Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Private Schools v. Public Schools

Private Schools vs Public Schools
By: Mark Liedtke
The argument of ages ravages America: Publics schools or private schools.  According to the 2009 GreatSchools and Harris Interactive poll, roughly one if four parents (24%) are rethinking the type of school their children should attend in the future.  

The most obvious difference between the two is money.  Public schools cannot charge tuition for their students.  The downside to this is that public schools are often underfunded and are influenced heavily by politics and shortfalls.  They are funded through federal, state and local taxes and since most of them are a part of a larger school district or system, they must follow the rules and regulations set by politicians.  Private schools of the other hand are privately funded and rely on tuition, private grants and donations to keep their schools funded. In 2007-2008, according to the Council of America Private Education, the average tuition for all non-sectarian was $17,316.

Another difference would be the admission.  By nature, private schools are selective.  Because of this, the admission process often takes more effect from the family because the school is not obligated to take every child.  More tests, more interviews, even essays.  On the flip side, public schools are required by law to accept all applicants to their schools.  However a downside to this is that for students with special needs, there always might not be the proper care that they need available at certain schools due to high volumes of students with other needs or lack of staff members qualified.  

Colleges also deal with the private versus public issue.  The cost of a public college is anywhere between 0%-75% less than the cost of private schools.  Also, in the college spectrum, many students found roughly the same 30-year return on their investments.

Teaching quality also comes into the argument of this topic.  Many people believe that because their sons/daughters are attending private schools that they are receiving a higher level of education from them.  However, many public school teachers have the same level education as the private school teachers do, and more private school teachers are often teaching without a bachelors degree.  Also it is important to note that many public school teachers are state certified or at least working towards being certified.

The curriculum development between the two different school types varies greatly.  Once again since public schools must follow state guidelines set for certain standards.  Private schools are allowed to create whatever curriculum and assessment models that they wish.  In some cases this can result in higher standards for students in private schools, however it can also lead to lower standards.

Both of these types of schools add their own pros and cons.  Public schools allow for no cost outside of taxes from the federal, state and local levels.  Also they are open to accepting all students without any exceptions and their teaching quality is roughly the same as the private schools.  Private schools have tuitions, and are funded through themselves, donations and tuitions.  Also they are a lot more selective than public schools are the admissions process takes longer.

"Private versus public." GreatSchools. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <>.
"The Economy's Impact on Back to School." greatschools. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <>.

Donald Sterling Brings Clippers Down Hass
Mr. Reuter
29 April 2014
  “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This is a quote that we are all familiar with and a lot of people live by these words, but in certain situations, people can take it a little too far. And for Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, taking it a little far is an understatement. He said some things such as “Well then, if you don’t feel-don’t come to my games. Don’t bring black people, and don’t come.” He also mentioned racist remarks towards hall of fame basketball star Magic Johnson which really got to Magic. He was truly hurt by the direct comments, and he was even reported saying, “I will never go to a Clippers game again as long as Donald Sterling is the owner.”
            Now, what does this have to do with the economy you ask? A lot more than it appears. For the Los Angeles Clippers, this is going to play a huge impact on their team, which plays a large role for the economy in the surrounding area. They already have lost sponsors for their team, because don’t want to be affiliated with a team who has an owner who makes ignorant remarks such as the ones Sterling made. They lost sponsorship relationships with a large amount of companies, such as “CarMax, State Farm, Virgin America, Red Bull, Kia Motors, Aquahydrate, Amtrak, Chumash Casino Resort, Lumber Liquidators, Yokohoma Tire Corporation, and Corona.” Clearly, virtually every single one of their sponsors has opted out of their relationship due to these comments. And that is going to bring the team down from that aspect and definitely put them in a decline.
            Not only from the sponsor aspect, but from a fan aspect, the Clippers organization will decline greatly. An endless amount of fans completely disagree with everything that Donald Sterling has said and has halted a lot of fans’ desire to attend these basketball games and spend their money. One famous rapper, Lil Wayne, was recorded in a tape saying, “F*** you. That simple, that easy. If  I was a Clippers fan, I wouldn’t be one anymore. If I was a Clipper player, you wouldn’t see me on the court anymore in that uniform.” Obviously Wayne speaks for every African American fan and player out there and shows the rage.
            With that rage, the number of fans that will be attending these NBA Clippers games will reduce greatly. That means less tickets will be sold, less merchandise will be purchased, and ultimately, less money will be accumulated by the Los Angeles Organization. They play a large role in the Los Angeles economy, being that they are one of the most popular sports teams in the city, much thanks to their All Star players, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. But with these racist comments even putting the players against their own owner that signs their contracts, and pays them to play basketball, fans definitely are taking huge offense to it, especially the black race. It will show an immediate drop in fan attendance which will make a big impact on the economy, because of the fact of how much money a professional basketball team can provide for a city such as Los Angeles.
            So although some people may think that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” they never took into account how much racist comments from an ignorant owner could cause a decline in the economy, and will definitely not be solved until he is gone for good.

Works Cited


Reality TV and Economics

Samm Snyder
Mr. Reuter
29 April 2014

            Keeping up with the Kardashians, Chrisley knows best, 16 and pregnant, Jersey Shore, all of these shows have something in common—that they are reality tv shows. There is so much controversy over reality TV, that it is inappropriate or should I say ‘stupid’, but the truth of the matter is, whether society likes these shows or not, they help out our economy greatly. The shows that are all about watching someone live their life with their white Range Rover and millions of dollars mansion, are what help us out. The show about irresponsible teenagers being teen moms or 16 and pregnant, help out the economy too. As much as people can complain about how the richer are getting richer with their reality TV shows, we can’t say much seeing it is helping us even a tiny bit in our fluctuating economy.
            Reality TV makes an unbelievable amount of money which can range anywhere from “between $200k and $2m per one-hour episode, depending on the format” (Quora). To any normal person this seems crazy, but to anyone in Hollywood and Beverly Hills it seems absolutely normal. An article from said that “Television programming executives have many choices of what shows to “buy” and run-and in the end their decisions must be based upon the ability of the shows to draw lots of viewers form the right demographic so that pricey advertising can be sold during the snow. In addition the cost of buying or producing the show must be taken into account”. This shows us, that they really do take into consideration whether the show will make money or not and “the different between the expected revenue generated by the show and the show costs to produce determines its viability-whether it ever airs or not” (Good). From what Good stated in his article, it is clear to see that producers, screenwriters and everyone that partakes in a show have to think about the outcomes. They have to think about if the cost of producing this show will be less than the benefit—in other words, the marginal benefit has to be higher than the marginal cost in order to allow them to air the shows.
            When we think of reality TV shows, we think of the MTV and E! shows likes Jersey Shore and Real World, but not only are they about having money and getting in cat fights, but it there are plenty of other shows that are considered “Reality TV’, like The Biggest Loser and Shark Tank for example. When shows like this come out, they don’t just benefit our society because of the money that the shows are making but they have positive externalities to them. Biggest loser—this causes people to feel motivated and get a gym membership and buy fresh fruit; Shark Tank—shows us entrepreneurs trying to make success in our economics. Sure, there are negative externalities to how much some of these shows make, like the fact that they may have some percentage of helping the inflation rise if we are paying people and the shows that much but that far outweighs how it helps the economy. Overall, no matter how much people can say that ‘reality shows are stupid’, they really help our economy even though in some areas, they may not be helping our society or young viewers.


How much do food recalls cost?

Brittany Udulutch

There are so many hidden threats out there that nobody pays attention too. Threats that are dangerous and deadly enough to cause the country to go haywire. E. coli and Salmonella have the ability to kill living beings of all ages, health, and even species. Many people don’t think about what they are eating or drinking and what hazards could be in that delicious orange juice or that satisfying hot dog at the Brewer’s game. Those simple foods that most Americans love could be a deadly outbreak ready to happen, and there are more than you think. This graph shows the amount of recalls that occurred throughout the Fiscal-or government earning- year.

Although there are more recalls then you think, you usually don’t hear about how much it costs to recall infected or questionable products. On April 20th, 2014 there was a recall for over 96,000 pounds of Kraft Oscar Mayer Weiner’s, “because the products may contain Classic Cheese Dogs in the Classic Wieners’ packages”. There was an allergen problem with this recall since there was pasteurized cheese in packages of normal wieners. The labeling and ingredients did not indicate the pasteurized cheese. Although there were sicknesses or deaths, this large recall will be costing Kraft Food Group Inc. “around $385,000 in total cost of sales”. This is just in refunding customers and climbing back from their set back.

In this case, nobody was affected by the mistake, but in other recalls, many companies don’t get out that easily. According to the, “There have been 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 fatalities due to food borne illness each year. The average cost of a recall is $10 million and food poisoning costs $14 billion each year”. Although that average seems very high, that is an average and during the worst outbreak in recorded history, the Peanut Corporation of America, tops all. The PCA had a huge history of having food health issues, but “as of April 22, 2009, it involved at least 361 companies and 3,913 different products manufactured using PCA ingredients”. The PCA provided to mostly lower income families, but because of the outbreak, people started avoiding all peanut products. This incident brought down all peanut butter companies sales by 25%. Because of this decrease in sales, it brought farmers and industries into almost bankruptcies. 2008 was the start of dangerous economic turmoil to begin with. The economy was dropping drastically and prices on everything were going up. The first official case of illness was in a dog that had eaten some biscuits that had PCA’s peanut butter in it. Overall though, it brought 9 deaths and at least 714 sicknesses. The initial cost for this recall was supposed to be over $1 Billion- which includes refunding, law suits, etc- and since the company only made 25 million a year in profit, all their plants had to close down and PCA filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Overall, food recalls affect more than just the health of people worldwide, it also affects the stock market value of the company or companies in questions, local farmers who sell their crops, and other companies if people decide to stay away from those products all together. This is a costly ordeal that affects the entire nation in one way or another.

Work Cited:
"About FDA." Total number of recall events in the month for which the classification
process was completed. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.

"Kraft Foods Expected to Lose $385K Following Recall of Wieners." Techyville. N.p., n.d.
Web. 29 Apr. 2014.

"Average Food Recall Costs $10 Million."Bernard Law Group. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr.
2014. <>.

"Peanut Corporation of America."Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Apr. 2014. Web.
29 Apr. 2014. <

"HowStuffWorks "10 Costly Food Recalls"." HowStuffWorks. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.

The Invisible Hand on Charity

Emily Collins
Mrs. Straub
25 April 2014
The Invisible Hand on Charity

The Invisible Hand Theory, created by Adam Smith, is the theory that the public will create their own competition, motivation, and therefore success without the help or forceful hand of the government. This theory not only applies to businesses that make up our economy, but charities as well. Charity is giving money to the poor, but the key thing about charity is that people are giving out of choice. They are not giving because the government is taking money out of their paychecks in order to even out the large gap between the rich and the poor, they are giving out of their own will.

Not to say that charity is a selfish act, but “individuals seem to derive more benefits from the act of giving itself than from the benefits that their gifts generate for others.” People don’t give out of the kindness of their hearts, just like they don’t work hard simply to create a product that will benefit others; they do it because they are getting something out of it. An example would be two pizza chains; they both make the same product and are therefore in direct competition to each other. The pizza make isn’t making his pizza with the thought of “I hope this pizza brings joy and satisfaction to people”, he is making it with the thought of “I hope this pizza is better than the other guys because I want to win”.

This same thought process lingers behind every donation to charity. The great thing about this thought process is that it leads people to give way more than they would if the government were reaching into their pockets and making the decision for them. This is where the invisible hand comes into play: if you let people act on their own terms, the outcome will be so much more prosperous.The risk of letting the government do all the work is simply this: “Individual donations can be completely "crowded out" by government contributions. Using the example above, if the government taxes the donor $10 and hands it over to the charity, the donor will simply reduce his contributions to the charity by $10. For the charity, the net effect of the government donation is zero.” Just like most decisions in life, people prefer to be making them on their own because the fact is that “donors get more satisfaction out of giving a dollar directly to charity than they do out of seeing a dollar of their tax money go directly to that same charity. They want to contribute on their own.”

As seen in the picture above, giving to the poor can even benefit you when it comes time to pay your taxes. Now wouldn’t you rather give on your own time and reap the benefits rather than have it taken out of your paycheck without your consent? Most would want the choice to be theirs.
Works Cited:

"Publications." The Economics of Charitable Giving: What Gives?. N.p., n.d. Web. 25
Apr. 2014. <>.

"Invisible Hand Theory Gets Tested on the Environment." Invisible Hand Theory: Free
Market Forces. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2014.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Compelling Story of Headphones

The Compelling Story of Headphones

Nick Manriquez

Almost every day, headphones and ear buds are used throughout the human race for a variety of reasons. Whatever the reason may be to use these sound compelling inventions, from listening to audio books or just music itself, they have truly come in handy in many industries and with enjoyment for the consumers who would like to purchase a pair. However, with such a wide variety of these music blasting machines, comes with a monopolistic market that allows people to compete with making very similar of the same item, but in using different styles.
It goes into a little more than just styles though with the competition throughout the marketing floor. More people would prefer to purchase a pair that has a higher reputation within this field such as “Beats” by Dre or Skull Candy. So one might ask, how much of a difference does being a well known brand really make?‎

As you can see, Apple is the brand of headphones that are being purchased most by the consumers. This may be because the headphones Apple sells all come along with the purchase of an Iphone or Ipod. Word of mouth gets around town and the next thing you know, Apple begins to dominate the headphone market. This also may be because Apple headphones sell for the low price of $29.99 for a single pair when the rest of these brands can only be purchased for a much higher price than Apple. Also, Apple might have more of a uplift with their quality than other headphone brands. Overall, when you have the low prices people want, quality, as well as some good marketing tactics, Apple is leading in sales in this very competitive market.

When looking at this graph, you can see that not only do different brands of headphones compete in pricing, but also with the number of products they choose to put on the market. Brands such as Monster, Pioneer, and Sony are set at lower prices than some of their competitors, but have a limited number of products available. Whereas with some competing headphone companies such as Ultrasone, Sennheiser, and Beyerdynamic, we can see that the number of products put on the market increases. This may be because people who can only afford to buy the cheaper headphones are only going to buy one pair to use until the product absolutely can’t function anymore. On the other hand, the people who buy the more expensive headphones can afford these luxuries and are going to be searching for new products to spend their money on. Since this is such a competitive market across the world, companies have to know how to market their brand to the key consumers they are trying to obtain.

After gathering all of this information it all comes down to one final solution, buy a pair that you find most affordable to you and that will give you the most bang for your buck. Don’t fall into buying the most popular brand that just looks cool but a pair that will be most efficient for you and what you would use them for.

Rap and Hip Hop

By Kelby Fritz

Hip-Hop and rap is a dominant music genre in our day and age. It also has a large positive impact on the economy. With rappers and groups going on tours, and doing shows, they could potentially be making large sums of money per show, bringing in large profits for the venues that they perform at, if you go to see your favorite performer, you will most likely be spending some of your money on their merchandise, or even just purchasing some food or a beverage from the stadium or arena they are performing at. A performer like B.o.B makes a miniscule $80k a show, and he only comes in at 14th, top of the list is Jay-Z and Kanye West who made a whopping $3,000,000 per show on their Watch the Throne tour. 
Not only do they have large incomes, rappers also have large net worth’s. When these people have all this money, they will have more money to be spending on things increasing their net worth’s. The richest of them all based on net worth is said to be Sean Combs, with a total net worth of $580 million. Sean Combs not only made money in the rap business however, he started off by establishing his own record company in 1993, Bad Boys Records. Not only in the music business, Combs earns his money from acting, his own clothing line, Sean John, founded in 1998, owning two restaurants and receiving large cuts of the profits from Ciroc sales. Combs is making his own way and is #1 on Forbes Hip-Hops future Billionaires list. 3rd on that list is a rapper that makes his revenue in yet another way, rapper Andre “Dr. Dre” Young makes makes the largest chunk of his wealth with the headphone maker, Beats Electronics, that he founded in 2008 with Jimmy Iovine (“who is an American music producer and entrepreneur, the co-founder of Interscope Records and chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M”(
            Not only do the rappers themselves bring in income, but business and places involved with the genre do as well. It is reported that with the opening of the Hip-Hop museum, in Manhattan, a near $350 million will be impacting New York economically on an annual basis. In other countries hip-hop is involved in economic decisions as well. Recently it was found out that Canada granted native rapper Drake with 300,000 Canadian dollars, or about US $268,000, to host his annual OVO Fest. An event like this could benefit in many ways for the country’s economy, with many large name artists appearing, people will flock from all around Canada and the United States. With all these people coming from around the continent, they will be spending money on goods and services in Canada, providing them with a large source of money.
            With all of this being said it is easy to see why the Hip-Hop industry is a good source of income for a country, it can help to stabilize the economy and benefit the businesses involved and the people employed with the industry.

Works Cited

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Stay at Home Moms Are On the Rise

By: Hailey Wallschlaeger

            Many women in America have chosen to be stay-at-home mom’s. Chosen to watch their children grow up while their husbands maintain a steady job. However, today they are staying at home because they cannot find jobs that benefit their family enough to be willing to give up time with their children. These moms also agree that staying home with the children is a better decision; even if it means living on one income and cutting their spending, the benefit that children receive from being raised solely from their parents is easily worth it. An article from the Washington Post states, “20% of all married mothers with children under 18 stay home-half what it was in 1970. One in five children in the US today lives with a stay-at-home mother married to a working husband. While in 1970, 41% of children did.”

According to D’Vera Cohn of, “a growing share of stay-at-home mothers (6% in 2012 compared to 1% in 2000) say they are home with their children because they cannot find a job.” The amount of women in the workforce is also declining causing a lack of jobs for women with children. Women think that the opportunity cost of staying home with their children is much greater than working for a job that won’t even make a financial difference for their family. This decline in women in the workforce is very discouraging for future women wanting to get a job. Seeing this trend of a rise in stay at home moms is causing women to lose hope of finding a job and they may not push themselves to get an education knowing that it is so difficult.

According to Carol Morello of the Washington Post, “the shift is most noticeable among women who are immigrants and who do not have college educations.” This data shows that a college education is much more valuable now than it was in the past. The competition for jobs is much higher today and forces students to push their education as far as they can to have better chances of getting a successful job in the future.
Many women were interviewed in Lynchburg, VA to explain why they chose to stay at home than to get a job. A woman named Bethany Gail said, “For newborn care you are looking at an average of $800-1000 a month. That is somewhere around $12,000 a year. The average price for a three-year old to be in preschool ranged between $500-800 a month on average, so that’s around $7,000 a year. That didn’t factor in the cost of breakfast, lunch, or after-hours care. That’s why I chose to stay home rather than to send all my paychecks to a child-care provider.” Women like Bethany have some opportunities to get jobs but they know the money they make won’t be benefiting their family for the long run so they choose to abstain from working.

Works Cited
Kurtz, Annalyn. "Stay-at-home moms on the rise." CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 8 Apr. 2014. Web. 21 Apr. 2014. <>.
Morello, Carol. "More moms stay at home, new research says." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 9 Apr. 2014. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. <>.
"Stay-At-Home Mom Rates On The Rise." - N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. <>.
"Stay-at-Home Mothers on the Rise." Pew Research Centers Social Demographic Trends Project RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. <>.

The Michael Kors Takeover

Written by: Maya Schaefer

The Michael Kors Takeover

As recent shoppers have been looking for the new perfect bag for the upcoming season many have turned away from the traditional brands like Coach or Louis Vuitton and to Michael Kors. Michael Kors has prided himself as a designer of a high-end product for an affordable price. As Michael Kors attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City he soon dropped out and it wasn’t until years later he became a household name around the world. When Michael first came out with his collection it was primarily a high-end sporty collection focused for upper eastsiders the brand later evolved into an image that is commonly seen on the red carpet worn by A-list celebrities.

In this past December, the brand Michael Kors went public on the stock market and since then share prices have skyrocketed. According to “Michael Kors’s shares have more than doubled from their $20 offering price in mid-December, while Coach has advanced by about a third since then. The Standard & Poor’s Supercomposite Apparel and Accessories Index gained 28 percent.” Over the past three years stocks have risen over 500% gaining a fan base in which Michael is creating bags with a trendy edge  but also keeping that timeless touch, a bag for everyone.  Competing brands such as Coach and Louis Vuitton which have been around for years, but it’s been made clear that Michael Kors is here to stay.

Company Name
FY 2011
YoY Growth
FY 2012
YoY Growth
FY 2013
YoY Growth
Michael Kors
$1.3 Bil.
$2.18 Bil.
$3.21 Bil. (Est.)
47.25% (Est.)
$4.16 Bil.
$4.76 Bil.
$5.08 Bil.
Louis Vuitton
$23.66 Bil.
$28.1 Bil.
$29.15 Bil.

While Michael takes over the United States with multiple collections Michael also has made it into the European culture which solidifies that the brand is expanding permanently. Although some europeans are sticking with their homeland brands it isn’t uncommon to see this United States brand on the streets of Europe. With stores continuing to open in Europe it would be foolish for investors not to consider adding Michael to their collection of stocks. According to The Motley Fool website on an article titled Forget China: Michael Kors Real Market Growth Is Europe it states “ More and more often, European consumers are trading in their European luxury brands for that of American fashion designer Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: KORS  ) . We can already see this trend take flight as Michael Kors' sales in Europe climbed higher in its fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. Not only did Michael Kors threaten the sales of handbag designerCoach (NYSE: COH  ) in the United States, it is now challenging French luxury brand LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (NASDAQOTH: LVMUY  ) in Europe.”
In 2004 Michael Kors added a line called MICHAEL by Michael Kors to department stores to help rise sales with a more affordable accessory line. Since then more than 4,000 department stores have started to carry his line. With other designers creating accessory lines to try and compete; Michael still takes the gold. While Michael Kors has only been around for 33 years it has grown tremendously in the past decade and is still rapidly growing, taking over the fashion world one bag at a time.

Work Cited

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