Economic Freedom

Composed of 179 countries, the Index of Economic Freedom ranks France 64 and the United States 8. At the top of the list, with the more free economies and the lowest numbers, are Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia while North Korea,…

The Ant or the Grasshopper?

“What a silly little ant you are,” said the grasshopper in The Ant and the Grasshopper. “Forget about work…Enjoy the summer!” But all day, everyday, grain by grain, the ant continued to gather and store her wheat. When the harsh winter arrived…

More Water Dilemmas

Bottled water has been around for a long time. Bottled Perrier was introduced in 1863 while people first drank a bottled Poland Spring product 13 years later. With bottled water consumption having increased until the recent economic contraction, environmentalists are…

Lessons for a Rainy Day

Last Tuesday was a bad day for most umbrellas. In New York City, it poured, it was windy, and most umbrellas were flipping out, blowing sidewards, and doing everything except what they were supposed to do.  It makes sense that…

A Woman’s Impact

In a Washington Post article with the heading, “‘Potty Parity’ hearing set for today,” I discovered that the U.S. Congress was working on a bill to increase the number of female restrooms in federal buildings. Testimony began yesterday. Watching the PBS…

Environmental Externalities

There is oil under Murchison Falls National Park. Home to rare birds, lions, elephants, and giraffes, this Ugandan nature park is a tourist mecca. The Ugandan government, though, prefers oil to tourists as a revenue stream.  Thinking as economists, we…

Deficits and the Tragedy of the Commons

Pondering Greece, I wondered about the individual and the state.  Sometimes what is good for one person is bad for all.  That took me to a graphic of the federal budget in 2020 in which entitlements, which are good for…

Change in India

Hey Everyone My name is Ilya Sabnani. I am currently a sophomore at Princeton majoring in Economics with certificates in Environmental Studies and South Asia Studies. I’m guest blogging about social and economic change in India. This past fall, I…

How Are We Doing?

Hearing that U.S. real GDP growth for the first quarter was 3.2%, I wondered how well we were doing. We can look at past recessions to assess 3.2%. Looking back to the early 1980s, some economists say they were hoping…

Conspicuous (Coffee) Consumption

How can you show your friends that you have ascended to your country’s middle class? Starbucks. A recent BusinessWeek article on the world’s most caffeinated countries cited a connection between an emerging middle class and coffee consumption. With the demand for instant…