Thursday, May 26, 2016

Inflation in the USA

Dakota Thompson
Mr. Reuter
Econ 1A
Inflation in the USA

In January, the spending of consumers around the country increased significantly. Because of the harsh winter temperatures, there was an obvious need for heat in homes, along with other things like foods and household necessities because people didn’t want to go out as much. The Department of Commerce said spending rose 0.1% in December, also know that consumer spending accounts for ⅔  of the country’s economic activity. U.S. central bank tries keeping inflation either at or below 2%. PCE (Personal Consumption Expenditures) are the measurements in price changes for services and goods. PCE increased about 1.3% in the twelve months leading to January. That’s the biggest increase since October in 2014 and 0.7% of this occurred during December. Prices went up 0.3% and that’s without energy and food. Because of the increased consumer spending and rising inflation the Federal Reserve rose the benchmark interest rate in December that year. That’s the first time it’d been raised within the previous 10 years beforehand. Below the graph shows the inflation rates in 2015 and 2016, and with interest rates rising there’s a very small chance for a jump in growth of the economy for America.
One of the main causes for the increase of consumer spending was a rise in income across America (around 0.5%). June had the 2nd largest increase and add a another 0.3% to December. Also, a few states minimum wages have been going up, about 0.2% in December. Average salaries increased about 0.6%. Since minimum wage is increasing around the country there’s going to be a crooked value of money in America.

Works Cited

"Current US Inflation Rates: 2006-2016." US Inflation Calculator. 2008. Web. 03 Mar. 2016.

Reuters. "US Consumer Spending Rises; Inflation Stirring." CNBC. 2016. Web. 03 Mar. 2016.

Keep the Music Going

Nick Majeskie
Mr. Reuter
May 23rd, 2016
Keep the Music Going
Summerfest is an annual music festival held at Henry Maier Festival Park along the lakefront in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The festival last 11 days, and made up of 11 stages with multiple artists coming every year to perform. Summerfest attracts between 800,000 and 1,000,000 people each year, promoting itself as "The World's Largest Music Festival", a title certified by the Guinness World Records since 1999. Music lovers across the nation come and watch all types of artists and musicians perform.
Even though Summerfest is operated by a non-profit organization that hires the production staff to operate both the venue and main Summerfest event, which features local and nationally known music talent from a variety of music genres; Summerfest generates 187 million dollars for the city of Milwaukee and 226 million dollars for the state of Wisconsin of revenue. This has a positive impact on the state of Wisconsin because it creates jobs and causes money circulation, which benefits consumers and Wisconsin’s economy. This is a key component to keep Wisconsin’s economy strong and healthy. However, music is not the main reason why Summerfest generates so much profit, the main profit contributions came from food, beverages, rides, and sponsorships. Even though most of the revenue isn’t generated from ticket sales alone, the reason people go to Summerfest is for the music. So it is important that the people who run Summerfest create a lineup that would appeal to the masses.
This year’s lineup consists of a wide variety of singers, such as Luke Bryan, Selena Gomez, and Pitbull. Hopefully, Summerfest will live up to its standards from the past and have a successful year. It is important for Wisconsin to have an event that generates so much money for its economy, so let’s keep the music playing.

Works Cited
"Summerfest." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 24 May 2016.

"2016 Lineup | Summerfest, The World's Largest Music Festival."Summerfest. Summerfest, n.d. Web. 24 May 2016.

"Who's Playing at Summerfest 2016?" WISN. Summerfest, 12 Oct. 2015. Web. 24 May 2016.

Star Wars

Andrea Basile
Mr. Rueter
24 March 2016
The first Star Wars came out in May 1977, completely transforming movie making with it’s incredible special effects. Although the special effects are not considered that “special” today, during the 1970’s this movie amazed critics, for the computer was not completely developed yet to produce such effects. From seeing flying aircrafts to mysterious creatures, everyone was purchasing tickets to see the movie that challenged producers to reach farther. Millions have continued to watch the worldwide classic, therefore it came as no surprise that when the next chapter was released 38 years later, the demand to see the movie was at an all time high. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was produced by Lucasfilms and Bad Robot Productions and was distributed worldwide by Disney Studios Motion Pictures. After 20 days, it surpassed Avatar’s $760.5 million record and made $764.4 million box office sales, making it the highest grossing film in North America.  
The film broke numerous records, including “biggest domestic opening ($247.9 million), biggest global debut ($529 million), fastest film to reach $100 million (24 hours)” (Chan). As seen in the figure above, it made $529 million opening weekend. While some of the money generated went to the theaters, most of it returned back to the companies that produced it. This constant money circulation helps stimulate the economy because it is a never ending cycle--the company makes a movie, the consumers buy tickets to see the movie, the money goes back to the producers and so on. Overall, it will be interesting to see if the next Star Wars movie will do as well as the Force Awakens.
Mendleson, Scott. "'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Box Office: $825M In 4 Weeks, $1.792B Worldwide." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 15 Jan. 2016. Web. 24 May 2016.

Chan, Melissa. "All the Records 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Has (And Hasn't) Broken." Time. Time, 7 Jan. 2016. Web. 24 May 2016.

The Iron Horse Creates a Bull Economy in MotoGP

Austin Witthun
The Iron Horse Creates a Bull Economy in MotoGP
When a city hosts a sporting event, it's normally pretty easy to assume that there is an economic impact on the location from general attendance, but when the sport is as complex as the Moto Grand Prix motorcycle race, many aspects may not be so obvious.
General attendance of races makes a good amount of money through ticket sales for spectators. However these spectators, estimated to rise to a total of 130,000 to 170,000 for the three day event would need hotels as about 55% of them come from out of state (MotoGP). With the demand for shelter and food on the rise leading up to race day, local hotels and restaurants can expect a decent rise in sales after they increase their prices. Most of the people arriving are motorcycle enthusiasts, making the journey by bike, allowing the doors of cycle repair and detail shops to have their doors open 24/7. Trackside vendors selling equipment and gear from helmets to tires to riding clothing are expected to sell as much as $200,000 in three days (City). In total, it is estimated that $2.8 billion is added into the local economy from the Circuit of the Americas organization which supports nearly 10,000 jobs in the area alone.
The side that may not be so obvious are the engineering breakthroughs that are a result of research done by motorcycle manufacturers. Advanced technologies in breaking, weight reductions, and power plants find their way into the consumer market after being put to the ultimate test in these races. Even in products that are necessary for bikers like helmets and one piece suits are often replicated to exact race specs and then sold to the public. Advancements in the quality of the products allows for a market competition not dissimilar to the competition on the track. The selling of the bikes made by the sponsors of the race open up a large section of trade, as none of the brands are native to the U.S.; all of the brands are located in Italy or Japan. However, the current official tire sponsor is Michelin, a French company. All that is left is to trade with one of the largest importers in the world: the U.S.    

Government Spending on Military

Sean Hass
Mr. Reuter
Econ A1
20 May 2016
Government Spending on Military
People always ask if the government is spending too much money on the military? Or if they aren’t spending enough? Military is important and determines a lot about an economy. What we put into our defense system is what you get out of it. The opportunity cost is not that big as people think it is. Military is a key part of the Economic System and its role. The military also creates jobs and there will always be jobs in the military.
There are so many different types of jobs that the military has for people to take advantage of and get a step ahead of the other people looking for jobs in the civilian world. If there were budget cuts to the military that would mean that the militaries total budget would be lowered and therefore they could not have jobs for people and would have to cut people as well. Also the benefits would also be lowered for veterans and those men and women deserve those benefits.

It is said that with the budget cut that the government has in plan of $50 billion would mean that the military would be poorly trained and unready for a major crisis. General Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, told lawmakers on Wednesday that if the military has to fully implement nearly $1 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade as envisioned by law, the Army may not be prepared to fight a long war. This is another form of fiscal policy as it means the government is changing its spending towards the military.
Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain said “the declining size of active duty Marines will struggle as they confront new threats due to decreases in military spending.” This means that we will be less prepared to handle future conflicts and stop terrorist before they reach our homeland. In the end the amount of money we spend on the military is very important and impacts everyone's lives.

Work Cited
"Airsoft As A Therapy Option for Veterans With PTSD | Popular Airsoft." Airsoft As A Therapy Option for Veterans With PTSD | Popular Airsoft. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2016.

Alman, Ashley. "Military Crippled By Budget Showdown, Pentagon Officials Say." The Huffington Post. The Huffington, n.d. Web. 24 May 2016.

"McCain on Military Budget Cuts: 'This Madness Must Stop'" Washington Free Beacon. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2016.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Mitchell Grinwald - The Economic Impact of the NFL Draft

Mitchell Grinwald

Mr. Kramer

AP Econ

The Economic Impact of the NFL Draft

The things which first come to mind when you hear NFL and economics in a sentence are likely the Super Bowl, playoff games, and advertisements. While these all are ways in which the NFL significantly impacts the economy of both individual communities and our nation, the one many forget, a significant one at that, is the NFL draft. While the draft used to be, and may still seem to many to be a small time, economically insignificant offseason event for the NFL, the stats from the latest NFL draft held in Chicago suggest that it is becoming a major economic event which cities will soon be competing for at levels rivaling that of major sporting championships.
When the NFL decided to move the 2015 draft out of New York City (where it has traditionally been held) and to Chicago for the first time, both the League and the city of Chicago likely were concerned that the draft in its new location would be poorly received as some predicted. These concerns proved unwarranted, as the Draft was a huge success, bringing roughly $81.6 million to the Chicago economy. While this may pale in comparison to the $500 million the Superbowl is expected to bring to the Arizona economy next year, the draft and the draft festival had over 200,000 visitors this year, as compared to the roughly 100,000 visitors to the Superbowl last year. So although the economic impact of the draft may be smaller than a major NFL game currently, in coming years if draft hosts are able to convince visitors to spend more money at the draft its economic impact could easily grow as it draws such a large number of visitors. Additionally, a host city does not need a new or state of the art sporting facility to host the draft as the a city does to host the Superbowl or a major sporting event, decreasing the cost to a host city. The cost to the taxpayers of Chicago for hosting the draft was $0, while the tax revenue directly generated by the event was in excess of $6.5 million. While the draft certainly provides positive externalities to the local economy of the host city, the government of the host city does not really have to provide subsidies to get the benefits once they have won the bid.
Image result for nfl draft
The draft is a desirable event to host not only for the revenue it brings to a host city in the short run, but also the long term impact it will have on a city. The draft generates jobs in the host city, roughly 2500 temporary jobs and 900 new, longer term jobs in Chicago this year. Additionally the draft creates interest and an increase in long term tourism to the host city. This is demonstrated by the fact that 90% of visitors to the draft would recommend visiting chicago to a friend and roughly 70% of the visitors made plans to return to Chicago on a vacation or visit within the next year.
Based on the success with which the NFL moved the draft to a new city this year, as well as the eye popping economic stats it generated, there will certainly be a high level of competition in coming years to host the draft. As the popularity of the NFL continues to grow not only in the US but worldwide, the draft will become an increasingly desirable event to host.
Works Cited
"2015 NFL Draft in Chicago By the Numbers." Choose Chicago, NFL, Temple University, n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.
"NFL Draft Town's Return to Chi-Town Means Labor Jobs." Chicago Film, Commercials, Advertising, Video, Production, Post, Tech News from N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.
"Economic Impact - Super Bowl." Super Bowl. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.

Devon Mayo - What Does the Lottery Do?

What Does the Lottery Do?

In 2015, Americans spent 70.15 billion dollars on lottery tickets. That’s four times as much as what was spent on sports tickets ($17.8B) and over ten times as much as concert tickets ($6.8B). In fact, it's more than what was spent on sporting events, concerts, books, video games, and movies in theater combined. (CNN). So where did that money go? Whereas most of it went towards the lottery jackpot like most people assume, some of it does go towards other places.
25% of this money goes towards big government. That comes out to an impressive $17.5 billion in 2015. This money is then funneled into schools, construction, and so on. Ironically, it even makes its way to gambling anonymous programs as well. In other words, for every $100 spent on lottery tickets, $25 is funneled back into the economy through government.
After the government gets their cut, retailers who sell the tickets get 5-6% of the sales in the form of commision (CNN). This goes towards the profit of the local store, and is funneled back into the economy in the form of income for the retailer’s employers and the retailer’s expenditures. Also, 9-10% of the lottery sales is sent to the lottery company itself to pay its employees and advertising costs.
Finally, the 60% that remains after all of that is used as the big sticker price on the lottery ads, the jackpot. As that 60% becomes larger and larger, more and more people buy lottery tickets, which in turn builds the jackpot spurring more purchases. Then, when someone finally finds that lucky ticket that people would kill for, it’s not all that it seems. Although they are in fact winning the giant jackpot, which is currently $40 million, the government will first take out taxes from your winnings. Your actual win is 38% less than the sticker price, unless you opt to take it in a bunch of tiny payments over decades to avoid taxes (CNBC).

Work Cited

CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.

CNBC. CNBC LLC, n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Chase Seliger - Do We Fund the U.S. Military Too Much?

Chase Seliger
Mrs. Straub
Economics Insight
19 May 2016
Do we fund the U.S. Military too much?
The United States has the strongest military in the world, with about 2.5 million soldiers either already fighting or are waiting in reserves. Some people have strong thoughts on this topic as there are great opportunity costs that are at play here. For the 2015 Budget, the Department of Defense had a whopping 598.5 billion spending cap, just for the military. This takes up more than 54% of the total budget for the United States. That is a lot of money taken away from other things that the government could be funding, such as Healthcare, Education, etc.
The 2016 projected budget for the Department of Defense is 270 billion, which is a little less compared to 2015, but it still takes up 50% of the total spending budget. The other main worry of having such a large amount of money going towards defense is the fact that the United States is so far in debt. With the US diving deeper into the 17.8 trillion debt, people believe it is time to cut a lot of spending habits, such as the military. The real question here, is should they though? As many things seem to stir the pot more and more each day the other half of the population believes the military should continue to receive the amount they do and some believe they should get more. WIth such rivals of the US such as ISIS, North Korea, Russia, and China all building their military’s up greater as well, people believe we should be doing the same to make sure we remain number one throughout the world. Overall it comes down to a opinionated answer, and it’s a question that is going to remain on the fence, with many people wanting one thing and the other half wanting the other. So the question remains, should the government cut military spending?

Works Cited
"United States of America Military Strength." United States of America Military Strength. N.p., 2016. Web. 19 May 2016.

"The United States Spending 2015." National Priorities. National Priorities, 2 Mar. 2015. Web. 19 May 2016.

Independence Day

Avery Colwell
Mr. Reuter
Economics A3
10 May 2016
Independence Day
As the temperature get warmer and the days at work get shorter, it is almost time for everyone's favorite season; Summer. People are getting ready for music festivals, camping trips, and pool days. The major holiday or celebration that everyone thinks of that happens in summer would have to be the fourth of July; especially all the fireworks that come along with it. While we celebrate Independence day, we never would stop to think about what major events like this can do to a city. Although there is an external cost of pollution and increased risk for injury during these firework shows, they actually bring in an economic benefit for many major cities across the United States.
A recent study conducted by the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute of Point Loma Nazarene University revealed just about how much of an economic benefit the Fourth of July firework shows bring in. It states that “The study determined that the annual July 4th fireworks show on San Diego Bay called the ‘Big Bay Boom’ creates $10.6 million of total economic benefit for the local economy”(Major).  Events like this can also lead to increased profit and revenue for restaurants and hotels, as well as shops and tourist rentals. Americans spend more than 6 billion dollars on food alone for The Fourth of July each year, stocking up on chicken, hotdogs, and hamburgers.   

Putting food and extra spending aside, the money that Americans spend on fireworks is supposed to continue to increase as the years go on. According to, “In addition to T-shirts and flags, the American Pyrotechnic Association said that consumers spent $662 million on fireworks in 2013, up from $645 million in 2012...The economic impact on over 14,000 Independence Day fireworks displays in communities across the nation can be substantial”(Fourth). The Fourth of July will only continue in popularity as the years go on, adding many benefits to the United States economy.   

A lot of other economic factors go into the Fourth of July. One doesn’t stop to think about where we get these fireworks or where the are produced. In fact, we don’t produce the majority of the fireworks going off during the fourth of July.  A lot of these are purchased by companies in China. According to, “The U.S. realized that manufacturing the massive amount of fireworks needed to supply the country could no longer be effectively managed within American borders. When China opened itself up to free trade, it was clear that allowing companies in the country to manage production was best since inexpensive labor and readily-available raw materials made it easier to meet demand.” But up until recently, China hasn’t been as mass producing them due to problems like lack of inexpensive labor and costlier raw materials. This is effecting the United States economy, because there was a sudden increase in demand for fireworks for the Fourth of July back in 2010 and 2011.

Although going to the 4th of July firework show down in Chicago involves a tradeoff of limited money and time, it is well worth it. When you attend big firework shows in major cities not only does it give you time with friends and family, but it also gives that city an amazing economic benefit.

Works Cited

"How Independence Day Boosts the Economy | GOBankingRates." GOBankingRates. N.p., 2014. Web. 10 May 2016.

"Major Economic Benefits from Fireworks Show." San Diego July 4th Fireworks on San Diego Bay Big Bay Boom. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 May 2016.

Sports Authority Going out of Business

Daniel Tollar
Mr. Reuter
A1 Economics
May 8, 2016
Sports Authority Bankrupt?
Recently, Sports Authority has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. Since they’re $1.1 billion in debt, it looks like this is a smart move. Sports Authority have decided to sell all of their assets as they’re auctioning off most of them on May 16, 2016. They will be closing 140 out of 450 stores around the country and will be closing two distribution centers. But, since Forbes is reporting that “Sports Authority officials have notified the United States Bankruptcy Court that the company would be unable to reorganize — and would instead pursue a sale — meaning all 450 Sports Authority stores nationwide will close.” According to the retailer, they posted a net loss of $156.6 million with total revenue of $2.6 billion in the fiscal year ended Jan. 30. Obviously, in this case, Sports Authority was yet to make a profit since the early 2000’s.
Over the last decades, there have been newer, more appealing competitors. Such as: Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dunham’s Sporting Goods, Gander Mountain, Burghardt Sporting Goods, etc. Since this is the case, the demand for sporting goods will be increased since Sports Authority is closing their stores and their customers will have to go elsewhere. With all of Sports Authority’s employee’s left unemployed, this results in future outlooks for future businesses that are hiring. Dunham’s Sporting Goods, Gander Mountain, Burghardt Sporting Goods, etc., will all have an increase in revenue this next year due to the future loss of their biggest competitor in a business perspective.
The question is out there whether or not the 2008 recession sparked this downfall of Sports Authority. With the recent competition that Sports Authority have been brought up against, it also makes people think that they drove them out of business. According to a business article on The Denver Post, the main reason Sports Authority had developed this huge debt and their bankruptcy is because the retailer’s failure to adapt to changing consumers taste.

Works Cited:
Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 15 May 2016.

"Is Sports Authority Closing All Its Stores?" Florida Today. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 May 2016

"Why Sports Authority Is Headed for Bankruptcy." - The Denver Post. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2016.
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