Private vs. Public Investments for Infrastructure: The Constant Battle

Recently, I discussed why a private investment in building the Seattle arena made sense for the major parties involved (especially the citizens). I have been involved in many heated discussions about why public investments in arenas/stadiums are very frustrating but won’t get to deep into that right now. The main conclusion is that either the city that has the team will cough up the money or the owner will relocate to a different city since the city officials are willing to pay the cost of having the team. The owners will always have the power to have public investment unless there is Continue reading Private vs. Public Investments for Infrastructure: The Constant Battle

Tipping in an Uber? It Might Just Happen

Have you ever felt like you should be tipping your driver, but don’t have any cash? Well, your problem could be solved in the near future (at least in NYC). The Independent Drivers Guild (the group that represents Uber drivers) presented the petition to add a tipping option for Uber customers and received over 11,000 signatures on it. The general argument is that the drivers are losing thousands of dollars because there is not a tipping option that is accessible electronically, only cash. Many passengers do not pay with cash so most drivers don’t receive tips. In contrast, NYC taxi Continue reading Tipping in an Uber? It Might Just Happen

Scarcity: Focusing and Tunneling

After a long hiatus, we will be discussing Scarcity by Sendil Mullainthan and Eldar Shafir once again. In this post we will be looking at chapter 1, titled Focusing and Tunneling. This chapter discusses the benefits of scarcity and how much it costs to be in a situation with scarcity. One of the main points made in the chapter is about how people generally become more productive when they face scarcity from a time point of view. One of the examples used in the book is during meetings. Meetings are generally unfocused for the first half or so, and the Continue reading Scarcity: Focusing and Tunneling

NAFTA and Corn

Corn is a pretty solid source of food. You can make cornbread. You can have corn on the cob and you can have corn off the cob. You can eat popcorn or you can have the variety of foods that have high fructose corn syrup. I promise this post will not all be about the ways you can prepare and eat corn, but it’s necessary to demonstrate how important of a food source it is (did I not mention that this is a food blog now?). Here’s another combination: NAFTA and corn! The United States produces a whole bunch of Continue reading NAFTA and Corn

Sorting Out Seattle’s Arena Situtation

It has been 9 years since Seattle has had a professional men’s basketball team (Seattle Sonics) and 42 years since the city possessed an NHL franchise (Seattle Totems). The fan base in Seattle has been desperate for either sport, specifically basketball, to be part of the city once again. For any team to come to Seattle, an arena has to be built (or renovated). Gary Bettman, commissioner of the NHL stated back in 2015 the issue for Seattle as a city. “No one has their arena act together yet in Seattle.” It’s quite true that no conclusion has been made on what arena project to Continue reading Sorting Out Seattle’s Arena Situtation

Art Supplies Demand on the Rise?

When looking at a snapshot of the market for art supplies, you’ll find that in January the demand for art supplies when way up. Through the week of Jan. 15, poster and foam board sales went up by 33 and 42 percent, respectively. The sales led to a revenue of $4.1m for these presentation boards. Glue was up 27 percent. Permanent markers saw a 12 percent rise. Why would this be happening? More science fairs? Teachers only grading on physical presentations? A more realistic and impressive reason is behind the surge says Leen Nsouli of NPD (a firm analyzing the Continue reading Art Supplies Demand on the Rise?

Thesis Corner: Interview with Alex Shaw on Wages Between Different Countries

This week, I interviewed our own Alex Shaw for our first Thesis Corner of 2017. Take a read! Can you explain to our wonderful readers what your topic is? Yeah, I’ll give it a shot. So, my topic is about comparing wages across countries and essentially using a measure PPP to control those wages their actual buying power within the country that they are in. What made you choose that topic? I originally wanted to do something more along the lines of income by college major but if you Google that you’ll find many articles that have covered that pretty Continue reading Thesis Corner: Interview with Alex Shaw on Wages Between Different Countries

Not enough workers? The problem Denmark faces

It’s not often that you see countries have a lack of workers available across the nation, but it is the problem that Denmark has on its hands right now. An article from the New York Times outlines what the Danes are dealing with currently, but they simply don’t have enough skilled workers available to fill the jobs they need. The unemployment rate is at 4.3%, and has recovered extremely fast after the recession that hit across Europe. If the unemployment rate goes any lower, the country could run into inflation problems. The NYT notes that this has occurred before: During an economic Continue reading Not enough workers? The problem Denmark faces

Restauraunts Passing the Buck to the Customer due to Minimum Wage Increase?

The minimum wage in Washington has been of hot discussion for the past couple of years as there had been a push for higher wages for workers that had been relying on low-wage jobs. In the November election, Initiative 1433 passed across Washington to push the minimum wage up to $13.50 per hour by 2020. In other areas like Seattle and Sea-Tac, the rate can be as high as $15. Many businesses do not exactly support the increase, as they have to find a way to balance out the costs. Well, it seems that several restaurants across Washington are combatting Continue reading Restauraunts Passing the Buck to the Customer due to Minimum Wage Increase?

Uber’s Surge Pricing: Is it Ethical?

Uber has been popping up in the news quite a bit recently, not really for anything good either. They were criticized heavily when they stayed active (only shutting down the surge pricing) right after the Muslim ban was announced, despite the fact that taxi drivers around the JFK airport protested doing any driving in effort to show their disagreement with the ban. Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick made a statement condemning the ban right after and removed himself from Trump’s economic advisory council due to heavy pressure. Kalanick’s statement can be seen below. “I also let him know that I would not be able Continue reading Uber’s Surge Pricing: Is it Ethical?