Ecological Debt, Explained

A year ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report. Pooling more than 6,000 scientific publications and drawing contributions from 133 authors, a group of over a thousand scientists found that humankind has less than eleven years to stop massive and irreversible climate change. In order to avoid the risk of a global emergency, governments must limit warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. For the planet to meet or stay below the threshold, fast and far-reaching changes to the traditional models of resource usage need to occur – and for the most part, attempts to assign responsibility have Continue reading Ecological Debt, Explained

Patent Pools: Consumer Friendly Cartels?

Patent/intellectual property pools represent a key form of strategic cooperation, also known as cartel behavior. Before getting to far into it, what is a patent pool exactly? There is some variation within the concept of a patent/intellectual property pool, but generally, patent pools are organizations that are jointly owned by anywhere from a couple to a couple hundred companies that control intellectual property such as patents. These joint ventures allow companies to share patents, such as new technological equipment, thereby creating standardization across industries. While this may not seem beneficial, if we look to the specific example of the HDMI Continue reading Patent Pools: Consumer Friendly Cartels?

The Economics of Protesting

All around the world, countries are experiencing large popular unrest. Responses from government have varied: in Algeria, large-scale arrests are a new norm; in Lebanon, law enforcement counter demonstrators with rubber bullets and teargas; and in Haiti, clashes with police have left at least 18 dead. In order to better discern what forces are motivating citizens and their movements to incur such risks, an examination of the rational individual’s decision making, the free-rider, and spoiling as a deterrent of public support is necessary. The protest decision and the rational individual A rational behaving individual evaluates the benefits and costs of Continue reading The Economics of Protesting

Disney+ Just Can’t Wait to be King

Earlier this month, Disney launched their video streaming service, Disney+. This streaming service will provide all of Disney’s works and respective companies under their company (Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and more!). So what will this mean for the future of the streaming media market? First, let’s get this out of the way and say that Disney did not need enter the streaming video market to continue being successful! Disney has been one of the biggest house hold names around the world for generations, creating value in their brand and time after time making lovable family movies. This is a sugar Continue reading Disney+ Just Can’t Wait to be King

Free or Fast: WiFi on the Plane

Internet access has become so ubiquitous to many of us that we barely notice it until we don’t have it. At home, cable broadband or DSL quietly connects our phones, computers, TVs, and even—for some of us—our light switches to the world-wide-web and the vast wealth of information it holds. While out and about, our phones are connected through the cellular network to that very same informational hub. Even when all else fails, Starbucks and its ilk will happily keep you connected. However, one of the few remaining places where we seem to surrender our entitlement to the net is… Continue reading Free or Fast: WiFi on the Plane

Common Hour Gone Wrong

In an attempt to unite the campus, University of Puget Sound established one hour every week from noon-1:00pm, locally known on campus as “Common Hour”. This time of the day is supposed to be an hour in which no classes happen in order to allow faculty, staff, and students alike to bond and enjoy the beautiful Pacific Northwest and perhaps mingle over a hot cup of joe in Diversions Cafe. Burnt tongues aside, there are other consequences of the joyous hour. Firstly, since there are no scheduled classes during Common Hour, it seems nearly every club or department decides to Continue reading Common Hour Gone Wrong

Wealth Inequality Part 1

When it comes to inequality there are a lot of phrases that get thrown around: wealth inequality, Income inequality, gini coefficients, etc. Therefore I am going to define a few of these terms to help to clarify the discussion. Wealth inequality is the difference in the distribution of assets (wealth) within the population of a country/society. The measurement for this difference in distribution is called a gini coefficient/index and goes from 1 to 100. Income inequality is a term referring to the differences in the distribution of income income within a society/country and is similar to wealth inequality. These terms Continue reading Wealth Inequality Part 1

A Circular Economy, Explained

Circular economies are often portrayed as simple combinations of reduce, reuse, and recycle activities as popular definitions have come short of selling the model’s potential to increase economic prosperity, derive more value from inputs, and reduce emissions. Considering our climate emergency and volatile resource markets, a 4R framework, closed-loop production process could be a real contender for transforming our economy.  To understand how this model could reform the current system, a comprehensive explanation of circular economies as a concept is necessary. While there are multiple definitions for the model, the following aims are almost always mentioned: to enable sustainable development at Continue reading A Circular Economy, Explained

The Economics of Halloween

The chill in the air, orange leaves, and Tacoma rain that now graces UPS signal that October, and thus spooky season is in full force. As the nation gears up for football season, the World Series, and pumpkin flavoring, children young and old prepare for Halloween, the holiday of holidays. Although the winter holidays more often elicit ideas of consumerism, Halloween still generates a relatively large surge in household consumption. According to The Balance, last year’s Halloween sales hit $9 billion, just shy of 2017’s $9.1 billion. The Balance sites the National Retail Federation’s annual survey, which found that people Continue reading The Economics of Halloween