Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — Two Jobs Gaffe

 

In an interview segment discussing the economy, primarily the unemployment rate, Ocasio-Cortez dismissed claims that the economy is strong because of a historically low unemployment rate because “unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs. Unemployment is low because people are working 60, 70, 80 hours a week and can barely feed their family.”

The issue with this claim is, namely, that the unemployment rate does not distinguish between the number of hours that people are working, nor the number of jobs they hold. While there are a narrow set of rules to be considered unemployed, only about 5% of Americans currently hold multiple jobs:

While politicians routinely make mistakes regarding the economy (1, 2), this gaffe is particularly note-worthy because Ocasio-Cortez holds a bachelors degree in economics from Boston University.

CBS Boston — Avoiding Price Discrimination

 

This CBS clip details ways families can avoid being subjected to price discrimination tactics by firm. CBS affiliates across the country started searching for different items around the country to see how varied the prices were. While customers may prefer to pay the same price (an argument for equity), firms can actually improve efficiency by practicing price discrimination.

KRON 4 — Online News in 1981

A look back at a 1981 news segment that covers the Internet and the eventual push to online media. At the time, 8 newspapers were currently part of the network delivering their daily news via this system. The “paper” included all text, but not images or classifieds. Near the end of the segment, they predict that nearly all news will be delivered electronically, but that the time would be a few years away. The segment closes with a look at a newspaper salesman who would potentially become structurally unemployed when the need for physical papers vanishes.

Tampa ABC — Rays Looking for New Stadium

When teams request public funding for new stadiums, they often do so with the threat of relocating to a city that is eager for a team. These credible threats must be without a team (either never having one or recently lost one) and are willing to put up the money to support a team. With a credible threat in place, host cities are often left with the option of paying large public subsidies.

NYC Debate — Rent is Too Damn High

Many have seen Jimmy McMillan as a meme, but so few have gotten to see him in the NYC debates. McMillan argues that rent in New York City is too high and should be regulated by the government. This is a good clip to use before a discussion on price ceilings and the normative argument of prices being ‘too high’.

ABC 20/20 — A Test on Looks

A 20/20 investigation into how we subtly discriminate based on looks when it comes to donating to charity. About 1/5 people in total donated money, but requesters who were rated as better looking raised more money than the other requesters. Better looking women were able to raise twice as much money as their counterparts.

Channel 4 News — A Grocery Store Without Foreign Products

When countries decide not to participate in international trade, we enter a world of autarky. Few of us realize the impact that international trade has on our daily lives. One grocery store in Germany decided to remove all foreign-made products from their shelves in order to make a statement about trade, immigration, and diversity.

This clip was originally recorded by instragram user @Heinzinger and then shown on a Germany news channel with the additional commentary added on top of the original video. Thanks to @NinjaEconomics for bringing this to my attention.

John Stossel — Price Gouging

Is price gouging evil or is it the sensible economic decision when shortages arise? In this series, John Stossel explores price gouging around natural disasters. This topic is really good for discussing the tradeoff between equity and efficiency.

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