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In a continuation of the previous post, here are the remaining 27 topics:

  1. Riding the Pineapple Express (trends in teenage marijuana usage)
  2. Should College Athletes Be Paid?
  3. Should Consumers Purchase Extended Product Service Plans?
  4. Should Drilling be Permitted in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge?
  5. Should Local Communities Enforce “Buy Local” Statutes?
  6. Should Parents Use Cloth or Disposable Diapers?
  7. Should Sirius and XM Be Permitted to Merge?
  8. Should the Internet Be Regulated?
  9. Should We Allow a Market in Transplant Organs?
  10. Should You Recycle? And if So, What?
  11. The Economics of Occupational Licensing
  12. The Impact of Trade on Unskilled Workers (in rich countries)
  13. What Can be Done About Gas Prices?
  14. What Does Wal-Mart Do to the Economy? Do Low Prices Cause High Costs?
  15. What Has Happened to Automobile Efficiency?
  16. What Has the Rise of the Internet and Advanced Telecommunications Done to Traveling, Commuting, Residential Location, and Labor Markets?
  17. What if Bird-Flu Struck the U.S.?
  18. What if Mad Cow Disease Struck the U.S.?
  19. What is Happening to the Female-Male Wage Gap?
  20. What is the Impact of the Fair Trade Coffee Movement?
  21. What is the Impact of Violence in the Media on Crime?
  22. What Role Should Advertising Play (or Does it Play) in the Current American Economy?
  23. Why are Some European Unemployment Rates so High?
  24. Why Can’t You Get Your Pay TV A la Carte?
  25. Why Did Canada Reduce its Supply of Physicians?
  26. Why Do College Textbooks Cost So Much?
  27. Why Does College Cost So Much?

One Response to “Economics for the Layman, Part II”

  1. Mike Brownlee says:

    I am struggling with a problem – how do I protect my savings against the obvious fallout that could occur when the US defaults. In desperation I have written a book to help clear my thinking. My top 6 questions differ from yours:
    1. Does later retirement, the “solution for pension funds to be viable” lead to increased unemployment?
    2. If computers/digitalisation/modern invention enable jobs to be done with remarkably fewer people, how can we expect anything else but a rising unemployment rate?
    3. Governments’ weak anti-trust activity allows large companies (usually through easy borrowing)to grow ever larger by swallowing smaller opposition; does the consequent lack of competition drive prices up to a point where capitalism fails i.e. where the proletariat has no defence against the shrinking number of dominant companies…Walmart, Coca Cola, Microsoft, GE..
    4. A country’s interest rate tends to reflect the amount of trust the citizens have for their country’s financial situation. Because the citizens in the US tend to look heavily askance at the goings on with their banks and government, can we conclude that the low interest level in the US is artificially engineered? If interest rates were solely subject to market forces, would they rise to levels that would make government debts unmanageable?
    5. Is the measure debt:GDP ratio useful? Rating agencies like Standard and Poor appear rather to regard a government’s debt repayments: income ratio as much more appropriate, and for most countries they tend to downgrade from AAA status when this ratio tops about 13%. If borrowings from it’s own entitlement fund (of about $4 trillion) are counted, the US’s interest bill as % of income stands at about 18%. Because this is well beyond the ratings agencies’ threshold for downgrading, how long can the US hope to hold it’s AAA status?
    6. If a downgrade in the US is unavoidable will the result be inflationary or lead to a 1930’s style depression?

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