Should We Be Taxing Robots?

Here’s a question that no one even thought to consider until now- should we be taxing robots? *Before I go much further, I want to make it clear that although the topic of a robotic workforce is a hot topic, I won’t be arguing the morals of the idea but rather the logistics assuming the transition is inevitable. Bill Gates stirred up quite a frenzy when he stated in an interview that robots who take human jobs should pay taxes. If robots begin taking human jobs, the government will begin to lose the tax generated revenue needed to fund their Continue reading Should We Be Taxing Robots?

Costco: When Breaking The Rules Pays Off

When Costco (“Price Club” at the time) opened over 40 years ago, they were the first of their kind. They bought a warehouse with the idea of creating a store for businesses to shop at. A novel idea. Even further, they required their customers to pay just to shop in their store. At first, the business was a complete disaster. “The small businesses didn’t come. They didn’t spend money and we, after a relatively short time – maybe a few weeks – were basically going bankrupt.” –Founder Robert Price Once the store opened their doors to the public (not just Continue reading Costco: When Breaking The Rules Pays Off

Japan’s Struggling Labor Market

As with any growing country, the demand for labor in Japan is increasing. The problem in Japan, however, is that the labor force is having a hard time keeping up. Already, unemployment rates are dipped to 2.8% at the beginning of this year- the lowest it’s been in over two decades. On top of this higher participation, elderly people are coming out of retirement to fill the void, not exactly the productive labor force you would wish for in a blossoming economy. Any economist will tell you that this is cause for inflation. The scarcity of workers will demand higher Continue reading Japan’s Struggling Labor Market

Rethinking The Role of Firefighters

It’s a common cliche that firefighters are the friendly community members that help get your cat down from a tall tree. Recently, people have began to take advantage of this reputation. The role of firefighters has become more customer-oriented as they find themselves responding to more medical emergencies than they do actual fires. Nowadays, buildings are constructed better with sturdy materials and special consideration to electrical wiring and other hazards. Fires just don’t happen as much as they used to. According to the National Fire Protection Association, firefighters are getting called out on about 40% less fires than they did Continue reading Rethinking The Role of Firefighters

Monetary Valuation

Economic value is a measurement of benefit produced by a good or service. Usually, this benefit is measured in a common currency in order to make these goods and services comparable. The theory of value is used in everyday situations without much consideration. For example when considering my preferences and constraints at the moment, I would be willing to spend $10 for a good sandwich right now. Regardless of what the actual selling price of a sandwich is, I have my own personal value for the good. When talking lunch items, I have no problem valuing these items in terms Continue reading Monetary Valuation

Paper Money

Why do people still use paper money? It’s easily lost, stolen, or destroyed, it’s a huge transmitter of disease, and it wears quickly and is a pain to replace. My mother always told me to hide a bit of cash away for emergencies. Although she means well, I feel like a bad cartoon pirate that still relies on my chest of gold every time I hoard pieces of paper. Besides, every time I “hide” money away, I end up handing it over the lady behind the counter at Memos within a week. In almost every way, electronic banking is superior Continue reading Paper Money

The Drink Exchange

The Drink Exchange is an increasingly popular software being implemented in bars across the world. How it Works Designed to mimic the real-world Stock Market, prices of drinks rise and fall depending on popularity. Television screens across the bar show real time prices of drinks that change by the minute depending on supply and demand. This may be the only market in the world where everyone is hoping for a crash. Promotions As for now, customers are fighting to purchase drinks at the lowest price they can. In the future, however, the company plans to incorporate more Stock Market themed Continue reading The Drink Exchange

The Broken Textbook Market

On average, an undergraduate student will spend $1200 annually on textbooks. I have become quite thrifty with my textbook shopping over the years. I ask friends if I can buy their old books, I check with the local libraries, and I scour the internet for deals. This year, I even waited to buy my textbooks until specific homework problems were assigned out of them, hoping I could skim by without the professor noticing- a tactic I do not recommend. Even after all of this, I still end up spending hundreds of dollars every semester on books. What makes textbook prices Continue reading The Broken Textbook Market

The Sharing Economy

In this booming technological age, American citizens are connected with each other like never before. Innovators are taking advantage of this new-era connectivity to build companies that rely solely on peer-to-peer contact. Companies such as Airbnb, Uber, and Taskrabbit are all examples of companies that network strangers together in order to optimize the wants and needs of both parties in the transaction. In economics, this has become known as the “sharing economy.” These “innovative” companies are simply eliminating transaction costs by kicking out the middleman. By doing so, people are able to better optimize their time and money and hopefully Continue reading The Sharing Economy

Bribing Kids For Better Grades

Education is an investment for children. This is much more apparent in higher education as college students pay top dollar to get a degree that will hopefully provide them with a higher salary in the future. This reasoning still holds true for younger kids. Even through elementary school and high school, students offer up their time as opportunity cost for education. We know that as a society, we all profit from the external benefit that comes from education. But we also know that we value future benefits less than we value current benefits. So how can we encourage society to Continue reading Bribing Kids For Better Grades