Thursday, June 9, 2016

Courtney Johnson - Fourth of July Celebrations

Courtney Johnson
Mrs. Straub.
AP Economics
Fourth of July Celebrations
On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. Every year, Americans show their pride by celebrating this most American of holidays marked by parades, fireworks, and backyard barbecues across the country. Behind this holiday lies some serious money, as Americans are willing to spend a lot more.
Some products are in high demand around the 4th of July. The American flag is one such product. In 2009, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags was $3 million. Most of this amount ($2.5 million) was for chinese-made U.S. flags. The dollar value of flags exported was $320,277, much smaller than the imports, and many of the flags exported were sent to Mexico. The annual dollar value of shipments of flags, banners or similar products was more than $300 million according to the economic census data. Fireworks are another huge commodity, in that consumers spent nearly $600 million on fireworks, about two-thirds of that spent on backyard fireworks (Floro).
Even though the economic climate is tough, the industry for the 4th of July is thriving. Part of this is due to states relaxing their laws on consumer consumption of fireworks. Not only are fireworks involved, but the food aspect contributes millions of dollars in revenue to the economy. Around 160 million people are planning to fire up around 400 grills for this year’s festivities. This is about 68% of the population, 4% higher than last year, and the highest percentage of people on record since the beginning of the survey. According to US News, the nation will spend around $2.4 billion at the grocery store, with the average family paying $50 or more for a good meal.
All of this consumer spending with jump the economy as people are no longer holding onto their money. Businesses will recycle the profits made into either the banking system or to the companies that sell them their products. The 4th of July is a very profitable holiday that is unmatched by others, and the expected turnout is only going to keep rising and rising in numbers, making the 4th of July one of business’s most anticipated holidays next to Christmas and Halloween.

Monday, June 6, 2016

My Stance on Socks - Colin Marks

My Stance on Socks

I love men’s fashion. To say I am a fashionisto would be an understatement. It’s what I live for. That being said I am always up to date on the latest fashion trends. The most recent trend is socks. How is your sock game? Probably not as good as mine. Fortunately for the US economy, there are a lot of people like you who are looking to upgrade their sock game. Such a large shift in demand has the capability of causing major macroeconomic changes.

When looking more specifically at the sock market, I’ve noticed a large change. The sock game is evolving. Just a few years ago, the “cool socks” were some form of nike elites or some other athletic socks. In the past two years, there has been a market shift, with a greater interest in casual multi purpose socks, that aren’t specifically for sports, but are instead can be worn around and just are there too look cool. They can still be worn during athletic events, but are not specifically designed for that.

Nike did a good job adapting to this market shift by coming out with a newer line called “Nike SB”. This line is designed for skateboarders, but has gained other interests from other people as well, but the company that capitalized most by the market shift is Stance. Stance socks are a luxury sock company that started in 2011. They now dominate the sock market. They started off will cool casual socks and have then moved into athletic socks as well. They have sold 15 million pairs of socks in the past 4 years and have gotten a lot of attention, from celebrities and Major Sports leagues. They are now the official sock of the NBA and are endorsed by athletes like Dwyane Wade
Stance has single handedly changed the sock game. They jumped in as a small luxury sock company, but have gained so much attention, that they are now one of the leading brands, and are in retail stores from the likes of foot locker and Champs Sports all the way to stores like Nordstroms and Pac Sun. Giving them a very large customer base.

Works Cited
Chapman, Lizette. Luxury-Socks Startup Stance Raises $50M to Expand Into Underwear. Wall Street Journal. Wall Street Journal, 5 Mar. 2015. Web. 06 June 2016.

Bernie Sander's Economic Plan - Ayah Abdelsalam

Bernie Sanders’ Economic Plan

The countdown in America for the Presidential election is quickly approaching, and the heat between the presidential candidates continues to rise. One candidate with greatly mixed views is Bernie Sanders. Many value the morals of this particular candidate, yet are skeptical of his economical plan for the US. His ideas are commonly seen as socialistic, which is true to an extent.
Sanders strives to reorder where funding goes to in order to provide the American people sufficient support. Yet, while the people in general are in his best interest, the actions Bernie plans to take requires a rise in taxes. In addition to increasing taxes, Sanders plans to expand Social Security pensions.  According to the article A Vote for What?, “Totting up all the levies, the top marginal rate of federal tax-- which would be levied on households earning more than $10m-- would rise about 67%” (“A Vote”). This is a concerning number for those who have worked hard for the money they’ve made. Bernie’s intent with levying the taxing a bit more heavily on those with higher incomes also serves to even out the income levels and poverty gap.
According to Sanders’ plans, “The tax rates supported by Sanders includes 0.5 percent on all stock trades, 0.1 percent on all bond trades, and 0.0005 percent on all underlying values of derivative trades, such as the value of a stock in a stock option asset” (Collin). While much of the money gathered by taxes will be used for funding such as medical care, and infrastructure, much is also used for important trading that the entirety of the population uses.
At this point, we have reached a point in taxes that they are not our main concern. The idea of raising taxes greatly worries anyone who will have to pay them. Though, the raise in taxes serve to not only even out the gap between incomes, but also fund major services that are useful to the entirety of the community. The question is whether or not they are worth personal wealth.

Works Cited
“A Vote for What?” Bernie Sanders’ economic policy. The Economist Newspaper Limited, 2016. Web. 3 June, 2016.
Pollin, Robert. “Bernie Sanders Will Make the Economy Great Again.” Economics. The Nation Company LLC., 2016. Web. 3 June, 2016.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Sports Authority Closes Its Doors - Griffin Jende

Sports Authority Closes Its Doors
By Griffin Jende

As of recently Sports Authority, a major nationwide sporting goods store, has officially declared chapter 11 bankruptcy after racking up over $1.1 billion in debt. This will have both a profound effect on the sporting goods marketplace and a smaller effect on the total economy.  Although the Obama administration refuses to acknowledge that the economy is receding, Sports Authority’s closing along with major store closings of 12 other major retail stores such as Sears, Macy's, Wal-Mart and others suggests that it may be still on the decline. Even though Sport’s Authority is the only of the major retailers closing completely it may simply be the first.
As a part of their bankruptcy they expected to release about 4,000 of their 15,000 current employees. These 4,000 people will contribute to cyclical unemployment which is further evidence of a recession and although it may not directly change the unemployment rate too substantially we could see this rate increase as other major retailers contribute with their own downsizings. The unemployment increase could also have an increase in the MPS or marginal propensity to save. As workers are laid off they would not do as much spending increasing MPS and decreasing MPC which could lead to a further recession. If the cycle of less spending and more layoffs starts it could become a major issue and may need government intervention.
Another issue facing the economy as a result of Sport Authority’s latest move is the effect on the real estate market. This industry will also take a major hit as Sport’s Authority a once staple tennet in many buildings will be emptying over 140 stores nationwide.
This hurts the real estate market as there are few large retailers willing to fill the huge space that the stores would previously occupy. This not only reduces revenue from the single store but makes other spaces less appealing due to the empty space lowering the value of the overall mall or property area.
All in all Sports Authority’s failure to respond to changing consumer habits and a decline in the economy led to its demise. All we can hope is that other stores will heed the warning of Sports Authority and change their consumer habits before we enter into this cycle.

Works Cited:

Sports Authority Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Debts Exceed $1.1 Billion. The Denver Post. N.p., 2016. Web. 02 June 2016.
Under Armour Said Late Tuesday That It Was Lowering Its Sales, Profit Outlook For The Year Due To The Bankruptcy, and Liquidation Of Sports Authority. Sports Authority Closing Hurts Sneaker Sales.CNNMoney. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 02 June 2016.
Economic Recovery? 13 Of The Biggest Retailers In America Are Closing Down Stores. Zero Hedge. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 June 2016.

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