. Intellectual vices are commonly defined as personal attitudes or character traits that impede effective inquiry. In recent years, there has been increased recognition of the presence and proliferation of such vices globally in academia; however, discussion has been limited regarding the way in which the academic institution actively produces this result in part by incentivizing arrogant attitudes. Arrogance as a vice is defined by Roberts as “a disposition to infer illicit entitlement from a supposition of one’s superiority, and to think, feel, and act upon that claim” (2003, p. 243). Intellectual arrogance is specifically when the premise of Continue reading Epistemic Externalities: The Academic “Marketplace” Produces Intellectual Arrogance
Tropical houseplants have increased in popularity as a U.S consumer good, with houseplant sales increasing by 50% simply in the last three years. Potting media is a necessary, complementary good to houseplants: any houseplant owner knows that having some potting soil on hand enables you to repot your growing plants at a moment’s notice, or refresh soil that has been depleted of its nutrients. Many indoor plants, such as Philodendron, Epipremnum, and Monstera, are epiphytic, which means that they grow best on other plants, such as trees. Their roots have evolved to grow on bark amidst the open-air; and thus, Continue reading Coconut Derived Potting Media Feeds Horticulture Industry Demand for a Sustainable Alternative, But at What Ecological Cost?
Image sourced from the Today Show. Do you shop in bulk? Which foods do you buy in bulk? Why? The bulk foods aisle can be an unassuming section of the grocery store, but there is plenty to unpack when discussing these unpackaged grocery wares. “Buying in bulk” originated within the 1970’s co-op movement but has since been co-opted by major supermarket chains. At its best, the bulk aisle is a place for consumers to access food products at a reduced price, without the added value of brand-names, packaging, and extraneous supply chain costs. The original ideologies promoted by bulk foods Continue reading Unpacking Unpackaged Food: Podcast on Modern Consumption of Bulk Foods
In recent years, the exclusive consumption of products marketed as “sustainable” has become popular among certain members of Western society, particularly those occupying the middle class. These goods and services encompass diverse sectors including food (ex. organically grown spinach), household goods (ex. reusable linen totes), and even hygiene products (ex. bamboo toothbrush), communicating a narrative that to live a truly “sustainable” life is synonymous with the replacement of conventional products with “sustainable” counterparts. For this reason, consumers often equate their sustainable consumption choices with moral virtue. This consumption trend is motivated by real environmental issues like plastic pollution, global warming, Continue reading Equating Greenness to Goodness: The Illusion of Moral Virtue Drives Demand for Sustainable Alternatives
The modern food system ensures provision of an enormous quantity and variety of safe, fresh foods to billions of people on a global scale. However, our current industrialized food system has in part arisen from and remains fundamentally dependent upon systemic global inequality. It will be impossible to increase agricultural production by the required 70% by 2050 if we do not make any effort to correct the expanding wealth divide between the global rich and the global poor. I believe this wealth gap can be bridged through the sharing of agricultural research. Any loss in economic growth Western countries suffer Continue reading The Economic Case for Tech in Agriculture
The global pandemic has disrupted supply chains in the US and worldwide: in the first half of 2020, US imports fell by 17%, while US exports fell by nearly 25%. This leaves the US with considerable deficit. While the US has run deficits in international trade since the 1970’s, the current trade situation is especially dire: the events of 2020 have widened our deficit by nearly 20% (Leibovici and Santacreu 2020). The decline in net exports, a crucial component of real GDP, is another factor in the drop in aggregate demand brought on by the pandemic (Figure 1). There are Continue reading US exports are declining. How should we address it?
The novel coronavirus pandemic has ravaged supply chains, livelihoods, and above all, human life and health. While the best strategy for managing America’s abrupt economic downturn is a subject of controversy, I think we can all agree that the virus has caused unprecedented economic crisis. The most rapid effect of the onset of COVID-19 outbreaks and the accompanying lockdowns was a negative shock to aggregate supply. Most US firms could not continue to produce output at the same level as before, causing a nationwide shortage of goods and services while simultaneously increasing the price level. US consumers were faced with Continue reading How has the coronavirus affected the US economy? A brief overview
Fiscal expansionary policy is characterized by the government adjusting its spending levels and tax rates to increase aggregate demand. Fiscal expansionary policy has the most direct and immediate impact on the nation’s economic health, whereas monetary policies take time we do not have to take noticeable effect. We are in an emergency situation in which American citizens and small businesses urgently need relief; therefore, fiscal policy is the best solution. Combatting COVID-19 through fiscal policy would involve government spending of some kind. This could take the form of individual stimulus checks that everyone receives, a rent relief bill for households Continue reading The case for supporting small business with fiscal policy
Led Zeppelin, high-waisted denim shorts, and kitchens accented with harvest gold and avocado green always came to mind when I imagined life in 1970’s America. However, this simplistic, superficial image didn’t appear to be quite congruent with the lived experience of US citizens in the seventies. Recently, when I expressed my fascination with seventies kitchen design to my father, he grimaced at me and sighed heavily. I figured he didn’t like green refrigerators, but what followed was a lecture explaining an ugly side to the seventies I hadn’t thought of before. Runaway inflation and crippling interest rates coupled with stagnating Continue reading Stagflation in the Late 1970’s
Economists employ several metrics to gain a sense of total macroeconomic performance. While there are dozens of measures that show various aspects of economic health, four will be mentioned. 1. The most valuable and informative indicator of a nation’s macroeconomic status is the gross domestic product (abbreviated as GDP). The GDP is defined as the current monetary value of all final goods and services produced in markets over a specific period of time, such as quarterly or annually. Therefore, the GDP can also be considered income for a nation, since economic output can be measured by how much we spend Continue reading Macroeconomic Indicators: Four Ways to Assess a Nation’s Economy