Jessica Mondillo’s Blog


Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Economics category.

Cash for Clunkers not Good for Everyone

13 August 2009

Cash for clunkers may be helping some people, but overall it seems like it may be hurting another group of people more than it helps.

On my local news, car mechanics were talking about the effect of the program on them.  The mechanics interviewed repeated the same sentiment: the program is hurting their business even more than the poor economy is.  People who had some extra money, but not enough to buy a new car without the program, would have spent the money to repair their cars.  Now these people are buying new cars and the car mechanics are losing the few clients that they may have had during these tough economic times.

Another problem the news didn’t mention comes for people who cannot afford a new car, even with the rebate.  These people may have been able to buy a $2,000.00 used car from a private seller if they needed to before.  Now, at least in my area, many used cars prices from dealers or private parties have raised to a minimum of around $4,500.  People who have been more deeply affected by the recession may not be able to afford these higher prices when they are already just barely getting by.

Currently, cash for clunkers helps the wealthy and upper middle class be able to afford a new car while money is tight.  It does not help lower middle class people who are closer to the poverty line or those who are below the poverty line.

An idea I have heard that has a great deal of merit is that the cars should be repaired to give to poorer people who cannot afford a used or new car.  This has a couple of benefits.  Not only do people in need of a new car, like unemployed people, people living below the poverty, or those on welfare, get a running car, if the government paid for local mechanics to repair the cars, the hurting industry would get some assistance and hopefully stop these smaller businesses from closing and thus more people becoming unemployed.  Instead the current program just destroys the cars.

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Recession? Yes, But Technically No

03 March 2008

According to an article on AOL News, Warren Buffet claims the US is in recession, even though the conditions of a recession are not met. Buffet commented that, “by any commonsense definition, we are in a recession.”

Although the US had not had two consecutive quarters with negative growth, most companies’ sales have been slowly declining. Companies like Ford, Toyota and GM have all had a decrease in car sales recently.

I agree with Buffet that by a commonsense definition, the economy is in a recession.

Last semester I had to read the Wall Street Journal everyday. After a few weeks, or even days, of that you know the state of the US economy. One article near Christmas time told of a family that would not be buying any Christmas gifts (even though they normally did) in order to keep a roof over their head. More articles focused on the price of oil and how that would effect heating a home and the price to travel. The majority of articles talked about the sub prime mortgage crisis and the number of houses being foreclosed.

AOL also has recently had some economic related articles. One discussed how more people were cutting back on luxury spending and opting to cut costs out of their everyday routine.

With all of that information, I’d say the US is in a recession, or at least the start of one. People will stop buying luxuries, because they cannot afford them. People will stick onto old cars longer, because new ones are expensive and their old ones still work.

I go to gun shows with my dad, and when I was younger the amount of sales was much higher than it is now. Fewer people come to the show and even fewer have money to spend. My dad also sells on eBay. When he started two or three years ago the number of orders he received was higher than the number of orders he currently receives.

Using a strict economic definition, the US is not in a recession. But my commonsense says that the US is in the beginning of a recession regardless of what the numbers says.

Please visit this post at my other blog.  Thanks!


Mississippi Proposed a Bill to Stop Restaurants from Serving Obese People

07 February 2008

The Mississippi legislature proposed a bill that would ban restaurants from being able to serve obese people.  Mississippi has the highest obesity rate in the country and senate Republican John Read claims that he was not trying to offend anyone just shed light on a problem according to AOL News.

The bill is drawing criticism from many groups including activist groups, doctors and university research groups.  Even if the bill does pass through the legislature, Steve Holland, chairman of the House Public Health and Human Services Committee plans to use a pocket veto on it.

Personally I agree that the idea is crazy.  I have always heard that some people who are obese or overweight are that way not because they eat all the time but because either their body’s metabolism cannot keep up or because of other serious medical conditions.

How can a waiter or waitress who is trained to serve food determine who is obese and who is merely overweight?  In order to determine that properly, you have to have a person’s weight, height and a chart that breaks down what is obese for them.  If you are going to say it is by looks that is not fair either.  That is discrimination.  Cops cannot pull over young drivers who have multiple people in car and may be underage unless they have another offense to charge them with because it is discrimination.  Since discrimination is illegal, so is this bill which causes discrimination.

The other thing not mentioned by the bill is what effect it would have on business owners.  By not being able to serve obese people, you lose customers.  This hurts not just McDonald’s (which are actually run by small business owners not specifically the corporation) but also small family restaurants.  Since Mississippi has such a huge obesity rate, the owner would lose both customers and money during a time that is already economically tight which could cause them to go out of business.

Why John Read and the other two writers would propose this to shed light on a problem is beyond me.  Not only did they create a highly controversial bill, they do not believe it will even pass.  So why waste your time and other lawmakers time with a bill that is to shed light on a problem?  There are better solutions to the obesity problem that do not discriminate against obese people

Mississippi’s bill banning the serving of obese people at restaurants is a crazy idea.  It discriminates against people, something no public establishment is allowed to do even when hiring employees.  It hurts business owners.  And it is a waste of lawmaker’s efforts.


$0.33 Gas. Were the buyers greedy or smart?

13 December 2007 

At the Trig’s Minocqua Shell gas station in Wisconsin, gas was mistakenly priced at $0.33 a gallon on December 9th.  IN less than two hours, 586 gallons of gas were bought by 42 customers.  The manager and owner are upset that people would take advantage of an employee’s mistake of putting the price at $0.33 instead of $3.30 a gallon.  The business lost over $1700 dollars.

The manager is upset and feels that the consumers were being dishonest by buying the gas at a price that they knew was wrong.

Personally, I do not think the consumers were wrong to buy the gas.  It is the responsibility of a business to correctly price their product.  I do feel bad for the owner since it was a mistake on the part of their employee but the customers paid the marked price.

And how is a consumer suppose to know if a price is correct?  Yes, $0.33 for a gallon of gas is cheap, but many gas stations put their gas at very low prices to get publicity, and thus MORE business.

I don’t think these consumers were being greedy, they were being smart shoppers and should not feel obligated to reimburse the station for lost money.  The employee who put up the wrong price is the one responsible for this business’s loss, not the consumers.


Hillary Clinton’s $5,000 Baby Bond

Originally posted on September 29, 2007.

Last night Hillary Clinton proposed this plan to give EVERY baby born in America $5,000 to use anyway they want at age 18.

As reported on CNN.com, Clinton said, “I like the idea of giving every baby born in America a $5,000 account that will grow over time, so that when that young person turns 18 if they have finished high school they will be able to access it to go to college or maybe they will be able to make that downpayment on their first home.”

I just recently turned 18 and I agree, it would be very nice of the government to give me over $5,000 dollars to spend however I wanted.  But where is this money going to come from?  Clinton never said.  Like everything else the government pays, the money will be added to the national debt and will be paid for by the tax dollars of AMERICANS!

Now let’s do the yearly math for Hillary Clinton’s plan.  There are approximately 4 million babies born each year in the US.  So 4 million babies each get $5,000.   That will be an additional $20,000,000,000 a YEAR.  20 billion dollars a year. 

Clinton also makes it wound like the money will be growing in an account.  If so I would like to know who is managing the account?  If the government manages it, that will bring forth more federal jobs and thus more bills.  If parents manage it, then they are footing the bill to manage money the government gave to their children. 

If this plan passes, word of it will surely spread to other countries.  Already America has illegal immigrants coming to the country to get free hand outs.  This plan will encourage aliens who have no loyalty to America to come here so their children will get FREE money from a system that they do not have to support.  And when families that have drug addict parents find out how to get the money before the child turns 18, it will be spent towards illegal drugs and never reach the hands of the child it was intended for.

CNN reports that Ohio Representative Stephanie Stubbs Jones said, “I think it’s a wonderful idea.  Every child born in the United States today owes $27,000 on the national debt, why not let them come get $5,000 to grow until their 18?”

Representative Jones does not mention how much the national debt will increase with this plan.  She says how much each child will owe to the national debt, but the money for baby bonds and the bills the government makes every year.

If this bill passes, those of us born after the baby boomers will be paying into a social security system that we will never collect from and for people to have babies, something else that we will never benefit greatly from.

DOESN’T THIS OUTRAGE ANYONE?  Your money is going to be given away and never benefit you.

Apparently Hillary Clinton, like so many other politicians, is willing to spend BILLIONS of AMERICAS tax dollars to win their campaign.  After all, the average Americans that she will hurt will win her plenty of votes from the people that are just looking for a free handout.

This is a repost of my sdcody.wordpress.com post.