Friday, January 17, 2014

Energy and Economic Development


By Dylan Bigsby
As time continues to go on people are finding new ways to make energy more efficient and more environmentally friendly. As the energy development increase, interpreted broadly to mean increased provision and use of energy services, is an integral part of enhanced economic development. So if the energy and research of other sources of energy increases, it is more likely to increase the economy over time. Developed countries, use more energy per unit of economic output and far more energy per capita than those still in a less developed country. Energy use per unit of output does seem to decline over time in the more advanced stages of industrialization, reflecting the adoption of increasingly more efficient technologies for energy production and utilization as well as changes in the composition of economic activity.
If people are able to research new technology or new ways to find a cleaner energy source it will increase the GDP and the GDP per capita. If increased then it will show that the country is more of a developed nation and will be able to have a good economic structure. Development involves a number of other steps besides those associated with energy, notably including the evolution of education and labor markets, financial institutions to support capital investment, modernization of agriculture, and provision of infrastructure for water, sanitation, and communications.
According the the chart provided it shows how the energy will increase over time in certain states in the United States if projected in renewable energy.
According to ucusa.org, "smart complementary policies, state RES policies can help maintain the nation's momentum toward a clean and prosperous clean energy economy. To continue the rapid growth of renewable energy, UCS offers the following recommendations. Adopt strong RES policies and expand existing ones. State governments and Congress should establish RES policies that require electric utilities to procure at least 25 percent of their power from renewable energy sources by 2025. A national RES that sets a minimum level of renewable energy for all states would ensure that the entire nation contributes to clean energy transition. Invest in new transmission capacity for renewable energy. Federal, regional, and state authorities should identify transmission projects that provide the greatest economic benefits in delivering renewable electricity from where it can be most effectively generated to where it is most needed. Develop responsible and consistent siting regulations for renewable energy projects. State and local governments should coordinate their plans to develop harmonious, transparent, and science-based siting regulations for renewable energy projects."
If following those steps then we would be able to have more renewable energy that can be researched and will increase the nations GDP and per capita. Also will be able to power up more than we need to.

Work Cited

Thursday, January 16, 2014

One Mans Trash is Another Man's Riches

Written by Justin Leeds
One Mans Trash is Another Man's Riches


Normally working in and around the garbage industry is not a glamorous job. It is never a compliment when garbage and your work quality are thrown in the same sentence. To make the men and women working in this field feel better we changed the official name to sanitation engineers instead of garbage men but did you know that Waste Management had a net income of 953 million dollars in 2013? Not bad for a job where you hire people without college educations. It takes no genius to see the outstanding grow over 2013. But how does a company that cleans up your trash make so much money?


Waste management is oligopoly where subdivisions decide which provider to choose from. It is not the only trash company but it is the largest in both services and How can a company that collects garbage make so much money you might ask? It is actually quite simply the marginal benefit of paying someone to dispose of your trash way outweighs the cost of the collection itself. Most people value garbage removal of trash so much that they will pay on average 385 dollars a year with some people paying up to nine hundred dollars. Personally I am a fan of peopling paying to get there garbage removed(hope you are too) compared to the medieval times where people would throw garbage out of their window and down to the streat. This garbage would sit in the street until the rain water washed it downhill to someone elses property.  

With more recycling the income just keeps flowing into Waste Management. Waste Management owns the 16 waste-to-energy facilities with and five independent power-production facilities, which specialize in collecting municipal solid waste and transforming it into renewable electric power. Some of Wheelabrator’s facilities are also capable of generating electricity from materials such as waste wood, waste coal and natural gas. Also there are 134 recycling plants 111 beneficial-use landfill gas projects and six independent power production plants. This company is growing and changing into days time to make efficient clean energy. Even though there are many ways to make clean energy most of them are not that efficient leading to wasted materials.

In my opinion the garbage industry is the a premier example of how the government doesn’t need step in for less desirable jobs. Private industry can take over for many of industries that the government now poorly works with. If more companies could take over poorly managed government systems the US would be a lot less in debt.

Waste Management offers environmental services to nearly twenty seven million residential, industrial, municipal and commercial customers in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Not bad for a company that started in 1971 when , Harm Huizenga, a Dutch immigrant, began hauling garbage at $1.25/wagon in Chicago.


Works Cited

Grow Profits Using GM's. (n.d.). Retrieved January 12th, 2014, from http://www.triplepundit.com: http://www.triplepundit.com/2013/08/grow-profits-gms-waste-management-best-practices/

Waste Management. (n.d.). Retrieved January 13th, 2014, from Yahoo: http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=WM+Interactive#symbol=wm;range=1y;compare=;indicator=volume;charttype=area;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=off;source=undefined;

Waste Removal Cost. (n.d.). Retrieved January 13, 2014, from homeadvisory: http://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/cleaning-services/remove-waste/

Predicted Gas Prices of 2014

By Jake Nevermann

As everyone scrambles to create their New Year’s resolutions, everyone is thinking about the changes to come in 2014. One thing that is on everyone’s minds is what prices are going to be seen at the pump. Will the price of gas rise? Or will it drop? How much are we going to have to pay for a gallon? These are all questions that concern Americans who consumed over 100 billion gallons of gas in 2013 making the United States the largest consumer of oil in the world by a large margin. But what does 2014 have in store for us?

Gasoline is at the base of nearly all transportation in America, and seeing expensive gas prices at the pump has a very negative impact on the everyday life of Americans. In 2013, the price for gas ranked as the third most expensive year for gasoline prices in U.S history. At an average of $3.49 per gallon, gas didn’t seem cheap at all, but in reality, last year’s per-gallon average was the cheapest since 2010. Average gas prices in 2011 rose just above $3.50 while the national average saw $3.60 per gallon in 2012.







Thankfully, the declining gas prices will continue on in 2014. In fact, the national average for 2014 is estimated to be just under $3.40 per gallon. This lower price can predominately be related to the increase of domestic oil production, and the federal policy in action that prohibits the export of oil. (Here is a link to a website with an article against the ban on crude oil exports.)
http://www.cfr.org/oil/case-allowing-us-crude-oil-exports/p31005

Gasbuddy.com estimates that Americans will continue to see a moderate drop in the average price per gallon in the close years to come, while others oppose saying the price of gas will rise.  However, nevertheless, as technology advances the future of transportation looks bright.

With tightening fuel economy standards, new and advanced technology, and a shift in consumer preferences; fuel efficient cars are steadily improving and are being manufactured along with hybrid and electric models. What does this mean for America? It means that the individual demand for gasoline is going to decline, and Americans will be getting more for their dollar spent on gas by driving better mpg cars.
In other recent news, American oil production is predicted to steadily increase.  The International Energy Agency, for example predicted that the United States will continue moving “steadily toward meeting all of its energy needs from domestic resources by 2035”.  But by that time who knows what oil production will look like.  For instance, due to global warming and the drastic melting of glaciers, the Arctic is now receiving interest in the exploration of natural resources.  The lack of technology is the only thing holding drilling back.

Even though the national average price per gallon of gasoline is estimated to be just under $3.40, it is hard to predict what prices Wisconsin drivers will see. So here are some helpful tips on conserving gas and saving money in 2014:

Drive conservatively
Carpool
Choose a more efficient vehicle
Do not accelerate or brake hard
Keep tires properly inflated











Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2014 US Hyperinflation

By Noah Lyons

“You are going to see, early on, a crisis in the dollar that will start to trigger the inflation . . . as the inflation picks up, that’s going to savage the economy, which is already in a depression. It never recovered.” –John Williams

As a turn of the year came so came a change in the inflation rates, the inflation rates are supposedly intended to skyrocket this year. The big question people are asking is when will the dollar take a hit in value? America is dependent on the rest of the world going along with us and supporting the dollar. But America also knows that it’s not going to happen. John Williams says “It’s really going to be a currency panic . . . when the fundamental selling pressure really starts to pick up, when the selling gets heavy . . . in turn, the weakness will be seen in a spike in oil prices and a spike in gasoline prices.”

Ever since 2008 The United States has been in an economic decline, although many years have passed still people haven’t recovered. Housing prices were at their peak early in 2006, but started to rapidly decline later in 2006 and through 2007 and reached an all time low in 2012. The Case-Shiller home price index had its lowest price drop in history. The much smaller availability of loans was what Economists considered the cause of the Recession. What this means for us is that, the price paid for houses was lower than it was before. Typically a house would be a good investment because in most cases you could sell it for more than it was paid for, however this wasn’t the case during this time.

Even on top of that, add the 2014 Hyperinflation which is going to cause America to dig themselves deeper into the giant hole we’re already stuck in.  America’s economy has placed itself on a rollercoaster with many ups and downs. The roller coaster was going up for a long time until we hit 2000 and went into our first Recession, things started to get better and boom another recession in 2006/2007. The economy has gotten no better and now, in 2014 economists say there will be a Hyperinflation. Economist John Williams says that the dollar won’t even have the same value it did a few years ago. He says it’s just a matter of time before the Feds money printing will trigger a sell-off and cause the Hyperinflation. Economic expert John Williams has a great video on how hyperinflation will arise.


Overall, the economy has been in a crisis since 2008 when the US went through the “Great Recession,” however now include the hyperinflation of 2014, the economy has never been in a weaker point since the turn of the century. There is talk that the feds plan to increase money printing, and that will cause a sell-off and that is going to put America through a Hyperinflation. The treasury is going to have funding issues and that will cause the deficit to get much worse.



"Causes of the Great Recession."Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Nov. 2012. Web. 14 Jan. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_the_Great_Recession/>.

Raising Wisconsin Minimum Wage

By Matt Wendelberger
Many people at a young age and political stand point would think raising the minimum wage would be a great way for “everyone” to make more money than jobs can be created. Currently in Wisconsin the minimum wage is $7.25 and most of the Democratic Party wants to raise the minimum wage to $8.20 an hour then after two years would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. A recent Gallup poll shows that in America 76 percent of Americans want to raise the minimum wage to at least $9 an hour. The reason why this isn’t the best idea is that it really puts at risk those who are the lower wage workers in terms of certainly teenagers, the disabled, anybody who is really trying to break into an employment work experience that “hopefully” will set them up for success down the road.  Just think about if you went to Wendy’s for a cheese burger and a frosty during lunch hour there would only be a couple of people on the job because Wendy’s can’t pay more than those couple of workers for that day. The teenagers in the “workforce” today if this bill is to pass would most likely be out of a job because they want to pay a employee that they can have work longer shifts and better knowledge of that job. More problems with rising the minimum wage is the companies will be earning more than they can spend. Workers must produce more than they are paid. As government raises the minimum wage, it prices people out of the market. What the president thinks is going to fix the economy is that more money will be in people’s pockets and will be able to spend more and that will bring more jobs to the American people. WRONG! Businesses will still need to pay their employees at a high rate and won’t be able to make enough money to support their employees.  Don’t get me wrong people will have money in their pockets but the amount of people having money in their pocket will be the hard thing to imagine.  As of now Wisconsin should just stay where we are we are having tremendous growth since governor Scott Walker has been in the Capital and we wouldn’t want to hit the wall and stop out growth.

The video bellow is by fox 11 that shows protestor in the state capital and the second link shows why Wisconsin and America should not raise minimum wage.     



http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/raising-minimum-wage-will-hurt-more-help

Why GDP is not useful

By Maggie Schauer

GDP or gross domestic product is one measure of an economic well-being. It is the total value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given year. In a period of macroeconomic expansion a country produces more than it did before and GDP goes up. In a period of contraction the country produces less and GDP goes down. GDP was first developed by Simon Kuznets for a US Congress report in 1934. After the Bretton Woods conference in 1944, GDP became the main tool for measuring a country's economy. GDP can be determined in three ways, all of which should, in principle, give the same result. They are the production approach, the income approach, or the expenditure approach. While GDP is seen valuable by some economists, others argue that it fails to account for too much to be valuable.
The major disadvantage of GDP is that it is not a measure of the standard of living in an economy. Standard of living is defined as the level of wealth, comfort, material goods, and necessities available to a population. Some factors of standard of living include income, quality and availability of employment, class disparity, poverty rate, quality and affordability of housing, hours of work required to purchase necessities, inflation rate, number of vacation days per year, access to quality healthcare, quality and availability of education, life expectancy, incidence of disease, cost of goods and services, infrastructure, political and religious freedom, environmental quality, climate and safety. The standard of living is closely related to quality of life. GDP is one factor of the standard of living but it cannot measure the standard of living alone.
Next, GDP does not account for variances in incomes between different demographic groups, or the distribution of wealth. For example, if an extremely wealthy person receives almost all the production of US GDP and the remainder of the population receives almost nothing, then the country’s overall well-being won’t be too high. The wealthy person has great welfare, but everyone else’s is pretty miserable.
GDP also excludes activities that are not provided through the market, such as household production and volunteer or unpaid services. As a result, GDP is understated. For example, babysitting is not included in GDP because it is not provided through the market. Other examples are cooking, cleaning, and home repairs. All these excluded services make GDP a less reliable measurement of the economy. Along with household production GDP cannot account for the underground economy. This includes the black market where transactions are illegal, tax-avoiding, and unreported, causing the GDP to be even more underestimated.
Another big complaint is that GDP understates true economic growth, for instance, computers. Although computers today are less expensive and more powerful than computers from the past, GDP treats them as the same product. This happens with many products today.
Finally, GDP is a poor measure of social progress because it does not take into account harm to the environment. Environmental quality is often diminished with increased economic production. This reduction in environmental quality, which can reduce welfare, is seldom included in the measured production of GDP.
Other things GDP cannot account for are suicide rates, crimes, family breakdown, loss of leisure time, cost of commuting to work, lack of civility in communities, and lack of concern of for future generations. We cannot assume that life conditions are being improved just because more money is being spent. For this reason other measurements should start to be used to truly measure the economy. The Fordham Index of Social Health measures 16 socio-economic indicators. These include:
1. infant mortality
2. child abuse
3. child poverty
4. teen suicide
5. drug abuse
6. high school drop-outs
7. average weekly earnings
8. unemployment
9. health insurance coverage
10. poverty among elderly
11. health insurance for elderly
12. highway deaths due to alcohol
13. homicides
14. food stamp distribution
15. housing
16. income inequality

Other indicators that accurately show the standard of living and social and environmental factors can be found on http://www.consultmcgregor.com/documents/resources/GDP_and_GPI.pdf
Overall, GDP should be used to measure the economy, but not solely. In order to fully see how a nation is doing, other indicators should be used alongside GDP.


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Monday, January 13, 2014

Johnny Manziel: Good or Bad for Texas A&M?

Written by John Conroy


When a good athlete goes to a bigger college for some sort of athletic, the attention usually falls all over them. They get fame, and all they seem to hear about is if they jump to the professional level, money is waiting on the table. What many people don’t know is that while the athlete isn’t making any money, the school he or she attends is rolling in every single dollar that athlete can bring.

Johnny Manziel, everyone knows the name. He is one of the greatest players statistically in college football and one of the most exciting college football players to ever step on the field. The two years while Johnny Manziel was at the University of Texas A&M, through donations, the school was able to get just around $740 million dollars, which crushes the previous record of $300 million dollars. Why someone may ask? All just to see number 2 in the maroon scramble around the field making spectacular plays.

When it comes to merchandise, Texas A&M was really able to cash in on having Johnny Manziel on their side. When Texas A&M made the move from the Big 12 conference to the SEC, and also having the emerging star of Johnny Manziel, the school was able to increase the licensed merchandise sales by 23 percent. That 23 percent includes shirts, jerseys, and hats, pretty much anything that had anything to do with the star quarterback. After “Johnny Football” brought Texas A&M its first 11 win season in football, a Cotton Bowl victory over Oklahoma, and a Heisman Trophy among other major awards, the only direction this college kid and this school seemed to being going was up, but not all fairytales have a happy ending.

Video Clip: 

After the 2012-2013 football season, the Johnny Manziel fan base grew to a nationwide thing. Everyone was following his every move to see what magic would happen next. Well, let’s just say what happened next wasn’t really what someone would consider magical. It first started when Johnny Manziel was a teacher at the Peyton Manning passing academy. He went out one night, got intoxicated and over slept, making him late to the camp the next day, ultimately causing his dismissal from the camp. From this point on Johnny Manziel was viewed as a, “young college student who just can’t handle the fame, and can’t make the right choices.” Texas A&M didn’t take a huge hit from this situation, but when Johnny Manziel was accused of signing autographs for money, it was a different story.  

Over the summer, Johnny Manziel was accused of signing autographs on footballs and helmets for just around $7,500 dollars, but can you really blame him? Sure, signing autographs for money when you’re in college is a big no-no, but according to collegeconfidental.com, the average college student makes about 1,500 to 2,000 dollars while in school. Ignoring the fact the Manziel comes from a wealthy family, the amount of money a college student makes isn’t a lot when there is a lot to pay for, so how could you really blame Manziel for trying to make some extra money? Some view this as a kid just trying to make money, but others thought Manziel was just a “piece of trash.” Texas A&M tried to resolve the situation, but it was starting to lose some of their fans and boosters, which is where a good chunk of the University’s money is made.

The greatest question that is still left unanswered is if Johnny Manziel is good for Texas A&M and yes, I believe he is. Forgetting all the drama that happened, Johnny Manziel posted one of the best college football seasons by a freshman, and then in his sophomore year, he posted one of the best seasons EVER by a college quarterback. Although he is now pursuing his dream of being an NFL quarterback, Texas A&M should be nothing but thankful for Manziel was able to do for that university. 




Works Cited