Symbolic Value

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“Beauty is vanishing from our world because we live as though it did not matter.”  – Sir Roger Scruton Over the last 50 years, there has seemingly existed an almost complete lack of symbolic value within contemporary art and architecture within the United States.  With that said, we know that there is a value to symbolic works of art and architecture (for we once produced them en masse in the past), but we can’t seem to figure out what that value is today. Because of that, today, we no longer seem to be able (or willing) to produce these symbolic Continue reading Symbolic Value

Externalities, Explained

Externalities are the external impacts incurred by an economic agent not involved in a transaction, which can be either a cost (negative) or a benefit (positive) and occur from either the production or consumption of a good or service. Thus, because externalities lead to a difference in the public impact from the private impact, a deadweight loss exists. A deadweight loss is an excess burden created by the lost economic efficiency when the socially optimal quantity of a good or service is not produced or consumed. To understand how social planners correct for this form of a market failure, an Continue reading Externalities, Explained

Loggers Live Green: Environmentally Conscious Decision-making

Throughout my time on campus, I have observed different individual behaviors motivated by environmental conscientiousness. Behaviors such as using a refillable water bottle seem to be very common. Similar to my peers, I like to think I am environmentally conscious, but do my actions align with my beliefs? How do we make decisions in order to minimize our individual impact on the environment? I believe that our environmentally conscious actions are not necessarily dictated by the benefits associated with those actions. For example, a student at this school would never dare use a plastic straw, but choose to fly home Continue reading Loggers Live Green: Environmentally Conscious Decision-making

Limitations of Non-market Valuation

Non-market valuation relies on individual preference. As humans, we develop preferences knowing we have a finite existence. This limits our ability to value non-market goods because these values are derived from personal benefit during a finite time. Future benefits are discounted for this reason. The benefits from non-market goods endure for much longer than our lifespans. Is there any way to value non-market goods, such as free-flowing rivers, without bias? Are we fit to judge the value of clean and sustainable environments? I would argue that we are not given the current global environmental trajectory.  Given the drastic effect of Continue reading Limitations of Non-market Valuation

Favors Are Not For Sale

In chapter four of Dan Ariely’s book Predictably Irrational, he discusses the difference between social and market norms. Social and market norms guide much of our decision making, but they are not necessarily compatible. I have experienced the problems that arise when social and market norms come into conflict firsthand.  “Could you please come in here to help me out?” my mom said to me, “I’ll pay you $1.” Every good son should stop whatever they are doing when their mother is in need of help, right? Well, I did not. I was petting my dog in the living when Continue reading Favors Are Not For Sale

Pandemic $$$ fights: Couples edition

This year has been a really rough one and surely seemed to get tougher with one bad thing after the next. One of those “bad things” being the financial complications among people across the country. When we think of the financial strain from this year, we probably immediately think of small mom and pop businesses suffering the most. While it is true how the financial burdens impacted small businesses, we also could see these burdens on a smaller scale or more specifically, for everyday couples. In the past, couples traditionally might have been bickering about how much to spend on Continue reading Pandemic $$$ fights: Couples edition

I Put Up My Christmas Tree before Thanksgiving

This is the first year ever that I have felt like it’s time to put up the Christmas tree before Thanksgiving. Normally, I am one of those people that complain that everyone else who has already started the countdown to Christmas, is just overdoing it. But, for many people including me this year is special, and spreading the Christmas cheers too early would not hurt anybody. It felt like, the Christmas spirit was needed. According to Blair, however, a clinical psychologist in the UK, playing happy holiday music, might in a way make us feel that we are trapped and Continue reading I Put Up My Christmas Tree before Thanksgiving

Spending Behind the Screen

The holiday season is usually the busiest time of year for folks when it comes to shopping. Stores and restaurants are jam-packed with people rushing to get their holiday shopping done. However, this year, due to the pandemic, the holiday season is going to look a little different. Because stores are closing and restaurants are getting shut down, you might think consumers would cut back on their holiday shopping. Yet, the opposite is happening. Although in-person shopping has decreased, consumers plan on spending about $100 more this year on online shopping. This year Black Friday’s online shopping increased by 21.6 Continue reading Spending Behind the Screen

Veeps: Could it Save Emerging Musical Artists?

Veeps is an online streaming platform that music artists can use to live stream concerts and other performances. Brothers Benji and Joel Madden first created the platform to allow artists to sell VIP Tickets. However, Veeps made a complete turnaround just in time for the pandemic. When the pandemic first struck, artists were devastated because they had to cancel their concerts. In a time when it is unsafe to engage in big gatherings or go to in-person concerts, Veeps offered a safe solution for artists that allows them to live stream concerts and performances. Artists like Brandi Carlie, Liam Payne, Continue reading Veeps: Could it Save Emerging Musical Artists?

US exports are declining. How should we address it?

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?