Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Costs of a Government Shutdown

Written by: Tyler Johnson

The Costs of a Government Shutdown

Every year, the US Government creates a budget on government spending. As a new president sworn into office, there are new ideas of where the government’s budget should be allocated to. With President Trump’s new views on nationalism and national defense, he is looking to increase the spending on the military as well as homeland security, while decreasing all other departments. As a result of this, congress is unlikely to approve of these radical changes, as some of the changes in spending are unnecessary and will not be able to allow a continuous growth in the US.

This disapproval of the budget in congress could eventually cause a government shutdown, hindering the US economy. In a shutdown, not only is the US economy impacted through a decreased economic output, but also travel spending at national parks and museums are hindered. In the 2013 government shutdown, the US economy lost $24 billion in economic output, and lost $450,000 in revenue at national parks. Due to the loss of revenue, parks could shut down, and jobs may be lost for the consumers in the economy. This could result in a decrease in the US's GDP. Also, if workers are kept to their salaries, the US government budget deficit could increase significantly due to lost taxpayers dollars.

As the budget deadline for the President and Congress to pass a spending bill is nearing, the likelihood of another government shutdown is increasing, eventually leading to a negative impact in the US economy. This would lead to an increase of budget deficit, trade deficit, and loss of GDP.

Works Cited

@Edockterman, Eliana Dockterman. “Here’s How Much The Government Shutdown Cost The Economy.” Time, Time, 17 Oct. 2013, Accessed 26 Apr. 2017.
Hicks, Josh. “How much did the shutdown cost the economy?” The Washington Post, WP Company, 18 Oct. 2013, Accessed 26 Apr. 2017.
Mufson, Steven, and Damian Paletta . “ Business Trump federal budget 2018: Massive cuts to the arts, science and the poor.” The Washington Post, 16 Mar. 2016, Accessed 22 Apr. 2017.
Schoen, John W. “Another government shutdown? Here's the cost.” CNBC, CNBC, 22 Sept. 2015, Accessed 24 Apr. 2017.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Giannis Effect

The Giannis Effect:
Written By: Ricky Glowe

In 2013, the Milwaukee Bucks selected the lanky and mysterious kid from Greece, Giannis Antetokounmpo. His talent was raw and uncertain but he had no ceiling. Since then, he has developed into a superstar who has provided a needed spark for the City of Milwaukee and the Bucks team itself. The Bucks haven’t had a superstar talent for years, and the hype around the team couldn’t be higher. Since the 2013 selection, many dominoes have fallen that have been due to the rise of Giannis. The future of the Bucks franchise hasn’t been brighter, all due to “The Greek Freaks” rise to stardom, (with respect to Jabari and Khris).
Giannis has given Bucks fans something to be excited about, and in return, they have been gradually filling up more seats for home games. In the current season, Bucks fans have been more supportive than years past. The demand for Bucks tickets has increased, and the attendance totals tell the story. This season, the average Bucks game attendance in the BMO was at 15,828 people. This is an increase of 4.2% from last season, where the stadium was filled with about 15,166 people (ESPN). Giannis’ game is a positive externality for the franchise, as it creates more revenue and also increases the team's value overall.
Over the last couple of years, the Bucks have seen an gradual increase in their revenue. As can be seen in the graph above, at the end of the 2014-15 season, the Bucks generated $126 million dollars of revenue. And at the conclusion of the 2015-16 season they saw their revenue increase by $20 million dollars, putting it at $146 million dollars (Statistica). The same increase in revenue should be seen this season, as the Bucks have had a bigger demand for their products. All of this is due to Giannis, who is helping to widen the fanbase and bring in more consumers, who will spend some of their income on tickets, gear, stadium food, etc. The effect is in increase in revenue, which is  a great sign for the owners overall. Giannis has been putting more people into the seats and generating more profit (but more importantly W’s), for the Milwaukee Bucks franchise, which is huge for a small market team like them.Image result for milwaukee bucks arena
While Giannis has been putting people into some older seats, soon he will be putting people into some new ones in the arena that’s only being built a couple of meters away from the old one. This new billion dollar project figures to build a new home for the bucks while at the same developing an area around it that allows for more economic growth. This will create more jobs for the people of Milwaukee which will in turn lower the unemployment rate. The arena will also have an economic impact as well. Currently, the BMO Harris Bradley Center has an impact of $200 million dollars in the area, and generated $8.8 million tax dollars (Walker). The new and improved area would be expected to generate even more money, which would help to develop the local area even more.
Thanks to Giannis, Milwaukee will be in for a treat over the next couple of years. With the potential for an Championship in the near future, the bandwagoners better start hopping on early. It seems improbable that one player is able to impact a city like Giannis has in his mere 4 years in the league. Fortunately for Bucks fans and the city of Milwaukee, he will be here to stay for at least another 4, and hopefully much longer. His impact on and off the court cannot be dismissed. Hopefully in the next couple of years, we will see a team and city develop into something special, all because of the “Greek Freak”.

Works Cited
"Attendance." ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
Kirchen, Rich. "Giannis Helps Boost Attendance." Milwaukee Business Journal, 23 Jan. 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
"Milwaukee Bucks on the Forbes NBA Team Valuations List." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, Feb. 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
"Milwaukee Bucks Revenue 2001-2016 | Statistic." Statista. Statista, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

Wolf, Don. "MMAC Study Looks at Bradley Center's Economic Impact." IIS7. Journal Sentinel, 30 Mar. 2012. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

Do Tax Refunds Boost the Economy?

Jordan Zimmer

Do Tax Refunds Boost The Economy?

If there’s one thing that most Americans have in common, it’s that they don’t like taxes. Every year, millions of citizens file their taxes in which many give up 15% or more of their total revenue at the end of the financial year. Taxes have many benefits such as helping improve public services, such as roads, schools, parks, and so much more. But often times people owe less than the sum of the total amount of the estimated taxes that they paid. Therefore tax returns are essentially are exactly as they sound, they are a refund. The amount that is overpaid for will be returned.
Based off of IRS statistics, approximately 77% of Americans who filed taxes will receive a tax return this year, averaging $2,798 per person (TIME). According to CreditDonkey, 44% of the surveyed people will spend their returns will make a big purchase.

Research shows that the people who make big purchases after their tax return often are a direct correlation with stimulating the economy.The reason being is because when consumers have extra money laying around, people have a tendency to spend it. Therefore because they are spending more money, money will be flowing more freely as compared to stuffing your mattress with money.
Logically, when the demand for goods increases, the supply amount also will change too depending on the market. Many economists argue about whether tax returns boost the economy. The answer, well, it's debatable. An argument by one economist might might say that it doesn’t boost the economy because they are just receiving their own money back. However, another economist might argue that it does help boost the economy because the money they receive back is in one big chunk. Therefore, because many aren’t used to receiving so much at once, they may have an incentive to go out and spend it. With both arguments to be valid, the argument is yet to be solved. What do you think? Do tax refunds boost the economy?     

Works Cited

Cloutier, Richard. "How Tax Cuts Stimulate the Economy." Investopedia. N.p., 30 Mar. 2017. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.
Mannino, Naomi. "Survey: Tax Refund Statistics." CreditDonkey. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.

"Tax Refunds: Do They Boost the Economy?" Time. Time, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.

Dozens of Wisconsin Dairy Farmers Threatened to Shut Down

Emily Udulutch
Mr. Reuter

Dozens of Wisconsin dairy farmers threatened to shut down

Recently dozens of dairy farmers have been rushing to find buyers for their milk after Grassland Dairy Products, a central Wisconsin producer of dairy products and ingredients, announced it would no longer buy milk from them after May 1. This decision is estimated to affect a group of 75 producers. Supply is decreasing due to new Canadian government regulations. It estimated the company would lose sales of about 1 million pounds of milk per day. The company exports about $100 million worth of ultrafiltered milk to Canada each year.

Every day, Grassland has sent more than 1 million pounds of “ultra-filtered” milk to Canada. But, the company was informed by its Canadian customers last month they were eliminating demand, due to changing consumer preferences, for the products from Grassland, which the company said left them little choice but to reduce its milk intake.

Not only does this change affect the direct producers but Dairy producers everywhere in Wisconsin are affected. Tom Oberhaus, who owns Cozy Nook Farms in Waukesha, said the decision doesn't affect his farm directly since the farm isn't a Grassland producer, However, Oberhaus noted that dairy farmers throughout the state are interconnected, and said the decision has a ripple effect on the industry. "It is predicted that milk price per pound will go down 19 cents by the end of April, so there's a ripple effect throughout the industry. April's down 16 cents, May's down 20 cents, June's down 34 cents. There's definitely a ripple effect between every farm." 19 or 20 cents per pound might not seem like a lot but it is about the equivalent to losing a dollar per hour in a high school job. With this loss of income, farmers might not be able to pay for all of the complementary goods needed to run a farm. Also, if a dairy milks more than the average number of cows, the may need to sell some in order to 1.) get extra money to compensate for lost money and 2.) remove extra cost it take to feed and care for a cow that may not produce as much milk.
As this issue will affect individual dairy producers, it will also begin to affect Wisconsin’s economy. Along with getting rid of cows, dairys with a large amount of workers will have to lay off some of them because of they can’t afford to pay them. This cyclical unemployment may cause the unemployment rate to increase. To prevent any large contractions in the business cycle politicians are formulating solutions to the issue. Here are Donald Trump's thoughts on the issue. Type and amount of effects on Wisconsin’s economy is not known yet because the change has not taken place yet, but some milk prices are expected to rise and many farmers will have trouble keeping their farms going as they try to find new buyers to sell milk to.

Works Cited
AVILA, LARRY, and MARA BUDDE, WILDWEED HOLSTEINS & JERSEYS. "Need Milk? Dozens of Wisconsin Dairy Farmers Scrambling to Find Buyers in Saturated Market." 06 Apr. 2017. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.
Barrett, Rick. "Dozens of Wisconsin Dairy Farms Could Be Forced out of Business Because of Trade Dispute." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 05 Apr. 2017. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.
Johnson, Alec. "Lake Country Farmers Keep Wary Eye on Grassland Decision." Lake Country Now. 07 Apr. 2017. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.
Wall, David. "HTTP in PHP." Multi-Tier Application Programming with PHP (2004): 21-43. Print.


Paula Peyton
Mr. Reuter
25 April 2017


Coachella 2017 is currently being held in Indio, California. It’s a music and arts festival that’s highly attended from people around the country, including many celebrities. Coachella consists of 2 different 3 day weekends, containing the current most popular performers. Musical heavyweights include Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and Kendrick Lamar. With large music festivals, come huge revenue for the city. Coachella has given a huge boost to the economy. Nearby hotels are in high demand and booked months ahead of the festival’s dates, giving profit to the hotel and economy from taxes. Consumers and businesses spend $704 million overall during the festival. It’s estimated that $403 million is spent in the city of Indio. $106 million is estimated to be injected into the economy. Just the cost of tickets brings in $3.18 million of profit, and that accounts for 5% of the city’s general fund. The cost of a 3 day pass in 2015 was $375, and in 2017 it’s now $400 for the same ticket package. The event is able to raise the price, because they know people will still buy them because it’s such a popular festival. Each day 99,000 people attend Coachella. Most spend their entire day there, so they are inclined to spend their money on food, beverages, and the various activities and booths set up.

Coachella invigorates the local economy in Indigo where 21% of the population is under the poverty threshold. Goldenvoice, a company based in LA, gives the city $5.01 for every pass sold to the festival.  Businesses that support Coachella, such as food vendors, receive a positive externality from this music festival. So do businesses outside of the festival grounds, as they are going to be visited more from people going to and leaving the festival. Despite the total cost of tickets, hotels, flights, etc to attend this festival, I personally think it’s worth the opportunity cost. Coachella would be a vacation to California, a chance to meet new people, spend time with friends, and see all your favorite artists in one package.

Works Cited
"Coachella 2017: What Does It Really Cost to Attend? | Money." Time. Time. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
"Coachella by the Numbers: A Breakdown of the Festival's $700-million Impact." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
Seabrook, John. "The Mastermind Behind Coachella." The New Yorker. The New Yorker, 12 Apr. 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
The Effects of Poverty on the Brain
Cade Gerlach

Poverty in the United States stood at 13.5% with 43.1 million living below the poverty line in 2015; however, homeless people are not included. In addition, 19.4 million or 44% of those in poverty reported living in deep poverty; this is defined as making less than 50% of the poverty threshold. Poverty is defined as one person making $12,082 a year to a family of 9 or more making $49,177 a year. The method to determine the official poverty rate was created in the 1960s by Lyndon Johnson in order to assist with his war on poverty. This information is released each September by the US Census Bureau. Prior to the passing of the War on Poverty by LBJ, poverty was in the mid 20s; however, since passing, poverty has fluctuated between 10% and 15%.

Poverty is a self-perpetuating cycle and this is partly due to its effects on the brain. The prefrontal cortex is an area in the front of your brain. It controls problem solving, goal setting, task execution, personality, and moderating social behavior. The limbic system works with it and is located near the center of the brain. The limbic system deals with emotions and is causes emotional responses like crying and laughing. It also helps store long term memory. However, due to the various stresses of poverty such as not making ends meet, putting food on the table, etc. the limbic system is constantly sending stress and fear messages to the prefrontal cortex. This constant barrage hinders its ability to operate efficiently. Poverty is in effect hindering people's abilities to make good decisions, solve problems, and focus on improving their lives. Children are even more affected by poverty as the lack of resources places constant stress on their brains.

Fighting poverty is expensive and costs quite a bit or about $212 billion. Critics of anti-poverty programs may complain about how much they cost, but in reality, we’re paying more in the short run and spend less in the long run. Each child lifted out of poverty has a much greater potential of achieving his or her dreams and becoming a productive member of society. Those who remain are more likely to commit crimes, skip school, not go to college, or be incarcerated. Therefore, it is imperative we create a new war on poverty. This would include family counseling, universal day care, expansion of medicaid and SNAP, and other programs. It will be expensive, but to not pay these short term costs is to pay more in the long run. Poverty does not need to be this high. In numerous other Industrialized nations it is lower. We just need to redefine what our priorities are in favor of the poorest among us.

"Institute for Research on Poverty." What are Poverty Thresholds and Poverty Guidelines? | Institute for Research on Poverty | University of Wisconsin–Madison. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.

Mathewson, Tara GarcĂ­a. "How Poverty Changes the Brain." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 19 Apr. 2017. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.

"UC Davis Center for Poverty Research." What is the current poverty rate in the United States? N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.

Pewaukee Pirates

Vinnie Angellotti
From students who are struggling to pay off their student loans to adults who are barely making enough money to support themselves, there are a lot of people who have a scarcity of money. These people, like everyone else in the world, want to have certain amenities in their life like music, movies, or T.V. shows. While our century's technology has grown a lot, allowing for fairly cheap access to these things, there are always some people who want to get this entertainment for free. Additionally, these goods that people want, like movies, T.V., software, ext., are so simple to obtain for free through piracy, there is no wonder why it is such a big issue. A simple google search would allow you to go to pirate bay, a site that hosts millions of free download ranging from recent music albums to expensive music making software. All the user has to do is click on the item and it will be theirs in a matter of minutes, no payment required. Yet another reason people would partake in this illegal action is the amount of people that get caught each year for piracy. According to a tech site named Digital Trends, the rate of people facing charges is only 1 in 8129. It is no wonder that people will pirate like crazy, because the Cost/ Benefit analysis is completely weighing towards the benefits and no cost. On top of all this, someone could just use a VPN or deny the charges and say it was their neighbor and never get caught.  

While going on and obtaining this media through pirating may seem like no big deal, it actually has many negative externalities. A site titled Music Business Worldwide stated that, “Only 37% of music acquired by US consumers in 2009 was paid for.” This not only can effect the artist who is making the music, but it can also make fans who purchases the album get mad and may even result in music quality going down from the artist because they know they won’t get full compensation. The supply/demand graph has an equilibrium that is very low because lots of people are getting their music for free, so the artists have to lower the price or else everyone will just pirate the music. This is just the music industry as well, if we took into account the movie industry, software companies, and even the video game industry, the amount lost would be in the billions of dollars.

However, hope is not lost. As American officials are identifying piracy as a bigger and bigger problem, more laws are being introduced and internet security is cracking down.  Sites like Piratebay that continuously find loopholes to keep their sites on the web are getting in trouble and will eventually get shut down completely. Along with this, artist's are mentioning this issue in their songs to spread the word and video games are implementing things that would break the game if pirates tried to play them. Overall, while it may seem easiest to just get a that new album via piracy, the better idea may be to support the artist and just buy it.

Works Cited
Mokey, Nick. "Music, Movie and Software Piracy: What's Your Chance of Getting Caught?" Digital Trends. N.p., 20 Sept. 2014. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.

Worldwide, Music Business. "Why does the RIAA hate torrent sites so much?" Music Business Worldwide. N.p., 19 Dec. 2014. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Spring Break Effect

The Spring Break Effect
Carson Abrahamson

Every year near Easter Time, students are forced to take a mandatory hiatus from their education, aptly titled “spring break”. Most students find themselves thoroughly depressed during this period as they miss their schooling dearly. Some try to mask this depression by traveling to faraway lands in attempt to fill the void left in their souls by the absence of tutelage. Such prime locations for spring break travelers see noticeable revenue generated by the influx of college and high school students who come to party, but the ultimate effect is highly overrated, except for the law enforcement industry.
With that being said, the amount of finances pumped into spring break destinations, most notably warm climate regions such as Texas and Florida, cannot be downplayed. Roughly 40% of all collegiate students in the United States vacation to some region, and they bring with them billions of dollars. Between Texas and Florida alone, nearly $1 billion is spent by the students looking to cure their spring break boredom. This money is mostly directed towards income for small businesses that pride themselves on selling cheap rooms or cheap beverages, and has led to an uptick in entrepreneurship. In Panama City, a popular Florida destination, positive business growth was posted for every year between 2001 and 2005 as the amount of total businesses rose from 634 to 779 across the same period.
Panama’s spring break gains are not all that they seem, however, as the lucrative amount of money spent does not translate to a proportional increase in tax revenue. Over the six week period that spring break occurs, around the months of March and April, a reported $170 million was spent by partiers, but the local government asserts that the very same months rake in the fewest tax revenues  of the entire year. The same goes for hotel receipts; July is the biggest winner when it come to earning the big bucks with regards to hotel spending. Such results are awfully counterintuitive, until one considers the actual spending habits of students; they are cheap. Often cramming innumerable quantities of people into the same room and consuming the cheapest beer that the human body can safely ingest, it’s no wonder that certain financial situations are not what one might expect.
Aside from hotel receipts and tax revenue, a mark is still left on the spring break towns’, most notably in the form of crime. For police men and women, business is booming when it comes to spring break. The month of March tends to be, by far, the most popular month for crime and citations, and that is almost certainly the result of the influx of hormonal and drunk college students. From February to March, crime in Panama city more than quadruples, and citations  increase almost twenty times over. Safe to say, law enforcement workers break a sweat when the spring breakers begin to arrive by the busload, but year round residents might get a kick out of the college aged antics.
Overall, it is clear that spring break partiers provide some form of stimuli to the local economy, but the impact is largely overrated. Aside from providers of cheap booze and cramped hotel rooms, the local economy is affected by dozens of factors that are more significant than the spring breakers. Furthermore, spring breakers bring a wealth of problems that overworked college students tend to provide. The fun of spring break is timeless, but it does not found great and illustrious cities.
Works Cited
"Spring Break & the Economy." Free Enterprise. N.p., 14 Mar. 2016. Web. 12 Apr. 2017.

Thompson, Derek. "2,000 Years of Partying: The Brief History and Economics of Spring Break." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 26 Mar. 2013. Web. 12 Apr. 2017.

Spring Break spending boosts economy SELENA YAKABENews Editor | 0 comments. "Spring Break spending boosts economy." N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2017.

Spring Breaking the Bank

Image result for spring break
Written by: Madyson Studenek

Spring Breaking the Bank

Spring break is the time for vacations for many high school students, or even grades who are younger. As soon as winter break is over high school students begin their countdowns to spring break and their next long period of time off. There is always a wide debate that parents go through on whether or not they should take a vacation during this time. Not to mention how crowded any place you go will be because of the sheer amount of people looking to get away this time of year. Some of the trade offs of travelling during another time of the year may be the missing work and school. Most students have off for a week around Easter or earlier and if you were to travel another time, there may be class time missed. Parents typically have Easter off and some have off for Good Friday and or the Monday after Easter. I do not think that so many families should go on vacation during this time, but rather another time of the year when it is less expensive to travel.
Image result for cartoon money crossed outFrom Mexico to France so many families venture off on their destination vacations and spend countless amounts of money so that their kids can make memories in another place besides their hometown. Whether it is escaping the cold, or just visiting a new place, according to Barry Choi, more than 50% of college students venture off on a vacation each year. The demand increases every year for a bigger and better vacation than the last. Not to mention the opportunity cost of taking a vacation from missing work, to the actual cost of the vacation itself. Price level rises at this time of year because airlines, hotels, restaurants know when the travel season is. Families go out to eat for most meals which is a much higher price than cooking their own meals with food from the grocery store.
Many families try to find deals during spring break, but there isn’t always a way to save money, especially because of the sheer amount of people who travel during spring break season. According to Kaitlyn Mcavoy, a journalist for Spend Matters, “College students alone spend more than $1 billion every year on spring break”. While this is a convenient time to travel because of the lack of school, or work depending on when holidays fall, it seems ridiculous.
It makes much more sense for families, or even an individual in order to save money and increase your purchasing power so that you can either exercise your propensity to save or propensity to consume with the extra money that is leftover from making efficient economic decisions with travel plans. There are a few times of the year that are significantly cheaper than any other time of year, “The first two weeks of December (between the Thanksgiving and Christmas rush), most of January (after the New Year’s travel period), spring and fall (exception: the traditional “spring break” weeks in March/April)” (Seaney). The issue is that many people have already had off before this time or will have off soon leaving employers unlikely to grant requests for time off. Students would also be missing school during this time which is an opportunity cost.  The student could have a fun vacation, but they would be missing valuable instruction from the teacher that they will not be able to get back.
These are some of the comparisons for a week long trip for a family of four. According to CBS News, spring break typically costs around $1500 per person when it is domestic. ValuePenguin states that, a vacation that does not happen during spring break or around major holidays generally costs around $900 per person. An international spring break vacation can cost up to $3000 per person, whereas an international trip will cost around $2000 per person during a ‘low cost’ travel time of year.
If you must travel during spring break, check out these tips to try and save your money. Clearly there are various options as to when travelling would save money, and this way it could be something that fits you or your family’s schedule. In conclusion, the best way to travel on spring break: is to not, save your money and travel at another time during the year.

Works Cited
"Average Cost of a Vacation." ValuePenguin. N.p., 2017. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.
Choi, Barry. "Spring Break Costs 2017." Spring Break Costs 2017: Where to Go for Less | Skyscanner. Skyskanner Ltd., 20 Jan. 2017. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.
GOBankingRates. "​The Cheapest - and Priciest - Spring Break Destinations." CBS News. CBS Interactive, 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.
Mcavoy, Kaitlyn. "Spring Break Spending Stats – How Much Do Our Beloved Beach Vacations Cost?" Spend Matters. N.p., 06 Mar. 2015. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.
Seaney, Rick. "Cheapest Time of Year to Fly | Dead Zones | Travel News." FareCompare. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.
Spengler, Teo. "Easy Ways to Save While Traveling on Spring Break." GOBankingRates. Toggle Navigation, 06 Feb. 2017. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.
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