Economics @ ITT

Free Trade Explained In An Excellent Comic

Posted in economics, International Economics, Trade by ittecon on June 30, 2015

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are the latest in a long line of international free trade agreements. But why are they bad for the majority of people and the planet and what are the justifications given by politicians, ecomonists and big corporations for pushing them?

via Free Trade Explained In An Excellent Comic.

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5 Costly Lessons From A Kickstarter-Backed Designer

Posted in economics by ittecon on June 4, 2013

The din started on May 7, 2012, the day Fawcett and his colleagues at Fuse Chicken, a four-person design outfit in Akron, Ohio, launched their first Kickstarter campaign. They were trying to raise funding for Une Bobine, a product of Fawcett’s design that stuffed an iPhone charging cable inside a metal gooseneck, allowing it to double as a flexible docking station and makeshift tripod. It was a simple, clever idea, and the team set out with the modest goal of raising $9,800 to put it into production.

via 1 | Life After Kickstarter: 5 Costly Lessons From A Kickstarter-Backed Designer | Co.Design: business + innovation + design.

Beware of Economic Nonsense Trotted Out by Profit-Seeking Corporations

Posted in economics by ittecon on May 29, 2013

Consumer benefits may sometimes exceed such costs. But, as we’ve painfully learned over the years (the Wall Street meltdown, the BP oil spill in the Gulf, consumer injuries and deaths from unsafe products, worker injuries and deaths from unsafe working conditions, climate change brought on by carbon dioxide emissions, and, yes, manipulation of the tax laws – need I go on?), the social costs may also exceed consumer benefits.

via Beware of Economic Nonsense Trotted Out by Profit-Seeking Corporations and Their Stooges | Alternet.

Why Was Paul Krugman So Wrong on Globalisation?

Posted in economics by ittecon on April 2, 2013

“What we should have learned from the Iraq debacle was that you should always be skeptical and that you should never rely on supposed authority,” Krugman wrote in his New York Times column. “If you hear that ‘everyone’ supports a policy, whether it’s a war of choice or fiscal austerity, you should ask whether ‘everyone’ has been defined to exclude anyone expressing a different opinion.”

via Why Was Paul Krugman So Wrong? | The Nation.

China Losing Edge as World’s Factory Floor

Posted in economics by ittecon on February 25, 2013

Race to the bottom or … shite rolls down hill?

China is losing its competitive edge as a low-cost manufacturing base, new data suggest, with makers of everything from handbags to shirts to basic electronic components relocating to cheaper locales like Southeast Asia.

via Business without Borders | China losing edge as world’s factory floor.

The birth of a new global currency?

Posted in economics, macroeconomics, Trade by ittecon on February 22, 2013

The internationalization of the RMB, as engineered by the Chinese government, is happening at warp speed. At the start of 2012, the RMB ranked 20th among international currencies, according to SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication). It leaped six spots in nine months.

via Business without Borders | The birth of a global currency.

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.

Bay Bridge may have been lost jobs opportunity

Posted in economics, employment, Policy Issues, Trade by ittecon on June 5, 2012

By now we should all be used to Made in China stickers, but the San Francisco Bay Bridge? We’ve gutted our manufacturing base, and we can’t even build a bridge—the same bridge we built 75 years ago. Is a good thing?

California officials contend the U.S. does not have the manufacturing capacity or the workforce to build such a project on its own.

via Bottom Line – SF Bay Bridge may have been lost jobs opportunity.

Oil Prices Are Determined in the World Market

Posted in economics, International Economics, macroeconomics, Policy Issues, Trade by ittecon on March 8, 2012

U.S. oil production is around 9 percent of world production. Even very large increases in U.S. production would have only a minimal effect on world oil prices, and therefore a minimal effect on the price of gas in the United States.

via Oil Prices ARE Determined in the World Market #3456: It is Not Just Something that President Obama Says | Beat the Press.

Thomas Friedman Goes Euphoric on Energy Production

Posted in economics, International Economics by ittecon on February 26, 2012

Dean Baker comments on Thomas Friedman’s “vision” of US energy independence.

[I]magine that there were severe droughts in Africa and Asia that caused the world price of wheat to quadruple. Guess what would happen to the price of wheat in the United States? That’s right, it would also quadruple. The reason is that wheat producers would export their wheat to take advantage of the higher prices available elsewhere in the world, so we would have to match the world price in what we paid for the wheat consumed in the United States.

via Thomas Friedman Goes Euphoric on Energy Production | Beat the Press.