Monday, November 28, 2005

Geese, Golden Eggs, and Traps

Geese, Golden Eggs, and Traps: "

'Despite the widespread belief that the U.S. remains a more mobile society than Europe, economists and sociologists say that in recent decades the typical child starting out in poverty in continental Europe (or in Canada) has had a better chance at prosperity.' -- David Wessel, Wall Street Journal



An Issue Discovered

Inequality Makes the Mainstream

By John Mark Summers

WHEN the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times publish multi-part series on the same subject, something must be afoot.

And no, we’re not talking about runaway brides or the latest strange turn in reality TV. What has engaged the attention of three of America's most respected daily newspapers (though each looks at the problem from its own angle) is the growing concentration of wealth and income in the United States."


read on...
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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Philosophy of Economics

“Philosophy of Economics” consists of inquiries concerning (a) rational choice, (b) the appraisal of economic outcomes, institutions and processes, and (c) the ontology of economic phenomena and the possibilities of acquiring knowledge of them. Although these inquiries overlap in many ways, it is useful to divide philosophy of economics in this way into three subject matters which can be regarded respectively as branches of action theory, ethics (or normative social and political philosophy), and philosophy of science. Economic theories of rationality, welfare, and social choice defend substantive philosophical theses often informed by relevant philosophical literature and of evident interest to those interested in action theory, philosophical psychology, and social and political philosophy. Economics is of particular interest to those interested in epistemology and philosophy of science both because of its detailed peculiarities and because it possesses many of the overt features of the natural sciences, while its object consists of social phenomena.
 

 
I started a Forum not too long ago about Philosophical issues and matters related. This is a great resource that emcompasses both my inquisitive desire for knowledge of Economics as a Behavioral Science and of Philosophy, a way of learning about matters of life and of the mind...
 
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Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development


About OECD
The OECD groups 30 member countries sharing a commitment to democratic government and the market economy. With active relationships with some 70 other countries, NGOs and civil society, it has a global reach. Best known for its publications and its statistics, its work covers economic and social issues from macroeconomics, to trade, education, development and science and innovation.

The OECD plays a prominent role in fostering good governance in the public service and in corporate activity. It helps governments to ensure the responsiveness of key economic areas with sectoral monitoring. By deciphering emerging issues and identifying policies that work, it helps policy-makers adopt strategic orientations. It is well known for its individual country surveys and reviews."


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Friday, November 25, 2005

Economics - The A to Z List


A great resource from About.com regarding Economics...


Economics - The A to Z List: "
Search
Economics
Economics Economics - The A to Z List
Economics at About.com

Economics - From A to Z:
Instructions: Use this list just as you would the index in the back of a book. If you click on one of the letters such as 'B' or 'F', you will be taken to a list of definitions of words that begin with that letter. There are currently over 400 words in the Economic Glossary. The links beside each bullet point will take you to a resource on that topic. So 'Money, Value of' will take you to an article detailing where money gets its value."

more...





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Retailers usher in holidays with deep discounts

Retailers usher in holidays with deep discounts

Shoppers begin heading to stores across the country on ‘Black Friday’

Updated: 7:27 a.m. ET Nov. 25, 2005

NEW YORK - Bargain shoppers woke up before dawn to head to the nation’s malls and stores Friday, the official start of the holiday shopping season, hoping to snap up early bird specials on items, from toys to digital music players.

In an improving but still challenging economy, merchants are hoping for big crowds to set a positive tone for the entire holiday season.

read on...

 

I ask myself, what are the root causes of a "challenging" economy...I could come up with a miriad of speculative thoughts, as an economist, and still not hit the nail in the head. I know there are other economists out there, smarter, brighter, wealthier and better educated than I am asking themselves the same question...

As a behavioral science, Economics will never, in my estimate, be able to catch up with what the term full employment economies "should be" all about. Statistically, yes, we can achieve full employment provided we set the standard ourselvese: 4 percent, 5 percent unemployment rate, or what have you...

 SOMETHING IS STILL MISSING... But what is it? How do we bridge the gap?

 
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Thursday, November 24, 2005

8 Rules For Good Customer Service

I just had to blog this. These simple rules from Susan will not only let you go a long ways in business, but life in general...

Your Guide, Susan Ward From Susan Ward,
Your Guide to Small Business: Canada.

Good Customer Service Made Simple

Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. You can offer promotions and slash prices to bring in as many new customers as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won’t be profitable for long.
Good customer service is all about bringing customers back. And about sending them away happy – happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves and in their turn become repeat customers.
If you’re a good salesperson, you can sell anything to anyone once. But it will be your approach to customer service that determines whether or not you’ll ever be able to sell that person anything else. The essence of good customer service is forming a relationship with customers – a relationship that that individual customer feels that he would like to pursue.
How do you go about forming such a relationship? By remembering the one true secret of good customer service and acting accordingly; “You will be judged by what you do, not what you say.”

1) Answer your phone.
Get call forwarding. Or an answering service. Hire staff if you need to. But make sure that someone is picking up the phone when someone calls your business. (Notice I say “someone”. People who call want to talk to a live person, not a “fake recorded robot”.) For more on answering the phone, see Phone Answering Tips to Win Business.
2) Don’t make promises unless you WILL keep them.
Not plan to keep them. Will keep them. Reliability is one of the keys to any good relationship, and good customer service is no exception. If you say, “Your new bedroom furniture will be delivered on Tuesday”, make sure it is delivered on Tuesday. Otherwise, don’t say it. The same rule applies to client appointments, deadlines, etc.. Think before you give any promise – because nothing annoys customers more than a broken one.
3) Listen to your customers.
Is there anything more exasperating than telling someone what you want or what your problem is and then discovering that that person hasn’t been paying attention and needs to have it explained again? From a customer’s point of view, I doubt it. Can the sales pitches and the product babble. Let your customer talk and show him that you are listening by making the appropriate responses, such as suggesting how to solve the problem.
4) Deal with complaints.
No one likes hearing complaints, and many of us have developed a reflex shrug, saying, “You can’t please all the people all the time”. Maybe not, but if you give the complaint your attention, you may be able to please this one person this one time - and position your business to reap the benefits of good customer service.
5) Be helpful - even if there’s no immediate profit in it.
The other day I popped into a local watch shop because I had lost the small piece that clips the pieces of my watch band together. When I explained the problem, the proprietor said that he thought he might have one lying around. He found it, attached it to my watch band – and charged me nothing! Where do you think I’ll go when I need a new watch band or even a new watch? And how many people do you think I’ve told this story to?
6) Train your staff (if you have any) to be ALWAYS helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable.
Do it yourself or hire someone to train them. Talk to them about good customer service and what it is (and isn’t) regularly. Most importantly, give every member of your staff enough information and power to make those small customer-pleasing decisions, so he never has to say, “I don’t know, but so-and-so will be back at...”
7) Take the extra step.
For instance, if someone walks into your store and asks you to help them find something, don’t just say, “It’s in Aisle 3.” Lead the customer to the item. Better yet, wait and see if he has questions about it, or further needs. Whatever the extra step may be, if you want to provide good customer service, take it. They may not say so to you, but people notice when people make an extra effort and will tell other people.
8) Throw in something extra.
Whether it’s a coupon for a future discount, additional information on how to use the product, or a genuine smile, people love to get more than they thought they were getting. And don’t think that a gesture has to be large to be effective. The local art framer that we use attaches a package of picture hangers to every picture he frames. A small thing, but so appreciated.
If you apply these eight simple rules consistently, your business will become known for its good customer service. And the best part? The irony of good customer service is that over time it will bring in more new customers than promotions and price slashing ever did
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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Identity theft Unresolved with Yahoo!

11/16/05

And I will not rest quietly until it gets solved.
A long time ago, I opened up a group thru Yahoo groups. Time went by (a few weeks or months perhaps) then, eventually I stopped posting for a while. When I came4 back to the site, I was not able to log in.
I went to their help site to find assistance, and then decided to finally give in and change my password.
Well after 4 times or so of giving them via their "unable to sign in" protocol my name, yahoo email address, and my mother's maiden name I gave up as the site repeatedly told me my mother's maiden name was the incortrect response for me to be able to log in.....
I left the issue to rest for a while, and tried again online. No success.
I gave them a call finally, as there is no email addresses to contact and no "real" people behind the sites. The person on the other side of the phone would not accept my basic information either and told me that my mother's maiden name was not the right one I had given!...
I the mean time, there is a new member, possibly two that have signed in to the group and have posted spam that has been there for the last year or more. I tried calling the company yesterday as well, to no avail. A series of recorded messages, but no real humans behind the scene.
I emailed one of their departments yesterday to no avail either.
So, I guess that my next campaign in life is to pursue my case until someone or anyone at the company decides to collaborate with my restoring my stolen identity and be given full rightful access to my group.
If you feel and believe that posting this in different places will assist me in my pursuits, please drop me a line at edfern34@hotmail.com
I will see that your efforts in assisting me with this issue get rewarded.
Thanks!

Godsdragon



UPDATE 11/22/05
I contacted the Company again. Have not heard from them.
They sent a survey, I filled it in with my thoughts and oppinions indicating there is a problem, but I guess they really do not care...

UPDATE 12/02/05
Have not heard from Yahoo as of yet...Could it be that it is not just me that gets the end of the stick here? I found this article today that could explain very well why Yahoo does not care about someone like me:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20051201/wl_afp/
iraq_051201185052;_ylt=Anz0pmdMejGb9ny9f_mZQMCs0NUE;
_ylu=X3oDMTA3b2NibDltBHNlYwM3MTY-








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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Immigrant Resource Center in a Bind

Immigrant Resource Center in a Bind http://www.knowledgeplex.org/news/127223.html
Saundra Amrhein
St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
November 11, 2005
Copyright 2005 Times Publishing Company




A school that offers free English classes to adults might shut down if it can’t come up with the money to apply for a zoning change.
SEFFNER - In their countries, they were dentists and business people.
But here in this breezy yellow brick house off Parsons Avenue, they are students seeking a path out of manual labor.
At the Multicultural Resource Center, more than two dozen adult immigrant students gather four mornings a week to study English in a house turned into a language school and computer lab.
Another 80 are on a waiting list.
But the popular school, which was started in the late ‘90s, might be shut down next month unless directors come up with $3,500 to apply for a zoning change. The county sought the change after a neighbor complained.
For many with night jobs or schoolage children to care for, the free morning classes are like a salvation.
“My daughter is studying in school, and how can I help her?” asked Carmen Moncayo, 45, originally of Peru. Her daughter is 9. “How can I help her if I don’t know English?”
Seated next to her, 62-year-old Elsa Icaza, a dentist in her native country of Ecuador, can’t return to her profession until she learns English. She cares for her two grandchildren in the afternoons and evenings.
“If it weren’t for this (morning) class,” she said, “I couldn’t study.




:read more…

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Need a hand or two?

It comes a time when things get kicked around a bit, and reevaluation follows. This post's aim is to let you know that I am ready willing and able to engage in practical and income generating ventures. If you like what you have read over the months here at Economics made simple and feel you could use my experiences, knowledge or just need an extra hand to handle whatever it is you or your company is in need of, drop me a line and let me know how I can help.
I can provide references, a resume or whatever complementary information you might need from me to engage in a fruitful and productive win-win relationship.
Thanks for reading.



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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Marginal Revolution: Gratitude Journals and Loewenstein's Challenge

Marginal Revolution: Gratitude Journals and Loewenstein's Challenge: "Gratitude Journals and Loewenstein's Challenge

Background: George Loewenstein is one of the leading figures in Economics and Psychology.

While walking in Pittsburgh one afternoon, Loewenstein tells me that he doesn't see how anybody could study happiness and not find himself leaning left politically; the data make it all too clear that boosting the living standards of those already comfortable, such as through lower taxes, does little to improve their levels of well-being, whereas raising the living standards of the impoverished makes an enormous difference. (full story)"
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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

WebEc - WWW Resources in Economics - Framed



Another great resources site while Stumbling Upon...

WebEc - WWW Resources in Economics - Framed

Monday, November 07, 2005

Valuable and Priceless...

I was thinking about what could I possibly say of my own, at this my "Economics Made Simple" blog.
I thought and I thought and it did not take long before I came up with the idea that it is time to give credit, where credit is due.
First of all, if it would not have been for Blogger.com, I would not have been able to create not only this, but other few blogs I have expressed myself with.
The first one in the list is "Life and Living For Real". It is a blog basically about my thoughts, but it is also a blog to allow you, the reader to perhaps grab onto a post that you can relate with and perhaps help make your life a little better as a result of having come across it. I know, you say, but you just want to benefit your ego and yourself by writing about you. And my answer is, well, maybe that is the case, it was not my intention to create more value for my own ego than the intention of having you relate to my issues and causes and thereby make a friend or two in the process. Well, you could be right. I am selfish, selfcentered, and I want what I want when I want it. But my motives were not too different than the average blog writer. Please correct me if I am wrong... And, with what I have been reading lately, I hope I can move in the direction of focusing more on you, the reader.
Anyway, there are other blogs in the roster of blogger.com: Internet for People like Us, Asi es La Vida, Links for all, and my 2 newest ones: B+, which is a team blog, and Beach Blog.
I am grateful to Blogger.com, again and again, for allowing me to have been able to speak my mind so that not only I but you, the reader perhaps benefits from something I have posted, said in my own words or came across that has made an impact in my life and lifestyle. Of course, there are numerous other sites thatI have found worthy of my including them on each and everyone of those sites. All the sites are is not only the result of my thinking, but of th ethinking of numerous people to whom I have given, and still give them credit for where I am at in mind and spirit.
There is definitely a therapeutic value to writing and journaling, but that value is increased tenfold when I focus my efforts on your needs and wants.
I will be talking more about other sites and valuable insights I have gained as a result of the weblogging trends I have followed for the past few months...
Thank you for reading.



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