Cost and Benefit: Buying Local Produce

I saw this picture in an Upper West Side NYC blog:   Evidently horrified, one Zabar’s shopper said, “Can you believe that from all the farms in New York, ZABAR’S is selling GARLIC from CHINA!!!!!???” (Zabar’s is a gourmet supermarket.)…

Infrastructure: The Internet and Canals

An internet connection and a canal could be rather similar. Internet Connections in the Americas, 2012: Looking beyond the Americas, South Korea leads the world with the highest proportion of its population having fast internet service (more below). Shipping Connections…

The Panama Canal and an Invisible Line

When a desk destined for Ohio leaves China on a super-sized container ship, should it enter the US in LA or NY? The Panama Canal could determine the answer. Imagine a jagged north south line dividing the US. Located somewhere between…

Manufacturing Matters in the US

Hearing about an apparel firm that “insourced,” I confess I was not as enthusiastic as the report. The firm, American Giant, had just enjoyed a run on their hoodies. As a Made in the USA producer, they have the caché of a…

Playing Chicken With China?

Yesterday’s headlines about the US taking China to the World Trade Organization (WTO) for unfair auto and auto parts subsidies took me to chicken feet and The Economist’s Sinodependency Index. Knowing the major firms that depend on China for revenue…

A Made in the USA Mandate

To introduce our first international trade discussion in class, I usually ask students to check where their clothing and shoes have been made. Finding labels that say “Made in China, Made in Thailand, Made in Peru…,” they first see how…

Election Economics: Assessing Outsourcing

Until November 6, at econlife, Mondays will be about presidential election economics. In 2004, when President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers chairman, Harvard professor Greg Mankiw, was lambasted for saying, “… I think outsourcing is a growing phenomenon, but it’s something…

Should We Buy Local?

I just finished an omelette with eggs and spinach from a nearby farm. It tasted good, I supported local business and I helped the environment. You could say that I had my cake (but it was spinach) and ate it…

Chicken Economics

Ten chicks. If I were teaching in Uzbekistan instead of Summit, NJ, I might have received 10 Serbian chicks as a part of my salary. According to Radio Free Europe, the Uzbek government partially paid certain teachers and doctors with…

Giraffes and Levis

French fashion, food, wine and now a French giraffe. Most French moms buy Sophie for their newborns. Seven inches tall, with brown spots, black eyes and pink cheeks, she is just a rubber toy giraffe that squeaks. In French supermarkets, her…