Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tradeoffs: More Goods And Services Might Mean Less Clean Air

In my macro classes this week, we covered opportunity cost, the idea that there is no such thing as a free lunch. See Pollution highlights the price China is paying for rapid development by David Piper of Fox News. Excerpts:

"Beijing has developed into an impressive modern city over the past two decades. But a tourist visiting the Chinese capital over the past four days would have difficulty seeing many of its ancient and modern landmarks because of the horrendous pollution hanging over the city."

"The Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center is recommending that children and the elderly stay indoors.

Local media has reported a sharp rise in people seeking treatment at hospitals in the capital for respiratory problems."

"According to the Beijing authorities, measurements show the air containing more than 700 micrograms per cubic meter in many parts of the city over the weekend.

To put that into context, the World Health Organization considers it safe to only have as much just 25 micrograms per cubic meter."

Friday, January 25, 2013

Another Semester Has Started

Welcome to any new students. I usually post something three times a week on Wed., Fri. and Sun. The next post should be next Wed. The entries usually have something to do with a basic economic principle that is related to a recent news story. If you want to learn more about me go to Why is college so hard?

Monday, January 07, 2013

Structural Unemployment In The News-Computers Can Now Tell Jokes

See A Motherboard Walks Into a Bar ... by ALEX STONE, from yesterday's NY Times.

There is a program "called Standup (for System to Augment Non-Speakers’ Dialogue Using Puns), a program that generates punning riddles."

If you are replaced by a machine, you are structurally unemployed. So I guess Jerry Seinfeld will soon be out of a job. All the programmers have to do is have an animated or holographic image of a "comic" telling the jokes the computer has come up with. Imgaine paying only 25% or 50% of the price Seinfeld charges for the same amount of laughs.