Economics @ ITT

What Might the US Government Crisis Cost?

Posted in economics, macroeconomics by ittecon on October 14, 2013

From the fiscal cliff to sequestration to the current shutdown debt ceiling debate: Whats the cost of the U.S. government careening from crisis to crisis?About 900,000 jobs lost … and the potential for another recession.

via Crisis cost? Lost jobs and maybe another recession – NBC News.com.

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How to Say Economics

Posted in economics by ittecon on October 14, 2013

When I hear some people say economics out loud in the States, it annoys me, annoys me to such a point that I feel compelled to rant about it here. Economics is pronounced e-kə-ˈnä-miks (ee-kuh…) for a reason similar to that behind pronouncing another word, paedophile, ˈpē-də-ˌfī(-ə)l  (pee-duh…), but not for the reason that the word fetus is pronounced ˈfē-təs (fee-tuhs) and is misspelt in Britain through a mistaken Greek back-formation. As a rule, I tend to favour British spellings over their United Statesian variants—I can’t really say American or even North American, as there is no such consensus.

The work economics derives from either of oikonomikos or oikonomos, both Greek, the former meaning “managing your household” and the latter meaning “law of the house.” In Ancient Greek, oikos means “house” and was likely pronounced similarly to oy-koss (-oy as in boy), but Modern Greek underwent a vowel shift, so the newer pronunciation would be ee-koss (-ee as in bee), thus leaving us with EEconomics or OYconomics, and not giving us a path to ECKonomics, which I hear most often in the States. Evidently, worldwide, the preference for the long E (EE) outweighs the shorter E (ECK) sound by about a 2 to 1 split, which is good enough for me.

But there’s more: economics used to be spelt œconomics, the œ ligature undergoing the same vowel shift from OY to EE in English. In the case of economics, the ensuing oe digraph was lost, and so we are left without an O and the reminder of the EE sound.

Nicely, and about now you may not only be asking yourself so what, but you are further scratching your head why an economics blog would be rambling on about paedophiles and fetuses. So, linguistics was my first academic love, but the pay scales did not appear amenable, so I opted for an economic turn. In the States, paedophile is spelt pedophile, and the pronunciation has dropped the initial PEE- sound in favour of a PED- sound, as replacing the æ ligature, also pronounced EE, with a solo E, has also led to the replacement of the long E with a short one. Britain has opted to retain the ae digraph, which is helpful to the spoken version.

So what about fetus? Why not foetus, as from fœtus? The reason is that this spelling is from a false etymology where some assmonkey confused the Latin fetus with a Greek work, understood how to pronounce it (with a long E) and recast it in what might have been the Greek—if it have been Greek, and hence, foetus. Only, I’m not buying it.
Don’t get me started on my preference for the British –our endings versus the –or endings in the States. Shakespeare did not use the –our ending in his day, but after the English left for the new world, the ones who remainder in Europe went through a Francophile phase and adopted a French variant, though this, too, is curious, as the French, as an example, spell colour, couleur, so go figure.

OK. Right. I hear you. Shouldn’t you be working. Sure, you’re right. Until next time…

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Paying with cash costs Americans $200 billion a year

Posted in economics by ittecon on October 11, 2013

I rarely use cash.

A new study by Tufts University, The Cost of Cash in the United States, puts that price tag at $200 billion a year for both American consumers and businesses. For the average American family, the cost of cash is about $1,739 a year.

via Paying with cash costs Americans $200 billion a year – TODAY.com.

How to Graph Specialised Growth with Two Production Possibility Curves

Posted in economics by ittecon on October 8, 2013

In response to my post on How to Graph a Production Possibilities Frontier in Excel 2007 and Excel 2003, several people have asked how to chart two production possibilities curves, so I have created the amendment for Excel 2010, which is substantially similar to Excel 2007, and the concepts still apply to Excel 2003, though the mechanics are different. Some texts reference these curves as PPC, PPF, or PPFC. No matter, they all server the same function, which is to graphically represent opportunity costs.

From the Insert menu, select Scatter, and choose the one with smooth lines and markers—unless you do not want markers.

The key is simply add the second item to be represented on the Y-axis; otherwise follow the same steps for a single curve,

PPC - Specialised Growth

The resultant chart will appear like this:

PPC - Specialised Growth Chart

If you wish the specialisation to appear on the X-axis instead of the Y-axis, simply reverse the values for these on both data series. And there you have it. For details on how to swap X- and Y-axis data, refer to my post on Graphing Supply and Demand Curves in Excel.

We’re Addicted to Economic Growth and It Will Be the Death of Us

Posted in economics by ittecon on October 7, 2013

I think the American people right now have been so focused, and will continue to be focused on our economy and jobs and growth, that if the message is somehow were going to ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change, I don’t think anybody is going to go for that. I wont go for that.

via Were Addicted to Economic Growth and It Will Be the Death of Us | Alternet.

Price of Illegal Drugs Is Dropping, Purity Is Increasing, and the Global War on Drugs Is Failing

Posted in economics by ittecon on October 3, 2013

Supply and demand in action? Legalising and regulating drugs would drive prices further whilst providing additional tax revenue streams and reducing costs of law enforcement and “justice” departments. Releasing prisoners would save even more. What better place than here, what better time than now?

The same story unfolds in the data for heroin and cocaine.  Prices for both drugs are down by eighty percent, while heroin purity is up sixty percent and cocaine purity is up eleven percent in the United States.  In Europe, the price of heroin dropped seventy-four percent and cocaine price dropped fifty-one percent.  Prices declined and purity rose despite ever-increasing seizures of those drugs and eradication of the drug crops globally.

via Price of Illegal Drugs Is Dropping, Purity Is Increasing, and the Global War on Drugs Is Failing | Alternet.

BitCoin Plunges Following US Government Seizure Of Silk Road Website

Posted in economics by ittecon on October 2, 2013

That the US government would crack down on BitCoin and all affiliated services should not be surprising and is happening just as we warned it would back in March when we first charted the initial ramp of BitCoin. This move was especially inevitable considering none other than the ECB “warned” in November of 2012 against virtual currency Ponzi schemes though it has no problem with fiat equivalents.

via BitCoin Plunges Following US Government Seizure Of Silk Road Website | Zero Hedge.