Saturday, June 12, 2010

Radio Shack has its catalogs from 1939 to present online!! Click on your birth year and see what was the latest and greatest in technology at the time!!

This could be the GREATEST thing ever!! RadioShack has put it's catalogs from 1939 to present ONLINE.  Click on a year and thumb though the book!  These are the actual catalogs.  Amazing how they changed over the years.  It is GREAT fun to pick your year of birth and see how much has changed AND how much things have decreased in price, technology-wise---Time well spent...HT: EconLog
Go HERE for an inflation calculator to see how much something is in today's dollars...

What is the WORST thing about the World Cup?? The swarm of bees in the stadium!!

It is NOT about the Benjamins! In fact, $100 Bills may not be wanted at all!...

I hear from time to time students and adults say that a business HAS to take your money, no matter what.  Business CAN refuse cash or types of cash.  They don't have to take 5,000 pennies for payment for something AND they don't have to take $100.00 bills.  The Department of Treasury website says this:
""The pertinent portion of law that applies to your question is the Coinage Act of 1965, specifically Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled "Legal tender," which states: "United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues."This statute means that all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency (usually notes above $20) as a matter of policy.""
From NYTIMES: The Merchants That Don’t Take Cash

"Down with the Man!! oh, wait, I am the Man"---Billionaires take to the street to protest a tax increase...

Australian billionaires, yes, billionaires, took the the streets to protest a proposed new tax on the "super-rich"--ahhhh, no further comment...

Australian billionaires take to the streets for tax protest
""It was, by any measure, a most unusual rally. Many of the placard-waving protesters gathered in a Perth park wore suits and ties, and impassioned speeches were delivered from the back of a flat-bed truck by two billionaires, including Australia's richest woman.
Gina Rinehart's pearls glistened in the sunlight as she bellowed through a megaphone: "Axe the tax!" Ms Rinehart has a personal fortune of $4.8bn (£2.7bn). Andrew Forrest, in monogrammed worker's overalls, told the well-mannered crowd that Australia was "turning Communist". Mr Forrest is the country's fourth richest person, worth an estimated $4.2bn.  Both Mr Forrest and Ms Rinehart have amassed their wealth from digging up iron ore in the remote Pilbara region. Like other mining magnates, they have grown fabulously rich during a resources boom based largely on China's insatiable demand for the coal, iron, nickel and other minerals that lie in abundance beneath Australia's rust-red soil. Now Kevin Rudd's Labour government is planning to levy an extra tax on the mining industry, and the industry is furious. The issue has dominated the political agenda for weeks, and is even threatening to torpedo Mr Rudd's chance of being returned to power at an election due to be held before the end of this year....""

Is your favorite World Cup team from an economically repressive country? Find out within...

Too interesting to not post, at least for an economics teacher---here are the teams participating in the World Cup AND their Economic Freedom ranking as compiled by The Economic Freedom of the World Project. The counties ranking in the index for ALL countries in the world are in parenthesis and they are numbered in order of economic freedom relative to the teams participating in the World Cup (the USA is number 6 in the world rankings but 4th relative to the teams in the World Cup).  Are you rooting for a team that does not have a system for individuals to economically express themselves? Does it matter?  Just a thought...
HT: Divsion of Labour---Looking for a way to decide who you're rooting for in the World Cup? Or do you need a tie-breaker for games in which your home country isn't involved? Here are World Cup participants ranked by their scores in the Economic Freedom of the World Index. Index rankings in parentheses.

1. New Zealand (#3 in index, Hong Kong & Singapore are 1 & 2)
2. Switzerland (4)
3. Chile (5)
4. USA (6)
5. Australia (t-9)
6. UK (t-9)
7. Denmark (12)
8. Netherlands (t-20)
9. Slovakia (26)
t-10. Japan (t-28)
t-10. Honduras (t-28)
12. Germany (29)
13. South Korea (32)
14. France (33)
15. Spain (39)
16. Portugal (45)
17. Greece (52)
18. South Africa (t-57)
t-19. Italy (t-61)
t-19. Uruguay (t-61)
21. Slovenia (t-64)
22. Mexico (68)
23. Ghana (71)
24. Serbia (84)
25. Paraguay (91)
26. Nigeria (97)
27. Argentina (t-105)
28. Cote d'Ivoire (108)
29. Brazil (111)
30. Cameroon (123)
31. Algeria (131)
32. North Korea (Not Ranked)

Iraqi Authorities to Kill 1 Million Dogs! Iraqi Vets, are there REALLY this many stray dogs in Baghdad???

Are there REALLY over million stray dogs in Baghdad, a city of 7 million people? Iraqi Vets, can you confirm this? Thanks

Baghdad to cull a million stray dogs as rogue canine population soars
More than a million stray dogs roaming Baghdad are facing destruction. The initiative has so far led to 42,000 strays being killed in only two months. Teams of riflemen and vets are trying to thin out a rogue canine population that has reached at least 1,250,000...‘We could consider this the biggest campaign of dog execution ever,’ said Baghdad chief veterinarian, Mohammed al-Hilly. Mr al-Hilly claimed the huge amounts of litter that began heaping up in the capital as violence paralysed public services had helped to trigger the problem. The cull involves 20 specialist teams each consisting of two shooters and two vets, often backed up by police patrols. The dogs are either shot or poisoned and their bodies are then taken to refuse dumps.
HT: Drudge Report

Friday, June 11, 2010

US rice causes people in Haiti to starve---Is that an overstatement?

Predictable...Pay generous subsidies to US Rice growers which encourages over-production.--US buys the surplus (producer gets paid twice)---bag up the rice and send it as food aid to various parts of the world, EVEN if that country has rice producing capabilities---depress the local price of rice---local rice producers go out of business---now they need to get free rice to feed their families...(Repeat with Corn, Wheat, etc)...Rich countries don't REALLY want developing countries to be self-sufficient, do they?  Why not BUY local as much as possible?  Is it really that difficult to ask that question FIRST before making a big aid decision?  I understand the initial response, but consideration has to be taken in making sure local markets are not adversely affected by the good intentions (MARKETS MATTER!!).  It just makes rebuilding that much more difficult.  The US government is not the only culprit. Other donor countries that "subsidize and buy" are just as guilty.  Many NGO's do the same thing.  

Tons of subsidized U.S. rice hurt Haitian farms
POND-SONDE, Haiti – Haiti’s rice farmers are dismayed. It’s nearly harvest time in this fertile valley where the bulk of Haiti’s food is grown, and they’re competing once again with cheap U.S. imported rice.
Just down the road, vendors are undercutting them, selling the far less expensive grain. Subsidized U.S. rice has flooded Haiti for decades. Now, after the Jan. 12 quake, 15,000 metric tons of donated U.S. rice have arrived.  “I can’t make any money off my rice with all the foreign rice there is now,” said Renan Reynold, a 37-year-old farmer who makes an average of about $600 a year. “If I can’t make any money, I can’t feed my family.”Read rest of story.
HT: (MV=PQ: A Resource for Economic Educators)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

BP Oil Spill makes my worst nightmare come true---MORE Ethanol on the way...

The list of tragedies from the oil spill seems endless, but we must add one more---ETHANOL...
The Ethanol Trap:  The oil blowout will mean more subsidies for the corn-fuel industry. That's bad news for consumers.(
""The most disgusting aspect of the blowout in the Gulf of Mexico isn't the video images of oil-soaked birds or the incessant blather from pundits about what BP or the Obama administration should be doing to stem the flow of oil. Instead, it's the ugly spectacle of the corn-ethanol scammers doing all they can to capitalize on the disaster so that they can justify an expansion of the longest-running robbery of taxpayers in U.S. history...Listen to Matt Hartwig, communications director for the Renewable Fuels Association, an ethanol industry lobby group: "The Gulf of Mexico disaster serves as a stark and unfortunate reminder of the need for domestically-produced renewable biofuels." Or look at an advertisement that was recently placed in a Washington, D.C., Metro station: "No beaches have been closed due to ETHANOL spills. … America's CLEAN fuel." That gem was paid for by Growth Energy, another ethanol industry lobby group. The blowout of BP's Macondo well has given the corn-ethanol industry yet another opportunity to push its fuel adulterant on the American consumer. And unfortunately, the Obama administration appears ready and willing to foist yet more of the corrosive, environmentally destructive, low-heat-energy fuel on motorists.""
My main concern is the havoc that an expanded ethanol mandate will have on the food chain and other food crops that will be displaced because of increased use of subsidies for '"Food For Fuel".  The Earth Policy Institute says:
""The 107 million tons of grain that went to U.S. ethanol distilleries in 2009 was enough to feed 330 million people for one year at average world consumption levels. More than a quarter of the total U.S. grain crop was turned into ethanol to fuel cars last year. With 200 ethanol distilleries in the country set up to transform food into fuel, the amount of grain processed has tripled since 2004.""
HT: Carpe Diem

JibJab's Year in Review---2009...

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Do you think everyone was focused on Pres. Obama or the young man behind him for this graduation speech?

Want to be a World Cup Soccer Player?---You can't be if you were not born in the right month...

Is your chance of being on the US World Cup team determined by which month OR what part of the year you were born in?  This is a premise discussed in some research but popularized in a terrific book by Malcolm Gladwell called "Outliers".  Here are the months and number of players born in that month (data HERE). I eliminated the players who were explicitly NOT born in the US and make an assumption (maybe incorrect) that they did not play their youth soccer in the US and I assume that the players born in the US played their youth soccer in the US (again, I could be wrong).  There are a total of 23 players on the team but two are listed as foreign born so I don't count them in the total (21) when calculating percentages.  May not equal 100% due to rounding. 

January     0    (0%)                       July              1  (4.7%)
February  2    (9.5%)                    August          1 (4.7%)
March      4    (19%)                     September    1  (4.7%)
April        2    (9.5%)                    October         1  (4.7%)
May         5    (23.8%)                 November      2  (9.5%)
June         1    (4.7%)                   December       1  (4.7%)

Players born in March, April and May comprise 53% (approx) of the team.  Players born in the FIRST 6 month of the year comprise 66.5% of the team...In Spain 9 out of the 23 players (all were born in Spain) were born in January, February and March (39.1%) and 14 out of the 23 were born in the first 6 months of the year (60.8%)...Correlation or Co-incidence?  Statistically, you should give up soccer now if you were born in the second half of the year and play something else that is advantageous to your birth month...What do you think?

Alred Hitchcock Sound Test---Early Version of "That's What She Said"....

HT: The Agitator

Former Labor Secretary has Economic Advice for the President---I think Matt Damon has a better idea, though...

Former Labor Secretary (Clinton Admin) Robert Reich has an interesting blog entry on the role of the Presidents Economic advisors in advising the President in this economic crisis...I have a better idea, but will let Matt Damon tell you...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"Bye, Bye Miss American Pie. Drove my Chevrolet to the Lev-rolet and the Lev-rolet was dry...?" That makes no sense, does it?

Chevrolet is banning the word "Chevy" from the parlance of its employees:
''On Tuesday, G.M. sent a memo to Chevrolet employees at its Detroit headquarters, promoting the importance of “consistency” for the brand, which was the nation’s best-selling line of cars and trucks for more than half a century after World War II.
And one way to present a consistent brand message, the memo suggested, is to stop saying “Chevy,” though the word is one of the world’s best-known, longest-lived product nicknames.
“We’d ask that whether you’re talking to a dealer, reviewing dealer advertising, or speaking with friends and family, that you communicate our brand as Chevrolet moving forward,” said the memo, which was signed by Alan Batey, vice president for Chevrolet sales and service, and Jim Campbell, the G.M. division’s vice president for marketing"". NYTIMES
Let the mocking begin from the late night hosts---but you heard it here first... :)

A couple of graphics showing resource allocation/access in Africa and Foreign Aid as a percentage of Govt spending...

Two informative graphics.  One showing distribution of natural resources in Africa and some of the latest "deals" with various countries (mainly China) to gain access to those resources...Source: Financial Times

This one shows Foreign Aid as a percentage of total government spending in these same countries...

Graphic with estimated revenues and costs of the World Cup...

Graphic on the economics of the World Cup---estimated revenues and costs...Source HERE

Someone's trash is someone else's treasure---IA significant sign economic recovery is underway...

June 9 (Bloomberg) -- If garbage is any indication, the U.S. economy is strengthening.
""The number of freight cars carrying waste jumped 45 percent in April and May from the same period last year to 79,044, according to the Washington-based Association of American Railroads. Waste freight hasn’t grown as fast for any quarter since at least 1994.
Shipments of waste and scrap have a higher correlation with economic growth than coal or copper, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. (To see an Interactive Insight version of the story, click here.)
“It’s sort of like measuring horsepower by looking at the smoke coming out of the tail pipe,” Carl Riccadonna, a senior economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York, said in a telephone interview. “It’s consistent with our broader view that economic growth is accelerating.”
The world’s largest economy grew at a 3.3 percent annual pace in the second quarter, according to the median forecast of 64 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News from June 2 to June 8. Gross domestic product expanded at a 3 percent pace in the first three months of the year.
Shipments of scrap and waste are “coming back slowly but surely” as the economy recovers, said Lauren Rueger, a spokesman at Jacksonville, Florida-based CSX Corp., the third- largest U.S. railroad by 2009 sales.
Statistical Correlation
The correlation coefficient between carloads of waste and year-over-year growth in gross domestic product from the first quarter of 2001 through the same period of 2010 is 0.82, according to Bloomberg calculations. A correlation of 1 would show the pair moving in lockstep, and a minus 1 reading reflects opposite changes. That is the strongest correlation among 21 categories sent by rail and tracked by the AAR.
Shipments of metals, with a 0.79 correlation coefficient, are the next highest. The coefficient for coal is among the lowest at 0.32. The AAR says iron and steel make up 42 percent of waste and scrap, followed by municipal waste and demolition products at 32 percent; paper, 11 percent; ashes, 5 percent, non-ferrous metals, 4 percent; and chemical waste, 1 percent. Miscellaneous waste accounts for the remaining 4 percent.""

CCTV of houses collapsing as Haiti quake hits

From BBC: A Haitian government video shows the moment the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck in January, and shows parts of the palace crumbling under the impact. The video was released by the Haitian government at a recent conference on the future of Haiti in the Dominican Republic.
The massive quake killed more than 300,000 people and left many more homeless...CLICK HERE to see video...

NewsFlash: AT&T changes its pricing policy on internet usage---complements and substitutes go crazy!!

Two recent articles on AT&T's decision to stop their unlimited usage plan on data downloading illustrate the economic concepts of COMPLEMENTS and SUBSTITUTES.  Complements are two different goods/services that can stand alone BUT are often (sometimes required) used together and a change in the price of one can affect the demand for the other good/service.  For example, if the price of "Good A" increases then the demand for "GOOD B" decreases ("Good B" becomes less desirable).  There is an inverse relationship between the change in price of one good and the demand for the complement.  This is the situation in regards to AT&T.  AT&T's plans are going to increase the price of internet access depending on your usage.  The first article discusses how Application writers fear a decrease in demand for their "Apps" because customers may, rightly or wrongly, assume that the app will cost them more.
""Some software developers fear they will, and if that happens, the caps on data use that AT&T has imposed could also make consumers lose their appetite for the latest innovations. Some developers worry that customers will be reluctant to download and use the most bandwidth-intensive apps and that developers will cut back on innovative new features that would push customers over the new limits.""  NYTIMES 
The second article discusses how cable-operators see this as an opportunity.  In this case, wireless downloads and hard-wired cable companies, like Time Warner, Charter, etc. are SUBSTITUTES.  When the price of "GOOD A" increases and the demand for "GOOD B" increases, this signals that these to goods/services are SUBSTITUTES.  There is a positive relationship between the price of one good and the demand to for another.
""AT&T Inc.'s decision to shift its wireless-data pricing to a usage-based model may have upset lovers of mobile media, but it's music to the ears of cable executives. The move away from unlimited Internet-data plans by the second-largest U.S. wireless carrier after Verizon Wireless could push more customers to watch videos and stream music through their wireline-broadband connection at home—an area dominated by cable operators—rather than through wireless cellular networks."" WSJ
The end result of AT&T's decision potentially has adverse affects application writers and potentially benefits cable companies. This type of economic analysis is important to recognize.  It helps forecast behavior by businesses and customers....

The next economic "Bubble" to pop??---YOUR COLLEGE TUITION!!!!

Too much money chasing too few goods/services?  That is the classic definition of "inflation".  Is too much money chasing too few ACTUAL completed degrees?  When one good or service increases in price (or 10, or 20) it does not necessarily mean there is inflation. Inflation is a "general rise in prices" of all (most?) goods and services.  (The graph to the left shows the how college tuition has increased relative to all other items measured in the Consumer Price Index.)  However, we are familiar with the term " bubble".  Can tuition prices rise ad infinitum? The housing bubble of the last couple of years was predicated on this notion (as was the high tech bubble of late 90's).  Are we being drawn into ANOTHER bubble? Read the following and see if there are any parallels with any past crisis. (HT: Carpe Diem)
Here are 8 reasons to believe we’re in the middle of a college tuition bubble (that’s about to burst).

1) Tuition is, and has been, increasing at double the rate of inflation
On average, college tuition increases at around 8 percent per year, which means the cost of college doubles every nine years. Because colleges know that students will simply borrow more money to cover tuition increases, colleges have been relying on steady tuition hikes to solve all of their money problems. If this continues a college degree will soon cost as much as a house.

2) Students are borrowing more than ever to pay for college
The number of college students graduating with over $25,000 in student loan debt has tripled in the past decade alone. Today, 66% of students borrow to pay for college, taking on an average of $23,165 in debt. Twelve years ago, 58% borrowed to pay for college, taking on only $13,172 in debt.

3) For profit colleges are paying homeless people to take out federal loans to enroll
Because student loans are so easy to acquire, enterprising colleges are paying homeless people to enroll. The math makes sense when you think about it: if paying someone a $2,000 “stipend” gets the college $20,000/year in tuition courtesy of the federal government, that’s money well spent. Unfortunately, many people who accept such “stipend” offers never graduate, become overwhelmed with student debt, and destroy their already bad financial records.

4) Colleges are on a non-teaching staff hiring spree that far outpaces enrollment
Why hire a full-time professor when you can hire an “environmental sustainability officer”? According to the a New York Times article, over the past two decades colleges have doubled their non-teaching staff, while enrollment has only increased by 40%. Often times staff members have exotic duties like monitoring environmental sustainability, or their focus is on student “lifestyle.” Economist Daniel Bennett, who conducted this study, says “Universities and colleges are catering more to students, trying to make college a lifestyle, not just people getting an education. There’s more social programs, more athletics, more trainers, more sustainable environmental programs.” Of course, much this exotic hiring and lifestyle catering is made possible by student loan money.

5) For profit reliance on federal loans has reached an all time high
According to Bloomberg, publicly traded higher education companies derive three-fourths of their revenue from federal funds, up from just 48 percent in 2001 and approaching the 90 percent limit set by federal law. The fact that colleges are almost completely relying on borrowed money to finance tuition, up to the legal limit, means we’ve almost hit the breaking point. If not for the easy student loan money sloshing around, many colleges would go belly up tomorrow.

6) Schools are spending on luxurious amenities to lure in more students
Flush with student loan money and wanting to attract even more, colleges are increasingly spending on luxury dorms, gyms, swimming pools and other amenities.
Freakonomics author Stephen Dubner noted that when he went back to his college, a chancellor told him that “[the gym] was a top priority because parents and prospective students increasingly think of themselves as customers, shopping for the most amenities for the best price, and the colleges that didn’t come to grips with this would soon see their customers going elsewhere.” But gyms are just the tip of the ice burg. At High Point University in North Carolina, students are treated to valet parking, live music in the cafeteria and Starbucks gift cards on their birthdays.

7) College president salaries are sky high, even in a historical economic downturn
USA Today reported that 23 Private College Presidents Made More Than $1 Million in 2008, while 110 made more than $500,000. In case you were wondering, this is not the norm — as recently as 2002, there were no million-dollar presidents. And it’s no wonder the college administrator gravy train continues despite the down economy. After all, when your “customers” have easy access to credit and pay you with money they don’t have, the economy doesn’t really matter, does it?

8) The student loan problem cuts across all schools, for profit and nonprofit.
Often times the discussion about a high tuition leads to a flogging of for profit colleges. And while for profit colleges are often the worst about shamelessly fattening themselves at the trough of student loans, it’s not a for profit vs. non profit issue. In fact, for profit colleges account for less than half of student loan defaults. Nor is the issue one of “good colleges” vs. “bad colleges.” As this New York Times article illustrates, even students at prestigious non-profit schools like NYU can find themselves in financially ruinous circumstances because of their student loans.

Whose fault is this?
The federal government for making student loans non dischargeable in bankruptcy and loosening lending standards? State governments for refusing to directly fund higher education? Schools for taking advantage of students and relying too much on tuition increases? Lenders for handing out student loans like candy? Students for borrowing money like there’s no tomorrow?

One thing is for sure, things cannot continue as they are, regardless of how we got to this point. The housing bubble gave America a hard lesson in what happens when loose credit leads to unsustainable prices. But unlike the housing bubble, in which foreclosure and bankruptcy allowed people to have a fresh start, the college tuition bubble will haunt young people for life unless bankruptcy laws change.
Source: HERE

Founder of Zapps Potato Chips Dies...sad day for me...B-Q is my favorite...

ZAPPE Ronald Joe Zappe, age 67, of Baton Rouge, LA, died on Tuesday, June 1, 2010 in Houston, TX due to complications arising from treatment of cancer. Ron was born in Beaumont, Texas, on February 15, 1943 to parents Verline and Lester Joseph Zappe. He grew up in Houston, Texas, and attended Reagan High School. He studied Industrial Engineering at Texas A&M, Class of '65, where he quickly distinguished himself by being named Outstanding Freshman in 1961. He gained further notoriety among his Aggie peers when he was charged with cattle rustling for his part in the capture The University of Texas mascot, Bevo, in 1963. Ron began his career with Ingersoll Rand but showed the first signs of his entrepreneurial spirit when he launched Flow-Quip, the first of many oil supply related businesses. In 1985, in the midst of the oil crisis, he made what proved to be a brilliant move from crude oil to peanut oil when he founded Zapp's Potato Chips and settled in to his life's calling. He donated time and money (and LOTS of chips) to numerous charities. He was known for his generosity, his over-the-top personality and love of a good time. He is survived by the love of his life, Anne Grantham Zappe; his daughter, Kristin Zappe Hopper and husband, Tim of Bloomfield, New Jersey; his son, Eric Campbell Zappe and wife, Catherine of Jacksonville, Florida; three grandchildren: Matthew, Katie, and Jack Hopper; and his sister, Joan Zappe Brown and husband, George of League City, Texas. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, June 5, 2010 at 1:00 p.m at St. James Episcopal Church, 205 North Fourth Street in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with visitation starting 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to LSU Rural Life Museum at 4560 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70809-3424 or the charity of your choice. Rabenhorst Funeral Home in Charge of Arrangements.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Need a job? Want to clean up oil in 100+ degree heat for 10 hours a day? Apply with-in...

How much per hour would it take for YOU to do this type of work???
Put Jobless Young People to Work Cleaning Up BP’s Mess and Order BP to Pay
Former Labor Secretary suggests that BP should pay for a legion of "young people" to go to the Gulf Coast to clean-up the marshes and beaches. 
""For most new high school and college grads finding a job is harder than ever. Meanwhile, states are cutting summer jobs for disadvantaged young people. What to do with this army of young unemployed? Send them to the Gulf to clean up beaches and wetlands, and send the bill to BP.""
I have NO problem with this! However, I am intrigued by the reality of this proposal:  Suggest to high school and college graduates to move to the Gulf Coast, work 8 hours a day in 100+ heat, cleaning/scrubbing raw crude oil from beaches, marshes, rocks, etc...I am not suggesting in any way that this demographic lacks the work ethic or can-do to do this, but seems to me that this (even MY) generation is no-depression era generation when it comes to doing work like this:
""The President should order BP to establish a $5 billion clean-up fund, and immediately put America’s army of unemployed young people to work saving the Gulf coast. Call it the new Civilian Conservation Corps.

(The old CCC — created by FDR at another time of massive unemployment and environmental stress — gave millions of young Americans jobs and training to reforest lands that had been degraded, provide emergency flood relief in the Ohio and Mississippi valleys, and build the infrastructure for our national parks.)""
Am I wrong? Judging this generation too harshly?  Convince me otherwise... :)

Shrek Glasses Recalled---I wish they recalled the movie instead...

WSJ: McDonald's Recalls 'Shrek' Glasses
""Cadmium was detected in McDonald's 'Shrek'-themed glasses featuring characters, from left, Puss In Boots, Shrek, Donkey and Fiona..McDonald's Corp. is recalling 12 million glasses sold as a promotional tie-in to the latest "Shrek" movie because they contain the toxic metal cadmium. The voluntary recall is a rare lapse for McDonald's, which is known for tough oversight of suppliers, and could hurt its standing with families that have driven the fast-food chain's growth. The company's shares slipped $1.15 to $66.70 in 4 p.m. New York Stock Exchange composite trading Friday, with the broader markets also lower. Friday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said the designs on the glasses, which were sold for about $2 since the beginning of May, contain cadmium, which can pose health risks with long-term exposure.
The glasses were manufactured by ARC International North America Inc., of Millville, N.J. The company said it only learned about the problem late Thursday and will look into it, the Associated Press reported Friday. ARC International is based in France.
No injuries have been reported, but McDonald's has asked consumers to stop using the glasses and return them for a full refund.
McDonald's says the glasses met federal standards when tested by an independent third-party laboratory but decided to recall the items "in light of the CPSC's evolving assessment of standards for cadmium in consumer products."
The recall, reported earlier by the Los Angeles Times, may do some damage to McDonald's image in the eyes of families, Telsey Advisory Group analyst Tom Forte said Friday in an interview. "The risk would be that there would be the perception that McDonald's selling unsafe items," he said.
The glasses don't pose an "acute risk" to children, said Scott Wolfson, a spokesman for the CSPC, as the amount of cadmium in them is slightly above a standard the commission is developing. He said the amount of the metal found is "far below" the level foundin three previous recalls of children's metal jewelry.
With concern over the metal growing, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. recently began limiting the use of cadmium in a variety of children's products after voluntarily recalling some pieces of children's jewelry that were found to have high levels of the metalcadmium. ""

Spot the IT/Computer guy in this corporation---this one made me LOL!!! :)

Source: The Great Carpe Diem

Gender Discrimination in Clothing Prices!! Why do women pay LESS???

Clothing Inflation Gender Gap(Source:Carpe Diem)

Professor Perry asks if there is a gender bias in the pricing of women's vs men's clothing...
""The chart above shows the CPI for Men's Apparel (data here) and Women's Apparel (data here) from January 1978 to April 2010. Men's clothing has appreciated by 1.06% per year since 1978, which is more than double the annual rate of appreciation for women's clothing (0.52%). Compared to 1978, men today are paying 40% more on average for their clothing, and women are paying only 20% more. According to the selective concern among the "gender activists" about gender imbalances, any gender outcomes that favor men can be traced to overt or "unexamined" sex discrimination.""
There is often more to graphs like this one than meets the eye.  When exactly did the price of clothing start to decrease significantly?  The points are pretty clear---women's clothing in 1994 and men's in 2000.  Hmmm...what year was NAFTA ratified?  When did China emerge, in a global fashion, as the world's manufacturing floor, first in clothing/shoes/accessories and now in higher value goods?   I am curious as to the time lag of 6 years before the fall in price of men's clothing.  Perhaps Professor Perry has an answer:
Q: What are we then to make of these gender imbalances in favor of women for clothing prices? Is this an outcome of price discrimination because women are more "ruthless" in their shopping habits for clothing, male demand for clothing is more "price insensitive," and therefore men (women) pay higher (lower) prices.

What do you think????
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