Thursday, February 26, 2009

Economic Costs and Government Intervention

I found the president's speech inspiring, and even though the response by the Governor of Louisiana was, to put it lightly, lackluster, it did make me wonder if government oversight of business has been used as a prop to make businesses too big.

Case in point, The Associated Press reported that the absence of Food and Drug Administration inspections at a plant that manufactures medical syringes resulted in the shipment of several that were contaminated. [1]

The Bush administration drastically reduced the F.D.A.'s effectiveness over the last few years, through deregulation, de-budgeting, or replacing people. The absence of inspectors may have uncovered serious flaws in production processes that may have been previously mitigated by the FDA's requirement that the company divert resources toward asset maintenance and cleanliness.

Now, without an effective FDA, do we see the true results of the Production Possibility Curve (PPC)? If the F.D.A. was removed entirely, we would surely once again see Karl Rove on a speaking tour talking about Tort Reform (reforming the legal system because of "out of control litigation.")

Without the FDA, companies that have maximized their production capacity at the expense of health and safety will face far more economic costs.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Struggling to get into college?

CNN reported today that more students are struggling to get into college because of financial barriers and a shaky economy.

Wait a minute. Who is responsible for the shaky economy? Perhaps the last thirty or forty years of college graduates?

Why would you want to go to college if the results of today's economy are in the hands of they who graduated?

Even if one didn't do well in college and still landed a job on Wall Street just because he or she knew someone and was let in the back door, they should have been imbued with some sense of responsibility by the time they earned their diploma.

If today's failing economic structure is made up of those who recognize only Ivy League graduates, perhaps therein lies the problem.

In the immortal words of a famous Yale Bonesman George W. Bush: "Heck of a job!"

Thursday, February 19, 2009


This is an English Muffin with Ham, Colby cheese, and Pineapple. It's around 293 calories. The cost worked out to about $1.23 each.

To see the spreadsheet, you can visit the following Google Document:
Can't See it? I'll try to copy and paste it here.
Allocation of resources: Is it really cheaper to make your own sandwich, or go with Fast Food?

County Market

Double-G Brand Biscuit Sliced Ham

Cost $5.49

Total weight (oz) 16

Total slices 40

Ounces per slice 0.4

Serving size (oz) 3

Calories per serving 100

Slices per serving 7.5

Calories per slice 13.33333

Cost per slice $0.14

Bays English Muffins

Cost $2.49

Total Weight (oz) 12

Muffins 6

Serving size (oz) 2

Calories per serving 140

Cost per muffin $0.42

Dole Pinapple Slices
Cost $2.99

Slices per can 10

Calories per slice 30

Cost per slice $0.30

Kraft Colby Cheese
Cost $5.99

Total weight (oz) 16

Serving size (Oz) 1

Calories per serving 110

Cost per serving $0.37

Total cost of supplies $16.96

Cost per unit produced $1.23

Total Calories per unit produced 293.3333

McDonalds Sausage McMuffin* * Sausage McMuffin is as close as I can imagine for a substitute equivelent.
Price $1.60
Calories 450

Savings by doing it myself $0.37

Savings in terms of calories 156.6667

Optimum Resource Allocation

Output Price Packages Subtotal Excess Output Waste Cost

Ham 40 $5.49 1.00 $5.49 0.00 $0.00

English Muffin 6 $2.49 6.67 $16.60 2.00 $0.83

Pinapple Slice 10 $2.99 4.00 $11.96 0.00 $0.00

Colby Cheese 16 $5.99 2.50 $14.98 8.00 $3.00

$16.96 $49.03 10.00 $3.83

Cost per producible unit $2.83 $1.23
$0.10 $1.32

Friday, February 13, 2009

Chris Matthews Give Hardball Award to Judd Gregg

Chris Matthews give kudos, or what ever you can call it, to Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) for deciding he "couldn't be part of the team." When you watch this video, keep in mind that Barack Obama always wanted dissenting opinions in his cabinet.

Okay, Chris Matthews gives Senator Gregg an award for deciding against becoming a pebble in the shoe of the Obama administration? The whole point was not to join the team and become a "Yes" man. If he paid attention to Obama, he should relish the idea of being a daily thorn in the side of that administration.

So why would Chris Matthews award him for bowing out? Perhaps because it became clear to him that logic and critical thinking would make him an irrevocable fool and he had to get out while he could.

Chris Matthews is a real chump.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

They still don't get it. Or maybe they don't care.

New York mayor Bloomberg is planning on laying off state employees because of the economic crisis. Laying off people motivates them to save their money, not spend it. This will further reduce sales tax revenues, exacerbating the problem even further.

The economy is driven by people spending money. People need to be paid enough to have money to spend. How hard is that to understand?

Clearly, these decisions are made by people who are not affected by the economy.