…to beat each other up with labels like capitalism or communism or socialism is simply a waste of time. The real issue is neighborliness. There are many ways to practice neighborliness — it requires the private sector being involved, the corporations, the government, the church. Everybody has a stake in maintaining a viable neighborliness, and to get caught up in abstract discussion about those kind of labels takes energy away from what our real concerns ought to be.
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2:16 am | 28th April| On a scale of 0-10 how tired do I look?? Preparing for my economics exam which is on 29th April i.e. Tomorrow. If anyone wants to study with me on Skype let me know. I am not very well today. So I might be going off to sleep. Maybe now. And get up as soon as possible. I hope my hard work pays.

How was your day? Best of luck whoever is having exams !!

To-do list for today (because I’m too lazy to make a proper schedule right now):

  1. Breakfast with K. Ask if she wants to come to the tech lunch talk that I RSVP’d for. 
  2. Read this study on marijuana use and academic achievement (for health economics class)
  3. Make headway on health policy problem set (due Thursday). Email J and A and see if they wants to compare answers.
  4. Go to the gym tonight, perhaps around 9pm. Bring K!
  5. Laundry.
  6. Order a twin XL fitted sheet.

Image source: Tea Cup Tea

What you really need to know about Baltimore, from a reporter who’s lived there for over 30 years

“It was only a matter of time before Baltimore exploded.

In the more than three decades I have called this city home, Baltimore has been a combustible mix of poverty, crime, and hopelessness, uncomfortably juxtaposed against rich history, friendly people, venerable institutions and pockets of old-money affluence.

The two Baltimores have mostly gone unreconciled. The violence that followed Freddie Gray’s funeral Monday, with roaming gangs looting stores and igniting fires, demands that something be done.

But what to do?

Baltimore is not Ferguson and its primary problems are not racial. The mayor, city council president, police chief, top prosecutor, and many other city leaders are black, as is half of Baltimore’s 3,000-person police force. The city has many prominent black churches and a line of black civic leadership extending back to Frederick Douglass.

Yet, the gaping disparities separating the haves and the have nots in Baltimore are as large as they are anywhere. And, as the boys on the street will tell you, black cops can be hell on them, too.”

Keep reading here →

You could say that the progress of civilisation for the last thousand years, since feudal times, has been a dissolution of autocratic feudal power toward more democratised power. The problem is that land has been democratised on credit. So instead of owing money to landlords, homeowners now owe money to their bankers.
Some basic trade theory

the-acton-tocqueville-society asked me if I could give an explanation of basic-intermediate trade theory. I’m unfortunately not that well-read on trade theory, but I can give an explanation of some simple introductory stuff. This will be a long post mainly about rigorously deriving Ricardo’s principle of comparative advantage from standard price theory.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

hello I'm so in love with ur blog and ur blog inspired me to redecorate my study space :) btw I have a suggestion for a good source of studying economics : youtube channel Intromediate Econ. My exam was so much easier after watching the tutorials. Have a nice day xx

ooh i take that next year so thank u for the tip!

Economists have found that in many scenarios, raising the minimum wage has either no or marginal impact on employment. A 2009 meta-study of 64 minimum-wage studies ranging from the 1970s through the 2000s found little or no evidence that raising the minimum wage produces discernible increases in unemployment.

4 lies we need to stop telling about higher minimum wage

Low-level wages cost U.S. taxpayers $153 billion per year

While the U.S. economy rebounds, persistent low wages are costing taxpayers approximately $153 billion every year in public support to working families, including $25 billion at the state level, according to a new report. It details for the first time the state-by-state cost to taxpayers of low wages in the United States.

“When companies pay too little for workers to provide for their families, workers rely on public assistance programs to meet their basic needs,” said Ken Jacobs, chair of the labor center and co-author of the new report. “This creates significant cost to the states.”

The UC Berkeley researchers also report that:

  • On average, 52 percent of state public assistance spending supports working families, with costs as high as $3.7 billion in California, $3.3 billion in New York and $2 billion in Texas.

  • Reliance on public assistance can be found among workers in a diverse range of occupations, including frontline fast-food workers (52 percent), childcare workers (46 percent), home care workers (48 percent) and even part-time college faculty (25 percent).

The researchers note that raising wages would result in significant savings to state and federal governments. In recent months, the substantial cost of low wages has prompted elected officials to take action. California, Colorado, Maine, Oregon and Washington are considering increasing the minimum wage to $12 or higher. In Connecticut, a proposal currently moving through the state legislature would fine large companies that pay low wages in an effort to recoup the cost these companies impose on taxpayers. The Congressional Democrats’ fiscal year 2016 budget proposal unveiled last month included a provision that would roll back tax breaks for large companies that fail to raise pay on pace with inflation.

“Our public-assistance programs provide a vital support system for American families. Raising wages would lift working families out of poverty and allow all levels of government to better target how our tax dollars are used,” Jacobs said.

You can read more about this report here.

Image via Inequality for All

More simply put, environmental problems are problems of morality, not economics. Economics reasoning is all very well, so far as it goes, but it is one-dimensional, focusing on individual rational choice, and how rational choices can be summed to the common advantage. Game theory, the theory of the market, the theories of preference ordering and social choice – all have addressed the question encapsulated in the tragedy of the commons. And those disciplines have finely illustrated the difficulties the impede co-ordination when we try to adjust our choices to the sparse information that we might have about the choices of others.

Oceans are ‘worth US$24 trillion’

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg is one of Australia’s leading marine scientists and director of the University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute in St Lucia. He is also the lead author of Reviving the Ocean Economy, a report published on 23 April by the conservation group WWF, which attempts to estimate the value of the ocean and proposes steps for its safeguarding.

Nature doi:10.1038/nature.2015.17394

The ocean’s riches: a school of brown-striped snapper (Xenocys jessiae), pictured near the Galapagos Islands. David Fleetham/NPL/WWF

I think free four-year college should be our goal. If our budgetary situation were in better shape, I would say free for everybody, but we need to have free four-year college at least for those who would not otherwise have access.
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“Eric” the pliosaur was discovered by an opal miner in 1987. The Australian miner excavated the remains himself, destroying and missing many of the smaller bones. After a dealer bought the remains for $125,000 Australian ($230,000 US when adjusted for inflation), the dealer went bankrupt and put Eric up for auction. Jewelry makers almost bought the aquatic reptile to break up the skeleton and make jewelry, as the opal content alone was worth $25,000 Australian. But with the help of corporate sponsorships and fundraising efforts by schoolchildren, The Australian Museum was able to buy this dinosaur relative for $320,000. 

In the same breath, a statist will support deficit spending to “promote economic growth”, bureaucratic regulations to slow down economic growth and “save the environment”, antitrust laws to “promote competition”, price controls to “reduce cutthroat competition”, “fiscal activism” to “boost aggregate demand”, “sin taxes” to “reduce conspicuous consumption”, minimum wage laws to “increase consumer purchasing power” and caps on bonuses to “prevent consumer greed”, bills to “empower the consumer by increasing his number of choices” and “fight consumer anxiety by reducing his number of choices”, and so on ad infinitum. In other words, he will unashamedly add intellectual insult to physical injury in pursuing the only thing that he cares about: power, that is, the negation of individual liberty.
—  Jakub Wisniewski
The Conservative party and the economy: Not as great as they say they are.

There’s a big belief going around that the Conservatives saved the economy from the recession, and they’ve managed it well since. It’s true that we’ve done well, in the grand scheme of things, but it’s not true that their policy is at fault.

We weathered the recession (where other countries failed) because of our more regulated banking sector, our strong resource base, and our largely self-sufficient economy. Year after year, the Tories come out with policy which chips away at these vital stabilizing factors. If we’re not careful, in the long run, they will erode entirely.

Let’s talk about resources. Overinvestment in oil helped improve Alberta’s boom, but it’s made our economy lopsided. 1/3 of our net exports are now petrolium products and while that doesn’t make us a petro-state, it does mean that our country is deeply influenced by the oil market.

It means that holy grail which is job creation has grown reliant on our continued ability to extract oil, because industry grows where export revenue is present, and oil is the single largest source of growth in our export market.

It’s also made our economy lopsided - in large part, everyone relies on the continued success of Alberta in order to guarantee their prosperity. In short, overinvestment through tax breaks, trade agreements, and industry promotion has made one province very happy, and created a concentrated point of failure in one industry, in one province.

But take it over to something more vital. Canada is the world’s largest single supplier of medical isotopes, but an unwillingness to invest directly, coupled with the sale of the government-owned company producing the isotopes to a foreign buyer has led to halts in global supply and shrinkage of the industry. The government has planned to decommission our reactor in Chalk River, which will create a shortage of medical isotopes, interfering with doctors’ ability to diagnose and treat disease on a global scale, and making it more expensive where they can.

Or move to the fundamental - disempowering and selling the wheat board will cause instability in the agriculture industry, and a failure to adequately protect our environment, especially where it comes to ground and water pollution, will cause massive damage in the long term.

The economy and the environment aren’t separate issues. In reality, the economy is the environment, because the environment means our continued access to food and clean water. Fully 20% of the world’s freshwater is here, and as climate change causes drought in other countries, it will be increasingly dependent on us to supply it. For that sake, and for the sake of agriculture, which also depends on clean water, we cannot afford to pollute it.

Putting our most important natural resources at risk - freshwater and food - is not good for the economy. Deregulation of our banks is not good for the economy. Weakening industry the world depends on us to run is not good for the economy. Letting our exports live and die on one industry is not good for the economy.

These are just examples. Methodically, Tory policy has crated instability and risk, and sacrificed our sovereignty. It’s a myth that Harper’s Conservative government has been good for the economy. The reality is that outside of the very short term, it’s been a disaster.