Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Consequences of Raising the Minimum Wage

Consequences of Raising the Minimum Wage
Alex Wahlgren
When I apply for my job in a few weeks I, as would the millions of other people currently employed in a minimum wage job, quite frankly would love to be paid ten or fifteen dollars an hour.  Spearheaded by presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and senator Bernie Sanders, there is a movement to create a spike in the United States minimum wage.  Despite valid arguments from both sides, some things are too good to be true.  A sharp increase in the minimum wage is overall a decision that would not help those in poverty and is ultimately the wrong direction to head in.
It’s understandable, isn’t it?  More money in the hands of workers would theoretically help bring them out of poverty and give them the boost they need to rise above poverty, wouldn’t it?
Unfortunately, this may not entirely be the case.  No decision can be made without consequences and thus a trade off is made.  I can’t expect that if I decide to hang out with my friends instead of doing my homework that there will be no consequences.  As such, raising the minimum wage to $9.00 an hour would result in 100,000 jobs lost, while raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would result in around 500,000 jobs lost, according to the congressional budget office.  Entrepreneurs and business owners simply can’t afford to pay employees 10 dollars an hour, resulting in widespread layoffs.  Ultimately, it will be more difficult for those in poverty to find a job and retain it, resulting in a massive unemployment hike.  Therefore, the success that the United States has in the economic goal of full employment would be compromised.
In addition, many of the jobs that pay minimum and low wages will see the companies replace them with automated machines and robots.  According to a Wall Street Journal article, McDonald's intends to “make it easier for customers to order and pay for food digitally and to give people the ability to customize their orders.”  It would be foolish for banks to keep tellers, for restaurants to keep cashiers, for factories to keep assembly line workers that get paid ten or fifteen dollars an hour when they can easily replace them with salary free machinery.  
Even if there were no job consequences to the minimum wage movement, this still would not have the effect that proponents intended.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that half of everybody who received minimum wages or less were under 25 years old, meaning that half of the people receiving the proposed increase are people who are less likely to have started a family, as shown in the chart below.
However, it would be unwise to conclude that a minimum wage increase is a terrible idea on paper and in theory, to propose that this issue is simply a black and white, with us or against us quandary.  According to, inflation has caused the minimum wage rate to be drastically lower than it was back before the nineties; for example, the minimum wage back in 1968 would’ve been ten dollars an hour in the current monetary value, and in the eighties, it would’ve been nine dollars an hour today.  
Also, a raise in minimum wage would likely allow people who still have their jobs to live above the poverty line instead of below it.
So what we have here is a tough decision to make, but overall, the marginal cost of outweighs the marginal benefit of raising the minimum wage; costing thousands upon thousands of jobs outweighs allowing people to live just above the standard of living.  Unfortunately, this is life - measuring opportunity costs and giving up a desired effect in order to achieve the best results.   If we can guarantee that thousands of people have jobs, then they have a better chance than they do without one, and therefore raising the minimum wage is in the end not a good idea.
The minimum wage debacle is, as too many issues are, a supremely complicated one, and I sincerely hope that I’ve shed some light on the actual effects of raising the minimum wage.

Works Cited

States, Congress Of The United, and Congressional Office Budget. CBO(n.d.): n. pag. Congressional Budget Office. United States Congress. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.

"Minimum Wage Backfire." WSJ., 2014. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.

"Ratio of Minimum Wage to Average Wage, circa 2011." (2014): n. pag. BLS Reports. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.

@TCFdotorg. "Graph: Why Democrats Want to Rebrand the Minimum Wage as a Women's Issue." The Century Foundation. N.p., 08 Mar. 2016. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.

"Minimum Wage: Updated Research Roundup on the Effects of Increasing Pay - Journalist's Resource." Journalists Resource. N.p., 08 Aug. 2016. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.

Product Placement in the Entertainment Industry

Product Placement in Entertainment Industry
By Maegen Search
Product placement in entertainment is something that many people rarely realize the are being exposed to. Every show and movie includes advertisement for car brands, kids toys, and technology. Billions of dollars are spent on companies products being showcased for a few seconds. Product placement in entertainment is one of the biggest growing industries in entertainment.
Many people don’t realize the product placement, because it starts so young. The movie Toy Story sold more than 20 million VHS copies the first year it was released. Toy Story includes toys such as Mr. Potato Head and Etch-a-Sketch. Both toys increased sales tremendously after the movie was released. Etch-a-Sketch sales increased by 4500% and Mr. Potato Head increased sales by 800%. In the case of Toy Story, millions of kids were exposed to the product placement of actual toys, causing young toddlers to desire the toys and receive them during birthdays and holidays. This raised the sales dramatically, just because a popular movie highly exposed a branded toy for children.


The same can be for adults later in life. It can be as simple as appliances seen in a movie that sparks the interest in buying GE products, inspiring a couple to look into purchasing a new dishwasher or fridge. Product placement has been a tactic used by many companies for years. There is proof of Hershey chocolate bar in the film Wings in 1927 (Brandon Gaille). Almost all films have some funding from companies who want their products to be briefly advertised in high viewed entertainment. In fact, it is said that moviegoers. It has also become a piece of satirical humor of how many brands use the film industry to promote their own businesses. For example, a clip from Wayne's World points out in a humorous fashion that product placement is everywhere in entertainment, providing money for the film but also advertising a product.

Beyond product placement just in children’s films and movies in general, it is in sports as well. While watching an NFL game, sponsors such as Nike, Gatorade and Campbell’s Soup. These companies spend millions of dollars in order to advertise their company to gain a higher profit margin. Those brands can be associated with the NFL because their high advertisement and product placement during the actual football game. Because of the exposure, viewers can be 60% more likely to feel positive towards a certain brand and product (Brandon Gaille). One example of two companies that went head-to-head in product competition would be the 1970 World Cup between Brazil and Italy. Puma and Adidas (feuding brothers), decided to call for a pact to not sign the brazilian star knowing it would become a bidding war that would cause a higher deficit than profit. Pele, the star player, ended up befriending the Puma sales rep who was offering lower contracts to other Brazilian players and ended up offering Pele $125,000 to wear Pumas during the World Cup. In the final game between the two countries, Pele asked for a time out where he slowly knelt down to tie his shoes. Advertising for Puma, and ultimately boosting the sales for the company after Brazil won the World Cup that year (CBC).      
Product placement has become an industry in itself because traditional commercials are more expensive and can reach less people than in films or television shows. A brief product placement in a movie that usually gets on average 120 million views is $22,000. Conversely, 15 million people may view the average television commercial at the cost of $392,500 per traditional commercial (Brandon Gaille). Because the price and viewing discrepancy, the product placement industry is a growing business. An example of a company that made their entire business off of product placement was Princess Cruise Lines. The television show The Love Boat was broadcasted on ABC in 1977. Princess Cruises was offered a partnership with the show, which benefitted them drastically. In 1977, 600,000 people vacationed on cruises and by today, millions vacation on cruises everywhere (CBC).
As time goes on, product placement has become an industry in it’s own right. Billions of dollars are poured into promoting products and businesses within television and movie, directly exposing viewers to companies and their products. Product placement is everywhere, beginning in childhood movies and influencing viewers in everything after. Small moments where name-brand products are being used by actors and athletes a like, convincing the general public to buy such goods and contributing more to the businesses and film industry alike.

Works Cited
Gaille, Brandon. "46 Product Placement in Movies Statistics -" BrandonGaillecom. 23 Jan. 2015. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.
"NFL Players Inc. - Sponsors." NFL Players Inc. - Sponsors. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.
"Show Me The Money: The World of Product Placement - Home | Under The Influence with Terry O'Reilly | CBC Radio." CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 25 Aug. 2015. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.
"Toy Story." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.
Https:// "The Growing Product Placement Industry | MarTech." MarTech. 20 Nov. 2011. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.

Overseas Expansion for the NFL

Overseas Expansion for the NFL

By: Kyle Turba

The National Football League (NFL) is one of the most dominant professional sports leagues in both the United States and the world. The NFL has become a professional and household brand name over the past 20 years. During this time, they basically have developed ownership for one day of the week: Sunday. Millions of fans across the country are attracted to either the stadiums or their couches for an afternoon or evening of football.

The demand for the NFL in the United States has never been higher. In 2015, television stations Fox and CBS recorded their highest viewership ever. According to an article from Sports Illustrated, “Fox drew an average of 20.75 million viewers per game, which is a slight increase from 2015 season, and CBS drew an average of 19.1 million viewers which is a 2% increase from the 2015 season” (Deitsch). In addition, attendance has stayed very consistent over the past seven seasons at around 17.25 million attendees with only sight increases or decreases over the years.  

NFL Fan Attendance from 2008-2015

Even though the economy of the NFL always grows, it hasn’t grown as much as it had been expected to in the United States over the past few years. “The NFL has enough potential roadblocks to hinder its growth here in the U.S to worry about. Health and safety concerns, for starters, as well as the run of high-profile off the field incidents that that have taken some of the sheen off the shield” (Vrentas). This has prompted the NFL to look to new markets to expand into and developed new economic growth in new areas.     

Since 2007, the NFL has been playing a small number of regular season games outside the United States in cities like London, Mexico City and Toronto. This notion is hinting that the NFL may possibly be considering to expand overseas to a brand new market in the near future. This may be the best option for the NFL in terms of growth, because according to Jenny Vrentas, a writer for Sports Illustrated, “the biggest growth for the NFL in the future will happen outside the United States” (Vrentas).

This international growth has begun. “Since the NFL began its International Series back in 2007, participation in amatur football in the U.K has increased around 15% every year since then” (Vrentas). Also, fans are constantly selling out the 80,000 person stadiums for these football games, showing that there is indeed an interest in the NFL outside the United States.

The only thing missing is the presence of a team in a foreign city. The demand for the NFL is there, all they need is the supply of a team that will play there eight times in a given season. Adding or moving a team outside the U.S. would produce much needed growth for the NFL. It would increase many things such as overall revenue for the NFL, the number of jerseys sold, commercial revenue.  It would also create new target markets and a new audience who will be partaking in either watching the game in person or on TV. This is the growth the NFL needs, because adding a team in London, or in another international city, is the gateway to becoming an international brand like the NBA, MLB and NHL. Expansion outside of the United States has worked for these sports, and the NFL would probably have just as much success, if not more due to the brand that they have already established in the United States.   

The NFL needs to decide if they want to place a franchise overseas. The opportunity cost of not doing this would be to miss out on a new full-time market that could boost economic growth for the entire league. It would increase ratings, attendance and so much more. It would create an international presence that the NFL has never truly had and it could carry them to a new height that they have not been at before.

There is a lot of hesitation among owners and players in the NFL as to whether or not the move should be made. There are several backs such as the travel concerns for the teams, the need for division realignment and how attractive the city would be to free agent players. Although the concerns are valid, I feel that the positives outweigh the negatives.  As a fan, I think it would be better for the NFL to remain primarily in the United States, with the exception of a few games a year. But looking at it in terms of the economic potential, the NFL has a major opportunity to become a global brand with this expansion opportunity. They would finally be able to compete with other professional sports in America on the global level. This is something that the NFL needs to take advantage of, because they have not had a better opportunity to establish themselves as a global brand.

Works Cited

Deitsch, Rischard. “Why there is no ceiling in the near future for NFL ratings, more Media Circus.” Sports Illustrated, Time Inc, 10 Jan. 2016, Media-Circus-NFL-Playoff-Ratings-ESPN-NBC-CBS.   

“NFL International Series.” Wikipedia, Wikipedia, 15 Sep. 2016, NFL_International_Series.  

Roling, Chris. “Projecting the 5 Biggest Drawbacks of Relocating an NFL Franchise to London.” Bleacher Report, Bleacher Report, 28 Oct. 2012, 1387627-Projecting-the-5-Biggest-Drawbacks-of-Relocating-a-NFL-Franchise-to-London.   

“Total Attendance at National Football League regular season games 2015.” Statistica, Statistica,   

Vrentas, Jenny. “The NFL’s Future in Europe.” Sports Illustrated MMQB, Time Inc, 24 Jul. 2015,   

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Rivalry Between 2K Sports and EA Sports, and Why Both are Winning

The Rivalry Between 2K Sports and EA Sports, and Why Both are Winning
By: Adam Newcomer

Sports video games have always been overshadowed by other games or by the real life sports themselves. Most games tended to be uninterested in sports, and most sports fans tended to be uninterested in video games. Over the last 10 years, sports games have been on the rise thanks to two companies, 2K Sports, and EA Sports. Each developed individual sports franchises that dominated the market for that sport. 2K Sports has NBA 2K (basketball), while EA Sports has Fifa (soccer) and Madden (football). While EA Sports did make a series of NBA Live video games, EA shut them down after being consistently dominated by NBA 2K, although EA did restart the franchise a few years ago. Other than EA’s minor NBA game, the two companies don’t seem compete directly against one another, yet there is a larger competition than meets the eye. The two corporate giants of the sports gaming world are competing for gamers’ time. Unfortunately, The opportunity cost of playing one game is that a gamer cannot be playing another game, because they have limited hours in a day to play. Because of this scarcity, all of EA’s games are in direct competition with 2K’s games. This causes each company to develop made-for-television advertisements that specifically target both gamers and sports fans.

The relationship between 2K Sports and EA Sports is not all negative though. By specializing in particular sports games, each company is able to produce better games that gamers enjoy more than if each company tried to produce a game for every sport. While 2K and EA are not directly trading with each other, they are “trading” consumers. Each company develops the game that it has a comparative advantage in so that it can produce the best possible game in the year since the last game came out. 2K is able to make a better basketball game, so more consumers are willing to buy it, and the same is true for EA’s games.

Each company has a free source of likely consumers as well, as it is very easy for a fan of a certain sport to pick up the video game of that sport. This has also worked in reverse as the growing popularity of sports video games has increased the fandom of several sports. These new fans drive up the demand for each game, because price stays the same. The increase in demand eventually drives both 2K and EA to increase supply to meet the new demand and get rid of any shortages.

Barrabi, Thomas. “This Video Game Is Boosting The NBA's Brand”. Fox Business, FOX News Network, 21 Sept. 2016,

Whitaker, Lang. “Madden 17 Review: Less Like a Video Game, More Like the NFL”. GQ, Condé Nast, 31 Aug. 2016,


Written by: Cassidy Dankert

Since about 2014 fashion has been cycled through faster and faster, with more styles of jeans, tops, dresses, and even socks being produced every week than ever before. This shift towards fast fashion as it’s called has been caused by many different factors, from the outsourcing of labor lowering production costs, to increased access to the internet for marketing, to cultures becoming more industrialized. However the important part of fast fashion is its impact, namely that fast fashion is making retailers a high profit while lowering the marginal benefit of your clothing purchase.

As the term fast fashion implies clothing retailers have been able to steadily increase their supply of clothes styles over the past few years. This increase has occurred firstly because of production costs decreasing as companies outsource production to developing nations. Due to this increase in supply prices have fallen while the quantity or clothing supplied has risen. This means that companies have to sell you more clothes in order to make a bigger profit so that’s exactly what they’re doing.

According to NPR “more than $250 billion [is] spent in the U.S. alone” on clothing per year. However due to the rapid production of those clothes they are not always of the highest quality and are sometimes designed to fall apart after one or two spin cycles. So while your original marginal analysis of the purchase might have assumed that you could keep that shirt for years, the shirt might fall apart in a month, increasing the marginal cost of your new top. In addition this means that second-hand clothing retailers can’t sell these low quality garments, meaning more of your clothes go into a landfill where they can sit for hundreds or thousands of years.

Overall the fast fashion model might make shopping a weekly entertainment for some Americans, for others it is a business game of making high profits for poor quality, and for those who can’t afford brand new clothing it actually makes obtaining this basic necessity even harder. In addition NPR offers us different opportunities to refresh our wardrobes in a sustainable and much less wasteful way, by swapping clothes, or simply buying clothes made for long term wear.


The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.
"What Happens When Fashion Becomes Fast, Disposable And Cheap?" NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.
Wicker, Alden. "The Earth Is Covered in the Waste of Your Old Clothes." Newsweek. N.p., 2016. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Apple’s iPhone 7 Explained

Apple’s iPhone 7 Explained
Written by - Ryan Wagner

On September 7th, at Apple’s launch event in San Francisco, the iPhone 7 was released, fully equipped with 256GB storage capacity, a water resistant body, extended battery life, and confirmed rumors about not including a headphone jack. Reviews released soon after and a vast majority of these reviews were negative. Consumers argued for the normative side of economics, that there should be a headphone jack. They disputed that Apple is manipulating their customers to invest in needless upgrades, knowing that Android’s Galaxy s7 is not a reliable alternative. Co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak, replied in regards to positive economics saying, "I think getting rid of the headphone jack now is more about pushing towards the inevitable future, which is what Apple has always been good at doing."
Along with the complaints about the lacking headphone jack, others began to bicker about the microeconomic effects it would soon have on the unemployment rate of the headphone industry. Millions of dedicated workers would lose their jobs and the unemployment rate would continue to decrease. Despite the worry, consumers fought the fear of unemployment and began pre ordering the new iPhones on September 9th, starting at 12 AM PST. We have yet to see if the opportunity cost of purchasing a new iPhone 7 outweighs the lost features.

Dunn, Jeff. "Apple Has Already Admitted the Jet Black IPhone 7 Scratches Easily." Business Insider. N.p., 7 Sept. 2016. Web. 8 Sept. 2016.

Wheeler, David. "No IPhone 7 Headphone Jack? Apple, Don't Do It." CNN. Cable News Network, 7 Sept. 2016. Web. 08 Sept. 2016.

Opportunity Costs and the "Gender Wage Gap"

Opportunity Costs and The “Gender Wage Gap”
Nate Sjoberg

We’ve all heard about it, the gender wage gap, a message that there is inequality in the workforce on the basis that each gender being paid different wages for the same work. We hear that women make seventy-nine, seventy-eight, or even seventy-seven cents for every dollar a man makes. This deceiving rhetoric is simply well out of date, and I’d like to explain why this is not an inequality issue, but rather a difference in opportunity costs between gender.

First let’s talk about how this figure is calculated. In a 2013 Slate article, Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men, for example, wrote: “The official Bureau of Labor Department statistics show that the median earnings of full-time female workers is 77 percent of the median earnings of full-time male workers. But that is very different than ‘77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.’ The latter gives the impression that a man and a woman standing next to each other doing the same job for the same number of hours get paid different salaries. That’s not at all the case. “Full time” officially means 35 hours, but men work more hours than women. That’s the first problem: We could be comparing men working 40 hours to women working 35” (Agness). This statistic of 77 cents per dollar is simply an across the board calculation that doesn’t specify in which jobs the gap truly exists. By using the median income across all fields it must be assumed that women work the same jobs, in the same numbers, as men for the statistic to hold the argument of inequality based on bias. Obviously, we can’t assume men and women work the exact same jobs in the exact same numbers; therefore, this statistic, calculated by earnings not on the actual wages men and women make, can be easily moulded to the message of total inequality, in the workplace, we all hear today.

I’m not going to just deny that a gap exists and say that it’s all completely a myth. It’s been proven, based on studies from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that there is a gap in earnings (not wages), and there are a multitude of logical reasons why that is the case. To begin, women tend to work less hours than men. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, “Among full-time workers (those usually working 35 hours or more per week), men worked longer than women—8.4 hours compared with 7.8 hours. Here we see that on average men work .6 hours (36 minutes) more than women in a day, and 3 hours more in a 5 day work week (Not to mention men also work more weekend hours on average). That extra time adds up and the marginal cost to male workers, devoting the extra time, pays off in the marginal benefit of a greater chance at a raise or promotion. Women are simply less willing accept the opportunity cost of less free time and happiness for more time and money at work. Also, there is quite a large amount of women that forfeit faster advancement in their careers by taking leave, quitting, or moving to part-time in the interest of starting a family. The opportunity cost? Earnings. There are many more facets to this, along with the argument that the gap is actually flipping. This based on a Cornell University study that found women are being favored 2 to 1 in hiring for jobs in the STEM fields (Rosenberg).  I won’t get into that at this time, but it is an interesting statistic for personal research.  
All in all, everyone deserves equal opportunity, and for the most part that is true today. Of course there our real incidents of gender inequality in the workplace, but that is very far from the norm and I believe those situations should be resolved on a case by case basis. Economics wise, it is beneficial that we have a large workforce of both men and women. Innovation is often created by the culmination of different points of view, and having men and women in all fields working side by side is both important and necessary for the progression of our country. Though there is in fact a gap in gender earnings, it shouldn’t be looked on as this entirely evil “wage gap”. This debate is still a hot topic today and there is much more information to dig into, so I hope I have opened your eyes to what is really going on.
Works Cited
Agness, Karin. "Don't Buy Into The Gender Pay Gap Myth." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.
Rosenberg, John S. "Minding The Campus." Minding The Campus. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.

Rosin, Hanna. "You Know That “Women Make 77 Cents to Every Man’s Dollar” Line? It’s Not True." Slate Magazine. N.p., 2013. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.

"Time Spent Working by Full- and Part-time Status, Gender, and Location in 2014 : The Economics Daily: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Corporate Struggle Between Two Giants

The Corporate Struggle Between Two Giants
Written by- Zenkar Kollurmath

Consumers in the current smartphone market are perplexed. They are confused between two brands that have taken over the market. These companies themselves are confused as to why they are losing sales. The two in question are Samsung and Apple. While both companies have released new products into the market in the last month, the iPhone 7 by apple and the Galaxy Note 7 by Samsung, neither of them have been nearly as successful as the markets would have hoped for.

Apple sales have not nearly matched what they were, last time an iPhone was released. In the first week of being on sale, the iPhone 7 accounted for 1% of overall iPhone market share, whereas the iPhone 6 accounted for 2% back in 2014. This drop was expected by apple, as they produced fewer phones and were out of products quite early. This is not unlike expected as Apple have cultivated a huge following with their products. But why did apple account for low sales in the first place? This question’s answer can be credited to the exchange of various aspects on the iPhone. For example the exchange of the headphone jack for a slimmer design. This was a huge blow to many fans of the company as they didn’t see it coming. Overall, the new design of the iPhone may be subject to criticism but even apple’s major fan following can’t pick up sales.

Samsung, on the other hand, has a totally different problem. Plain and simple, the Note 7 tends to explode into flames. This “battery problem” has forced the government to order a complete recall of the product. With at least 92 reports of batteries overheating, which includes 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage, the Note 7 is considerably worse off than the iPhone. One would think so, but consumers still continue to purchase the Note, as represented by the graph below. So one would ask how will Samsung cope up to this massive humiliation of unpreparedness. And to be honest, I have no idea.

Such drastic unpreparedness has forced customers to look at other options. Companies such as LG and OnePlus are heavily benefiting from the increased sales. What would you do if offered a choice between Apple or Samsung? Would you take your chance or explore?

Works Cited

Carpenter, Shelby. "Government Issues Official Recall Of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Government Issues Official Recall Of Samsung Galaxy Note 7." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 16 Sept. 2016. Web. 20 Sept. 2016.

Reisinger, Don. "Here’s How Well IPhone 7 Sold In Its First Weekend." Fortune Heres How Well IPhone 7 Sold In Its First Weekend Comments. Fortune, 19 Sept. 2016. Web. 20 Sept. 2016.
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