Monday, November 7, 2011

Did Someone Call Security?

The Texas Department of Public Safety recently added on a new addition to the border with Texas and Mexico. The cameras are motion triggered and cover the 1,254 mile border. In hopes of gaining better security, the cameras are in full action as they take a series of still photographs. Although the cameras will be extra money, the DPS thinks in the long term, it will be saving money and time trying to keep illegal immigrants out of Texas and the U.S. The article also stated that the cameras had already began to help and with more funding, they can get more cameras to protect and keep the border safe. The cameras along the border would allow Texas and the DPS to benefit greatly. With the cameras, the Border Control's job would be much easier and allow them to keep and eye on the border at all times. In my opinion, adding this extra addition to the border will allow them to keep the best watch along the border. 

Spider Monkey

Earlier today, a zookeeper left the door to a monkey's cage open in the Dallas Zoo. Although the monkey did not harm anyone and they safely got the spider monkey back into it's cage, it could have been very dangerous. Even though the zoo said the spider monkey was harmless, they don't really know for sure what the monkey could have done if they had not properly secured the animal back in it's cage at the right time. The zoo then stated that the same problem of leaving the door to the cage open had happened just about two weeks before and that the mistake was made by the employee and had nothing to do with the facility or mechanical problems. In my opinion, they should train the zookeepers better and make sure they are doing everything properly, such as locking the cage. The zoo needs to take into account the costs and benefits of not training their employees to the best of their ability. If the zoo trains their employees to make sure they lock the cages, then it would be a benefit and they would not have to worry about any possible dangers happening in the park. If they do not train their employees more to get everything down, there could be some major costs from that. At the zoo, the safety of the people and the animals should be their number one priority. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

LSU kicks winning field goal in OT for defensive-minded win over Alabama

LSU takes it home!!! After a long fought game battled between two best teams in the nation No.1 Lsu and No.2 Alabama, Lsu wins with a kicked field goal with 1 second on the game clock. Not only was it a defensive game but a dogfight to see who wanted it more. Neither team scored a touchdown throughout the entire game. The score was 9-6, and this win by Lsu now moves into the driver’s seat to play in the Allstate BCS National Championship Game. I guess those expensive tickets were worth it after all. Although both teams only have two pretty good SEC teams to play I still don’t think its safe to say that Lsu is the best team in the SEC. But I do think the SEC is the strongest conference in college football and Lsu is ranked No.1, I still feel that on any given day Lsu can be defeated if they don’t stay focused and remember why they’re ranked No.1.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Steve Jobs: An inspiration to many

Apple creating the iphone, ipod, and ipad are just some of the many miracle products that Steve Jobs left for the United States and world consumers over the last 30 years. Steve Jobs’s first success was the original Macintosh computer. He had a vision in the early 1980’s of all people owning their own computer, which helped him create user-friendly software. Steve Jobs understood the concept of supply and demand in the free market economy. In other words, with little or no government control, buyers and sellers transact freely. This helps develop unique innovated products that are one of a kind. Steve Jobs understanding of the free markets helped him become one of the richest men in the world. Steve Jobs’s understanding of development was a key factor to his success. The iPhone series just came out with the iPhone 4s, which Steve Jobs knew that all iPhone users would be anxious to upgrade to the latest and greatest. His market driven strategy is to be exclusive with his products and feed the free markets with technology. The U.S. is a technology-based society and it has been fueled throughout the years by Steve Jobs’s creativity.

Bonuses Really?

During the last three years, the government has been very involved in regulation of our financial institutions. It has really been a factor in the U.S. slowed economy. This situation all started by the U.S. government under regulated, the financial institutions back in the late 1990’s. The goal of the U.S. administration at that time wanted to create more home mortgages through the financial institutions, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. During the time from 1997 to 2008 Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae created loans to consumers that were under regulated. What this means, is that unqualified and unsecured loans were approved to hundreds of thousands of people. The types of loans that were created were interest only and three-year rate change. Consumers had low payments initially and over time the monthly payments increased. The homeowner cannot afford the increased rate and eventually was forced into foreclosure and bankruptcy. All of this was a huge factor of the start to the housing bubble and financial crisis in 2008. Deregulation started this mess, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae created more under qualified loans that really triggered the world financial crisis. Since 2008, the U.S. government has changed the regulations to the extreme of slowing the bank financing into the U.S. economy. In conclusion, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae received a government bail out in 2008 and 2009 for their idiotic mistakes during the years 1997 to 2008. There is no way that any executives from these institutions should receive any type of bonus until all the money has been paid back to the U.S. government.

Do all teams gain money in the NFL?

The Detroit Lions were the only team in the 2010 season that lost money. All of the other 31 teams (96.8%) in the league gained money during the season. Many people think that owning a NFL means you are guaranteed to have a profitable season. For being the only team in the NFL to lose money this season the overseer of the Lions has been handed the worst owner in the league. To be the only team in the league means that William Clay Ford Sr. has made some decisions that the trade-offs haven’t been big enough to gain him a profit. For example they built a new stadium but they haven’t been able to regain enough money in ticket revenue for the new stadium to outweigh the costs of the build. A typical team’s value in the NFL has grown 8% where as the Detroit Lions decreased 3% over the last 5 years. On the other hand there are teams that have been making the right economic decisions like the New York Giants who have increased the value in there team by 33% and the owners have rightfully so been named the beast owners in the league.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Why is Embassy Suites so appealing?

Embassy suites is a hotel chain started in 1983. Started by the Hilton Group, entrepreneurs sought after an ideal hotel for the traveling business man or family. They collected a pool of what they thought makes a hotel comfortable and luxurious and settles of more than one room per room, high quality breakfast that is ready to eat when you arrive at the restaurant, a reasonable price, a resort-ish nature walk feel, and finally a brand name that costumers can rely on. They then had a brilliant idea to have every room in the hotel be a luxury suite. Lobbies are usually full of trees and a pond or river with a bridge over it to effect the resort feel, and complimentary high-quality breakfasts are typically offered. What is the upside to this strategy? The hotel chain is a comfortable and greater choice over the conventional, one-room hotel on the side of the highway. Businessmen who stay out of town for a large period of time have enough space to be comfortable and by getting these long term costumers, Embassy Suites pulls in more money by filling up more rooms for more nights.

-Stephen R

Having Faith

Carolina Panthers corner-back Darius Butler has an easy decision to make. He chose to put an inferior thing him playing in and NFL football game aside to tend to his daughter at she has heart surgery. His 3 month old daughter Milan was reported having trouble breathing while at the hospital and was placed on a breathing machine. Then after having her surgery was able to breath comfortably on her own and will hopefully be healthy and ok.  "We all do visits to children's hospitals. But you never think it's going to be your own child," he said. "The relationship with the nurses and the doctors and surgeon—these people you've got to trust with your daughter's life. So it's really scary."


It ain't the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog!

Jayson Carter, the name means little to us but its making big noise in Houston. Jayson is a 4'9 160 pound running back at the university of Rice. Carter is of very small stature but maintains that he has ans advantage the his heat is that of someone very larger. Carter was quoted saying  "If they ever come up with a device that measures the heart and put it on top of my head, they'll see I'm 6-9". Now Carter might be of small stature but at Kipp HS in Houston  Carter ran for 1,233 yards and 18 touchdowns his senior year, and on the other side of the ball he stacked up 92 tackles, 152 assists, three sacks and an interception. Rice has a decision to make keep him as just an add on or keep him as a spark. Is one more player going to hurt us or help us? Is Carter what Rice needs?


Ticket prices rising for LSU-Alabama game

No.1 Lsu or No. Alabama? The price to see this game is growing exponentially! I feel that since this game is probably the biggest game that’ll be on nation television the demand to access it will be through the roofs. It shows here that the average ticket prior to the season is $402. Yet if they want it now they’d have to pay $508, which is about a 28% increase in price. Glenn Lehrman of StubHub stated that his highest-priced ticket Thursday morning was selling for about $5,000. Looks like a little excess demand may come in to play if Mr. Glenn keeps selling these tickets at these prices. But I also believe that the tickets can be symbolized as an inferior good. It can be shown as a “status indicator” big tickets for big bucks and high class fancy tux.

NFL team looses money

You would think that owning a Nation Football League franchise would be simple and bring you tons of money. This happened for 96.8 percent of the owners besides Detroit Lions owner William Clay Ford Sr. During the 2010 Season the Lions were the only team of the 32 NFL franchises to lose money.  Since the 2010 season went so poorly for the Lions the value of the franchise went down 3 percent despite the brand new stadium and other things. Part of the reason the Lions franchise has dropped so low is because they had a 0-16 season being the worst in NFL history. Is the operating cost worth it for a team who has done so poorly? Do you think the desire to own the team has changed for Ford Sr.?

Taiwan Floods Affect Computer Market

Recent floods in Thailand are causing major economic ramifications in the United States.  Many companies such as Toshiba and Nikon have most or all of their manufacturing plants based in the region.  Flood waters have hit so many manufacturers that a shortage in laptops and cameras is expected during the first quarter of 2012.  A shortage is when a product is unavailable, and the quantity demanded is greater than the quantity supplied.  In this case, the quantity supplied of electronics will be drastically low, making even the normal amount of quantity demand seem high.  The problem is expected to be resolved by March, but the companies are still worried for their sales.  Natural disasters like floods are an always unexpected factor in the economy.  What was at one point a flourishing factory, can be leveled by a tornado, or burnt down by a fire.  Natural disasters also affect GDP.  If the Taiwanese workers are not able to go to work and make products then the GDP is bound to drop.  It will drop even more drastically if the multiplier effect is taken into account because the workers will also not have any money to put into other firms.  Natural disasters are terrible, but also portray many important economic ideas.

Paxton S.

Mark Cuban and the Dodgers?

Mark Cuban (owner of the Dallas Mavericks) confirmed the rumors that he looked into buying the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mark considered the trade-offs in buy the team but decided that the asking price of $1 - $1.2 billion was too much for the team. He said, “At that price, I wasn’t interested” but he also said, “At the right price, I’m interested”. That price he says would have to be under $1 billion. His reasoning behind this is that he doesn’t feel like the Dodgers franchise isn’t worth twice what the Rangers were. The Rangers were sold with a bid of nearly $600 million dollars in August 2010. Cuban had to decide weather the amount of money he would gain in revenue from the team out weighed the costs of buying the team and he decided that at the current price it wasn’t worth it for him. McCourt (the current owner of the Dodgers) did reach an agreement with the MLB to sell the Dodgers, which would include the stadium and the surrounding real estate. The sale of the Dodgers will be court supervised to try and gain maximum value for the Dodger. Whoever buys the organization will have to consider the trade-offs of buy the team who has been in bankruptcy since last spring.

Jawbone wants you to get UP and move

Jawbone is coming out with some new technology called the UP. The UP lets users track their daily routines: how much and how fast they walk, calories burned, how many hours slept -- and even the quality of that sleep. Plug the hidden headphone jack into an iPhone's audio jack-in between charges and all that data is synced with an app that analyzes and displays it in brightly colored graphs. The UP is a very new market and no other firm has come up with this kind of technology. If the Jawbone product is very successful many other companies will try to compete with this new product because they will think that they also will be successful with the product. Also in the article it says that Jawbone is testing an untested market, it is in the category of the health products. By being the first in this kind of device there will be no competition, so Jawbone will make a maximum profit until another firm comes out with a similar product.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cab Of The Future Previewed

Supposedly, by 2014, New York City citizens will begin to see the new generation of taxicabs on the street.  A recent preview of the car, set up in Madison Square Garden, showed off some of the features.  The new cab will have more space for passengers, a USB port, and ant-bacterial seats.  What the NYC cab makers are doing is giving incentives for people to not only begin to use cabs more often, but also to use the new models.  When the new cab is released, an immediate increase in demand for new taxis can be predicted.  This rise in demand for the new cabs will also cause a decrease in the demand for the old models of cabs.  The already dirty and cramped cars will lose even more appeal when the alternative is a sleek, new cab.  The new cabs, if everything goes well, will most likely be extremely successful, given their numerous incentives.

Paxton S


The legendary german automaker, BMW, has recently introduced a new sub-brand called BMW i. BMW, who caters mainly to european city auto owners, has decided to compete in the electric car market. BMW has recognized the huge need to alternative fuel vehicles and wants to enter the electric market with a new approach. BMW EfficientDynamics is BMW's diesel auto line that is ultra gas efficient and has been a pioneer in modern diesel vehicles along with Mercedes-Benz BlueTec, and Audi TDI. BMW i cars will be stylish and innovative, with never before seen auto design. Aerodynamics, plug-in electric ability, and laser headlights are a few things that represent the innovative design. Electric cars such as the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf have had a hard time in today's market. Electric cars are known to not be too appealing to the eye, and BMW is aiming to be the first automaker with performance aspects of a high-end sports car, and futuristic design. BMW is depending on the demand of alternative fuel cars with the bonus of the appeal of the car. BMW i is projected to launch in 2016.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Economic Solutions from the 99 percent

James Livingston suggests that instead of corporate spending, more of the spending needs to be in the hands of the consumers in order for the economy to grow. To make this work, he suggests that company income should be put more towards higher wages that can then be spent into the economy than into company profits that would be used for investment and expansion. The changes he proposed would be enforced by government policy. Increased government regulations continue to shift the market farther from capitalism and will limit the ability for the invisible hand of the marketplace to function. Additionally, he says that the economy can flourish while investment spending decreases, which has proved true, but the way he talks about it makes it seem as if he finds reinvestment altogether unnecessary. He does not believe that it can create a sufficient amount of jobs, but at this point in the US economy, any job growth can help. The overall tone of the article, which can easily be seen in the title: “It’s Consumer Spending, Stupid,” seems more interested in the lack of power in the 99 percent and the supposed corruption of the 1 percent than writing an objective piece on the future of the economy.
Morgan K

Hello Siri

On Friday, October 15th, the iPhone 4S, Apple’s newest product, was released. Along with it came an unprecedented 1 million preorders in the first 24 hours, a huge contrast from last year’s 600,000. Every new Apple product has some set of improvements, so why is this one different? The answer has to do with customer expectations. There are the customer expectations about the phone itself, which has evolved since 2007 through customer sovereignty. People are finding it increasingly difficult to put down their phones, especially on the road, so Apple came up with Siri, the voice responsive personal assistant inside every new phone. People see this improvement and believe that their happiness will increase with this product. Additionally, there are the customer expectations about the future of Apple. It was no secret that Jobs, the company’s co-founder, was battling cancer and did not have much time left; this prompted more preorder than usual, and when he died just 10 days before the phone was to be released, enthusiasm for the phone grew. Customers believe that this might be the last product he worked on, and they want to be able to hold that piece of history. Since October 15th, customers have not been disappointed. It is these satisfied customers that will line up again for the next product because Apple continues to give them what they want from their electronics.
Morgan K

More than Just Grades on the Mind of College Students

College is costing more and more forcing students to get loans or just drop out of college. If more students are not getting college education this could substantially affect our country’s economy. If the drop out rate for college goes up that means there will be many empty job spots that require workers with a college education. There will be a low marginal product of labor, and the company’s output will decrease, which then lowers the GDP. If the GDP lowers then slowly the economy will start to contract. The video shows the cost of public and private, around $17,000 for public per year, and around $32,000-$34,000 for private. The costs are still rising for these schools, and the salaries of workers are not increasing as fast as college tuition. Which means some parents will not be able to save up enough money for their children to go to college. If the costs keep on going up many more people will not be able to obtain an education that is necessary for a good economic country.

-Kamil Heerji