Economics @ ITT

What If Black America Were a Country?

Posted in economics by ittecon on October 14, 2014

If black America were a nation-state, how would it stack up against other countries? How would it fare on standard measures of national power and weakness?

via What If Black America Were a Country? – The Atlantic.

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This Is Your Brain on Money

Posted in economics by ittecon on October 13, 2014

A young economist  wrote in 1844, “The extent of the power of money is the extent of my power. Money’s properties are my – the possessor’s – properties and essential powers… I am bad, dishonest, unscrupulous, stupid; but money is honoured, and hence its possessor. Money is the supreme good, therefore its possessor is good. Money, besides, saves me the trouble of being dishonest: I am therefore presumed honest. I am  brainless, but money is the  real brain of all things and how then should its possessor be brainless?”

via This Is Your Brain on Money: Why America’s Rich Think Differently Than the Rest of Us | Alternet.

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Is the 1%’s Lack of Humility Is the Real Problem

Posted in economics by ittecon on September 26, 2014

[I]t’s human nature to show off, all the more so in highly unequal societies, people being the status-conscious beings that they are. It’s futile and beside the point to chide the rich for this behavior.

via Paul Krugman Dismantles the Notion That the 1%’s Lack of Humility Is the Real Problem | Alternet.

An Independent Scotland?

Posted in economics by ittecon on September 9, 2014

[E]verything that has happened in Europe since 2009 or so has demonstrated that sharing a currency without sharing a government is very dangerous.

via Scots, What the Heck? – NYTimes.com.

Obama Outperforms Reagan On Jobs, Growth And Investing

Posted in economics by ittecon on September 8, 2014

Economically, President Obama’s administration has outperformed President Reagan’s in all commonly watched categories.  Simultaneously the current administration has reduced the deficit, which skyrocketed under Reagan. 

via Obama Outperforms Reagan On Jobs, Growth And Investing.

Economic Value of a Human Life: $0.57

Posted in economics by ittecon on April 3, 2014

What do Irish economists think and teach?

Posted in economics by ittecon on February 1, 2014
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Conspicuous Consumption: A(nother) Cautionary Tale

Posted in economics, environment by ittecon on January 27, 2014

Unfettered capitalism is a road to extinction, and, sadly, not just a metaphor.

At first the frenetic pace of the killing didn’t matter: there were so many seals.  On one island alone, Amasa Delano estimated, there were “two to three millions of them” when New Englanders first arrived to make “a business of killing seals.”“If many of them were killed in a night,” wrote one observer, “they would not be missed in the morning.”  It did indeed seem as if you could kill every one in sight one day, then start afresh the next.  Within just a few years, though, Amasa and his fellow sealers had taken so many seal skins to China that Canton’s warehouses couldn’t hold them.  They began to pile up on the docks, rotting in the rain, and their market price crashed.

To make up the margin, sealers further accelerated the pace of the killing — until there was nothing left to kill.  In this way, oversupply and extinction went hand in hand.  In the process, cooperation among sealers gave way to bloody battles over thinning rookeries.  Previously, it only took a few weeks and a handful of men to fill a ship’s hold with skins.  As those rookeries began to disappear, however, more and more men were needed to find and kill the required number of seals and they were often left on desolate islands for two- or three-year stretches, living alone in miserable huts in dreary weather, wondering if their ships were ever going to return for them.

“On island after island, coast after coast,” one historian wrote, “the seals had been destroyed to the last available pup, on the supposition that if sealer Tom did not kill every seal in sight, sealer Dick or sealer Harry would not be so squeamish.”  By 1804, on the very island where Amasa estimated that there had been millions of seals, there were more sailors than prey.  Two years later, there were no seals at all.

via Noam Chomsky is right: It’s the so-called serious who devastate the planet and cause the wars – Salon.com.

Youth Unemployment Is Costing the World Billions

Posted in economics by ittecon on January 23, 2014

In the U.S., the crisis is costing American taxpayers $25 billion annually in the form of lost tax revenue and government benefit payouts, according to a recent report by Young Invincibles, an advocacy organization for young people.

Youth Unemployment Is Costing The World Billions.

Time for a New Theory of the Firm

Posted in economics, microeconomics by ittecon on January 20, 2014

In first year economics when the supply curve was shown as upward sloping, the annoying undergraduate in me asked: why? When we get on to exactly why the supply curve is upward sloping, lo and behold, it is simply a representative firm’s marginal cost curve. Amazing!

But wait. If that’s true then firms operate at a point where there are diseconomies of scale. Yet didn’t most goods come down in price as output increased? What happened to the whole idea of economies of scale?

via Fresh economic thinking: Time for a new theory of the firm.