Winter Break is here. Omicron is threatening. Time to settle in at home and break out the board games.             Settlers of Catan is a strategy game where smart resource management and deal making wins the game. Unlike Monopoly, where winning is dependent on ruthlessly bankrupting your opponents in a zero-sum game, Settlers of Catan more closely exemplifies the free market and capitalism. In Catan, each roll of the dice produces resources for everyone, potentially increasing overall wealth for all players. Like international trade relations, there must be a balance between competition and cooperation, because resources are constrained and Continue reading Catan-nomics

Black Friday

Many believe Black Friday got its name because it is the time of year when traditional retailers moved from the red into the black because of their after-Thanksgiving sales, but the term Black Friday was first used to describe something completely different.             In September 1869 two robber barons, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, colluded to buy as much of America’s gold as they could in order to drive the price up. Then the two planned to sell it at a huge profit. Instead, they caused the stock market to collapse the next Friday, hence the term, Black Friday.             Continue reading Black Friday

Shrinkflation and Skimpflation

Inflation is bad. Is it even worse than we think? The Commerce Department announced on October 29th, 2021 that inflation rose 4.4% in September, the fastest pace in thirty years. While it’s easy to ignore from an uninformed perspective, food and gas prices rising have hit consumers hard during the pandemic. Energy costs were up almost 25% and food prices were up 4%. But is inflation even worse than reported? Are the government statistics accurately capturing how bad inflation really is? There are actually other forms of inflation called Shrinkflation and Skimpflation, but these concepts are less well known and Continue reading Shrinkflation and Skimpflation

The Megadorm

Massive dormitories are the way of the future, Or at least Charlie Munger thinks so. Charlie Munger is billionaire in America who made his money working for Warren Buffet with investments. But this naturally begs the question, what is a billionaire doing designing college dorms? It boils down to supply and demand. For years, Mr. Munger has listened to family members complaining about sharing dorm rooms with annoying roommates. On most college campuses, the demand for single rooms is much greater than the supply, and this issue has only been emphasized due to the housing restrictions that have come with Continue reading The Megadorm

The developments of microtransactions in gaming

For those unaware, microtransactions are simply defined as a small transaction made online. One industry that utilizes this practice most notably is the gaming industry. Microtransactions in the gaming industry began as a much less prominent concept, that seems to have changed recently. Microtransactions in gaming originated when online games featured the ability to buy skins to change the appearance of characters. These were featured in well-known competitive titles that already had a price of $60 on release, and microtransactions only made up a small portion of profits. However, things began to really accelerate when mobile games gave their take Continue reading The developments of microtransactions in gaming

The surprisingly good status of America’s largest companies in 2021

It’s been generally assumed that a large majority of layoffs in 2020 were caused by the economic strain brought on by covid-19 outbreak. However, new data suggests otherwise; big businesses experienced a very different 2020 from most of America. Despite larger companies rolling out layoffs at a higher rate than smaller companies, 45 of the 50 biggest companies in America turned a profit in 2020. While small businesses have lost an average of 12% income loss in 2020, the larger corporations included in this study showed that they had a 2% growth in profits last year. Even companies that previously Continue reading The surprisingly good status of America’s largest companies in 2021