Equal Pay Laws

The issue of the gender pay gap persists in many national conversations regarding women’s rights. April 2nd, 2019 was recognized as “Equal Pay Day.” This date symbolized how far into this year women had to work to earn what men earned last year. In 2018, Governor Inslee of Washington State signed into law the Equal Pay Opportunity Act whereby “employees are legally required to receive equal pay and career advancement opportunities, regardless of gender.” The acceptance of the gender pay gap is not without contention. A recent study conducted by SurveyMonkey finds that “46 percent of men and 30 percent of Continue reading Equal Pay Laws

Disney and Chill?

Video streaming has surpassed traditional TV in media consumption as shown by the wild success of Netflix. The only problem with being such a successful company in a relatively new industry is the massive number of other firms who want in on the profits. Since Netflix first transitioned from a DVD mailing company to the streaming giant they are today, many firms have rolled out their own competing streaming services. Some of the most notable are Amazon video and Hulu but now, even more companies are working to enter the industry. Apple, T-Mobile, Comcast, and Disney will all be launching Continue reading Disney and Chill?

Gun Control: New Zealand Did It… Why Can’t We?

Yesterday, NPR announced that New Zealand passed a law making most semi-automatic weapons illegal. This doesn’t only prohibit the selling of these weapons, but also prohibits owning these weapons and states that everyone who has one currently has until the end of September to return their weapons through a buyback program. This comes less than a month after a terrorist attack on mosques which lead to 50 people killed. Meanwhile, in the US we have already had 80 mass shootings just this year and we have yet to make any legislative progress in regards to gun control. Perhaps this is Continue reading Gun Control: New Zealand Did It… Why Can’t We?

The economics of Jokes

How many utils do you get from making a joke that gets the whole room laughing? Thinking about the value of a joke helped me find some interesting articles around the web. The economics of jokes is an interesting market. This planet money episode talks about the market for jokes, and the intellectual property challenges that the internet brings up. https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2019/04/06/710404524/episode-904-joke-theft  The planet money episode talks about joke theft interviewing Christopher Sprigman who wrote: “There’s No Free Laugh (Anymore): The Emergence of Intellectual Property Norms and the Transformation of Stand-Up Comedy”. This episode talks about how copywriting is very expensive Continue reading The economics of Jokes

Dynamic Stability and Recursion

Economics and computer science overlap in surprising frequency.  Most of it is computational; calculating equilibrium, maximizing profit, etc.  Computer science has even integrated into economics through R. Comp sci can make things easier and there’s a wide range of economic applications.  Recently I observed one of these applications. It began when I was studying for my computer science test There was a subject on this test called recursion.  In practice recursion is very difficult, and as any students know, just because you take a test on it, doesn’t mean you understand it. While the application can be difficult, the concept Continue reading Dynamic Stability and Recursion

Benefits and Costs of Over the Counter Birth Control

Female hormonal birth control and how people pay for it has been controversial throughout the years.  Just a few years ago the Supreme Court allowed Hobby Lobby and other companies to refrain from offering health insurance to their employees that covered the pill and other options if it their owners had religious objections.  This hurt many working women who relied on the insurance from their employer to cover costs for the pill, ring, IUD, patch, etc. So while many people argue over contraception for variety of reasons rooted in religion, health concerns, sexism, the economics of how it is paid Continue reading Benefits and Costs of Over the Counter Birth Control

A Quick Look at the Cost of Capital Punishment

Arguments over the moral validity of capital punishment have likely been discussed since the beginning of civilized culture. However, one aspect of this debate that is not commonly discussed is the economic dimension of the issue. The public generally believes that execution costs less money than paying for a lifetime in prison. But, research into the topic reveals that conception to be incorrect. Capital punishment is much more expensive than keeping a criminal incarcerated for their life. The first and most commonly cited reason for the death penalty being more expensive is the actual process of killing the criminal is Continue reading A Quick Look at the Cost of Capital Punishment

Renewable Energies: What’s the Holdup

For those that believe in the reality of climate change and its implications, renewable energies are a necessity and the sooner they get here the better. The catch is that a switch from energy sources like natural gas would lead to a much higher utility bill and so hurt people especially from lower-income segments. It is important to understand where solar and wind sources stand from a cost perspective to better grasp how far they are from realistically competing with less sustainable sources like natural gas.  According to “The Economics of Renewable Energy” by David Timmons, Jonathan M. Harris, and Continue reading Renewable Energies: What’s the Holdup

Earnings Ratio Raises Questions About Economic Outlook

The wage gap, or earnings ratio as it is alternatively known, is a well-established phenomenon that has remained pervasive for many, many years. The 2017 earnings ratio was 80%, meaning that women earned 80% of their male counterparts’ salaries, for those that worked full-time, and full-year. Now, you’re probably thinking “Yeah, yeah, I know, women make less than men,” and it’s an atrocious reality of the job market today, but why would I be bringing this back up? The New York Times recently published a study that involved thousands of colleges throughout the United States and profiled their economic diversity, Continue reading Earnings Ratio Raises Questions About Economic Outlook

The Anime Industry’s Link to Online Piracy

Sometimes legitimate businesses and industries arise from unusual practices, sometimes these practices are illegal. This is surprisingly the case for anime in the US, an industry which has become a global phenomenon in part due to the illegal and voluntary unpaid labor of digital pirates. It sounds a bit romantic, no? Before legal streaming services became commonplace, western fans would lament the low number of shows and films translated into English or sold internationally. Without many legal avenues available, fans took to illegally copying videos, translating the dialogue into their own subtitles, and distributing these videos on tapes and eventually Continue reading The Anime Industry’s Link to Online Piracy