Swedish doctor Hans Rosling loads a washing machine with laundry on stage at the beginning of his TED talk. When his talk is over, he returns to the washer and pulls out ... books.
His presentation, "The Magic Washing Machine," is about how this one example of consumer technology is far more than a convenience. By mechanizing the arduous process of doing the household laundry, the washing machine gav... (more)
It's now less than three weeks until Buckeye State voters head to the polls in an off-year election, and they make make Ohio the first Midwestern state to legalize marijuana. A poll this week that asked specifically if respondents supported the initiative on the ballot had 56% saying yes.
They will be voting on Issue 3, a controversial proposal sponsored... (more)
Many college students are eager to upgrade to Apple's new iPhone 6s -- or so my daughter tells me. But she's not. The battery life of her $100 Android phone is at least 48 hours on one charge; her friends can't get through the day without charging their iPhones. She's okay with her smaller screen and its lower resolution; battery life is her value driver.
"What presidential candidate are your iPhone-using friends supporting?" I asked her.
The biggest bank in the western world has just come out and declared that the global economy is “already in a recession”. According to British banking giant HSBC, global trade is down 8.4 percent so far this year, and global GDP expressed in U.S. dollars is down 3.4 percent. So those that are waiting for the next worldwide economic recession to begin can stop waiting. It is off... (more)
Playboy has finally found a new way to shock and titillate America.
The magazine has announced that it will no longer feature full nudity. Instead, it will be moving toward a partially clad, cheesecake pin-up style.
When I heard the news, I immediately wondered what the great economist Joseph Schumpeter would have made of it. Schumpeter, who famously sought to become the world's greatest economist, lover, and... (more)
In a remarkable video posted by activist Mark Dice, several people he stopped on the street would not even entertain a guess at the value of silver, with some not seeming to understand what the precious metal is.
Dice gave several respondents the opportunity to win a 100 ounce silver bar if they could guess its value. He even agreed to give the ... (more)
We've pointed out a few times in the past that while everyone refers to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement as a "free trade" agreement, the reality is that there's very little in there that's actually about free trade. If it were truly a free trade agreement, then there would be plenty of reasons to support it. But the details show it's ... (more)
Is there a war on food truck vendors? In San Antonio, Texas there is…
Imagine if you had to ask permission from your competitors to continue doing business or face closure?
As more people catch the entrepreneurial bug, vending trucks make good sense. It's a relatively mobile business that saves tens of thousands on start-up costs, creates independence and even bolsters local economies.
That is until cities in tandem with restaurant organizations s... (more)
Standing in the back of the main programming room at Uber headquarters, one looks across hundreds of focused employees with open browsers. They are following requests and rides in hundreds of cities around the world. The people making deals are connecting peer to peer. But there's still more work to do. Uber employees are observing traffic flows, tweaking pricing, troubleshooting, testing new features, fixing issues, monitoring bandwidth, approving new drivers, and taking other actions to keep t... (more)
The popular belief that the U.S. economy has been steadily recovering has endured months of disappointing data without losing much of its appeal. A deep bench of excuses, ranging from the weather to the Chinese economy, has been called on to justify why the economy hasn't built up any noticeable steam, and why the Fed has failed to move rates off zero, where they have been for seven years. But the downright dismal September jobs report that was released last Friday may prove to be the flashing r... (more)
New data show that worker compensation is rising faster in the federal government than in the private sector. After rapid growth in federal pay during the George W. Bush years, growth slowed from 2011 to 2013 after policymakers enacted a partial freeze on federal wages.
That era of restraint is now over. The latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) show that wages rose 2.9 percent in the federal government in 2014, on average, compared to 1.7 percent in the private s... (more)
The federal government uses very carefully manipulated numbers to cover up the crushing economic depression that is going on in this nation. For the month of September, the federal government told us that 142,000 jobs were added to the economy. If that was actually true, that would barely be enough to keep up with population growth. Sadly, the truth is that the real numbers were actually far worse than that. The unadjusted numbers show that the U.S. economy actually lost 248... (more)
As you probably know if you follow the news, a man named Martin Shkreli in charge of a startup firm called Turing Pharmaceuticals bought the rights to a drug called pyrimethamine (brand name Daraprim), used in the treatment of AIDS and malaria, and announced that he was jacking up its price from $13.60 to $750. Massive outrage resulted, which has echoed through social media for the past week.
Pyrimethamine is long since off patent. It is not difficult to manufacture, and sells che... (more)
One of the fun parts about learning economics is realizing how broadly it can be applied. Once you understand the basic logic of scarcity, opportunity cost, and the rest of the economic way of thinking, all kinds of social phenomena are open to explanation.
The economic way of thinking might explain some recent changes in how people find their way into romantic relationships. These changes affect marriage, divorce, and infidelity.