Apple Looks Unappetizing in Argentina

By Mira Korber, guest blogger. While wandering the streets of Buenos Aires, I wondered why the shop windows seemed devoid of any new Apple products. Electronics stores touted the antepenultimate model of the iPod Nano as the new (overpriced) great…

Are X-Men Human?

The U.S. government had to decide whether X-Men are human. Our story starts with the U.S. Customs office. Included in a very long list of items that enter the U.S. are “dolls” and “toys.” According to Customs officials, any figure…

Chinese Imports

Are you paying more for your clothing? According to NY Times financial journalist Floyd Norris, women’s shirt prices, dresses, sweaters, all that government statisticians consider female “outerwear,” have started to become more expensive. Meanwhile, the women’s “underwear” category reflects a…

Doha Deadlock

Can you convince a Lubbock, Texas cotton farmer (or his Congressman) to forgo his (maybe $150,000) cotton subsidy? Probably not. After all, these U.S. government payments let him profitably compete in world markets. Correspondingly, would China say yes to a…

Free Trade

KORUS has been in the news. The Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, negotiated in 2007 but not ratified by Congress, was in trouble. One reason was Ford. With a 1% share of the South Korean car market, U.S. automakers want more.…

Cotton and Crocodiles

A Malaysian proverb tells us, “Don’t think there are no crocodiles because the water is calm.” Looking at cotton markets, perhaps we should remember the crocodiles. According to The Wall Street Journal, cotton prices are soaring. Speaking as economists, it…

A Sweet Free Trade Zone

Economically speaking, Tootsie Rolls are special. In 2009, U.S. sugar beet prices (at 27.2 cents/lb.) were more than double the world price of cane sugar (13.8 cents/lb.)  Consequently, almost anything with sugar in it is more expensive. According to the…