The Fed Can Fix It

Despite the name, I don’t just want to talk about the marvels of the Fed, but actually about how the Fed is a good model for other public agencies and corporations. The Federal Reserve has always been the target of criticism from all sides of the spectrum, but this is reflective of inherent strengths of the Fed that naturally can draw some ire from the Political space. The Federal Reserve has successfully led the country through over 70 years of economic hardships in way that no other governmental body truly could and this is due to its unique features that set Continue reading The Fed Can Fix It

A 2020 Presidential Candidate’s Proposal for Universal Basic Income

Sooner rather than later Andrew Yang’s main idea, Universal Basic Income (UBI), will enter the national discussion on some level. Yang has reached the 65,000-donor threshold to appear in debates later this year. As such, this bold proposal is one that major candidates may have to take positions on. Below are the main details of and arguments for his UBI proposal. This is not an endorsement of Andrew Yang 2020. The Problem Yang, a successful entrepreneur, argues that we are undergoing the greatest technological and economic shift we’ve ever experienced. Automation has already destroyed millions of manufacturing jobs. He cites Continue reading A 2020 Presidential Candidate’s Proposal for Universal Basic Income

The Paradox of Voting (Part 2)

We left off two weeks ago talking about gerrymandering.  I demonstrated how a non-majority group could be distributed to have the majority in groupings.  This is exactly what your state legislature does when he/she draws redistricting lines.  They obviously gerrymander for the favor of their political party, by targeting either people who voted for a given party, or demographics.  An example of this is Florida’s 5th congressional district.  This district is considered one of the most heavily gerrymandered districts in the country.  The district contains 47.69% black people which is 31% more than Florida’s general demographic.  This shows that someone Continue reading The Paradox of Voting (Part 2)

Hidden costs to outdoor recreation during the government shutdown

The longest government shutdown in our country’s history was expensive in more ways than one. The outdoor recreation economy, which made up 2.2% of total GDP in 2016, was one of the losers. According to an article written on January 4 (just 14 days into the shutdown), the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) estimated that the partial shutdown had already cost the National Parks Service (NPS) at least $5 million in entrance fees. Although the NPS left some areas open, they operated with limitations and did not collect entrance fees. Fortunately, many outdoor communities stepped up to volunteer in garbage Continue reading Hidden costs to outdoor recreation during the government shutdown

American Political Parties are a Duopoly (Spoiler: Its not Symmetric)

In the United States we have effectively only two political parties to choose from, the Democrats or Republicans. Unlike in other developed nations that are characterized as two party systems, America has zero representation of third parties in national government while in Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada the third biggest parties hold 14.4%, 7.52% or 5.38% (depending on who you count), and 23.9% of seats in national government respectively. Therefore, it is fair to say that the parties act as two firms unchallenged within a market for votes and thereby power within the American political system. Now this isn’t a shocking Continue reading American Political Parties are a Duopoly (Spoiler: Its not Symmetric)

This Tuesday, 10/25: Debate on WA Initiative 732 regarding a carbon tax.

Where: McIntyre 107 When: 4 – 5pm, Tuesday 10/25 The Economics Department is hosting a discussion of WA initiative 732 which seeks to create a revenue neutral carbon tax in Washington state to combat greenhouse gas emissions. Advocates from both the ‘pro’ and ‘con’ camps will be speaking. Yoram Bauman, economist for CarbonWA.org and one of the founders of I-732 will speak in favor of the measure. Brandon Houskeeper from the Association of Washington Business will make the case against the measure.

Is Marriage Worth Saving?

Marriage has long been argued as essential for building a family and properly raising children, yet, as this New York Times article discusses, more and more American children are born to unmarried parents, and consequentially, many are raised by single parents. Today, nearly 40% of new mothers aren’t married, and there is a clear racial disparity; “one in five white children, one in four Hispanics and one in two blacks live without a father at home.” Since the 1960’s, the U.S. Government has promoted marriage and two-parent families, and still does today, but it seems to not have an effect Continue reading Is Marriage Worth Saving?

The War on Drugs…in 1511

Abyssinian goat herders may have been the first people to use the coffee bean for it’s psychoactive properties. The goat herders were likely to have observed their goats eating  red berries off one particular tree, Cofea. After trying the berries themselves the goat herders experienced the psychoactive properties of the berries, and somewhere along the line they learned to roast the beans to make coffee. Now, caffeine is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive substance. And though it has become the world’s leading choice of stimulant, what happened before it achieved it’s popular status? Why was coffee banned with such force? Continue reading The War on Drugs…in 1511

Stoned Moms: The Marijuana Industry’s Greatest Untapped Market

If you’ve seen this video of grandmothers getting high then you’re going to love this Granny who loves her weed too. Since the legalization of recreational weed use in Colorado in 2012 entrepreneurs and investment bankers have been looking for the next big push to get the legal marijuana industry profitable. Justin Hartfield is the creator of WeedMaps, a yelp for marijuana dispensaries that marries the marijuana and tech industries into a modern entrepreneurial dream. However the next untapped market that the medical and recreation marijuana industry needs are everyday people, you, me, and your mom too.   Contrary to popular belief, the majority of Continue reading Stoned Moms: The Marijuana Industry’s Greatest Untapped Market

The Economics of Our Candidates, Part 3

Welcome to part three of my three part series on our presidential candidates’ stances on economic issues. In case you missed it, here’s the first on taxation and the second on financial reform. Again, we lost some candidates since last I posted. Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina will be sorely missed, as well as Jim Gilmore, I guess. For this final week, the issue is the Fed! First, a woefully short description of the Federal Reserve (aka the Fed). They deal with monetary policy, playing some role in deciding the value of the dollar by controlling the federal funds rate. Banks and Continue reading The Economics of Our Candidates, Part 3