Elaine Schwartz
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Elaine Schwartz has spent her career sharing the interesting side of economics. At the Kent Place School in Summit, NJ, she has been honored through an Endowed Chair in Economics and the History Department chairmanship. At the same time, she developed curricula and wrote several books including Understanding Our Economy (originally published by Addison Wesley as Economics Our American Economy) and Econ 101 ½  (Avon Books/Harper Collins). Elaine has also written in the Encyclopedia of New Jersey (Rutgers University Press) and was a featured teacher in the Annenberg/CPB video project “The Economics Classroom.” Beyond the classroom, she has presented Econ 101 ½ talks and led workshops for the Foundation for Teaching Economics, the National Council on Economic Education and for the Concord Coalition.

Putin’s Economics

Our story begins during February when Russian Prime Minister Putin decided to freeze gasoline prices. Oil companies had a predictable response. They left. Following the money, they redirected their supply to higher prices elsewhere. The result? Russian gasoline exports were…

Health and GDP

We are taller, healthier, heavier, and living longer. In 1790, a typical Frenchman weighed 110 pounds. Now, the scale says 170. That 60-pound difference relates to a lot more than food. According to a new book from Nobel prize winning…

A Tank of Gas

A tank of gas is not just a tank of gas. Isn’t it a spending decision? The national average for a gallon of regular is close to $3.88 and higher in California. July 2008 was the last time we dealt…

Money and Happiness

It is possible, after all, that money can make us happy. A recent Brookings paper from 3 University of Pennsylvania researchers concluded that people experience greater “subjective well-being” or life satisfaction when they are more affluent. Comparing rich and poor…

“Buy Australian?”

In Australia, concerned about the impact of twin disasters in Queensland this summer, Australia is saying, “Buy Australian.”  But they just faced an unexpected problem. The T-shirts they are using to publicize the campaign were made in Bangladesh and the…

Egg Surprises

Egg prices are actually down. Averaging $1.73 a dozen during March, egg prices have fallen by 5% from March a year ago. So, yes, the CPI says the increase for food prices is up 2.7% during the past 12 months…

Green Elasticity

Sales of Nature’s Source Scrubbing Bubbles tub have plunged by 61%. At Stop & Shop, “Eco-friendly” people are switching from Clorox Green Works All-Purpose Cleaner to traditional Fantastic. Why? Because Fantastic is 40 cents cheaper. According to the NY Times,…

Income Tax Matters

Woodrow Wilson once said that paying taxes was a “glorious privilege.” However, a recent Gallup poll confirmed what we probably already knew. Most of us do not want to pay higher taxes. Upper income households (67% of those polled) say…

Federal Spending Questions

Hearing the following, one Washington Post reporter said, “Four pinocchios.” In a February survey of 801 “likely” voters, a majority (63%) said that the biggest budget items were defense and foreign aid. Also, they suggested controlling waste, fraud, and abuse…

Aspirational Pecans

Our story starts with the walnut. Loved in China, and always cheaper than pecans, during 2007, suddenly, the walnut became relatively expensive. Following the law of demand, Chinese consumers bought fewer walnuts and more pecans. And that was when they…