Economics @ ITT

Supreme Court Rules That Clean Air Is Too Expensive

Posted in economics, environment, externalities by ittecon on June 29, 2015

Ain’t that a crock…

The Supreme Court voted Monday that the EPA cannot stop power plants from releasing hazardous chemicals without first proving that the clean air is worth more than the companies would have to spend to stop polluting.

via Supreme Court Rules That Clean Air Is Too Expensive.

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Corporate Hunger for Profits Has Devastated American Life—and the World

Posted in economics, environment, externalities, International Economics by ittecon on May 20, 2013

The damage caused by the relentless corporate drive for profits has become more clear in recent years. In the most important areas of American life, devastating changes have occurred:

Health Care: Almost half of the working-age adults in America passed up doctor visits or other medical services because they couldn’t afford to pay. The system hasn’t supported kids, either.

via The 4 Big Ways That Insatiable Corporate Hunger for Profits Has Devastated American Life — and the World Along with It | Alternet.

Is Capitalism Dying?

Posted in economics, externalities, Policy Issues, Regulation by ittecon on May 8, 2013

It’as not very often that I agree with a large part of an article published by Forbes, but here is one.

Capitalism has been the dominant economic system in the Western world for, give or take, 400 years. And in that virtual eye blink in the grander scheme of things it has produced more wealth than all the prior economic systems put together.

via Is Capitalism Dying? – Forbes.

What If We Never Run Out of Oil?

Posted in economics, environment by ittecon on May 6, 2013

[B]urning [methane hydrate] produces carbon dioxide. Researchers view it as a temporary “bridge fuel,” something that can power nations while they make the transition away from oil and coal. But if societies do not take advantage of that bridge to enact anti-carbon policies, says Michael Levi, the director of the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change at the Council on Foreign Relations, natural gas could be “a bridge from the coal-fired past to the coal-fired future.”

via What If We Never Run Out of Oil? | Mother Jones.

Stop Paying the Polluters

Posted in economics by ittecon on April 5, 2013

“When the winds of change blow,” says an old Chinese proverb, “some build walls, and others build wind mills.”

via Stop Paying the Polluters by Connie Hedegaard – Project Syndicate.

Want to fight climate change? Get rid of $1.9 trillion in energy subsidies.

Posted in economics, environment by ittecon on March 30, 2013

What’s the simplest way to tackle global warming? Make sure that fossil fuels are priced properly and not subsidized. Is it really that easy? That’s the core idea behind a large new report from the International Monetary Fund, which argues that the world “misprices” fossil fuels to the tune of some $1.9 trillion per year.

via IMF: Want to fight climate change? Get rid of $1.9 trillion in energy subsidies..

Should smokers pay more for health insurance?

Posted in economics, environment, externalities, Policy Issues by ittecon on March 29, 2013

The answer, should you want to know, is an unqualified yes.

Like lots of people who enjoy their vices, smokers like to invoke their constitutional right to light up. I don’t dispute that. So feel free to get lung cancer, American freedom fighter, but don’t forget that the rest of us are sucking up your second-hand smoke and helping foot your considerably heftier medical bills.

via Should smokers pay more for health insurance? – latimes.com.

Joseph Stiglitz: Innovation should focus on quality of life, not just productivity

Posted in economics, employment, environment, externalities, Policy Issues, Regulation by ittecon on March 16, 2013

“We have a lot of unemployment and yet firms are investing in machines to replace unskilled workers,” he said. “Do we want to create more unemployment of unskilled workers? No. We want to focus our innovation on saving our planet, resources, the environment and the quality of life.”

via Joseph Stiglitz: Innovation should focus on quality of life, not just productivity | Bangkok Post: business.

Quinoa—The Other White Meat

Posted in economics, externalities by ittecon on January 18, 2013

The appetite of countries such as ours for this grain  has pushed up prices to such an extent that poorer people in Peru and Bolivia, for whom it was once a nourishing staple food, can no longer afford to eat it. Imported junk food is cheaper. In Lima, quinoa now costs more than chicken. Outside the cities, and fuelled by overseas demand, the pressure is on to turn land that once produced a portfolio of diverse crops into quinoa monoculture.

via Can Healthy Food Eaters Stomach the Uncomfortable Truth About Quinoa? | Alternet.

Another real life supply demand where the affluent bid up the price staple products of the poor. Many if not most of these people are likely otherwise conscientious consumers, at least to some extent, but they fail to see the larger picture. Save a cow, imperil a human.

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.