Protected: Final Grades

21 06 2011

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Alexei Goudzenko

19 06 2011

Top journals to be marked :

Peter Shishkov- ISP

19 06 2011

New Journal:

Are we moving out tomorrow or not?

Marked Journals:

Is the world better off or worse off because of Wal-Mart?

Debt and Inflation

Marijuana: to be legalized or not?

Should students be paid for their work?

Four comments to be marked:





Six other comments:







Alejandro Enamorado: Posting Summary

19 06 2011

All Journals

Journals (already marked):

Woe is the TTC

Sink or Swim: The Underwater Mortgage

Patient: The Economy of Canada

Journal (newly submitted):

 Economics Class: A Bid Farewell


All Comments:

To Be Marked

Carolyne Wang’s Wal-Mart: The Poisoned Apple 

Mike Seo’s What should we do about our export and income inequality?

Ngodup Yakhla’s Should Students be paid for getting good grades?

Joey Keum’s TTC is at it AGAIN!

Additional Comments:

Ilia Merkoulovich’s The TTC shouldn’t Hesitate to slash Unused Bus Routes

Chris Li’s Let’s Not Pay for Grades

Kevin Yeo’s Studying for Cash?

Chris Lee’s Chicken Soup for the Economy’s Soul (Or Lack Thereof)

Nahee Kim’s How Much Milk Is Too Much Milk

Benjamin Gray’s The Rationality of Prices, Humans and Our Decisions

Ngodup Yaklha – ISP

18 06 2011

New Journal:

Journal 11

Marked Journals:

Journal 10 

Journal 9

Journal 8 

Journal 7

Comments to be Marked

Comment 1 

Comment 2

Comment 3

Comment 4

Other Comments:

Comment 5

Comment 6

Comment 7

Comment 8

Comment 9

Comment 10

Netflix proves need to deregulate

6 06 2011

The article can be found here

The stats and the April article can be found here here

Discussion Questions:

1) Do you think its a good idea to deregulate all of the existing regulation imposed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission?

2)  If Netflix was not regulated and the regulations on the Television industry was not lifted, do you think it will greatly damage the Canadian Television industry in the long run?

Chicken Soup for the Economy’s Soul (Or Lack Thereof)

5 06 2011

We, as members of a pseudo-capitalist society often find ourselves bombarded with stories in the newspaper, on TV among other places about economic problems we are planning to face in the future. While things may seem grim, many of these problems are not as bad as they seem. That said, there are several issues that we as consumers, investors and even members of government should keep in mind when planning out the future of our finances.


The Problem:

The very fundamental economic problem is scarcity. It is something we are taught in business class in the earliest of high school years; how much we do have, and how are we going to use it most efficiently. Since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, we as humans have gotten really good at ripping dull, useless things from the ground and turning them into shinier and more useful things for others to buy. The problem is, these 160-something years have taken a huge toll on the number of resources we have at our disposal. So much so, that experts say that if we continue to exploit our planet’s natural resources at our current rate, by 2050 we will have no resources left to use.

Earth’s population will be forced to colonise two planets within 50 years if natural resources continue to be exploited at the current rate, according to a report out this week.A study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), to be released on Tuesday, warns that the human race is plundering the planet at a pace that outstrips its capacity to support life.– Tyler Hamilton, The Toronto Star

Now, from a morality standpoint, the statistics are heartbreaking, but one must also consider the economic aspects of this issue. With decreasing supply of resources, manufacturers will start to pay more to produce these products and in turn the cost will be paid from the consumer. Having higher prices on these commodities will leave consumers with less disposable income, spending less on other consumer items and instead investing it. This has a negative effect on the economy as this directly relates to the “C” portion of the GDP formula and with lower level of consumer spending comes a lower GDP. The relationship can be graphed like this:

The solutions:

For the consumer:

In order to determine what you should do about scarcity as a consumer, you should determine the elasticity of the product. It goes without saying that scarcity for computer monitors should be treated a lot differently that that of water.

If the product has an inelastic demand, you have the choice of doing one of two things. Firstly, the easiest thing to do is to buy it anyways. If what you want is a necessity (thereby having a completely inelastic demand) for example water, because basic survival is key, you as a consumer should buy it anyways. Another option is investing into newer alternative technologies. The idea behind this is to reduce consumption of the more expensive product (in this case, fuel) by either lowering the amount required to use or requiring something else entirely.

For the business owner:

One of the few benefits of having scarcity in our economy is that it allows businesses the opportunity to get very, very rich. The logic behind this is that as resources that we use most commonly (fuel, lumber, etc) begin to become more and more scarce, prices will rise as a result. Because of this, consumers will naturally begin to try and look for cheaper and better alternatives and new markets for alternative products will arise, meaning big bucks for those who can find a viable substitute. An example of this can be found in fuel prices and alternative energy. Since the relatively recent rise in fuel prices, we’ve also seen an increase in hybrid and electric car sales. One thing to consider if you’re new to a business is trying to tap into these markets as they can prove to be very beneficial if done correctly.

Another step that businesses can take is attempting to increase their productivity by using their current resources more efficiently. Although this seems like something a business should strive to do regardless, when resources become more scarce, those who can use what they have most effectively will naturally be dominant.

For the Member of Parliament:

One thing to strive towards as a governments is being able to control the inputs and outputs of companies. By limiting the amount of resources able to be used in a market scenario, you not only help with the problem with scarcity, you also force businesses to re-evaluate themselves. By creating a pseudo -scarce environment in the marketplace, you raise the prices for that particular resource and businesses are forced to think about their production levels and innovate to use the resources more effectively. Systems such as the cap-and-trade are easy to implement, have low operations costs, allow insurance of resource usage and coax development of cost-effective technologies.


As we inch closer and closer to completely exhausting our planet’s resources, we must constantly re-evaluate what we are doing and how we can improve on it. By creating and investing in newer, cleaner and more cost-effective technologies, we slow down the process of resource exhaustion and help to sustain our life on this planet. The interlocking between consumers, businesses and government is so strong that by working together, we can find a steady middle ground between profitability and responsibility.

Looney Loonies:

The problem:

The dollar value is a country’s staple. It reflects how strong their Canadian buying power is as well as how other countries stack up when buying Canadian goods. It also directly co-relates with the amount of products a country imports and exports. This is especially important now due to it’s recent increase in value over the past 4 months.

Exports were supposed to be the engine of Canada’s economic growth this year. Instead, they’re acting as a drag.

Exports tumbled 4.9 per cent in February, outpacing a 4-per-cent drop in imports and slicing the country’s trade surplus to just $33-million, trade figures showed Tuesday.

– Tavia Grant, Globe and Mail Business

In order to understand the entire issue of the dollar, though, one must see it from two sides: the Canadian consumer/Non-Canadian government side and the Non-Canadian consumer/Canadian government side. Canadian consumers and Non-Canadian governments prefer stronger Canadian dollars.

Canadian consumers/Non-Canadian Governments prefer stronger Canadian dollars for a variety of reasons. Canadian consumers with more valuable Canadian dollars have more purchasing power in the international market and are thus able to buy more of other countries products for the same number of Canadian dollars. Non-Canadian governments enjoy this for two reasons, firstly, with higher purchasing power from Canadians, they will be likely to spend more internationally and portions of money that once went into the Canadian economy now circulates into other governments in the form of foreign investment. Secondly, with higher dollar value for Canadians, many Non-Canadians will stop buying Canadian products as they are getting less for what they used to. This money that was once used for Canadian imports can then be used for purchasing goods from that country, helping the economy.

On the other side, Non-Canadian consumers and Canadian governments prefer a weaker dollar value for opposite reasons. Non-Canadian consumers are able to purchase more Canadian goods for the same number of their dollars, increasing the value gained from their foreign investment. Canadian governments reap the benefits of Non-Canadian consumer spending and money from around the world is caught in Canadian circulation.

The solution:

Although there are no real “solutions” that can be given to consumers as their buying decisions are based on rationality (buying what’s cheaper), my main advice goes out to the businesses. When the value of your countries dollar is high, take advantage of your purchasing power in order to try and reduce your cost of factors of production (by buying resources, machinery, etc). You can also further utilize this in the form of global expansion by using your purchasing power to buy companies for a cheaper price or even outsource labor and factories in these areas.


The strength of the dollar is something that consumers should acknowledge and understand when making purchases as they may be paying more than should be. Businesses should also taking advantage of their ability to outsource at correct times in synchronization with the value of the dollar. Finally, governments should understand that printing more money in the economy does not necessarily make for richer people, only lower dollar values.


As a whole, there are many things that we should strive to understand about our economy especially in the future. I believe that scarcity will become a greater and greater problem in the future and that the strength of the dollar is particularly relevant to what has been happening in our economy lately. If following my advice, the economy still fails, I blame this.

Commodity prices rise amid economic turbulence

1 06 2011

Article can be found here

Key points:

– Lately, oil price is extremely volatile due to disappointing economic data from the US and eurozone, uncertainty about a potential debt-restructure in Greece and weaker oil demand from the US, China and Japan.

-Gasoline demand is expected however to pick up in the coming weeks as Americans take to the road for their summer holidays.

-On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) or light sweet crude for July climbed to $100.35 a barrel from $97.41.

-Gold and Silver remain to be the safest investments during problematic economic times. As a result the precious metals have increased in price: on the London Bullion Market, gold jumped to $1,533 an ounce from $1,491 the previous week; Silver rose to $37.69 an ounce from $34.80.

-Chinese manufacturing eased to a 10-month low point in May, HSBC bank data showed, fuelling fears of a slowdown in the world’s number two economy.

-Prices picked up sharply on as US banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley raised their 2012 forecasts for Brent to around $130 a barrel.

-Economists said the data showed consumer spending was weaker than previously believed, with the high cost of food and fuel likely the reason.

Discussion questions:

1) Why do Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley predict that oil will be so expensive again? Is it a new rapid recovery or just an uncertainty and consequences of Arabic World instability?

2) What are other factors that can affect commodity prices this year? Make a brief forecast, according to the current conditions.

New Tax Policies May Aggravate Gap Between Rich and Poor: A Recipe for Risotto

30 05 2011

Free cookies

Key Points:

– In most recent years, Canada has been experiencing among the highest rates of gap expansion. Meaning that the distance between the rich and poor is gaining significantly.

– Between 2005 to 2009, the total monetary wealth that the top 3.8% of Canadian households controlled jumped from 60.6% to 66.6% and is estimated to head to over 70% in 2018.

– Despite this, as well as a 30 Billion Dollar deficit, Stephen Harper plans on making even more corporate tax breaks, costing an estimated 6 billion dollars in forgone revenues for next year.

– This “trickle down economic” theory states that companies with tax breaks will use that money on machinery, making new jobs, among other things that give back to the country’s economy.

– This sounds good on paper but the majority of Canadian companies, despite extensive tax reductions, have been reluctant in recent years to make the investments in machinery and equipment needed to strengthen the country’s economic prowess.


1) What do you believe should be the right gap between rich and poor? Smaller, or larger? Should the richer control more or less and why?

2) How do you propose the government taxes citizens and should it change?

Canadian Economic Challenges: Housing Prices

30 05 2011

To view the news article, click here.


  1. Do you believe the Canadian housing bubble will burst in the near future? If so, why? If not, why?
  2. Do you believe that shortening the insurable amortization period (the number of years you pay for your mortgage) is good for sustaining the housing market?