariffs, or a tax on imported goods, on multiple products that China sells here in the United States. China, in retaliation against what it sees to be a violation of its potential for economic growth has decided recently also to place its own tariffs on goods that companies in the United States ship and sell in the Chinese markets. These tariffs have included everything from washing machines to aluminum. More recently, China has even taken the step to threaten to impose sanctions on American-produced and grown “production crops”, a direct threat to the economy of some of the states, mostly located in the Southern United States, that voted heavily for Trump in the 2016 election. With no current stable end it sight, it remains to be seen whether or not threat of a trade war comes to fruition.

To make matters even the more frightening, China’s commerce ministry stated last week Thursday that, “China will not enter into any negotiations while under threat from the United States” and that “China will follow through to the end and fight resolutely” (NPR). Without any substantial potential for talks, aside from the fact that the current administration might find future implementations of sanctions to be taken as incredibly personal - as they would be directly attacking the guarded constituency of states making up the Republican party - it remains to be seen whether any amelioration of the current crisis can come to reach reality.

In my personal view, in addition to what many proponents of free trade would say, would be that the existence and newfound appearance of these tariffs and their imposition will end up very badly for not only both the economies and consumers of the United States and the People’s Republic of China, but also the world economy as a whole. Consumers in both nations will be forced to spend more money on these goods due to there existing a hefty tax now on them, and will ultimately result in much political and economic woes in the both countries’ constituencies. Higher prices are something that no one wants, and continuing with free trade - without the existence of any tariffs or other barriers - is the right way to go and internationally the world economy will thank us for it.





Sources Cited

Press, DAKE KANGAssociated. “In China, Soybean Industry Shrugs off Risks of Tariffs.”, 14 Apr. 2018, www.pressherald.com/2018/04/13/in-china-soybean-industry-shrugs-off-risks-of-tariffs/.

Gonzales, Richard. “Trump Threatens China With Additional $100 Billion Of Tariffs; China Ready To Fight.” , NPR, 6 Apr. 2018, www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/05/600014441/trump-suggests-more-tariffs-may-be-coming.

Mcdonald, Joe. “Chinese Exporters Scramble to Cope with Trump Tariff Hike.” , ABC News Network, 16 Apr. 2018, abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/chinese-exporters-scramble-cope-trump-tariff-hike-54493955.

Why are Home Prices still rising?

Why Are Home Prices Still Rising?
Mikayla Jenkins

Recently, housing is in strong demand with limited availability. The reason why home prices are rising is because there are many purchasers looking to buy, but way fewer homeowners ready to sell. If this continues, prices will continue to rise. Housing inventory remains the most persistent factor affecting housing prices. There has been talk that media and politicians blame building costs, speculation, cost of living, interest rates, and mortgage rules. When the economy is well off, people want homes. Even though construction is strong, they are unable to keep up with the amount of people wanting to buy at this time. The rule of Supply VS Demand is simply driving home prices. 


As you can see in the graph, in the last three months, there has been more buyers than sellers by far. With these results, the house prices will continue to rise until the supply increases dramatically. 



The high home prices (8-15% year to year) started two years ago and are expected to expand for another two years. The interest rates are at an historic all time low which make people around our area want to buy a home at this time. Also, millennials who typically rent, are now wanting to be home owners which puts even a tighter squeeze on supply. Most families in the area are looking for middle class homes ranging from $300,000-$400,000. Dan Prothero says, “Which right now, there is a limited amount of houses in that price range and even when a house in that range is listed, there is typically an offer within 24 hours”.  Overall, there is an abundance of demand which is currently overpowering the supply and will continue to do so for the next two years. 

Works Cited:
Dan Prothero - real estate agent for Shorewest Elmbrook/Wauwatosa, 18, April. 2018 

Simplify. “Buyer Demand Still Outpacing the Supply of Homes for Sale.” Simplifying the Market™, 26 Mar. 2018

Simplify. “House Prices: Simply a Matter of Supply & Demand.” Simplifying the Market™, 4 Apr. 2018,

Brewers Game Food Prices

Brewers Game Food Prices
Tyler Schroeder

Living near the big city of Milwaukee, which is home to the Milwaukee Brewers, is a must see game for everyone in Wisconsin at least once in their life. People come from all over Wisconsin and neighboring states to come see the Brewers perform live. Although for anyone that has been to the brewers game knows that the food prices can be very expensive; especially if you are feeding a family or a group of people.

Brewer games are monopolies. People are here to watch their team play and there is no where else to get food unless you eat before, and the only liquid you are allowed to carry in is clear, water bottles where the seal has not been broke yet. In doing so the Brewers can raise their food and drink prices and people are still going to buy them because they want to have a good time and get hungry or thirsty at games. A survey found that the Brewers are above the MLB average day at the ballpark. The average is 77.92 dollars whereas the Brewers are at 80 dollars. The cost for a Summer Shandy beer at the ballpark is 9.25 dollars per can. This is a crazy amount for any kind of beer considering you can go to the store and get a six pack for less then that. Although people are still going to buy this because you are not allowed to carry in beer. Not being able to carry in beer allows the Brewers to raise their prices of beer because people who want beer will still pay the money because otherwise they will not be able to get it anywhere else during the game.

Many people have resorted to other ways of eating such as tailgating, carrying in small snacks and bottled water, or going out to eat at a local restaurant before hand. This may be hindering and decrease the revenue that the Brewers are bringing in from their concessions. These high prices really make it hard for families that have a lower income to enjoy a game with there family. Families with lower and even middle iconome that attend games with their family can not afford to spend the 9.25 for a beer, or 9 dollars for some dippin dots for their children.

The Atlantic Falcons, a NFL team is a good example of a corporation that has lowered their food prices. They lowered their food prices and their total revenue increased because of the lower prices. They added unique menus such as two dollar hot dogs,  bottomless soft drinks, and five dollar cheeseburgers.  Ken Belson states “Despite a 50 percent decrease in prices for food and nonalcoholic drinks compared to prices in the Georgia Dome, the amount spent per fan increased by 16 percent.” People are already paying a lot of money for just the tickets alone, so many people do not want to buy a lot of food or drinks because they will be spending a lot of money for four hours of entertainment. This also allowed people that had a little less money to be able to buy their kids a hot dog or two and have something to drink during the game. Therefore since the prices went down the quantity of food and drinks demanded per person increased and revue increased.

If the Brewers took the line that the Falcons took they would also see an increase in revenue. Brewers tickets average at about 50 dollars which is above the average MLB ticket price of 43 dollars. Lowering the prices of food would allow people to buy more food and drinks for them and their families and possibly allow them to come to more games because it it not as expensive to attend a game anymore. In big games such as when the Brewers battle the cubs, if they have lower food prices they will see a increase in revenue, because of the amount of people at the game and the quantity demanded for the lower priced food and drinks. Right now with the high food and drink prices the quantity demanded is lower for some people. Although with lower food and drink prices the quantity demanded will increase because people will be able to afford more food and drinks allowing them to buy more food and drinks.

Summerfest Rakes in Millions of Dollars and Tourists

Summerfest Rakes in Millions of Dollars and Tourists
Nicole Stark

With the 2018 lineup for Summerfest recently being released, the music festival has been a growing topic of conversation. Every year the festival brings in hundreds of thousands of music fans. Additionally, Summerfest brings in hundreds of millions of dollars. This year, these numbers are expected to be even higher.
Summerfest takes place along the border of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, WI every summer for 11 days. The grounds are made up of 11 different stages which hold over 800 performances every year. The Summerfest grounds also consist of various food and beverage vendors as well as shops. To get into Summerfest, a ticket must be purchased. There are also alternative options like a Power Pass; a Power Pass allows admission to all 11 days of the festival. The majority of the shows that take place are free, but there are multiple headliners that perform in the amphitheater. The tickets to these shows cost money. The artists that perform on this stage are usually A-listers that are in very high demand, so the tickets can become quite pricey. Each of these costs contribute to the total amount of money that the entire 11 days of Summerfest rakes in. According to Wisconsin Public Radio, in 2017, Summerfest brought in around $200 million for the Milwaukee area. This makes it the biggest event in Wisconsin that is hosted every year. It is also the event that brings in the most amount of people from out of area. Additionally, WPR stated, “...hosting the U.S. Open earlier in June and the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in March are important events but they don't have the same international draw. Those events brought in $130 million and $6 million, respectively” (Ross Terrel, WPR). So, out of all the different events held in Milwaukee, Summerfest brings in the most amount of money.
Image result for summerfestImage result for summerfest
Not only does Summerfest bring in a substantial amount of money, it also brings in a massive amount of people. Year after year Summerfest promotes itself as, “The World’s Largest Music Festival.” This fact has even proven by the Guinness Book of World Records since 1999. Every year Summerfest brings in more and more people from all over the world. Because of its title, it attracts many and it grows every year. According to Milwaukee Business News, 804,116 people attended the festival in 2016. In 2017, attendance increased by 3.4% which increased the total attendance to 831,769 people. This year, attendance is expected to grow even more. The festival park also just recently went under renovations which is expected to bring in an even bigger crowd.
Summerfest will continue to bring in money to Milwaukee as well as people. Since Summerfest began, Milwaukee, WI has become a larger tourist attraction than ever before. As the “Largest Music Festival in the World” continues, so will the increase in money and tourism.


Works Cited
Anderson, Lauren. “Summerfest Attendance up 3.4 Percent in 2017.” BizTimes Media
Milwaukee, BizTimes Media Milwaukee, 13 July 2017,
www.biztimes.com/2017/industries/arts-entertainment-sports/summerfest-attendance-up-3-4-percent-in-2017/.
Glauber, Bill. “Klement's Links up with Summerfest for a 10-Year Sponsorship Deal.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee, 21 Mar. 2018,
www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/milwaukee/2018/03/20/klements-links-up-summerfest-10-year-sponsorship-deal/441415002/.
“Summerfest Announces 100 Headlining Artists Playing Over 11 Days & On 12 Stages.” L4LM,
4 Apr. 2018, liveforlivemusic.com/news/summerfest-2018-lineup/.
“Summerfest, The World's Largest Music Festival.” Summerfest - The World's Largest Music
Festival, summerfest.com/.
Terrel, Ross. “Summerfest Expected To Generate $200M For Milwaukee.” Wisconsin Public
Radio, 28 June 2017, www.wpr.org/summerfest-expected-generate-200m-milwaukee.


iPhone Red

Luke Hahn
In our society today, many people with a cellular device use an iPhone from Apple. Statistics say that in 2017 around 223 million people, in the United States alone, had a smartphone and well over half of them were an iPhone. Apple is a worldwide technology company that makes many products ranging from phones, laptops, or watches, as well as accessories to go with them. Apple has just recently released a new red colorway for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus called the (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition. 
The release of a new iPhone is nothing new for Apple. Typically, this company has been known to release new products to the market on a yearly basis. They consistently make changes to their products and add new aspects to each phone to appeal to consumers. However, over the past years the iPhone has only been released in a few general colorways. The new red iPhone was released to help raise money for the testing, counseling, and treatment for people with HIV/AIDS. They also released a red leather folio for their latest and greatest product, the iPhone X, which also contributes to the cause. PRODUCT(RED) is an organization founded in 2006 thats goal is to raise awareness and money to help fight against HIV/AIDS. Apple has donated over 160 million dollars to PRODUCT(RED) making them the largest corporate donor for this organization. The PRODUCT(RED) iPhone will be available in different GB models starting at $699 as well as the iPhone X Folio for $99. To make the phone and case more wanted by consumers, Apple announced that the products will only be available for a certain time. They are limited edition items and will not be on the market again, therefore increasing the demand substantially. Despite the good cause I personally think that apple overprices many of their products. The iPhone X red leather folio is priced at $99 and is simply just a leather phone case. Many large corporations these days think that their label alone on products increases the value substantially. If they made charity products like these less expensive for consumers and more affordable to everyone in the market, they could raise much more for PRODUCT(RED). Apple itself is already over a 200 billion dollar corporation, and as a consumer, I don’t think that the Apple logo should automatically make a product incredibly expensive. Although their products are very top of the line and some should be highly priced, I don’t think they will raise much by selling a phone case for a hundred dollars. If large multi-billion dollar corporations do more special products like this we can raise billions for charities. Overall, it is a good message to other corporations and hopefully can influence them to do something similar for other charities. 

Works Cited

“Apple.” Apple, www.apple.com/.
“Home.” (RED), www.red.org/.
“(PRODUCT)RED™ - IPhone 8 Special Edition.” Apple, www.apple.com/product-red/.


Microtransactions

Virtual Stuff Makes Big Bucks
David Young

Ever since the creation of free mobile games, microtransactions have had an increase in popularity. Game developers have gradually started inserting microtransactions into mainstream games. Now they carry a bad stigma with them because games have progressively become more centered around them. Even though microtransactions have been single-handedly ruining games, game developers and publishers have continued to make them a main component of the game. This is only done though because of all the money microtransactions bring in. Simply put, microtransactions are in-game purchases that are another avenue for companies to make money. You use real money to purchase in-game currency; that in-game currency can then be used to buy in-game items.
In 2015, the large video game publisher Activision made $1.6 billion from only microtransactions. In that same year Activision’s total profits were $4.66 billion (You Won’t Believe). 34.3% of the company’s total profits came from microtransactions. When first putting that into perspective, realizing that a typical purchase is no more that $10 is important. There millions of players bought into these microtransactions. Plenty of people are willing to throw money at their screen if they find that the amount of in-game content is valuable and fairly cheap. Although people may question why anyone would purchase a virtual item, it can still be justified. People either want to look good, be better than others or have access to more content. Developers will plan to create extra content for any and every game they put out as long as they known money can be made. This way they can earn even more money than just of the release of the base game. Them knowing that there’s an incentive to increasing the longevity of the game is what drives microtransactions.
A game now synonymous with microtransactions that are actually not harmful to gameplay is Fortnite: Battle Royale. This game has taken the world by storm and it’s actually free to play. The only way Epic Games, the Fortnite developers, can make money is from all the cosmetic gear players buy. Nowadays the cool thing to do is to purchase in-game items. Looking good is way more important than being good. In Fortnite you can buy v-bucks using real money and use those v-bucks to purchase cosmetic items. In the month of February, Fortnite generated $126 million in revenue: all from microtransactions (Thier). Epic Games’ Fortnite: Battle Royale has a booming virtual economy and both sides are benefiting.



With the ever increasing presence of microtransactions, the value of them may be monetary, but the real value is left up to the buyer. Though, the wealth they provide for each company is undeniable. Extra profit for the company creates some incentive and keeps the wheels turning. Hopeful developers will constantly be able to provide worthwhile in-game that will keep demand high.

Works Cited

Martinez, Madisen. “Should College Student-Athletes Be Paid? Both Sides of the Debate.” CollegeXpress, CollegeXpress. Web. 20 Mar. 2017.

Thier, Dave. “Report: Here's How Much Money 'Fortnite Battle Royale' Is Making.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine. Web. 22 Mar. 2018.
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