Wednesday, March 25, 2015

After reading, and admittedly chuckling a little bit, I began to think about how this may hurt the dating scene in a far greater way. Understanding that attractiveness is subjective and the subjectivity is also due to your preferences, self esteem, and, what we called while in Iraq, dessert goggles. That is, that if a girl on a 0 - 10 scale was say a 5, while over seas, she was now a 10. Tinder, however, is like desert goggles for women. They are, as I conferred with a few friends, bombarded with messages. Typically, these men, by nature of left and right swiping are already found to be attractive by the female. This would cause her to feel better about her self, at least momentarily on a shallow level, and begin to swipe right even more selectively. Ultimately at some point finding an equilibrium where she is saying no to men just as often as men are saying no to her.

Unfortunately and understandably, tinder does have the reputation as a hook up site since left and right swipes are rarely based upon personality but solely on looks. Men may have a different approach, let's see how many women swipe right to me compared to you. This adds in a new variable since after all, when you've matched it gives you the option to message the person or continue playing the game. And with all games, it shouldn't be taken seriously but viewed competitively.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Future?

The criticism of Tinder seemed to be about how Tinder causes market failure when someone wants a serious relationship, but I really doubt everyone on Tinder aims to. Just assuming what every user wants or doesn’t want to do is a huge assumption because it means that the alternate dating site proposed by the author may also fail. The fact that Tinder exists and is popular is already an important indicator that, perhaps, in the future other sites may replace Tinder without having all or many users looking for serious long-term relationships. To me, making such a huge assumption has many consequences to knowing what the future may lead to. How about the author go out there and make the app that was discussed in the article, but then when reality kicks in it will likely lead to a failure. Why can I say it will fail? I can say that because most new ideas of that nature just fail in business terms. Also, the article claims to be about microeconomics, but it still had a huge aftertaste of opinion or convictions. It almost appears the author was simply giving how they believe dating should take place, which is a dangerous thing to do under and circumstance. Trying to push one belief over another is not microeconomics, but more of an ideological matter. I believe it’s dangerous to give an opinion of how something with political and social implication should happen by claiming that there is some pseudo-scientific reason when there really isn’t. Cherry picking the economic concepts that are convenient to be used in the persuasive article does not present the full picture. All of this makes me want to question whether anyone has any clue of what the future might hold because in reality nobody does, while the author claims they somehow do. The future of Tinder is not as easy as it may seem at first sight. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Economics of Online Dating

I had difficulty determining if today's discussion was about the Stable Marriage Problem or online dating, so I'm going to go ahead and tackle both at once. If we can indicate each person's preference for their partner as a single value, then it is trivial to solve the Stable Marriage Problem. In order to apply this to online dating, we need only evaluate each person's preference for another person as a single number. Though crude, a simple "How much money would you spend (for a genie to) make this person fall in love with you?" would suffice: it gives us a precise value for how much one person prefers another. Simply apply this metric across the entirety of online dating and bam, done. Its great how markets can solve things like this.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Moving on up....to the east side

I am perplexed as to why retail companies are raising their wages. I understand where the author is coming from to say that they are losing their current working force and want to reduce turnover. However, these low level jobs in years were flooded with people whose education level was above what their job required. If businesses are starting to hire then naturally those with a degree in a specific field will leave a job that doesn't pertain to their field of choice and go to where they have a comparative advantage.

In my mind, retail jobs should be relegated to high school students and those who are marginalized in society (the article listed who fall into that category well). If this is true, instead of raising wages it would make more sense to begin to market their to the proper demographic who do not care if they have benefits (in the short term). Ski resorts do a great job of this as they advertise at high schools for their job fairs as they offer a free season pass, low pay, and no foreseeable future with the company. Teenagers see the free season pass and sign up immediately, I know I did.

What I see this as a good sign for is those with a ba or bs can begin to obtain jobs without relevant work experience. Over the past few years minimum experience has been around 5 years for a decent job. Many new graduates won't have 5 years experience. How could they? They've worked at the ski resort every winter for the past 4 winters of their high school career.

One thing caught my eye is that the article stated inflation is around two percent - yet, our loan rates are rock bottom. How can this be? I thought they had an inverse relationship to one another.

-swe you guys Wednesday!    Mmmm Thai food
-Brian

Level Playing Field

Interesting to note is that while employers like Walmart and TJ Maxx are now being required to raise wages to retain employees, they are also seeking to raise wages for every other business out there.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-02-19/wal-mart-says-looking-at-support-of-federal-minimum-wage-rise

We might ask, "Why does Walmart have to pay so much to retain employees?" The very obvious (and correct) solution is that, like the article states, retail is a low paying, thankless job, with few prospects for advancement, and many sources of stress. While it does not require much skill or knowledge to work at Walmart (implying a large supply of workers), that doesn't mean that those workers are willing to put up with working at Walmart for low pay. An employee can make the choice to work somewhere else for lower pay if they believe that they benefit from that decision.

So Walmart has to raise wages to retain employees in order to make it worth it for the worker. Why then would Walmart support a federal minimum wage increase? Perhaps the answer is that its only fair that everyone pay the same amount, although this ignores entirely that there is a difference between the low-paying, low-stress job and the slightly-higher-paying, high-stress job.

Or, more likely, Walmart seeks to crush its competition and attain a larger market share. The reason that those low-stress jobs are paying low wages in the first place is because the owner of the business decided that it could still make money doing so. By increasing wages, businesses' costs increase, which mean less profitability. Some may become entirely unprofitable, some may need to reduce personnel to stay in business, some will have less capital to invest in themselves, and some will demand that their employees do more to earn their wages.

In every case everyone loses. This is good for Walmart, who was already losing anyway, because it "levels the playing field" and harms their competition as well, allowing for Walmart to avoid the disadvantage of an undesirable job (higher wages) when compared to the competition.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Net neutrality.. again

I still don't get the concerns so many proponents of 'net neutrality' are wild about maybe some of you could watch this and explain how it is propaganda, or if this man's concerns are valid

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152711772273379

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Don't Judge Too Early

The Washington Post article did a great job summarizing what I would expect to happen from the FBI shutting down the illicit online drug market. Meanwhile, it felt like the article claimed that the FBI shutting down the first Silkroad caused the online drug market to explode, but where is such evidence? Maybe the online drug business would have expanded even more without the FBI shutting down the first Silkroad or much less, but that other side of the issue didn’t seem to get the deserved exploration. It appears many assumptions were made in the course of the article, and assumptions are just assumptions. Just because there was some user that collected some data about Silkroad 2.0 doesn’t mean that user’s numbers were accurate and truthful. Independent investigations would have proved to be more valuable than simply relying on what some user says because there is no guarantee there is no interest or conviction that is swaying what is written by that user. How do we know the FBI was wrong? There are many bright FBI employees, and someone just saying that what they do is wrong seems to neglect their knowledge and experience. How do we know the assumptions stated by the article are correct and that what the RBI does is incorrect? I, obviously, do not know much about law enforcement to make some assumption and tell someone with knowledge and experience fighting crime what to do. How would an engineer, nurse, teacher, doctor, or lawyer like being told what to do and what not to do by someone that not have the credentials? What I’m saying is there are always at least two sides to something, and it can only be beneficial to have that approach on many issues of economics, or anything else. All in all, the FBI did shut down something that was illegal, and that is part of their job description.

Darknet Markets

Money brings with it innovation. With the popularity and ease of use of the internet in this day and age it only makes sense that one of the biggest moneymakers out there - drugs - has found it's way to be provided to anyone capable enough to pursue it online. In direct defiance of the FBI's shutdown of the Silk Road a variety of other start ups taking its place with no halt in profits or trade.

My question is whether or not this practice is good for people.

From what I understand to the end consumer is that the practice is significantly safer than dealing with drugs in real life. The potential for violence is incredibly low without the interactions between people using mind altering substances and holding potentially large amounts of money. On top of that the risk for users due to police presence because of the process is significantly lower. From my readings the ability of the dark net vendors to ship their product stealthily is a big pro to some vendors over others. For the dealers it seems like a good investment as well. They're able to build a reputation that makes it in their interest to not screw over their customers. In addition as opposed to needing people to work streets to sell product you can instead have a distribution center ala, amazon to do it instead making the process more effective. 

Wether or not you agree on the morality of drug usage and distribution the use of Dark Net Markets is a benefit to the safety of the end user so I believe it has a net positive result.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dragnet's Dark Net.

The Dark net is evidence of the entrepreneurial spirit alive and well within this world. As the article stated, they've made anywhere from hundreds to millions of dollars within a single month. The money was made from percentages from the sales and payments to be part of the site. The start up cost, outside of time, seems to be minimal if the person's site didn't require purchase of a domain name, an understanding of federal and state regulations, proper licensing and tax identification. since start up costs, monthly overhead and operating costs are low - the person is able to keep cost low and allows for the increase of sales.

I think it is unfortunate that the capitalist government is unable to see that there is tax money to be made in all open and free markets - even if that market is destructive to a person's self. Isn't that our choice to be made?
There will always be addiction, but is that a governmental concern or is it a community concern?

I found it quite entertaining the creator picked up on eBay's Method of ensuring buyers have the best information to make an informed decision as to who is the most "reputable" sellers. The question is though, how can you trust any interaction with a person who steals identities?

Monday, February 23, 2015

An Opinion on Macroeconomics

My defense for laypeople understanding, or lack of, towards macroeconomics is that it is potentially helpful. While group think and other though trends can negatively affect policy change when people are allowed to vote with their potentially skewed thoughts I think that it is worth it for the potential of new ideas to enter the arena. As purported in the article macroeconomics is hardly a easily cracked puzzle, high profile macro economists still argue back and forth on large distinctive policies. With this potential for error remaining around who are they to be thought off as the defining voice? I believe popular economists like Krugman have a valuable place and they are treated as such but they do not have a complete understanding of the intricate set of systems that is macroeconomics, preciously because it is chaotic. Despite this having an eye for guidelines and the prediction of trends which they are often able to make is a valuable tool and their place is served within society.

The high, the low, and the wealthy

   First a direct response on macro economics, and the vaunted attitude that so many experts love to apply to their field and exclude all others- This high minded disdain for the 'common man' is worth about as much as the paper these peoples' accolades are printed on. Take comfort that I am in no way meaning this in an absolutely literal sense, though. I am merely posing a visceral reaction to such blatant elitism.
Now to the reader:
   The basics of any field are easy for any intelligent person to learn, and thereby have a right to an opinion on. History shows over and over what works and what doesn't, while many 'experts' continue to destroy their economies over the same problems(greed, mainly). Models and ideas given new names, and more math to cover up the fact that the basis of human action and motivation is relatively easy to understand, and therefore relatively easy to get a working model going for.
    It is the controllers and would be kings of this world that have always caused the most damage. The history of our own country is a script easy to read, if you know the facts. Facts that so many experts avoid in their renditions and propositions. The same goes for the 19th and 20th centuries. These experts also understand how humanity basically functions. It is usually experts, waving mirrors and blowing smoke, who get the masses on their side; and the most people killed. Anyone look into how wars start?
   Again, this is the 21st century, and the information age. There is enough fact out there for the avg. person to be able to gather information, and hold a fairly educated opinion. I am most wary of those who despise the average person, as their agendas by and large seem to disregard the majority; as if they were little more than tools to be pushed and prodded at will.

   As for Darknet markets- In the presence of excess regulation in all facets of a market, there will be a black market that reflects the desperation of regular people attempting to survive the stealing of their wealth so they, too, may live their lives in the fashion of their choosing. It is merely a sign of the times. If the tax burden/regulation is not considered onerous, people will not go to extreme lengths to avoid said regs.

   As for the 3rd article on the FBI- it is all smoke and mirrors (see above)
One question:
IF the FBI and the administration heading policy was truly interested in doing something definite on the drug wars, would they not start at the border?

 Overall, #3 is a good article that raises some legitimate points. However, the article is unnecessary to prove that the 'war on drugs' is a ploy by politicians- aimed for popularity among the people.              Politicians, who would rather not talk about the real crises occurring, whose job it is to fix. After all, the avg. voter does not even know of most of the crises affecting them and this country, and would rather not hear about them.