NY Times — The 1998 NFL Draft: A Look Back at the Epic Ryan Leaf Bust

 

One of the struggles with hiring workers is evaluating talent, specifically for college athletes considering the NFL. In 1998, Ryan Leaf appeared to be the top college athlete even with some questionable character flaws. The Colts, instead, chose to select Peyton Manning with their first pick of the draft despite some criticism. Manning went on to be one of the winningest QBs in NFL history while Ryan Leaf is considered one of the biggest NFL busts in the history of the league. This clip from the New York Time’s Retro Reporting division revisits that controversial decision.

The Daily Show — Wage Against the Machine

This video does a nice job of describing many of the economic arguments for and against raising the minimum wage in a comical way. The clip is a few years old, but it still does a nice job of discussing many of the common arguments. Note: the clip does include a supply and demand graph, but it labels supply and demand incorrectly! This is a good opportunity to discuss economic misconceptions, as well as the labor supply and labor demand curves.

Thanks to Rebecca Chambers for the clip and description!

Rick & Morty — What’s the Point of Automation?

Rick’s quote in this episode is as followed, “The point of automation is to reduce cost and labor!” He says this because his robot’s dialogue disappointed him. This directly relates to economics, labor economics in particular, as when a firm’s supply of labor becomes too inelastic they will substitute capital for labor in order to reduce costs and increase profits. The firm, or Rick, is substituting capital for labor as we saw when examining firms’ reactions to labor markets.

Thanks to Justin Cooper for the clip and description!

Brooklyn 99 — Name a Rich Juggler

Gina is back after maternity leave, but is missing her child. Terry decides to check in on Gina and ask how she’s handling her new role juggling a new child while still returning to work. Gina points out that juggling isn’t that hard or else you would see a lot of rich performers. Typically people who go through more training and have more human capital are paid better, but that may not be the case for jugglers.

The Daily Show — Ugly People Discrimination

Daily Show correspondent, Jason Jones, interviews Dan Hamermesh about looks-based discrimination. While people traditionally associate discrimination with race and gender, discrimination from an economic perspective is showing priority to one group of people over another. While the correspondent takes a comedic approach, the research by Hamermesh has been covered by a variety of outlets including Wall Street Journal, Freakonomics, New York Times, and US News.

The Daily Show — Sig Hansen & Deadliest Catch

Captain Sig Hansen joins Jon Stewart’s Daily Show to discuss life on an Alaska fishing boat. Hailed as the deadliest job in America, Hansen and his crew can earn tens of thousands of dollars in a matter of days so long as the crew is willing to risk their lives. Jon discusses safety on the boats and the motivation for why an individual would risk their lives.

Billy Joel — Allentown

I heard this one on the radio and forgot that I used it one semester online to talk about structural unemployment. This could also be a good song to play before class if you play music before you begin your lecture. I may be a bit more fortunate since I teach in Pennsylvania.

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