The Money Supply: The New Hundred Dollar Bill

Our story begins in 2010 when the United States announced that it would be issuing a state-of-the-art $100 bill. Designed to thwart counterfeiters, the new bill has 3-D interactive features. When you move it, certain shapes and colors shift. There…

Do Brazilians or Russians Work Shorter Hours?

Brazil or Russia? Who tends to work shorter hours? Who takes longer lunch hours? Who watches more TV? Who is more likely to sleep 8 hours or more each night?   Brazil was the correct answer to every question. My…

Beer Economics

In China, 1/2 liter of beer costs 9 minutes of work. To calculate how many minutes of work it takes to buy beer in 150 countries, Swiss bank UBS researchers divided the median wage in that country by the price of 1/2…

Who Really Won the Olympics?

Sometimes it is tough to decide who really is #1. Ask me who won the Olympics and I, as a former history teacher, might say the Mongol Empire. If you were to outline the Mongol Empire (1280AD) on a map,…

Cars and the Middle Class in Developing Nations

What does it mean to be middle class? For a developing nation like China, income might be the key. If someone earns between $10 and $50 a day, then that person is middle class. Or perhaps you just need to…

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…

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…