What if we default…from Businessweek

The truth is that nobody really knows exactly what will happen if the US were to default on its debt payments.  However, here is a Businessweek article about what could happen.


Note that most see it as unlikely to happen.  However, the Speaker of the House, Jon Boehner, said over the weekend that we were on the path to default.  It is a political issue now.  A very complicated one.

If I were to assign rationality to both Republicans and Democrats, I would explain the situation like this:

Republicans think Obamacare (the nickname of the health care plan made law by the Affordable Care Act) will be very bad for the US.  In fact, they think it would be one of the worst things ever.  Therefore, from their perspective, anything that stops Obamacare is reasonable.

Democrats don’t want to be extorted.  I hate to sound extreme here, but this is what is going on.  A small group of very conservative Republicans in the House are seemingly controlling the bills that come to the floor.  They are now asking for the President to negotiate with them on Obamacare.  If the President doesn’t negotiate, they are signalling that they are willing to let the US default.

We will watch and see what happens.

Gov’t Shutdown

The federal government has been shutdown.  This may or may not have an impact on the nation’s gdp.  However, if this mess is indicative of the way raising the debt ceiling is going to go, we are in for a bumpy ride.


We haven’t gotten to all the macroeconomic stuff yet, but here are a couple of articles about what default could mean.




Median Income

One of the major themes of the recovery from the “Great Recession” has been the increasingly unequal distribution of income.  Here is another piece of evidence for this debate.  The Census Bureau has reported that the median income has dropped for the 5th straight year.  A quick math refresher on what “median” means follows.

If you lined up all the people in the US in order of their income from lowest on one end to highest on the other, the median person (or household) would be the one in the middle.  The median person could look up or down the line and see exactly the same number of people on both sides.

If the total income of the society (measured by Gross Domestic Product or GDP) is going up but the median income is going down, then that means that the lower half of society is gaining less than upper half.  More specifically, if the median income is dropping it means that more people are below the old median than before.

If you look at mean or per capita income you won’t see the impact of then unequal distribution of increased income as these are simple averages.

Of course the question of income inequality is a contentious one.  While no one outside hardcore communists would argue for complete income equality, the current size of income inequality between rich and poor has become an issue.  Some say that income inequality is good for society because it incentivizes entrepreneurs and innovators.  Others argue that extreme income inequality can destroy democracy or tear the “social fabric.”

What do you think?

Jobs Report

I know that I asked you all to look for an article on pricing or prices, but this is another major economic story.  The recovery from the recession had been particularly anemic. (Did you know that the recession officially ended in June 2009? http://money.cnn.com/2010/09/20/news/economy/recession_over/index.htm)  The latest jobs report is more of the same.

This was the longest recession in the post-WWII era.  It has also been a very slow recovery.  Some economists speculate that this is actually normal for finance-based recessions.

The really interesting thing is that generally speaking wages track with productivity.  In other words, as you are more productive, you get paid more.  However, a gap between the two has opened up.  As you can see on this page, also from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since 1979 a large gap has opened up.


This leads to the question, where have all the benefits of the higher productivity gone?  If workers are more productive but their wages haven’t risen along with their production, where has the additional production gone?

Why Wasn’t This Spoken About Earlier?

Article Link:


This article is about a rape in India, more so that it is about the gang at least I feel. It is painful to read that women in India, are mothers and grandmothers by force. These poor defense less women are living in constant fear of rape, due to their new independent roles in India. They can’t be independent women without it being a problem and now they don’t even have the choice to live freely because of they now have to take care of children.

My concern for the most part, is why was this not brought up faster, and what does this say about the world? There is crime everywhere and we are all just no realizing how cruel people have come to be? Why is it that when there is a problem, it takes so long to be solved. I am not expecting instantaneous, but I expect people to care about others enough to at least spread the word. There are so many women, that are still going through the struggle of gaining their independence. These men are raping the women because they are taking jobs and by impregnating the women, the men can get their jobs back.

This is a whole other issue as well. This kind of mindset really clashes with mine. It also show how different people think depending on where they are from. This more than just rape too. This is how humans react to something they don’t like. I get that change it something to adjust to, but the world is always changing, humans are always evolving and no amount of rebellion in reverse can stop evolution. This says so much about the world and humans. This brings up change as well and how people react to it if they like the change or not.

This was completely disturbing in the way that I can’t even put my anger on this subject into words. I am disgusted with human behavior in general and this just further supports why.

School Techonology


The article talks about new technology for use in the classroom.  Tablets, Google educational apps and smart phones were the focus of this year, 2013.  It explains that this person has tweeted a link for educators to do a survey.  Tablets are the talk of this year for technology but there are others as well.  The open source application “Moodle” is an anticipated learning tool for the classroom.  Smart phones were also popular among respondents.  It seems for technology brand wise the talk is all about Apple and Google, Microsoft was not mentioned.

Most Anticipated Back-to-School Technology Tools (2013)

Even though there were only 77 respondents that took part in this survey I thought it was interesting what they said was a necessity for class. The 77 respondents that took this survey were educators and I thought it was funny that they wanted to have students use iPads and smart phones instead of usual items like laptops. The common products educators are looking forward to using are iPads, Google apps for Education, and smart phones. I understand the Apps to help students with materials or concepts that they do not understand but I think its weird how they are looking forward to using smart phones in class. The iPad is like a laptop so I would understand why those would be acceptable. Whenever I read or hear about new technological devices that can be used in class I always think back to the times when my parents did not have these sort of privileges as kids. I think its cool that we now have these privileges but we shouldn’t always rely on these devices.

Link to blog: http://hackeducation.com/2013/08/29/most-anticipated-back-to-school-technology-2013/

3-D Printer anyone?

Have you ever heard of a 3-D printer?  Well if you haven’t it is basically just a normal printer except it prints solid 3 dimensional objects.  Now I know what you are thinking.  You are probably thinking that it would be something cool to have but it would be way to expensive.  Well, your wrong.  3-D printers are actually becoming a lot cheaper now.

3d-printer-v.5.5-airwolf3d1It is actually expected that every house hold will eventually have one.  There are many advantages to having a 3-D printer.  These advantages include creating almost anything that you want from toys to any house hold equipment.  Also a cool feature of the printer is that if pieces in it start to wear out you can simply print that piece and replace it!  By having a 3-D printer people would save an average of $300 to $2000 a year!  The only disadvantage of the printer is that it takes a little over a day to print something, about 25 hours.

Link to Blog: http://freakonomics.com/2013/08/02/3d-printers-for-everyone/