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Exporting Soccer and Still Sucking Balls; Spain’s Account Balance November 29, 2010

Posted by Avu in Section 4.
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Since 1980, like many other nations, Spain’s current account balance has fluctuated up and down. Just kidding, it’s fluctuated mostly down. Like way down. Between 1980 and 1997, Spain’s current account balance hovered up to and just below 0, with a slight drop between 1988 and 1992, but after that all hell broke loose. Between 1997 and 2008, the current account deficit grew from roughly one billion euros to over four billion.

The current account deficit is huge.

Spain went from bad to worse. Quiete la boca.

Data Response Reflection November 7, 2010

Posted by Avu in Data Response.
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I did good.

The Danger Zone; Where No Man Can Withstand or Hold His Own August 30, 2010

Posted by Avu in Uncategorized.
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The Danger Zones affect weaker students with weak test taking skills. Among the categories, perhaps one or two have stricken me with heavenly zeal, especially sweeping generalizations, as we all know broads, cripples, and colored folk have similar economic trends within their species. Yes, however, in general I am too perfect a human being to succumb to anything regarding anything dangerous, and mostly just don’t know what the %@#$ I’m saying because of not studying and trying to bluff my way out. I’m kind of like the Iron Chef of writing about economics. Read the rest of my blog. Actually, don’t.

Taxes, the Beauty of Democracy… August 26, 2010

Posted by Avu in Section 3, The Economist Outside of Class.
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…and the filth that is everything we hold dear to ourselves. That is, of course, referring to taxation equity, as there is nothing we as decent human beings hold to be a more fundamental human right for survival than taxation equity. This is why we spend our time and taxpayer dollars (the irony…) attempting to find a happy, or unhappy for that matter, middle ground on where we should set our tax rate. The Democrats and that other party in our country seem to harbor a rivalry as vicious as the Yankees and the Red Sox. I take that back, it’s something more along the lines of the Palestinians and Israelis (go blue!), with more wheeling, dealing, and sexuality. The Repugnicans (sic) seem to assert that they don’t want to drive up national debt by raising taxes. They’re, to paraphrase Bubbles from “The Wire”, equivocating like a mother*&%#er. In the long run, undoing the damage that Dick and Bush did would of course reduce the national deficit. The right wing amuses me. This explains why I specifically order only left wings at B-Dubs. Esoteric reference, forgive me. In the end it’s simply a long term vs. short term battle between both parties, and as we have learned from the past, we should always shoot for the long term.

PBL Presentation Reflection May 31, 2010

Posted by Avu in Section 3.
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PBL, as a learning experience, was beneficial in expanding our creative minds and embarking on educational excursions. To be honest, to just learn the information, a textbook or lecture would have been more efficient, but PBL was a great experience and allowed for our education to be fun. While inefficient, PBL was far more engaging than conventional education, and therefore allowed for greater focus.

We felt that our weaknesses were mostly born of unpreparedness and unexpectedness of what the questions would be. I think the most difficult question to deal with was the one regarding outsourcing, as we didn’t consider the issue previously. It was extremely difficult trying to convince the groups that had to lose out that the benefits of our solution, to a major extent, outweighed the costs.

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.

Data Response Reflection March 30, 2010

Posted by Avu in Section 2.
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I guess today is the day that I get to pat myself on the back and congratulate myself. This is without a doubt my best IB HL Economics evaluation type of assignment since the offset of this course. I managed to get a total of 33 out of 34, with a perfect 14/14 in the Diagrams and Definitions section and a 19/20 in the Data Response section. I remembered all the definitions due to thorough review and astute recollection during the test. Perhaps I was lucky that the Theory of the Firm diagram I had to know was perfect competitions, which is arguably the most simple of the lot. However, I choose not to discredit myself in my clearly transcendent attempt at this evaluation. The one point I lost was, as stated earlier, in the Data Response section. However, the point lost was not in the evaluation, which I completed thoroughly. The point I lost was on question C, regarding the lack of an imposition of taxation of airline fuels and its relationship with profits. I was meant to include a Theory of the Firm diagram that presented marginal cost not equalling marginal revenue due to taxes, and how that would result in lower profits, but I included an indirect tax diagram instead. I will need to read these questions and think of how best to answer them in the future. However, I’m quite impressed with myself in this case.

In Russia… GDP Calculate You March 29, 2010

Posted by Avu in Russia, Section 3.
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Over the last decade, Russia’s GDP increased on an upward trend up until 2008, improving from about 250 billion dollars to 1.6 billion dollars. This is good.

Russia’s GDP per capita increased from $6000 to about $16000 in the same time frame. This is good.

Economic growth was on an upward trend the whole time. Increased of 8-10% were common from 1998-2002, before it regressed to around 4%. From 2008-2010, Russia experienced negative growth. This is not good.

I can conclude that as Russia’s GDP increased, its GDP per capita. Russia’s HDI was also on an increasing trend over the same time frame, so it can be shakily concluded that increases in GDP can, in some cases, correspond with increases in HDI.

Putin is awesome.