Economics @ ITT

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.

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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.

California car dealers go crying to DMV about Tesla Motors’ website

Posted in economics, Regulation by ittecon on September 26, 2013

Auto dealers have been dealing with disruption just about as well as any other legacy industry has. Instead of attempting to compete, dealers have chosen to respond to Tesla’s refusal to cut them in on the middleman action by throwing up as many regulatory roadblocks as possible. Sadly, this antagonistic attitude toward both their competition and the car-buying public somehow makes sense to them, and they seem very willing to bury both the upstart and their last remaining shreds of goodwill at the same time.

California car dealers go crying to DMV about Tesla Motors’ website | The Raw Story.

Somebody Stole 7 Milliseconds From the Fed

Posted in economics by ittecon on September 25, 2013

Last Wednesday, the Fed announced that it would not be tapering its bond buying program. This news was released at precisely 2 pm in Washington “as measured by the national atomic clock.” It takes 7 milliseconds for this information to get to Chicago. However, several huge orders that were based on the Feds decision were placed on Chicago exchanges 2-3 milliseconds after 2 pm. How did this happen?

via Somebody Stole 7 Milliseconds From the Federal Reserve | Mother Jones.

Why Are American Health Care Costs So High?

Posted in economics, Policy Issues by ittecon on September 20, 2013

Well,

Crack Addicts Make Surprisingly Rational Decisions

Posted in economics by ittecon on September 18, 2013

And now for something completely different. File this under Economics of Crime or The Marketing of Poor Social Policy.

“There is a belief, for example, that crack cocaine is so addictive it only took one hit to get hooked, and that it is impossible to use heroin without becoming addicted,” he said. “There was another belief that methamphetamine users are cognitively impaired. All of these are myths that have have been perpetuated primarily by law enforcement, and law enforcement deals with a limited, select group of people—people who are, in many cases, behaving badly.”

Hart’s work to understand addiction and addicts tackles common misconceptions about several forms of drug addiction and addicts. He conducted similar studies around methamphetamine addicts in the past, as the Times article points out, and “found that when he raised the alternative reward to $20, every single addict, of meth and crack alike, chose the cash. They knew they wouldn’t receive it until the experiment ended weeks later, but they were still willing to pass up an immediate high.”

via Crack Addicts Make Surprisingly Rational Decisions, Fascinating Study Reveals | Alternet.

A Free (Rigged) Market is Good for Everyone Except 99% of Americans

Posted in economics by ittecon on September 16, 2013

A nice piece by Paul Buchheit.

Free-market libertarians go to outrageous exremes to convince themselves and others of the infallibility of the market. Even when opposing evidence smacks them in the face, they conjure up sound bites that seem vaguely convincing but are in reality meaningless. Here are some examples.

via A Free Rigged Market is Good for Everyone Except 99% of Americans.

The US economy will never recover?

Posted in economics by ittecon on September 13, 2013

Words from the “wise,” based on shaky premises. This is where corporate economics is divorced from reality.

“Significant monetary stimulus, the end of fiscal austerity, a booming housing market, a cheap dollar, record corporate cash balances…if the US economy does not significantly accelerate in coming quarters, it never will,” Michael Hartnett, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s chief investment strategist, wrote in a report Thursday.

via We still love stocks, but not as much: Goldman.

Beats by Dre: More Disproof of a Rational Actors

Posted in economics by ittecon on September 13, 2013

In 2008, Monster, a tech company known for overpriced cables and zealous litigation against Rhode Island mini-golf courses, teamed up with Dr. Dre, the legendary hip-hop artist and producer who helped bring Snoop, Eminem, 50 Cent, and Kendrick Lamar to the masses. Just five years later you can look around any playground, subway train, or suburban mall to see the result, and it starts with a lower-case b: Beats by Dre headphones have locked down the market.

via Beats by Dre market share: How the headphones company conquered the market. – Slate Magazine.