• Challenging the GDP

    Sep 27 • Thinking Economically • 254 Views

    Articles describing Dr. Stiglitz’s conclusions about the weaknesses of the GDP omit one key piece of information. Can an equally objective statistic replace it? When Simon Kuznets developed the GDP concept during the 1930s, he selected quantifiable variables that could be compared consistently. Maybe the GDP reflects what Winston Churchill said about democracy–flawed but better than any other system.

    The Economic Lesson

    The GDP can be defined as the money value of goods and services produced in one country during a specific time period.

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  • That $17,000.00 Flight

    Sep 26 • Thinking Economically • 206 Views

    The September 26th Daily Notes link is an article in the National Journal Magazine by Jonathan Rauch that describes what it would be like to book a flight if traveling resembled health care. Yes, just like health care, lack of computerized records, discriminatory pricing, and service are problems this imaginary flier experiences. But where are the incentives that would diminish these problems? They are not apparent in any proposed legislation.

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  • A Government Scale

    Sep 21 • Thinking Economically • 252 Views

    Should government care how much we weigh? Having just read Jacob Weisberg’s article on Bloomberg paternalism, I wonder whether our position on healthcare reform, on financial regulation, and other legislative topics relates to the same idea. It’s all about government. More or less? If you created a more government/less government continuum, for each issue, is your dot in the same place on the scale?

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    Putting on the Economic Lenses: Branding Cupcakes

    Jul 23 • Thinking Economically • 216 Views

    Last week, I decided to take my mother out to brunch in the West Village (for those who don’t live in New York City, a fantastic neighborhood filled with a mix of small, local vintage and luxury stores). As I left the taxi, I saw a long line of people standing outside a tiny bakery with a blue awning, otherwise known as the famous Magnolia Bakery. Made famous by the show Sex and The City, this bakery features cupcakes that will make your mouth drool (in other words, perfection).
    Although I have fallen victim to the Magnolia craze, I have to admit that if these cupcakes weren’t ‘trendy’ or famous I probably would have overlooked this shop. If Carrie Bradshaw ate a cupcake at a bakery down the street instead of Magnolia, that place would have been famous. The concept of ‘branding’ is DEFINITELY not new, even for cupcakes. If someone gives me 3 cupcakes, I can probably tell which one was made from scratch, came from a bakery, or was made using a packaged mix (trust me, I’m pretty well trained in the art of identifying cupcakes). We know various cupcake brands, like Betty Crocker or Pillsbury, and can taste the difference in texture, moistness, frosting, etc… So the question I pose to you is this: can and should Magnolia Bakery become like these famous companies through selling their famous mix in supermarkets and specialty stores or should they keep their exclusivity by staying in the Village? What are the pros and cons of doing so? Yes, a venture like this would make Magnolia a lot of money, but should they sell out? And more importantly, would people buy the new Magnolia Products just because it is Magnolia? Let us know on Raise Your Voice!

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  • Facebook

    Apr 11 • Thinking Economically • 326 Views

    This week, facebook changed its look…for the better. The site continues to beat out myspace, in my opinion. The new features make it sleeker and easier to find connections within your network and through your friends. I love it. I wonder how people think of ideas like Facebook and if they know they will be a huge success.

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