Monday, October 31, 2011

Electric cars taking over

There has always been a dispute on whether it would be best for new car lookers to choose between gas driven cars or electric cars. There are many pluses towards electric cars such as it's environmentally friendly, easy to charge, and the benefits that the government are providing towards car buyers buying electric cars. However at first, many people were driven away from this idea because of the unfashionable look of them. The financial crises were are facing today with rising gas prices, people are now considering buying this substitute good because they will be spending much less money compared to the amount there spending on their gas driven cars.  Not only will people be spending less on gas but as well as saving more money towards taxes.  Many more people are realizing the benefits of buying a electric car and the demand is rising.

Rise for transplants

Transplants are a common procedure done throughout the past years. Many people need transplants for kidneys, hearts or any other organs.  However a major problem is appearing with this.  Patients are dealing with extremely long delays to receive a transplant.  More than 7,500 patients need transplants and those waiting for hearts are told the wait is up to 3 years or more and for kidneys the wait is delayed even longer.  Excess demand is shown greatly through transplants, the head of organ donations mentions that people are still donating but the increase for demand has risen and this is causing more and more people to wait even resulting with some dying.  Many officials are trying to advertise more people to sign up to increase their supply and are already seeing great results.

Tesla's Demand Is Out the Door

The 2012 model of a Tesla luxury sports car is not even on the market yet and the waiting list is out the door and down the street. Needless to say it is “SOLD OUT”. Here is where the law of supply and demand is put to test: there are currently 6,500 people who have their names down for reservations and only 5,000 cars that are to be built in the next year. Right now the excess demand is a pressing issue for Tesla, however CEO Elon Musk says they expect to eventually increase their supply of these sweet rides to around 20,000 sold yearly, depending on how its demand fluctuates. The prices of these high-tech electric vehicles will depend on the miles per charge; the farther it can travel with one charge the more desirable it will be and the higher the price tag it will have. The base price of $57,400 ranks $30,000 below many of the top line sport cars on the market. Only time will tell whether this fancy speedster will be able to keep up demand and continue to attract customers.

Lauren S.

Container Store Success

Yes many businesses are taking hard hits with the economic recession right now, however the Container Store is continuing to attract customers, especially women who make up 85% of their customers. As said by the CEO of Container Store, Kip Tindell, ‘People tend to nest during chaotic times’. This idea is exactly what the Container Store is promoting to its customers; even in tough financial times, people are still going to desire products to make them feel organized and on top of things in their own space. With 1,500 new items going to 48+ stores each year, the company has managed to maintain financial stability through much of the recession. A key approach taken by the Container Store is that the experience that the customer has in their store should be easy, genuine and memorable enough to return often. For example, Tindell’s theory of providing benefits and incentives through the shopping experience is reflected in the store’s wide aisles: allowing more space for children or carts, low shelves: for easy access, and helpful (not pestering) sales associates. All these factors along with the desirable products the customer came for in the first place all result in customer happiness.

Lauren S.

Economic Impact of the World Cup

Many would be quick to assume that the largest global sporting event, held every four years, would bring economic prosperity to the host country, regardless of size. The World Cup is assigned through a bidding process that requires countries to outbid other nations for rights to host the tournament, and the winner eventually has to build stadiums, hotels, and tourist attractions for the month the tournament happens. Because it is already a generally large tourist destination, the economy will not thrive because of an unusual amount of visitors. South Africa is a relatively small country with 50% of the population living in poverty, and a 24% unemployment rate. Although the World Cup brings jobs and a temporary expansion and peak, to the country for the few years prior to the tournament, the people who are assigned the task of building the stadiums are out of a job as soon as the tournament comes to a close. The stadiums then usually sit empty, with no practical use for such a large venue. The government then usually sits in debt because of the millions of dollars they spend building on stadiums that don't bring in revenue. The host countries have to weigh the costs and benefits of hosting the tournament in their country before they decide to place their bid. Although the tournament brings temporary economic highs, the benefit of the economic boost may be outweighed by the contraction that follows.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

10 + Years in the Hotel


10 + Years in the Hotel
79 year old Joy Bricker finally checked out of her longtime home in a hotel located in Falls Church, Virginia. Her husband Glenn died of cancer in 2001 and it put her right back into work and with that the hotel came right into play. With the cost of the hotel (roughly $1,500-$1,700 a month) being less than most apartments around town it was the perfect fit. Her room aided with daily cleaning and free Wi-Fi the added benefits aided in her online research and reading. If you think about it there are many added benefits to living in a hotel including free toothpaste, soap, conditioner, and a pool right outside your patio. Her daughter states, “"She turned them into family, and they accepted." Who knew a sweet elder lady could turn a normal hotel into a community. “"I call it community planning," she adds, "I turned it into a community." After Joy Bricker lives happily in a hotel for 10 years it makes one wonder if your next home may be located in room 235 in the Holiday Inn.

SPORTS BOOMING IN ARLINGTON

Other than a great night on the couch watching a great ball game, the Texas Rangers successes have done great wonders for the Arlington economy. With the Dallas Mavericks and the Texas Rangers both making it to their own respective main stages in their sports, the fan bases have greatly increased. With new fans hopping on the band wagon of the Rangers, the purchase of jerseys and other merchandises have endured a great number of sales. For the last two years the Rangers have been in the hunt for the playoffs meaning the regular season games hold much more value than in past years. This increasing the number of fans not only coming to the high demand playoff games, but the meaningful regular season games as well. Another contributing factor to the booming economy in Arlington is the entire out of town fans pouring in for the large playoff games that occurred. It seems as everyone has jumped on the Texas Ranger’s band wagon.

FedEx


With Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching fast FedEx is starting to hire more temporary drivers to meet the increased demand for shipping all the gifts and goods. Everyone will be shipping and receiving gifts which means FedEx needs more drivers. Due to FedEx hiring more temporary drivers for just the holidays it won’t make a big difference on the economy since its just a short time. If the holidays lasted longer increasing the hiring and supplying all the goods would boost the economy greatly. Some of the drivers are kept but most of the temporary drivers are released after the holidays which means they have to go find another job.
Colton U 

The Hermès Craze

The high fashion house Hermès has been making high end clothing and accessories since the early 1900s.  Their original success coming from the Kelly bag, named after Grace Kelly the Princess of Monaco, and later from their birkin bag. Hermès bags have stood the test of time and continue to be one of the highest demanded luxury goods.  They carry a price tag anywhere from $10,000- $100,000, which seems unheard of, but their prices continue to rise.  They can be seen more as an investment given that the exact same Birkin bag bought today in the future could be resold for thousands more.  The increasing price comes from the increasing demand caused by the scarcity of bags.  Each bag is hand made in Paris by a craftsman which takes no less than 24 hours.  Also production is limited because Hermès is constantly looking for the perfect quality and color of leather and crocodile.  There is said to be a waiting list of upwards of two years.  These shortages of labor and supply create demand from the wealthiest people that are willing to shell out whatever it costs to get what they want.  Economists argue that creating equilibrium where the the supply and demand equal would make for a more profitable business, but recently, Hermès has been valued at more than France’s second largest bank, Société Générale.  Hermès has found great successful with their luxury goods, but would they make more profit if they lowered the price or increased the supply?..... No one will ever know.
-Katherine T.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Is it Worth the Cost?

The Staples Center, a Los Angeles event arena, has a great opportunity on their hands. They have the chance to suggest that Cisco and Verizon combine their technology and create much more efficient game day technology. Over the course of the year, 4 different professional teams play in the Staples Center. With the Clippers, Lakers and Kings all playing during the same season with games every other night, event staff at the stadium is always running. We all know that when you go to see your team play, you want to feel the sense of pride that you would get with any team specific stadium, with the team colors and merchandise displayed around the stadium. With the new technology that is being developed, much of the work done in between games will be eliminated. Changing themes around the stadium will be as simple as a click of a button, luxury suite owners will have more technology at their hands inside the box that they pay good money to sit in, and the concession stand boards will have dynamic pricing available to be displayed at any time. As demand rises, the executives at Staples Center are able to cut costs to make their customers happier. By using this new technology, much of the labor expenses and energy bills can be cut, helping the stadium save money. This will make the game day experience for fans very interactive. The only problem is getting Cisco and Verizon to agree to partner with each other. They both compete in the same industry and while a partnership could benefit in some ways, both companies will have to agree on what aspects of each company they would keep and which would have to be redone. While the partnership would benefit the fans, the companies have to be able to agree on how to successfully combine their business.

Watch Your Feet!

Recently in a game involving the Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers, 7 year NFL vet Raheem Brock was fined $15,000 dollars for a below the knee hit (which as of 2011 is ruffing the passer) on Pitt QB Ben Roethlisberger. Later during the week Brock was found on twitter posting about the legitimate evidence that the hit only happened because he was tripped by a Pittsburgh offensive lineman. "Fined by the NFL today for being "TRIPPED" by an o'lineman and fallin into the QB's legs! Smh if I only had super powers to stop mid air," Brock wrote on Twitter on Wednesday night.  A day later, his opinion hadn't changed. “I have been in this league. I knew I was going to get fined. I just thought that was a no-brainer," Brock said. "But I'm going to appeal it, because it's clear as day I got tripped into the quarterback." Now the NFL has pictures and the video and will be reviewing it with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Brock refuses to pay the fine. Who is at fault for this situation, is it the refs for a bad call or the NFL for the ridiculous rule changes.

Monday, October 24, 2011

McDonald's Weathering the Storm

The economy has been tough over the last couple of years on everyone, but the fast-food chain McDonald’s has found a way not to just weather the storm but also make a profit and expand. McDonald’s has taken into account all of their costs and adjusted the price of their items appropriately creating an equilibrium for their market. This year they have had to make certain increases in price because their variables costs have gone up. Their products including beef and buns have gone up and the labor cost has gone up as well. McDonald’s has done a great job balancing the extra costs and adjusting the price accordingly trying to make sure not to overprice their products causing excess supply and also not making the price to low resulting in excess demand. What has also made this company so successful is changing with the times. They have updated their look with their buildings, ad campaigns, and the overall feel of the restaurant chain. They have also updated their menu to include more health conscious options and opened more 24-hour locations. Overall, McDonald’s main goal was to adapt to the peoples’ tastes and preferences. If you don’t change to appease tastes and preferences, then your company will go in a downward spiral. McDonald’s has been very smart in most of their decisions to try to stay at the top of the fast-food business. They are expanding even more, trying to reach all the markets they can since Europe is their biggest market now not the United States. All the projections for stock worth and corporate revenue that were made for McDonald’s have been surpassed. In this economy surpassing projections is quite an accomplishment. How they did it was to find their products equilibrium, and in return it has made this a great financial year so far for McDonald’s.

Blair S.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Proving Writers Wrong

Apple’s strategic plan was a brilliant one. Everyone thought that the new iPhone, the iPhone 4gs, was going to be a big bust. The improvements made on the phone were not monumental warranting already iPhone owners to buy the new one, but the article writers didn’t take into account that the iPhone was going to be brought to brand new markets. The iPhone was going to be sold in different countries than it ever had and new networks including Sprint were going to offer the phone. The market for the phone was increasing instead of decreasing. When the new iPhone models came out when the only networks selling it was AT&T and Verizon the demand was not as high even though the supply was the same. The demand was not as high because many people already had an iPhone when the new model came out and could not justify the cost of the new phone. So when Apple allowed new networks and countries to sell the phone it was increasing its market, which will usually increase the demand for the product. With this iPhone the record sales in three days have broken the sales records from the release of the iPhone 4 almost doubling the mark it had set previously. Overall with the market getting bigger and having new iPhone customers it would stand to reason that this would be the biggest release of the iPhone yet.

Blair S.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

sleep

How do we know when we have had enough sleep? Research in the past has showed that people could function off 5 or so hours of sleep. Now researches suggest otherwise. Those who had eight hours of sleep hardly had any attention lapses and no cognitive declines over the 14 days of the study.
The four-hour subjects performed far worse, the six-hour group also consistently fell off-task. By the sixth day, 25 percent of the six-hour group was falling asleep at the computer. And at the end of the study, they were lapsing fives times as much as they did the first day. So clearly living off 4-6 hours of sleep is not going to do good things for you. A lot of things help us stay more awake such as coffee, people around us, lights, healthy food and many more. “You don’t see it the first day. But you do in five to seven days. Unless you’re doing work that doesn’t require much thought, you are trading time awake at the expense of performance.” -Van Dongen
-Megan Reynolds
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sleep-t.html?_r=1

Junk food vs. Nutritious food

Children's eating habits its are very sparse all over the world.  Many families and feeding their children nutritious meals while others are letting junk food take over their main food courses.  However, many parents are unaware of the potential danger and outcomes from the poor meals and junk food that would most likely change their views and opinions.  In Britain new evidence has been discovered that feeding children innutritious food is in fact, lowering their IQ.  A test has been proven that over the childhood years from age 3-8, kids who eat healthy meals have an IQ up to 5 points higher on average than kids who do not eat healthy meals. Eating healthy does not only raise IQ's but much more such as keeping them healthy and. This raised IQ helps children in many ways like school, peer pressure and choosing the right friends. Parents need to weigh the costs and benefits of their children choosing between feeding their kids unhealthy food that taste good or healthy food not tasting as good but potentially raising their IQ.

-Lauren Bookout

Sunday, October 2, 2011

New Facebook for a New Time

Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg introduced the new look and features that are coming to Facebook. When Zuckerberg created Facebook, Profiles were simple and there was little information being shared. As changes were made, the website became more and more popular, reaching half a billion hits in one day last week. This popularity is proof that consumer sovereignty is a prominent part of social networking. When Facebook competes with other social networking sites, like Twitter, they aim to leave the users with a better and more useful product. Although people are often weary of new changes, Facebook has an incentive to continue to adapt in order to stay ahead of the curve. This time, Facebook has changed the Newsfeed, by marking relevant and interesting posts and by adding Ticker on the side, showing what friends are doing in real time. Additionally, Zuckerberg realized that important posts, pictures, or events quickly are pushed off of Profiles by newer posts. Facebook’s next step is Timeline, a place where the user can select what is important to them, and what others might be interested in, so that important posts are not neglected. This will allow people to catch up and connect in a convenient way. Although people are nervous about the changes made this week, they will no doubt increase the overall quality of the product and in time will change the user opinion. Facebook must constantly be advancing in order to keep its status as the preferred networking site and to not be overtaken, becoming an inferior site.

Morgan K.

Bears vs. Bulls

During the years between 1926 and 2010, there was an incredible growth for investors in the U.S. stock market. The estimated growth was 9.1% annually. The stock market is usually the best way to increase individual wealth over time. Unfortunately, this is not the case in 2011. The financial policies of the current president and his administration have caused the stock market investments to fall out. The third quarter of 2011 has been the worst in recent memory for the U.S. stock market. Confidence is a key component for all investors and the bottom line is that American investors are investing outside the U.S. stock market. The most popular investments are cash, commodities, and the U.S. treasury bonds. Another issue is that the baby boomers, born from 1946-1964, are starting to retire and will not invest in risky stocks and will more likely sell stocks to finance their golden years. The current term used for the stock market is called the “Bear Market”. The financial cost of the “bear market” is that there is less investment and a decrease in stock prices. The benefit is that the investor can buy stocks at a much lower price. The upside turn of a stock market is called a bull market. In conclusion, with a new presidential election in a little over a year, I feel that the country will move in a new direction with a bull market system soon to return.

A Boost of Energy

Energy drinks have recently become very popular among today’s society. Although they have become popular, two National League ballparks have attempted to cut off players from having this energy drink or “boost”. The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Houston Astros have decided to not provide energy drinks at their clubhouse for the health of their players. They fear that it’s very bad for the players and could result in something dangerous. As stated in the article, the pitcher for the Houston Astros, Wesley Wright ended up in the emergency room in 2009 because of dehydration and having a few energy drinks before the game. Because of incidents like these, these two ballparks are trying to have their players make trade-offs by choosing other alternatives and not providing it at their clubhouses. Although they can’t stop the players from drinking the energy drink, they’re hoping players will decide to think at the margin when making the decision to keep drinking energy drinks. The marginal costs could lead to something bad for the health of the individual player, while the marginal benefit could be something good such as actually giving them the boost of energy that they need to play with.