Big Woes for the Cavendish Banana

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While the popularity of the Cavendish banana that you buy at the grocery store is on the rise, there is a disease that is threatening its extinction. Questions: Why might the most popular bananas go extinct? Which country economies depend on the banana? What percentage of bananas exported to supermarkets around the world are of… Read more »

Box Office looking up!

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According to CNBC.com, ticket sales have been accelerating, inspiring some studios to move up the release dates of blockbuster films to earlier in the year. Questions: How does the current box office sales compare with the period before COVID closed down the economy? What percentage of North American theaters are now open? What is the… Read more »

Is the Power of Boredom Reshaping our Economy?

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According to the New York Times, due to the pandemic, tedium is reshaping what people buy and how productive they are. Questions: What are some of the economic consequences of the pandemic that are noted in the article? The author of this article describes the pandemic as producing a collective sense of ennui. Define the… Read more »

Brave New World: What Will We Lose?

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According to this article, there are 9 everyday experiences that we may not see again. Questions: What are these 9 experiences? Are any of these experiences economically essential? Explain. Which experience do you least agree with as being extinct? Why? Which experience would you add to this list? Source: Pincus-Roth, Z. (2020). 9 everyday experiences… Read more »

The Big Divide

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Men feel better about the economy than they have in over a decade. Women are far more skeptical. And the sharp divide has emerged since President Trump was elected two years ago. Questions: 1. What is the divide between men and women in terms of percentages that believe family finances had improved in the past… Read more »

Now you see it, now you don’t…Presto!

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According to Axios, there was a 17% drop in international students in the U.S. last year, mostly due to the 28% decline in Indian students and a 24% decline in Chinese students receiving visas. Questions: 1. Is the trend in international students attributable to President Trump’s immigration policy changes and rhetoric? Explain. 2. What are… Read more »

Puerto Rico is Bankrupt!

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Puerto Rico has been facing huge debts and population loss for some time. However, in a historic move that will likely trigger a fierce legal battle, the island territory declared bankruptcy. Questions: 1. According to the article, what were the main debts it listed in its filing? 2. How many jobs and what amount of… Read more »

During Trump Times

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According to the New York Times, the world currency that has gained the most since Donald J. Trump’s inauguration as president is the Mexican peso. Questions: 1. How much has the peso gained since the day that President Trump was inaugurated? 2. How much did the peso plunge on the day that President Trump was… Read more »

Numbers tell the story

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Unless you have been vacationing on another planet, you have probably heard about the government shutdown this week. This video by the New York Times provides some quantification of the situation. Questions: 1. Which number in the video surprised you the most? 2. Explain why not reaching an agreement by Oct 17 on the debt… Read more »