Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The War on Poverty

Abbi Debelack

The War on Poverty

Since its’ beginning, the United States -- and every other country -- has been fighting an ongoing battle against poverty. How is it that thousands of people live frivolously, while thousands more are struggling just to survive? For generations, people generally ignored this issue, and the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. Even with the help of FDR’s “New Deal” programs, we couldn’t seem to break this cycle. It wasn’t until Lyndon B. Johnson’s declaration to fight this “War on Poverty”, that the government of the United States began to take further, more serious action.g-cvr-0130503-poverty-tease-645a.jpg

On paper, this urge to fight the War on Poverty sounded like a good idea, and it was for awhile. Because of it, many laws and regulations were put into place trying to support those who needed help the most. Some of those passed include: the Social Security Act, the Food Stamp Act, and the Economic Opportunity Act. Johnson thought the opportunity cost: giving up citizen tax dollars to aid someone else, would greatly pay off in the end.

However, is the trade-off really worth it? As you can see in the graph below, through continual efforts, as of 2012, the poverty rate had only dropped 4% since its’ conception in 1964. The US has spent more than $22 trillion to fight this war, which is more than three times what it’s spent on all military endeavors since the American Revolution.

The government approach to the War on Poverty has proven to be ineffective. There’s an old Chinese proverb that states, “ Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. In order to truly fight this War on Poverty, the government shouldn’t handout welfare money so freely. While it’s understandable that some people with physical or mental disabilities truly need to rely on someone elses’ income, there are far too many able bodied people receiving welfare. This is why the poverty level is still so high. It is too easy to receive the allotted benefit than it is to work. Without work, there is often a loss of self-respect and ambition to better oneself or change ones’ circumstance.

The programs provided to fight the War on Poverty often disincentivize work. For example a recipient is able-bodied, unemployed and receiving welfare benefits. If going out and getting a job meant a reduction in benefits they would likely analyze the loss of benefit with the gain in income from employment. Much like a business would do a marginal cost vs benefit analysis, many find that the marginal increase in income (benefit) not worth the marginal loss in the welfare benefit (cost).

Finally, whether or not we want to admit it, the Federal government has limited resources.  As of this writing, the Federal debt is in excess of $18 trillion. To remain a viable nation, we must begin using these limited resources more effectively. The War on Poverty is a lost war. More efficient and effective programs MUST be developed as merely a stopgap for those temporarily unable to work. They can no longer be a way of life.  It does the recipient no good and certainly does our country no good.

Here is a link to a news broadcast with John Stossel, explaining that concept more in depth. In conclusion, it is impossible to fully eradicate poverty. But perhaps if we change the way we’re trying to fight it right now, we can lower it the best we can.

Works Cited

Emaze Presentations. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2015.
"The War on Poverty After 50 Years." The Heritage Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.
"War on Poverty." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2015.

Economic Impact of New York Fashion Week

Jessica Brothers
B4 Economics

Economic Impact of New York Fashion Week

Currently, some of the most famous fashion designers are gathered in New York City to showcase their upcoming collections in a popular seven day event known as the Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. This event, spanning from February 11th until February 19th, attracts a wide range of celebrities and other trendsetters who love to attend their favorite designers’ shows. This spectacular occasion, one of fashion’s biggest, isn’t just about the immense excitement it entails, but rather the amount of economic prosperity it brings to the already glamorous New York City.
This fashion week alone is one of the most profitable events that New York hosts. The top notch shows and big-name consumers “generate an an annual economic impact of $887 million, according to a newly released analysis by the New York City Economic Development Corporation” (“New York Fashion Week”). The amount of money that the city makes off of this event annually is more than that of the U.S. Open, the New York City Marathon and the Super Bowl (“New York Fashion Week”). New York Fashion Week attracts some of the most wealthy people in the nation which may be an explanation as to  why its income exceeds those other huge events. The amount of quality designer clothing and products is also very scarce compared to the copious amounts of other types of clothing and products in the world. Because of this scarcity, there is a very high demand for these one of a kind pieces. Since there is a great amount of demand, especially from the high class portion of the population, the amount of money people are willing to pay skyrockets and along with that so does the profit.
Not only does New York Fashion Week generate an enormous amount of revenue but it also opens many employment opportunities. Tons of jobs are created because of the work it takes to put on fashion shows and run the event as a whole. During this extraordinary week, “about 180,000 people are employed in the fashion industry in New York” (“New York Fashion Week”). This is an insane number of jobs that kick off and benefit many people. Models are called to walk the runway, make-up and hair artists are called to beautify the models, journalists and magazine workers line the runway, and the list goes on and on. New York truly gains economic praise through the employment opportunities that this fashion week attracts. There is fuller employment, which is a huge goal that any economy strives for, and The Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week couldn’t ensue without the labor, or workers behind it.
Overall, New York Fashion Week is truly symbolic of the mostly free-market economy that the United States obtains. Fashion designers and buyers both come together to make decisions in order to sell and consume products, in this case, clothing. This fashion occasion brings the glitz and glamor that New York City is known for, while also improving the economy there. After all is said and done, hundreds of millions of dollars are made and new jobs are created from this star-studded event. The Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week has a positive, powerful impact on the economy as a whole.

Works Cited

New York Fashion Week continues with splashes of color, Snapchat.” CCTV America.CCTV America, 16 Feb. 2015. Web. 16 Feb. 2015.

After-School Budgeting

Brad Jakubowski

After School Budgeting

With high school coming to an end for many of us, it’s important that we all start considering a budget plan to follow while getting our major(s) in college. Regardless if you plan to go out for college, go directly into the workforce or try your luck with the military creating a budget would be best for any person as it prevents a common problem of high school graduates as most aren’t usually taught how to create a budget. Creating a budget isn’t just necessary for only college students, but many adults have budget plans that they use all the time.
The graph below, from Jeremy Waller’s Sample Average Monthly Budget for a Single Person or College Student, you can begin to understand what is needed when creating a budget.

This graph is measured under the assumption that the person is making at least $10/hour working 40 hours a week. Therefore by creating a budget that utilizes all $1,390 earned each month. This chart also includes one less necessary but still common variable that people tend to overlook, Charity receives 10% of the monthly budget, however this, like others (i.e: Savings, Food, Gas) could be changed depending on the circumstances of the individual. It’s also good to note that rent receives a large amount of the budget, this is because many college dorm as well as apartment costs have greatly increased throughout the years.
Through relation of the graph, there are a multitude of sources that state the same information on how to properly form a budget, calculate how much all living expenses will cost, then by comparison to how much you make each month you can calculate if you aren’t making enough, just enough, or an excess amount. With this you can effectively choose whether or not to live in a dorm or apartment, how much extra spending or extra savings you could potentially have. This would then allow the better living styles for after college as with the previously gained knowledge you’d be able to accurately create a new budget to live off of.

Works Cited

“How To Make a Budget: A Primer for College Students.” Web. 15 Feb. 2015.

“Get Prepared for Life After High School.” Mapping Your Future. Web. 10
Aug. 2010. 15 Feb. 2015.

Driscoll, Emily. “Six College Budget Busters Every Student Should Avoid.” Fox Business. Web. 1 Oct. 2012. 15 Feb. 2015.

Waller, Jeremy. “Sample Average Monthly Budget for a Single Person or College Student.”
Personal Finance Whiz. Web. 20 Sept. 2011. 15 Feb. 2015.

The DSCOVR Probe Launch

John Selfors
Mrs. Straub
AP Economics
The DSCOVR Probe Launch
With the increase in the ability to send probes into space and receive important data, placing a probe in between the earth and the sun has been important for the general welfare of humanity. As such the frequency of space launches has continuously increased. While the frequency of the launches have increased, it is not without reason.Through space exploration new discoveries can be made about the functioning of our world, which can inevitably help to secure the future of humanity. The DSCOVR probe is the next step towards fulfilling humanities unlimited wants.
The marginal benefit of sending a probe to this location is it allows the whole world to get valuable data which can save important communication satellites, the power grid, and transportation system by providing 15- 60 minutes of ahead of time feedback about the sun. It will end up decreasing the factors of production for almost every piece of electrical equipment, as there will be less maintenance cost involved. This inevitably means an outwards shift in supply. The expected amount of saved resources is between $1 and $2 trillion per every large solar storm, which shows the marginal cost is less than the marginal benefit. It also enables SpaceX to test their reusable rocket, which will further decrease the factors of production for space travel allowing for future launches to cost even less, while also increasing the quantity of launches. These launches will also enable scientific advances to happen with less resources allowing for economic growth to occur, as both technology will improve, and the efficiency we use resources will increase.
In addition to the sensors that will increase our ability to protect earth from the sun, it will provide constant feedback about the situation of earth’s climate. The sensors marginal benefit will include the ability to read ozone, aerosol concentrations, the amount of vegetation, and the cloud cover. This data will help further increase the reliability of our daytime weather forecasting attempts, as the DSCOVR will always be on the lit side of the earth. The data will also allow further explanation as to how the climate functions on earth, as currently not much is known on the subject. As with the effects of the solar wind portion of the probe, the earth side will also yield great benefit to earth.
This will lead to further space launches such as the proposed mars launch, which will allow humanity to gain access to a larger amount of resources again causing more development. If space exploration continues, new breakthroughs can take place which will inevitably further better the standard of living.
In conclusion, space exploration still plays an important role in our everyday lives, and without it there would be many more hardships here on earth. Throughout the future, the market for space exploration will undoubtedly grow, causing even more benefits to humanity. Throughout the future there must be a larger push to increase the functioning of important sensory feedbacks on our world in order to increase our understanding of this world that we live in.

Works Cited
"DSCOVR:." Deep Space Climate Observatory. Web. 17 Feb. 2015. <>.

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day
By: Brianna Burks

On the 14th of February every year the holiday Valentine’s Day is celebrated and it affects people more than they know. This is the holiday that is know for making that special someone in your life feel important. There are many items that are purchased during the holiday time: chocolates, cards, flowers and jewelry, as you can see by the image below. There is 448 million dollars that is spent on this day, some say that this gets a lot more money circulating in the economy. That the spending on Valentine’s day is a stimulant for the economy that is gets people spending the money they sometimes don’t want to spend.


However, in the link above it talks about the money that is spent on Valentine’s day could have been used for something else, getting money circulating just as much. Or it could have been saved in a bank and that bank could have used it elsewhere. In the first minute of the video it talks about how the our economy is more like a  free market economy and that is what allows us to go out and spend the money on the gifts. That a long time ago only the royalty had enough money to go and buy gifts. Now we have the free market and people are allowed to make money and buy the private goods that they would like.

There are many tradeoffs that are involved with valentine’s day and buying someone that perfect gift. Now that you bought your special someone that very nice necklace you gave up for money and your time, those are your tradeoffs. The opportunity cost of this purchase is that know you can’t go buy yourself a new pair of shoes, or whatever you would like most. You have to make sure that the marginal benefits out way the marginal cost when buying this gift to make sure that you will not regret it in the end.

There are many things that people do on Valentine’s day they can go to a movie, go out to dinner or some people go to a park, walk around and see all the beautiful things that this public good has to offer. With all these happy couples walking around there are some externalities that happen. There are 3rd parties that are witnessing this and for some it can be a positive externality. Meaning that some people that see other people happy, it makes them happy and puts them in a good mood. However, some people view these people as a negative externality, they find these happy people a little too much and maybe even annoying.
There are many things that go into the economics of Valentine’s day. Not only does this affect the consumers, it also can change some producers. The Production Possibility Curve for some business can change. For example if a farm grows both roses and corn, the corn production will go down and the production of roses will increase, shown in the figure above. This is due to supply and demand around this holiday people need roses to give to their special someone.

Works Cited

"" Definition of Production Possibilities Curve (PPC). Web. 18 Feb. 2015. <>
"The Economics of Valentine's Day."YouTube. YouTube. Web. 18 Feb. 2015. <>.
"Valentine's Day By the Numbers Infographic." A&E Television Networks. Web. 18 Feb. 2015. <>.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tennis- A Lifetime Sport

Written by: Taylor Vander Wyst 

Tennis- A Lifetime Sport

Are you involved in a high school sport? Do you plan to continue playing this sport throughout your life? Some people participate in sports in high school and never play again. They may lose interest or they suffer debilitating injuries that prevent them from playing. This is a trade off because they will have fun and do the sport now, but maybe won’t continue it later. Their opportunity cost could be joining another club, having more time for homework, or getting a job.

Lifetime sports are physical activities that people can enjoy throughout their lives. Some activities such as tennis, badminton, golf, and swimming are less strenuous and suitable for people in all stages of life. To view more lifetime sports, click here to watch a video. They also serve as a way to get physical activity in later stages of life when people aren’t as active. People can have a reason to get out and be social if they are passionate about a sport such as tennis. As seen frequently, groups of women or men will get together on their own, or form leagues and play a match of tennis at a local club or park. Another aspect of lifetime sports is that one can continue to improve and increase their skills as they play. There is always room for improvement in tennis which gives people a goal to work towards.

With most all of these lifetime sports and activities, they can be done by yourself or with as little as one other person. This makes it easy to pursue what you love, without having to rely on others. Tennis players only need one other person to play with them for a game to occur. Team sports such as football, volleyball, soccer, and basketball require a group to get together and play, making it harder to play more frequently.

Additionally, some sports take a large toll on your body. With football, players are more prone to injuries because of the physical contact in the sport. Football players may experience concussions, ACL injuries, muscle contusions, and MCL injuries. With tennis, there is no contact and a less chance of injury. Some of the most common tennis injuries are tennis elbow, rotator cuff tendinitis, or an ankle sprain. These injuries do not occur frequently with the proper prevention. Since tennis can be played in singles or doubles, people can choose to play doubles for a less strenuous game. Another pro about tennis is that one can decide how hard to hit the ball, therefore, they can decide how hard to push themselves. This means that anyone can play, no matter how old. One doesn’t typically see a group of people over the age of 40 playing a game of football. Even in the NFL, players tend to retire before they are 40 years old and may have lifetime serious injuries. Here is a graph from 2011 from Missouri High School showing the number of concussions in high school sports. About 75% of these concussions occurred from football.

To become a good athlete at any sport, one must put in time and effort to get into shape which is the cost. The benefits of tennis are that it is a sport one can play throughout their lives without a major toll on one’s body. In the end, it really comes down to what you love to do. If you are looking to play in a sport professionally and have a passion for it, then that is the path you should take. If you are looking for a fun sport to play your whole life, choosing something like tennis, swimming, or golf are great choices.


Holecko, Catherine. "Lifetime Sports." Web. 15 Feb. 2015. <>.

"What Is a Lifetime Sport?"LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 30 Jan. 2014. Web. 15 Feb. 2015. <>.

"Become an Advocate for Sports Safety."Football Injuries. Web. 15 Feb. 2015. <>.

"Become an Advocate for Sports Safety."Football Injuries. Web. 15 Feb. 2015. <>.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Interview Loss

The Interview Loss by John Young
Sony. One of the most successful companies in the world has faced a great loss of money. After making a comedy called “The Interview”, cyber-terrorists hacked Sony’s large corporation. Supposedly these attacks were caused by North Korea since the movie kills of the leader of North Korea. Either way, theaters were afraid of these attacks so Sony wasn’t able to make a profit off of this movie. In fact, Sony has lost over 75 million dollars due to lack of production of sales since the movie wasn’t played in theaters. If Sony’s company wasn’t successful in its other products like FIFA, then the production possibilities curve would’ve decreased a lot farther than it did.
            But it wasn’t a total loss for Sony. Due to Supply and Demand, Sony was able to make money off of online purchases that customers made. It was recorded that Sony made a total of 15 million dollars. Unfortunately that doesn’t even cover the price of advertising of the movie. The fact that Sony didn’t make money was due to pirating. Since people didn’t want to pay for the movie but wanted to watch it, they pirated the movie. This decision while it was illegal, was the best tradeoff decision. The only factor that these people were losing was time that they spent to find the movie download.
            Not only did this affect Sony but this incident also affects other companies as well. All of the online sources that are choosing to sell this movie run the risk of getting hacked. Then their company would lose money as well. Also the theaters lose the opportunity of gaining money. Some of the most successful movies make over 3.2 billion dollars in grossing. The fact that Sony is losing 75 million dollars doesn’t even compare to the amount of money that the movie theaters lost after rejecting the movie. The large companies like Marcus Majestic Movie Theaters rely on great selling movies but their company could run into the ground if situations like this happen more frequently. Deficits like these incidents make the economy take a step back.
            Free Market economies can and are very successful. The freedom of what to sell and what to make gives the consumer purchase a chance to expand. But there also are trade-offs into having a free market system. Since Sony has the freedom of making the movie “The Interview”, they were able to give their story of how two people interview the leader of North Korea and kill him off. The biggest trade-off that Sony had to deal with was fear. Fear was created the second after they got hacked. This fear spread into other companies like the majestic movie theaters. After they made the choice of not playing the movie made the fear trickle down to the average consumer. At this point the average consumer would have the fear of getting hacked as well so then they won’t buy the movie. Overall the movie “The interview” has taken a hit into America’s economy.

  •    Lang, Brett. "Sony Could Lose $75 Million on 'The Interview' (EXCLUSIVE)." Variety. 18 Dec. 2014. Web. 8 Feb. 2015. <>.
  • "100,000 Copies of The Interview Will Be Dropped into North Korea Using Balloons."Consequence of Sound. 1 Jan. 2015. Web. 9 Feb. 2015. <>.

The Economics of Ping Pong

Tony Grotjan
Mr. Reuter
10 February 2015
The Economics of Ping Pong
It isn’t a secret that professional athletes like the ones in the NFL, MLB, and NBA make a ridiculous amount of money here and America. The talents of players such as Aaron Rodgers, Giancarlo Stanton, and Kobe Bryant hardly go unrewarded. Players such as these make more money in a single game than many Americans make in an entire year. The demand for players with the necessary skills to excel in professional sports is extremely high, and the supply is scarce. This is all common knowledge, but what about other sports markets? Markets here and around the world are radically different. From examining differences in these markets, we can learn how one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and the importance of selling goods and services on the proper platform.
Most of you reading this have probably never heard of YiYong Fan, a man who recently was the American champion of the sport he played. Why has nobody heard of him? Because he plays Ping Pong. And nobody, unfortunately, in this country cares about Ping Pong. Yong, as he is called, was born in China, where Ping Pong is highly valued like football is here. At the age of 16, he was the Junior Champion of China, but there is such a high supply of talented players in China that there is a maximum age to play on the national team. Once Yong passed that age, he could no longer compete in the Olympics for China and moved to America, where he easily became the champion.
Because of the low value of Ping Pong in the American sports market, Yong wasn’t even able to make enough money to sustain himself as a professional athlete. This is outrageous considering amount of money other professional athletes of comparable status make. In many countries around the world, the Ping Pong champion is considered a national hero. This can only be explained through economic principals.
Imagine two restaurants, a barbeque place in Dallas, and a seafood place in Boston. There are a multitude of other barbeque restaurants in Dallas, as well as a multitude of other seafood restaurants in Boston. The competition for these restaurants is much higher in their current respective cities, but the values of these restaurant types in their cities are also much higher. Our hypothetical seafood restaurant makes great food, but it is only the tenth best in its category in Boston, so it moves to Dallas where it is the top in the area. Unfortunately for them, the people in Dallas don’t value seafood enough to ever eat there instead of barbeque, so this restaurant goes out of business.
This is Yong’s story. He started in a highly competitive Chinese Ping Pong market, and was fairly successful, but the competition increased so he moved to the less competitive, and less valued American market. While he rose to the top amongst a lower supply, the demand was just too low, and poor Yong was unable to sell his services and make enough profit. Fortunately, he was able to make a living coaching , so the story isn’t completely tragic.

  • "Golden Dragon Table Tennis Campus (Phase II)." Golden Dragon. Web. 9 Feb. 2015. <>.
  • "Table Tennis Champ Is out to Make Success of New Training Center." Web. 9 Feb. 2015. <>.
  • "Yiyong Fan vs Yahao Zhang Men's RR Group A." YouTube. YouTube. Web. 9 Feb. 2015. <>.
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