Economics @ ITT

Australians Suddenly Richer

Posted in economics by ittecon on September 27, 2012

Australians are suddenly a whole lot better off after the government statistician “found” A$325 billion ($338 billion) in share assets previously unrecognized.


via Australians suddenly richer after statistician ‘finds’ $338 billion – Bottom Line.

Economics Might Be Coal’s Worst Enemy

Posted in economics, environment, microeconomics, Policy Issues by ittecon on September 26, 2012

Coal-fired power plants and coal mines are being shuttered at an unprecedented pace mainly because the price of natural gas has dropped so far that it has made coal power uncompetitive. Specifically, electricity from natural gas power plants comes at less than half the cost of electricity from coal generators. As utility executives hustle to remain competitive in the deregulated marketplace, they are increasingly turning to the cheaper alternative.

via Why Obama might not be coal’s worst enemy – US news – Christian Science Monitor | NBC News.

US Still Giving Subsidies to Boeing

Posted in economics, International Economics, Policy Issues, Taxation, Trade by ittecon on September 26, 2012

U.S. aircraft giant Boeing is still getting U.S. subsidies despite Washington’s claim to have stopped the handouts, the European Union said on Tuesday in the latest round of the worlds biggest trade dispute.

via EU rejects U.S. claim to have weaned Boeing off subsidies | Reuters.

Eat the Rich

Posted in economics, Income Redistribution, International Economics by ittecon on September 25, 2012

The world’s richest woman, Australian mining tycoon Gina Rinehart, drew international scorn recently after saying that people who are jealous of the wealthy should drink less and work harder.

via Gina Rinehart, world’s richest woman, makes case for $2-a-day pay –

401(k)s are a Government Subsidy for Wall Street

Posted in economics, Income Redistribution, Policy Issues by ittecon on September 23, 2012

It shouldnt surprise us that the 401K, marketed to us as a retirement plan, is just a cash cow for Wall Street. After all, the 401k started as a tax loophole for executive pay. So why do i call the retirement “plan” of millions a “Wall Street subsidy”?

This is the hope Wall Street and Conservative thinkers have for Social Security funds under the guise of Privitisation.

via Daily Kos: The 401k is a Government Subsidy for Wall Street.

Pakistan factory fires kill at least 261

Posted in economics, employment, externalities, Policy Issues by ittecon on September 12, 2012

The only reason this does not happen in the United States very often is that the price of labour is too high. If Conservatives had their way, there would be no minimum wage;  they would drive wages down to pennies an hour, there would be no right to healthcare, unemployment, collective bargaining, file a grievance, and a laundry list of other societal ills.

“You have strikes, load shedding [power outages], local mafias charging you turf protection money — you name it,” Ahmad said. “Plus you have ruthless buyers sitting in the U.S. who dont care what you do, as long as you do it on time … we take a hit every time were late. That means lost margins. That means we do what we need to do to make our orders, fast. This factory owner may have been working extra shifts just for that purpose.” 

This is what unregulated free markets do.

via We were trapped inside: Pakistan factory fires kill at least 261 – World News.

The Cause of Riots and the Price of Food

Posted in economics, externalities by ittecon on September 12, 2012

If we dont reverse the current trend in food prices, weve got until August 2013 before social unrest sweeps the planet, say complexity theorists

via The Cause Of Riots And The Price of Food – Technology Review.

The World’s Best and Worst Economies

Posted in economics by ittecon on September 11, 2012

For most of the 20th century, the United States has been considered the world’s economic superpower. And up until four years ago, the World Economic Forum would agree. In 2008, it ranked the U.S. as the most globally competitive economy in the world. This year, when the group published its annual Global Competitiveness Report, the U.S. ranked seventh.

via The World’s Best and Worst Economies – 24/7 Wall St..

Central bank money machines fail to spur global economy

Posted in economics by ittecon on September 10, 2012

File this under “Duh!”

Economics 101 says a massive dose of easy money is supposed to be a reliable cure for a sluggish economy. For the first time in decades, the prescription isn’t working, to the rising frustration of central bankers in the U.S. and Europe.

via Central bank money machines fail to spur global economy – Economy Watch.

Is it time to dump the income tax?

Posted in economics, Taxation by ittecon on September 7, 2012

With U.S. unemployment at a persistent 8.3 percent since January and the national economy hovering at a meager growth rate of 1 to 2 percent, it is clear that American business needs a boost.

Does this mean it is time to ditch the income tax in favour of so-called Fair Tax? No. Fair Tax is a regressive wet dream by Conservatives, especially the more affluent among them precisely because it is regressive.

via It’s time to dump the income tax – Opinion – Crain’s Chicago Business.