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Dream Cakes Supply Shortage? April 29, 2010

Posted by Avu in Section 2, The Economist Outside of Class.
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For several months now, a philanthropic student, Azar, has been trolling the halls of CA selling her so called “Dream Cakes” to raise money for poor people or something like that I think. Well, it’s a wonderful idea, and it has worked marvelously in raising money for poor people. However, there has been a tragic problem. Supply is short; shorter than Nate Robinson. Therefore, to respond to market forces, Azar could do many things. Firstly, she could increase supply, in order to combat the excess demand at the current price of 200 yen. Otherwise, she could drive up the price to somewhere close to 300 yen. Both of these solutions could easily shift the demand and supply towards market equilibrium.

There is also a new development. Though there have been massive shortages in past weeks, last week, Azar ended up with a surplus. A small surplus, but a surplus nonetheless. This is perhaps because of the departure of the seniors, a notable part of the market. The market is therefore smaller, and demand has sadly decreased. Perhaps Azar can maintain the prices, but she should be wary of that invisible hand that choose to poke her around.

The current quantity is at Q1, which is well below the equilibrium. As a result, supply is much lower than demand, and there is a large shortage.

Greatest Economy Presentation Reflection April 13, 2010

Posted by Avu in Section 3.
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Our presentation was extremely good. We got the best grade in our class, bar none. We had some issues with our presentation due to the lack of complexity and communication, which we could have improved through preparation beforehand. However, we are satisfied with our efforts and regret nothing.

Our Presentation

The Worst Rapper of the Decade (No Homo) April 11, 2010

Posted by Avu in Section 2, The Economist Outside of Class.
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Cam’ron is the worst rapper of the decade. The best thing Cam’ron ever did was have friends who were more talented than him: Big L, Ma$e, Juelz Santana, and Dame Dash. The worst thing he ever did was pretty much everything else.

Cam’ron began this decade in a muddle. He’d been unable to parlay his lifelong friendship with then-Bad Boy star, Ma$e, into a lasting career (or even an awesome song). He’d released an album on a label that folded soon after and seen his contract absorbed into Sony Records. He fought to get out of his contract with Sony and ran into the arms of his other friend, co-founder of Roc-a-Fella Records, Dame Dash.  Roc-a-Fella Records was the home of Jay-Z, a rapper whose wordplay makes him among the most clever to ever grab a mic. Cam’Ron on the other hand makes rap sound stupid, which is a major part of his problem. If a white rapper were attempting to get away with Cam’ron’s lyrics, he would be laughed out of the studio. Cam’ron would be shown up by The Blizzard Man. Here are some lyrics from one of the biggest hits of Cam’ron’s career.

Killa, I’m not your companion or your man standin
Hit me when you wanna get rammed in, I’ll be scramblin
With lot’s of mobsters shop for lobsters
Cops and robbers listen every block is blocka (Blocka!!!)
But she like the way I diddy bop you peeped that
Mink on maury kicks plus chanel ski hat
She wan’t the (Boy) so I give her the (Boy)
Now she screamin out (Boy, Boy, Boy, Boy)

What’s really amazing is that those lyrics, alone, don’t do justice to how stupid they sound when added to music and rapped by Cam’ron. Those lyrics are from “Oh Boy,” the second single released by Cam’ron on Roc-a-Fella Records. This song and his other single, “Hey Ma,” featured Cam’ron’s protege, Juelz Santana, who outshines Cam’ron in every way. Perhaps sensing that, Cam’ron joined forces with Juelz Santana and another friend, Jim Jones, to form The Diplomats (also known as Dip Set). They ruled New York, this decade, but not much else. They released a couple of albums to ever diminishing sales and acclaim (outside of New York) before essentially dissolving.

Now, there are plenty of rappers who are mediocre but are able to stick around through the people they know. What gives Cam’ron the extra boost he needs to be the worst rapper of the decade are all of other non-musical contributions and distractions Cam’ron has left in his wake.

Yes, that's a pink cell phone

Let’s begin with fashion. Cam’ron affectionately refers to himself as the Pink Panther. Why? Because he enveloped himself in pink. Kanye showed us that a little pink can look great, but head-to-toe pink really just makes you look like home insulation (advertised by the other pink panther!). That’s not something he bequeathed to hip hop– it’s just a measure of Cam’ron’s audacity. His look says, “Yes, I may look like an idiot, but are you gonna say something about it?” The REAL Pink Panther is only pink through a freak genetic mutation and would love to dye his hair if only the pink hadn’t become such a profitable trademark for him. So, Cam’ron, feel free to give it a rest.

One thing Cam’ron did leave hip hop is the evolution of the hip hop feud. Rap battles used to be awesome things. A rapper would diss another rapper in a song. Months later a response song would be released. LL Cool J, having withstood a challenge from Kool Moe Dee and taken on both Wyclef and Canibus at once, perfected the hip hop feud, generating hit songs from his battles. Cam’ron took the feuds off of wax and onto Youtube, during his skirmish with rap juggernaut, 50 Cent. Without that groundbreaking evolution in the hip hop feud, we wouldn’t have had to have been bored to death by this year’s Ice-T/Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em feud on Youtube. Thanks, Cam!

Cam’ron’s other notable achievement was his appearance on 60 Minutes to espouse his “stop snitchin’” philosophy. What can I say about that other than this: Hip Hop’s most beloved rappers were killed in the middle of two of America’s most visible cities, and Tupac and Biggie’s murderers remain unpunished because no one has stepped forward to “snitch.” Thanks, Cam!

So what could be more stupid than that? How about his defense of the “no homo” trend? Oh wait… I should tell you what no homo is. “No Homo” is the disclaimer one calls out after saying something that might be misconstrued (but not really) as being gay. For instance, you might say “I want to wear entirely pink outfits and carry a pink cell phone!” Well, immediately before or after that announcement, you’d have to say “No homo” or else be outed amongst your friends. On New York’s Hot 97, Miss Info asked Cam’ron about No Homo and tried to get him to see how stupid it was. Here’s his idiotic response. No homo is insulting to anyone who hears it, gay or not. Thanks, Cam!

There’s a reason that Cam’ron, despite his connections, has failed to forge a career that will be remembered. Cam’ron is a below average rapper with little charisma whose only lasting contributions to hip hop will be remembered  as big parts of the reason this era sucks. That’s why Cam’ron is the worst rapper of the decade.

And to make it slightly related to economics, Cam’ron’s music can be seen as a negative externality of production and consumption. The former is due to the fact that in producing such awful music, the stratosphere in that field is changed, and better artists cannot have that market share, leading to an overal dumbing down of the general population. The latter is due to the fact that listening to Cam’ron rhyme “beef stew” with “Hebrew” decreases intelligence in the general population. In this case, I would recommend the age old combatant of government legislation to take care of this monstrosity.