Economics @ ITT

Should one person always stay at home? An economist considers

Posted in economics by ittecon on June 3, 2013

For an economist, the central question is not whether this creates a good role model for your children or upsets the power dynamic in the relationship; rather, it is simply whether this arrangement is more efficient. In fact, as the Atlantic story notes, economists have considered this question and basically argued that, yes, specialization in the household is efficient.

via Should one person always stay at home? An economist considers. – Slate Magazine.


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.

We’re living in an Ayn Rand economy

Posted in economics, Taxation by ittecon on May 18, 2013

Ayn Rand’s philosophy suggests that average working people are “takers.” In reality, those in the best position to make money take all they can get, with no scruples about their working-class victims, because taking, in the minds of the rich, serves as a model for success. The strategy involves tax avoidance, in numerous forms.

via We’re living in an Ayn Rand economy –

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.

Lives versus Profits

Posted in economics by ittecon on May 7, 2013

I am not fan of so-called intellectual property rights—and have issues with property rights in general—, but this is particularly egregious. It will be so nice to see the misguided power of the United States fade into the sunset.

America’s intellectual-property regime—and the regime that the US has helped to foist upon the rest of the world through the TRIPS agreement—is unbalanced. We should all hope that, with its decision in the Myriad case, the Supreme Court will contribute to the creation of a more sensible and humane framework.

via Lives versus Profits by Joseph E. Stiglitz – Project Syndicate.

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.

Are Cheap Clothes Worth the Cost?

Posted in economics, International Economics by ittecon on April 27, 2013

The sad fact behind the building collapse in Bangladesh in which hundreds died is that it isnt an isolated problem. The story will leave the headlines at the end of this week but on Monday hundreds of thousands of workers will return to factories that are frankly further tragedies waiting to happen, and will keep producing clothes for high street brands.

via Bangladesh collapse: What cost cheap clothes? –

Did The Government Cause Our Long-Term Unemployment Problem?

Posted in economics by ittecon on April 24, 2013

I thought not.

Regulations and taxes do make it hard to grow a business and create new jobs, a point I made in my last post.  And extended unemployment benefits do give people an incentive to stay home instead of finding a job.  Indeed, I know people who have done just that.  One of them wrote a novel that sold for a bunch of money and earned back all the benefits theyd collected, and then some.  The rest of them basically sat around and did nothing until their benefits ran out, and then found another job.

via Did The Government Cause Our Long-Term Unemployment Problem? – The Daily Beast.

Drew Barrymore Discovers Opportunity Costs

Posted in economics by ittecon on April 7, 2013

“It sucks when you’ve worked really hard for certain things and you have to give them up because you know that you’re going to miss out on your child’s upbringing, or you realize that your relationship has suffered,” says new mum, Drew Barrymore.

via New Mom Drew Barrymore Says Women Cant Have It All.

3.3 job-seekers for each job opening in the US

Posted in economics, employment by ittecon on April 4, 2013

The January Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows job openings increased in January to nearly 3.7 million, a rise of 81,000 since December. The number of job openings, which had been improving generally since reaching its low of 2.2 million in July 2009, is still below its recent peak of 3.8 million in March 2012.

via Job openings and hiring increased slightly in January, but there are still 3.3 job-seekers for every job opening | Economic Policy Institute.