Economics @ ITT

How SiriusXM Can Hold Onto Its Cash Cow, Howard Stern

Posted in economics by ittecon on March 11, 2015

Hiring great people is important, we all know that. In fact, if you have to overpay for anything in business, it should be on the absolute best people, as they will have more of an effect on a company’s success than anything else.

via Keeping Howard Happy: How SiriusXM Can Hold Onto Its Cash Cow.

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Teach Your Children Well: Don’t Play Monopoly

Posted in economics by ittecon on May 22, 2013

Never played this game, but sharing anyway…

Do you really need to own Boardwalk and Park Place and all the associated property to be a winner? That’s how it works with Monopoly. But isn’t that the sort of board game teaching the wrong lessons to our children – and to us?

Don’t we have enough corporations and businesses monopolizing our economy and owning our government?

Enter Co-opoly, a board game where cooperative business are developed through team strategy. In short, sharing knowledge and creating cooperative strategies determine whether everyone wins or everyone loses. It’s not about an individual grabbing up all the wealth and bankrupting others; it’s about the economic success of people working together.

via Teach Your Children Well: Don’t Play Monopoly.

Deconstructing Capitalism

Posted in economics by ittecon on March 15, 2013

In my ongoing struggle to fully grasp the weaknesses inherent in capitalism (and democracy, but that is fodder for a different blog), I have come to the conclusion that the Achilles ’ heel of capitalism is that it relies on having limited liability as a foundational element—that and monopoly power, or rather that these travel in the same circles. I’ve only got a few moments to type, so I expect this to capture is flow of consciousness.

Capitalism has its own flaws as Marx has noted at length, but more fundamentally without the prospects of monopoly and limited liability—each violations of free market tenets—, it would not be nearly as attractive. When a person defends the notion of capitalism, they are taken as given that these other components are in place.

Like democracy, capitalism is fragile and it requires a favourable power structure to maintain it. I’d like to spend some time investigating the factors behind the scenes that capitalist disciples seem to ignore.

Time’s up. Time to get back to work…..

Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond? A History of Exploitation

Posted in economics, microeconomics by ittecon on February 15, 2013

An old but wonderfully insightful article about the scam of diamonds.

The diamond invention—the creation of the idea that diamonds are rare and valuable, and are essential signs of esteem—is a relatively recent development in the history of the diamond trade. Until the late nineteenth century, diamonds were found only in a few riverbeds in India and in the jungles of Brazil, and the entire world production of gem diamonds amounted to a few pounds a year. In 1870, however, huge diamond mines were discovered near the Orange River, in South Africa, where diamonds were soon being scooped out by the ton. Suddenly, the market was deluged with diamonds. The British financiers who had organized the South African mines quickly realized that their investment was endangered; diamonds had little intrinsic value—and their price depended almost entirely on their scarcity. The financiers feared that when new mines were developed in South Africa, diamonds would become at best only semiprecious gems.

via Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond? – Edward Jay Epstein – The Atlantic.

How One Guy Prefers To Fight Back Against Companies Dissing Your Girlfriend

Posted in economics by ittecon on February 8, 2013

I am not a fan of Libertarian favourite economist, von Mises, but I agree with his position on intellectual property. Whilst to me property cannot be justified—though it can be rationailsed—, so-called “intellectual property” is an extension of state power rather than of “ownership” and is antithetical to free markets.

Have a Coke and a smile

How One Guy Prefers To Fight Back Against Companies Dissing Your Girlfriend.

Air Canada and United May Not Coordinate Supply and Pricing

Posted in economics, microeconomics by ittecon on October 25, 2012

Canadian government offers consumers protection against monopoly power.

Under the deal, the airlines have agreed not to coordinate prices or the number of seats available at each price, to pool revenue or costs or share commercially sensitive information on the 14 high-demand routes.

via Air Canada, United settle with Canada on routes | Business | Reuters.

Conservatives Are Not Against Big Government

Posted in economics, Income Redistribution, Policy Issues, Regulation, Taxation by ittecon on June 19, 2012

Conservatives just want to distribute income upwards instead of downwards.

[An] example of big government that conservatives support, highly paid professionals e.g. doctors, dentists and lawyers use licensing restrictions to limit both foreign and domestic competition. While the government has been using the banner of “free trade” to drive down the wages of manufacturing workers, it has simultaneously been increasing the protection afforded doctors in order to prevent any similar downward pressure on their wages.

If doctors in the United States were paid the same as doctors in Western Europe, it would save us more than $80 billion a year. The big government subsidy to doctors alone is close to two times the money involved in Bush’s tax cuts to the wealthy.

via Dean Baker: Liberals Working for the Right.

Netflix’ Days of Monopoly Price Premiums Are Over

Posted in economics by ittecon on September 19, 2011

“Netflix was basically a monopoly in the streaming business until about six months ago, and the effect was that content providers were underpricing their products,” said Charlie Wolf, an analyst who covers the company at Needham. On February 22nd, Amazon announced that it would stream 5,000 movies and television shows at no additional charge to customers who signed up for a Prime membership, which costs $79 a year.

via NFLX Tumbles On Qwikster Announcement; Are Netflixs Best Days Behind It?.

Hospitals Buy Back-Door Drugs Due to Shortages

Posted in economics, microeconomics by ittecon on August 26, 2011

Fifty-two percent of hospital purchasing agents and pharmacists reported they’d bought drugs from so-called “gray market” vendors during the previous two years, according to a just-released survey of 549 hospitals by the Institute for Safe Medication practices, an advocacy group.

Gray-market suppliers are those that operate outside official channels, often buying drugs from uncertain sources and reselling them at a steep profit. A report issued last week by a one hospital association found their average mark-up was 650 percent.

via Half of hospitals buy back-door drugs – Health – Health care – msnbc.com.

$100,000 for New Cancer Drug

Posted in economics, microeconomics by ittecon on August 23, 2011

Seattle Genetics Monday said the drug will cost $4,500 per vial. In its clinical trials, the company said, patients on average received three vials per dose and between seven and nine doses per treatment.

via $100,000 price tag for new cancer drug – Health – Cancer – msnbc.com.