Black Friday Approaches…

Two Black Friday tidbits as that wild celebration of American consumerism approaches… Black Friday is clearly an American tradition. However, it may surprise you that Black Friday seems to be adopting the hallmark of more traditional holidays: baubles that you pull out of the attic over and over. According to Chron, around 11 percent of all Black Thursday and Black Friday deals that you’ll be seeing this year were re-used from last year. How does that warm glow of nostalgia feel? Although Thanksgiving is a national holiday unique to the United States, Black Friday–even though it originally stems from being the day Continue reading

Soundcast Episode 2: Interview with Yoram Bauman

On Monday, I had the privilege to interview the world’s first and only stand-up Economist, Yoram Bauman, Ph.D before he spoke about the second round of the Tacoma Climate Conversation right here at the University of Puget Sound. Not only is he an incredible speaker and comedian, but he is also the founder of CarbonWA, a grassroots initiative advocating for a carbon tax here in Washington. It was incredible being able to talk to an expert on “getting the price right” after writing many articles about the topic because it gave me a dimension of the conversation that is rarely written Continue reading

How Much Are Microbreweries Worth?

In my earlier post I discussed the rapid increase of the craft brewery market and the integration of the microbreweries into a bigger realm of the beer industry. But since then new developments have occurred. Yesterday it was announced that San Diego’s Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits Company is being bought for $1 Billion. The buyer is alcoholic beverage conglomerate, Constellation Brands Inc. This buy out is Constellation’s biggest brand addition since 2012 when it purchased the remaining 50 percent interest in Crown Imports LLC for $1.85 Billion. As Bart Watson, Chief Economist for the Brewers Association, put it in Continue reading

TPP: A Logger Perspective

Inspired by Planet Money’s recent episode on the Trans Pacific Partnership, I decided to look through the text of the deal… from a Logger perspective. So, I brought up the “US Tariff Elimination-Schedule” and did a quick ctrl-f search for “axe.” I have put the Logger-relevant section of the table in the post below, but first here are the definitions of a few acronyms and codes that appear there: customs duties on originating goods provided for in the items in staging category EIF shall be eliminated entirely, and such goods shall be duty-free on the date of entry into force Continue reading

Going All Out on Fuel Efficiency

Have you ever been on the freeway, going 10 miles over the speed limit and laughing at all those suckers biting your dust? Well, I got news for you. They’re laughing right back, because your tank is emptying much faster than theirs. Let’s be honest, 10 above the speed limit is the real speed limit, so you don’t have to perform a benefit-cost analysis of whether speeding down I-5 at 70 is worth the risk of a ticket. Instead, you should be wondering whether the time saved going 70 instead of 60 (or dare I say 55) is worth the Continue reading

How Flying Further Can Save You Money

The other day I called United Airlines to see if I could catch the second leg of my flight home from Scotland, at London Heathrow since I would already be there at the time of my departure. They responded with a, “yes, but this change will be a fee of $800”, to which I declined as it was more than half the ticket price. This got me thinking, why would an airline charge me so much to not board part of my flight, even if I paid for the entire ticket. The answer is hidden city ticketing.   Hidden city Continue reading

APM Marketplace’s Final Note

This week, I have decided to forgo spotlighting an issue or an article on the blog. Instead, I’m going to share one of my all-time favorite sources of economic tidbits: APM Marketplace’s Final Note. This feed is updated approximately every week day. It is a written-out version of Kai Rysdall’s closing segment to their radio show, which is only half a minute or so of air time. Thus, the material is brief… but it still packs a pretty good punch. Here are a few of my favorite more recent tidbits from the Final Note feed: This final note on the way Continue reading

Spring Internship Opportunity

ECONorthwest, the largest economics consulting firm headquartered in the Pacific Northwest, is offering a paid internship for current undergraduate or graduate students in Seattle. The intern will work closely with project managers on all aspects of our work, including technical and administrative tasks. Technical analysis will include: research, data collection and analysis, mapping and spatial analysis, and report writing. The deadline for application is November 15th, so go to LoggerJobs (ID #27490) and apply!

Soundcast – Episode 1: New Min Wage on Campus

In recent news, Tacoma voters just passed city Initiative 1B, which gradually raises the minimum wage for Tacoma from its current $9.47 to $12 over the next three years. They chose this over the options of going straight to $15 this January, and of doing nothing. That makes our first ever podcast outdated already! In our interview with UPS’ Executive Director of Community Engagement and Associate Vice President for Business Services, John Hickey, we asked how the University might react to the two different increases if they were enacted. Give it a listen!

Getting the Price Right: Which is Better? pt. 2

Last week, I began to compare two important programs in the realm of environmental policy: cap-and-trade and carbon tax. I first examined the political viability of both programs and came to the conclusion that although they have received relatively equal magnitude of political praise and scrutiny, the carbon tax is a bit more politically reasonable. A carbon tax has more of a potential to attract people on the right due to the fact that it can come with the condition of revenue neutrality, which takes away people’s natural loss-averse tendencies because another part of the tax system would be adjusted. Continue reading