Work Samples




 | Return to Unit 2 |


SHARED ASSIGNMENTSBelow are samples of assignments submitted for this course with names removed so as not to violate anyone's privacy.

They are examples of the quality of work I expect.

The assignments you see here are not necessarily the best work for that assignment
but examples chosen at random from among all of the assignments I consider well done.

I change assignments from time to time so make certain you are looking at an example based on your current assignment rather than a previous assignment.

In assignments that ask for specific right or wrong answers, I have substituted Xs for the answers so as not to tempt you!

If you don't see an example of a particular assignment, it's because I haven't yet found one to post.


Activity #1

As the president of the ABC Investment Company I chose to invest $75,000 into the Reliable Auto Parts Store. The other $25,000 will be invested in the Florida Sinkhole Corporation. By investing in the auto parts store I know that we will have a reasonable rate of return over the next few years hopefully allowing me to keep my job. Investing in the Florida Sinkhole Corporation seemed to be a great choice and a limited time opportunity. If the corporation goes down the drain then I will be without immediate results, but there is a forty percent possibility that the corporation could make very good money and I could make that investment back in a very short amount of time. One of the scary things about building new businesses is the variable costs. At any point during the building process the costs of certain materials could rise. If the contractor does not have a contract and a set price for the materials he is using through his provider, an investor such as myself could be put on hold. While the remaining funds needed to finish the building are gathered an investor could lose his job. This could be life threatening for my company which is something that any good investor should take into consideration. The good thing for me is that all the money that I will be using is insured, so losing the money is not necessarily the issue. The issue will be no profit in a certain length of time. I would say that variable costs would not be such an issue for a small auto parts store. The time it takes to build the store would not be near as long as condominiums and this would limit the possible risk of rising costs. An auto parts store is always in demand, unlike the donut shop which may grow old within the year. People will always need parts for their vehicles and will probably pay hefty costs to get them locally. Supply and demand comes into play here. After the store is built it will be the only store in town and will be able to charge whatever prices they wish simply because the customers have nowhere else to go. To travel to another town will cost time and money, therefore the owner would be able to charge them ten to fifteen percent higher costs on products and the customer may still save money using a local store. This will benefit the new store and I believe will be a great investment sooner rather than later. I am somewhat nervous however about the average variable costs rising in the long run and creating problems for this small business. I do believe that if managed well the average total costs could be kept low and could make room for total profit to be very high. The potential for growth in the auto parts store is very good over a longer period of time, where as the condominiums may not provide long term profit, but a very high rate of return for a shorter period of time. I believe the efficiency level on both investments to be high and for my company to begin making steady money within the next two years with a possible spike in a years time (this due to the completion of the condos).

Activity #1

I picked the ABC Investment Company to invest in the Florida Sinkhole Corporation. The company is currently in a crisis and is need of an investment that is going to bring a somewhat safer yet faster return than the other investments will. The EZ Money Oil Company is too much of a risk for this type of company to take. The auto parts store will not be able to pay back the money loaned in a reasonable amount of time and the profit of the store will not be steady enough to sustain the investment company. The donut shop may be able to pay back the 80,000 dollars quickly but the profit of the shop, as with the auto parts store, will not be enough to satisfy the ABC Investment Company. Since the economy is down and people are watching their money more closely the demand for donuts, often considered a luxury, will decrease over time. However, I think the Florida Sinkhole will provide a quick return and steady profits thereafter. It will take the company about 8 months to finish the condos themselves. Currently it is becoming a popular trend to rent the condos out as they are being built so the company is looking at a return in less than a year. According to the Ceteris Paribus I logically assume all other conditions such as population and demand remain the same and this would be the safest option me. Florida is well known as a retirement and vacation state. This is not just a current situation that is likely to disappear. So it satisfies the association versus causation. The demand for housing is not something that has occurred by chance. Rather it is a developing problem due to larger numbers of retirees and Realtor companies. There is always going to be a need for housing especially in states that are popular for vacationing and retirement. As the economy becomes stronger retirement is going to come earlier and families are going to be able to take vacations comfortably. Condos are popularly bought by Realtors and rented out or sold as vacation homes and retirees are keen on buying condos because of the atmosphere and low maintenance required of owning one. Being that the demand is high and supply is currently low, the condos will sell or rent quickly providing not only payment of the 100,000 dollars loaned but providing a profit to pay off the company's debts and assure the employees jobs. The condos also provide space for more opportunities of the same kind. The ABC Investment Company can become a partner with the Florida Sinkhole Corporation and as more condos are built the company will have a reliable income for years.

Activity #2

If I had a paperback copy of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations shipped to my address the total price buying it from Barnes & Noble would be $20.84 including tax and shipping. Buying it from Amazon would be cheaper at a total price of $14.69 including tax and shipping. The price for shipping was the same in both companies at a rate of $3.99 for standard shipping. I noticed that I was charged taxes at Barnes & Noble but no taxes were applied on Amazon.

Looking at only the websites of Barnes & Noble and Amazon, I noticed that they have many common non-price competition variables as well as different. They both have homogenous book products. Obviously Amazon offers many more differentiated products and a customer has the option of shopping for things in other departments. Both sites offered preview samples of the book in which one can digitally see how the book looks inside. Barnes & Noble’s preview was not as well developed as Amazon’s. In Amazon, the preview went from a complete page to another sort of like a print preview view which was easier to imagine how the book’s pages actually looked. Both companies also offer buying books from third party sellers which can either be new or used. Along with this, they include reviews from recent customers to help determine if their service is good or not.

When ordering things online, there is always a concern about when the merchandise will be arriving. As noted earlier, the shipping and handling fee for both companies were at the same price but Barnes & Noble ship purchases in 24 hours with an arrival date of 2-3 business days. In Amazon the arrival date would be 2-3 weeks. I would have to order the book in good time when using Amazon unless I paid for faster shipping which would increase the shipping rate.

One of the most important non-price competition variables is customer service. The key to a returning customer is happiness and satisfaction. At the time of checkout, I compared both sites side by side. Both companies offer memberships and the opportunity to open a credit card with them which includes different types of benefits. I really liked that Barnes & Noble has a customer service number available at the bottom of the webpage. If anything were to go wrong with an order I can easily access their number and call them. On the other hand, Amazon has a Contact Us link and it directly goes to a customer service page which has the choice of contacting them via e-mail, phone or chat. There might be a wait on the phone so having other options is great.

As a college student money is scarce so I have to stretch it out as much as I can. For this reason, I would have to choose Amazon for ordering the book. I would get more utility from buying the book from this company because of the price and the customer service options. I am familiar with Amazon and use it more frequently than Barnes & Noble because of their variety of products. I would even be more willing to get a membership with them to receive benefits since I can shop there for more than what Barnes & Noble can offer. The opportunity cost of not buying the book from Barnes & Noble is getting the book in a short time frame but at least I am saving money.

The monopolistically competitive market of online book sellers, in time, has increased in various ways to serve the interests of society by the competitive forces mentioned above which make up Adam Smith’s invisible hand. Both companies have excelled in their business, making more than a normal profit. Because of their success, their brands are recognized throughout the world now.

Activity #2

Amazon and Barnes and Noble have many of the same qualities. They offer homogeneous products and almost the only thing that they do not have in common are the prices. People are always going to need books and prefer to shop online than in the store. So the demand is there. However, Barnes and Noble have a tendency to come out above Amazon because Amazon is strictly online and Barnes and Noble own the store and cafe as well. The small percentage of Americans that does not have Internet goes to the store which raises the level of competition.

The price for this book at Amazon is currently on sale for fourteen dollars and thirty-five cents with an original price tag of fifteen dollars and ninety-five cents. Barnes and Noble is selling it for a member price of seven dollars and nineteen cents with an original price of seven dollars and ninety-nine cents. Obviously, since Barnes and Noble shipping is free, buying the book from them is way cheaper which means that I will get more satisfaction or utility from buying it.

Being a student I have a fixed income so books used for purposes other than school are considered a normal good. My income will allow me to only buy a certain amount of leisure books so Barnes and Noble prices appeal to me. However, price is not the only thing that attracts me to the company. Barnes and Noble not only has free shipping but their items ship within a twenty-four time frame. Amazons items take at least two days to ship out and it is usually only free shipping with a purchase of twenty five dollars or more. Barnes and Noble is a name that I personally trust and am more familiar with than Amazon. I have the option of going into the store or buying from home.

Also even though both companies have memberships available, Barnes and Noble group offers exclusive discounts on everything in the store for a yearly fee of twenty-five dollars. Amazon's membership is free but they do not have as many money saving offers as Barnes and Noble. The book can also be downloaded straight to my computer for a small fee through Barnes and Noble however through Amazon it costs two hundred fifty nine dollars to download their software and then a fee to download each book. Based on ratings their eBook reader is of better quality than Amazon's. This is also important as a student because I may not want to purchase the book if I am only using for class purposes. I would rather download it to my computer through a reliable source.

Barnes and Noble advertising appeals to me more than Amazon's. Their website is easy to navigate. Amazon is a lot like walking through Wal-Mart. I go in needing one thing and I come out with eight things. Because of total utility gained, convenience, and confidence I would buy the book from Barnes and Noble. I would find greater satisfaction in buying something from a company that is a household name, small, convenient, and most of all saves me the most money.

Activity #3

Though I think New Sense Inc. is being very selfish about the situation at Lake Smiley, the problem could easily be solved by the Coarse Theorem. The Inc. and the fishermen need to come to an agreement that benefits both parts as shown by the table. If the Inc. was to filter and treat then both the parts would have the same revenue. It is not as high as it was before but they have to compromise to solve the problems without adding the government to the situation. I understand that the table was just an example and not exact figures but that is what the parties need to do – test to see which solution best profits both parties so that neither party is losing.

The Inc. and the fishermen both have a monopoly over the area which in my opinion is why it is a big deal to both parties. There is no barrier to entry because it is a public lake, but if the government was brought into the situation a barrier such as a tariff or license might be given to one party or the other; which is why I think that it would be in the best interest of both parties to use the Coarse Theorem. The Inc. has the market power in this situation when it comes to the good that they are producing but the fishermen have the market power of how much they sell their extra fish, which ties back into them having the monopoly.

The problem with the lake is that it is a free-for-all because whoever wants to fish can fish as much as they want. This situation is a great example of both the Tragedy of the Commons and externalities. The lake has no clearly established property rights because there are none to have; no one has the absolute right to the lake so that is why they should try to work it out among themselves. Externality by definition states that one economic decision effects negatively another economic decision which is exactly what has happened here. The Inc. dumping into the lake (an economic decision) has negatively affected the fishermen’s choice to fish (another economic decision).

Activity #3

The Israeli and Palestinian conflict of violence has come to a peak and America is now seeing the effects. A group of countries in the Middle East, including some inside of OPEC, has threatened to place an embargo on the oil from those regions. We have no choice but to plan drastic and immediate actions. This is an act of intimidation and terrorism that will not be tolerated. I have looked into all the matters that will be affected by our future actions, and have devised a plan.

Our biggest concern must be the general welfare of the American people, not only during the short term, but also the long term. First, we should withdraw our support from Israel - we need to be more independent. Instead we need to find other ways to meet our energy utilization needs. With the current war between Palestine and Israel, the price per barrel of oil is steadily increasing. There are other ways to produce energy - solar power, hydroelectric power and alternative fuels. These three energy producers will significantly boost our economy, if only by creating new jobs. In order to break away from our dependence of oil in foreign countries, we should not offer OPEC and these countries anything to keep the supply of oil flowing. Since the price of oil tends to increase throughout the years, our country needs to be more responsible with our resources. By doing this we allow the rest of the world to see that we will not be taken advantage of anymore.

I do realize that events will occur in the future that will require some action on the part of the United States. I believe that is better to use a carrot (e.g. humanitarian aid) in order to get what you want. Fighting only brings war and destruction to every party involved. Looking back in history, wars were fought because someone wanted something that they did not have, whether it was resources, or money and even land. There were no real winners and losers when it came to war. In the end, everyone loses something. The pros to humanitarian aid are that you help others and in the end you hope that they will help you in return or you get something you may need from them. The cons for humanitarian aid are that the people you helped may not want to help you in return. The pros to military action are that if you have a strong enough army you can force others to=2 0do what you want them to do. The cons about military action are that you lose countless lives as well as resources during this effort. We simply cannot get involved in any further military conflicts.

This will have immediate effects on some industries. The airline industry, the car industry, the bus travel industry (Greyhound, etc.), and tourism and travel agencies in general would all suffer due to the lack of oil. They all require or provide some form of movement involving vehicles that use gasoline. Public transportation may also take a hit. Americans will either abandon their SUV’s in favor of smaller, more gas efficient cars (which generally are imported), or continue driving their SUV’s, but less often – maybe even carpooling occasionally. The trucking industry has no immediate alternative, as most other modes of transportation also require fuel, and would probably not suffer too terribly in the midst of high oil prices. Some layoffs may occur and several trucking companies may close down, but the industry wouldn't fall completely. Other industries, such as air travel, are more for pleasure and would suffer more as people would be less willing to pay more for an airline ticket for a vacation that isn’t absolutely necessary. We are trading a lower end economy now for a better one in the future, due to an increase in alternative fuel choices.

I also believe that this plan will allow countries to realize the benefits of trading fairly with America. The Middle East has a rich abundance of natural resources. About 55% of the oil America uses is from the Middle East. If America went somewhere else to get oil it would really hurt the Middle East’s economy. Besides, it will cause them to be very short of money. Not just the Middle East would be short of money, but also American laborers. America has some laborers that go over to the Middle East and help.

Finally, I must stress the value of other fuel sources. The benefits of using fuel, such as natural gas, are that it burns much cleaner than the other fossil fuels. Other fuels release ash particles into the environment resulting in pollution. To make natural gas the substitute for oil would cost billions of dollars all together. We would have to drill pipelines costing millions and make cars able to use natural gas, which would cost a lot as well. The price of natural gas would be cheaper than oil though. The only problem is that when we start to run out, the price would go up just like the price of gas. Solar energy would probably be the best to try to use as an alternative to oil, because it is a renewable energy source - meaning we will never run out of sunlight. Solar energy is also environmentally friendly because it doesn’t release green house gases like the fossil fuels. Since there are so many kinds of solar panels and the costs of them vary, anyone can buy them. Another benefit is that solar energy is always improving. To power your car you would need them all over your car, which could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. So the cost of buying a car with solar energy is expensive, but you will never have to pay for fuel. Nuclear power is also a pretty good alternative. It is a low-cost energy because it uses an enriched form of uranium for fuel. One uranium pellet, about the size of a fingernail, is equivalent to 149 gallons of oil. Nuclear power plants would also create more jobs for the US. Also, nuclear energy doesn’t emit any controlled air pollutants like that of fossil fuels. The cost of building the plants would be quite a bit, but it would be cheaper to fuel cars and we could also use it for electricity. With scientists looking into nuclear power more I am sure it will keep getting better and more efficient.

I understand that it will not be an easy transition for America, but it is one that has to happen. The American spirit has always welcomed challenges, and succeeded in the face of adversity. Together we can transform our country into a greener, more economically independent nation for years to come.

Activity #4

Is Wal-Mart good for America? I have never really pondered this question. I know it is not good for my pocketbook and sometimes my marriage because I spend too much money there. The documentary has introduced a whole new concept of Wal-Mart. It showed the pure genius of Wal-Mart's marketing and competitive pricing. They have introduced a whole new way of production through the pull system into a world where the push system has been prominent. However, there are several things to consider when deciding if Wal-Mart is good for America or not. There is really no right or wrong answer.

One of the most important concepts in making decisions in economics is considering the opportunity cost of something. Wal-Mart is appealing because it is a one stop shop place. This trait of the store is essential to sells because of the fast pace lifestyle of Americans. It also has a wide selection of goods from many different brands and relatively good prices on some of them. Also the store is the master of supply and demand. With their current technology a new shipment of items that are currently selling well is just a mouse click away. We have to consider if the good outweighs the bad. What is given up in order to have the low prices, the convenience and the variety?

One major thing is American jobs and overall well being of the American economy. When Wal-Mart first opened it relied solely on American made goods. Soon after Mr. Walton realized that if he used cheap foreign sources to get the things the consumers desired then he would be saving a lot of money. Thus began the Made in China label on the majority of Wal-Mart's products. Not only that, but the current companies that have agreements with Wal-Mart were forced to compete with foreign counterparts, namely China. Over eighty percent of Wal-Mart's goods are produced in China. Wal-Mart is obsessed with low prices on merchandise and American companies simply cannot produce things and market them at an acceptable price for Wal-Mart.

Many companies rely on Wal-Mart to buy their products but are constantly in competition with the cheapness of foreign products. This unfortunately has caused many corporations to shut down or sell out to other companies, which in effect means many Americans are out of work. Importing all of these items from China at almost no cost is not helping the American soil at all. Many have argued that Wal-Mart is growing and creating more jobs in America. In all honesty, Wal-Mart jobs are low class jobs. Working conditions are known to be undesirable and pay is less than what is needed to live well. It is degrading to the American people and has affected their way of life immensely.

I do not think that Wal-Mart is necessarily bad for America. It has certainly set the standard for modern companies and can definitely teach some lessons about competition and how important paying attention to the supply and demand trends are in successfully running a business. They are the epitome of the evolving economy. I do think that Wal-Mart should rely less on foreign trade and have more ethical values. The traditional American business cares for its employees and knows that in order to have good business pay and benefits are important. Therefore it takes more money to run these production places and the need to sell the products at a rate that is beneficial to them is important. In China this is unheard of. Their employees make one-hundred dollars a month and there are no workers rights. I do not think that Wal-Mart should exploit this. I think Wal-Mart in America comes with a high opportunity cost. However, that does not mean that they are a bad business. They have simply adapted to the rising globalization of the economy and American businesses are going to have to follow suit in this ever changing economy in order to survive.

Activity #4

I have to start by saying that I might be biased about this subject because of the fact that I am currently a Wal-Mart employer, so if my answer seems a little harsh I do sincerely apologize. I have read both arguments of whether Wal-Mart is good or bad for America and I am going to try my hardest to keep from letting my opinions override the facts.

With that being said I am not completely sure whether Wal-Mart is good for America because there are so many different cons and so many pros.

In my point of view Wal-Mart is a monopoly because the prices that they are able to set their goods at are very hard if not impossible for other companies to compete with. This makes other companies lose a lot of business if not completely puts the other companies out of business altogether. Wal-Mart seems to be able to make life or death decisions for almost all consumer goods industries in the US because they are such a huge client to them. If they were to leave an industry for some reason it is very unlikely that the industry would survive. I am aware that the costs of Wal-Mart’s lawyers, accountants and whatever else they need to run their company comes straight out of the consumer’s pocket, yet they are still able to keep the lowest prices in town.

As far as I can tell the government has never had to interfere with Wal-Mart’s way of doing business, which says a lot. Wal-Mart’s biggest advantage is that they use their resources very wisely. They take the information available and use it to their advantage, they have been producing the goods consumers want very efficiently for years. That is a pro of Wal-Mart’s but it also comes with a con. If a person has become too dependent on a good produced by Wal-Mart and they decide to stop producing that specific good the consumer is left without that good.

Another huge controversy about Wal-Mart is whether they have taken too many jobs overseas. Many people think that it is not a problem that they have taken so many jobs to places like China, while others think that it is a huge problem. Wal-Mart bases about 80% of their production out of China because it is so much cheaper. They pay them about 50 cents an hour, about $100 per month to the employees in China If the jobs were here in the US, the employees would have to be paid at least minimum wage, which varies in different states, but in any state is a lot higher than in China. This saves Wal-Mart billions of dollars a year, which in return saves the consumer money because the goods are cheaper. This is a positive view of overseas production. The negative view is that it is indeed taking jobs away from Americans, but we cannot have it both ways. Wal-Mart seems to have picked the choice for us and we do not seem to mind too much. The dynamics that create low prices also undercut the ability of many to earn decent wages and benefits and have stable lives.

Wal-Mart started the dramatic change away from manufacturers controlling retailers which has benefited many companies in the long run. Manufacturers used to have a huge hold on the retailers. Wal-Mart was one of the first retailers to, “flip the script,” on the manufacturers. A lot of retailers now hold control over the manufacturers, by making them bargain with the retailer to get and keep their product on the retailers’ shelves to be sold. This is a huge advantage to many companies.

Wal-Mart has taken over or replaced a lot of companies. The employees that once made $15 or $16 an hour and chose to go to work for Wal-Mart will probably make much less and have to pay more for benefits. This is the employee’s choice to go to work for Wal-Mart when they could go to work somewhere else. This could be a good thing if you look at it one way or, looking at it as a lot of people do, it could be a negative thing. The decision of whether Wal-Mart taking over or replacing companies is a good or bad thing is always in eye of the beholder.

In conclusion as I have said I am not sure whether Wal-Mart is good or bad for America because there are too many pros and cons, it is too diverse. I guess I would say that there are more pros than cons in my opinion so, if I had to make up my mind, I would “Yes, Wal-Mart is good for America.” Everything is going to have good and bad to it and Wal-Mart is no different. I suppose it is such a big controversy because Wal-Mart is such a huge company.

Activity #4

A strong economy is the driving force of every country in the world. If the economy slows down so does the purchasing of items that are produced either in that nation or that are imported from other nations. Everyday new economic issues arise in every country in the world. How they are handled is what makes or breaks that country. Sometimes these issues can be solved by simply picking up a pen and signing a paper but in other cases they have nationwide effects that blur people’s views of the ultimate goals of their nation.

One of the greatest economic issues that we have facing our nation today is the economic recession that the United States is experiencing. I believe that the whole economic recession started because people believed that the United States was going to enter into another Great Depression. When this happened people started putting away money and not spending their earnings nearly as loosely. Unfortunately that is not how the Unites States economy works. By not spending the money that people work for the economy is slowing. This is because our economy is based on the spending of the people in the United States. When people saw that this economic recession was coming they held on tight to their money instead of spending it at a normal rate. This slow in spending caused the slow in the United States economy. I believe that if people were to spend more of their money then the economy would pick back up right where it left off. A way to influence this spending is for the government to send out checks to millions of Americans for a certain amount of money that must be spent on taxable item by a certain date. This drastic increase in spending would stimulate the economy so much that not only would it be as high as when we entered the recession but it would soar above any economy in the world.

Alternate fuel sources are also a very popular idea in these times because of the inflated price of oil. Oil has risen to almost 100 dollars a barrel which drives up the cost of everyday living expenses. People have resorted to car pooling instead of spending the money to fill up their own vehicles on a daily or weekly basis. This not only hurts the economy but it could also be very easily avoided. Many people believe that the rise in the price of oil is due to the war in Iraq but I am a bit skeptical of that theory. This may have been true at the beginning of the war when Iraq was threatening to stop trading with us but now that the war has progressed and the oil continues to arrive to our country from the Middle East there is no reason for the price to still be that high. If the government would simply lower the price of a gallon of gasoline then people would begin to travel like they did before the war began. This in turn would stimulate the economy to a point of extreme wealth. Within a decade of this spending the United States would be able to pay off its debt to other countries. By producing an alternate energy source we may be able to sustain the United States for a little while but that is just a quick fix. I believe that by producing ethanol it will do nothing but drive the price of corn to where gasoline is at this point. Not only would it drive up the price of corn but the cost of converting everything that runs off of gasoline or diesel to run on E-89 ethanol would be so extreme that it really would send our economy into an economic depression.

The Health Care Reform policy says that everyone no matter what the situation deserves the same medical care. I agree with the policy that everyone deserves to be treated if they are sick or wounded, but I do not agree that everyone should get the same health care. If a person that does not pay taxes walks into an emergency room then he/she will be treated the exact same way as a person that does pay taxes. Doctors are paid very well for the services that they perform. If this pay were to be reduced to the same as an average working citizen then people would stop pursuing the profession. I believe that this plan would also be reflected in the work of the doctors. They would lose the incentive to perform to the best of their abilities every time that they put on their gloves. The reason that we pay doctors so much is because we value our lives and we want only the best people to perform on us. As much as I hate paying the doctors bill, I would much rather be alive and paying the bill than be dead and leaving the funeral costs to my loved ones.

Our economy thrives on the large corporations that keep our everyday lives working as planned. When these large companies begin to go under they can declare bankruptcy. Another option that they have is going to the government and asking for enough money to open their doors for production again. When the government gives into these wishes of corporate America, they show that they are actually at the hands of the American people. This shows that we are still in control of the government. Although I realize that the American economy needs for these companies to be fully functional, I think that is not economically ethical to bail these companies out when there are millions of Americans in financial trouble and debt that is impossible to work out of unless they win the lottery. I believe that if the government is going to bailout these companies then they should also make an effort to help the working citizens of the American workforce.

Last but certainly not least is the Social Security Deficit that the American people will soon be facing. The problem with the Social Security program is that the money that is paid in every paycheck by the working citizens of America is not put into a “piggy-bank.” Instead the money is invested into trust funds by the government. What this means is that all the money that I have worked so hard for and paid into the Social Security system will be lost if the economic recession keeps up at the pace that it is going. I believe that this money should be put into a bank account for the American people and paid out as need so that the people who have retired after many years are guaranteed the money that they have worked so hard to invest into the government so that they can live in a comfortable fashion when they retire. The fact that all of the money that I am working so hard for and confidently investing into the government so that I may live like I want to when I retire may be lost truly upsets me. If the money were to be simply placed into a security account so that it can be distributed properly then there would be no problems.

Although it may seem as though I think that I have all of the answers, and that all of these problems can be easily and quickly fixed, I do not and they cannot be. These problems that face America will take years to fix and are truly concerning. But if we, the American people, can stand together and work together then we can fix these issues and live in a smooth running country that does not have to look over their shoulders to make sure that the next Great Depression is not sneaking up on us.

Critical Thinking Essay

Since the beginning of civilization in America, we have known hard work. We have worked long forty hour weeks with over time where ever and whenever we can get it. We have always juggled our working lives and our family lives, and it s not an easy job. Most of the time being taken advantage of without any paid vacations, paid time off, and most of all without any benefits. Today in other countries they are shortening their work weeks and offering all of these benefits along with it. Today in the US so many people are without jobs which leaves so many families without any kind of income. Something needs to be done in our country fast before it’s too late.

America today is full of hard working people, people that do not get enough time off to spend time with family and to take care of their personal business. Americans love their time off to spend their hard earned money. In other countries they have found a way to make all of this possible while still keeping their economies in balance. I believe that if our country were to give this a try that it would be a positive step to getting our country and our economy back on track.

Although I believe that this would affect our country in a positive way, I do believe that it would take a lot of will and want to from the American worker. Shortening the work week would open up so many new jobs for all of the unemployed people in our country. This would allow all of these desperate families to get their lives back. I think that with the incentive that employees would receive the much deserved much needed and always wanted paid vacations and time off, with all the benefits, that they would be much more willing to come to work and not call in and take off as much. With people working less and making less money, they are going to have to make a number of changes and adjust to life at a little slower pace. We Americans love our money and we love to spend it. Most of us already spend more than we make, so if we were to work less and make less money I don't know that most people would be able to adjust their already spending habits. This is what could bring our economy down even farther which would devastate our country even more. People would have to become more self- reliant. Instead of spending their money on just ever little thing that they wanted they would have to make a choice weather they really need it or not. Many Americans do not cook their meals at home; many Americans have come to rely on the fast food industry for their everyday lives. These people would need to adjust their eating habits and maybe cook a little more at home. Many Americans have the "I want it so I'm going to go buy it" attitude. This would have to be adjusted.

Families would have to make a big adjustment also. Great amounts of the population have families with school aged children. Most of us know how hard it is to balance our families and our careers. During the week our children are cared for by teachers, daycares, sitters, grandparents, or maybe someone else. With a shorter work week our children could be cared for more by the parent. This would cut down on the cost of child care and also give the parent and child more time to bond. Some families may not have children, some may have an elderly parent or grandparent that they care for and pay someone to care for while they are working. This plan would give these people more time to spend with their loved ones who may not be here much longer.

With our economy ever changing as it is, I believe that we need a solution that is going to work out in the long run. Between work, money, and families I think that the US has a lot to consider when they talk about cutting down our work hours in a week. I believe if the US were to try this plan it could help us or hurt us, only time could tell. With our country and economy already in as much trouble as it is, I think that we need to try something before it is too late for us to make a turn around.


Part 1

1. It costs X in US dollars to buy one South African Rand.

2. It costs X in Russian Rubles to buy one US dollar.

3. It would cost X in US dollars to purchase a sculpture that costs 2000 Egyptian Pounds.

4. It would cost X in US dollars to purchase a watch that costs 50 Swiss Francs.

5. If you were to exchange $1,000 US dollars into British Pounds you would receive X British pounds.

6. One US dollar is exchanged for X in Canadian money. US business owners would try to avoid accepting Canadian money because the value would decrease. The value only increases if you exchange US dollars for Canadian money, not the other way around.

Part 2

USD per Unit in 2000 -- X                USD per Unit in 2002 -- X

1. The US appreciated since 2000, the Brazilian currency got less expensive.

2. The price of imports from Brazil in 2000 was higher than in 2002. The price of imports decreased due to the appreciation of the US dollar.

3. The appreciation of the US dollar would have led us to buy more imports in 2002 that in 2000.The US buying more imports would have been because of the appreciation of the US dollar.

4. The Brazilian Real has depreciated due to the US Dollar appreciating.

5. The exports would have been cheaper in 2000 than in 2002.

6. The Brazilian firms would have bought fewer exports in 2002 than in 2000. The price in terms of what they had to pay the US for the exports would have been less in 2000 than in 2002.

Part 3

1. A strong dollar is a condition, in which US dollars are very valuable compared to other currencies. When the US dollar is strong, imports seem less expensive, leading to increased demand for imported products and the currency needed to purchase them. The price of a Pakistani rug would decrease if the US had a strong dollar because their currency would be less valuable compared to ours. This would result in the imports of Pakistan rugs to increase, because the price is cheaper. The US demand for Pakistani currency would increase in this case but only because the imports of the rugs have increased and we would need their currency to purchase the rugs. Importers’ profits would increase because with a strong dollar imports increase.

The price of US machinery to Pakistani retail firms would increase because our dollar has a higher value with a strong dollar. As a result of our machinery costing more, our exports of this machinery would decrease. When our dollar has a higher value, the US dollar is in less demand by other countries whose currency is worth less than the US’s.

Pakistani’s demand for the US dollar would decrease, because it would cost them so much of their currency to exchange for our currency.

Exporter’s profits would decrease because not very many countries would be willing to make a bigger exchange of their currency for ours with a strong dollar.

A strong dollar affects the United States’ balance of trade. The strong dollar results in a trade deficit. A trade deficit is the amount by which the value of import exceeds the value of exports. Imports rise, while exports fall.

2.  A weak dollar is a condition, in which US dollars are not very valuable compared to other currencies. Imports are goods and services purchased from foreign sources. In the occurrence of a weak dollar US import of foreign products decrease, this decreases the quantity demand of a good. This is because the stores have to raise the prices of their goods to meet the increase of the cost they have to pay to get the good.

US exports to foreign consumers is also affected by a weak dollar.

Exports are goods and services sold to foreign buyers. If the US has a weak dollar our prices seem cheaper to foreign consumers. With our prices being cheaper, foreign countries will want to export more from the US, making our export rates increase. A weak dollar results in a trade surplus, which is the amount by which the value of exports exceeds the value of imports. Exports rise, while imports fall.

3. A farmer depends on exporting; they have to export their goods to other consumer to make a profit. Supply and demand can sometimes cause farmers to depend on imports also, but exporting is the major issue for farmers. A weak dollar causes exports to rise, while imports fall. Because farmers depend so much on exports, a weak dollar would benefit their business better than a strong dollar, since a strong dollar is the opposite of a weak dollar.

A line worker at an auto shop is a tough one to pick. Which is more important to them, a weak or strong dollar? I say this is a tough decision because this worker really depends on imports and exports equally. The worker has to have the parts to build the car which often are imported by the company. However, once the car is built they often export, or ship the car overseas.  A strong dollar would cause imports to rise, while exports fall. If either exporting, or selling, the cars is slow the company is not being able to profit as much. This could directly affect the worker if the issue got so serious that the company had to start cutting jobs. A weak dollar causes exports to rise, while imports fall. If imports were to fall there would be no material to build the cars so the cars could not be built much less exported, so I guess this worker is more dependent on a weak dollar, although both really do affect the worker’s job.

A gas station owner does not have to export anything; they depend solely on imports. This is a direct example of benefiting from a strong dollar only. This is because a weak dollar will only hurt this company, or store. A banana consumer is another example of a company that would solely benefit from a strong dollar. This company also only depends on imports; exports are not an issue for them at all.

4.  Both a strong and a weak dollar are beneficial to the US. Strong and weak dollars really seem to cause one another. A strong dollar causes an increase in imports. Eventually an increase in exports will happen trying to earn back the money the companies have spent on the imports. When the companies start to increase exports this will cause weak money. The US is the largest player in the global product and resource markets. Because of this, there are numerous companies in the US and some of them benefit from strong dollars, while some benefit from weak dollars. With that being said either way the dollar is, strong or weak, one company or another is benefiting.

We cannot look at the US being benefited just because one type of company is being benefited. We have to look at the US at a whole. It is just part of economics that some companies will benefit while others will not. A lot of times the reason strong or weak money occurs are a direct consequence of supply and demand. If a certain good in the US has a high demand it will make the import of that good go up causing strong dollars. If a certain good in another country has a high demand, and this good is made in the US, our exports will go up; when our exports go up it causes a weak dollar. In order for the suppler to meet the demand, whether it is an export or import that is affected, it is all affected directly by supply and demand. We all wish that there was always a trade balance but the facts are that it does not always go that way.

Many people seem to wonder why we trade when we have to worry about so many things being affected but in reality trading benefits more than it hurts. Trading increases world output and the standards of living in all trading countries. Many economists use the production possibilities curve to illustrate the benefits of trade. They also look at consumption possibilities to illustrate the benefits of not trading. Trading wins.

Part 4


Country Currency

Amount Spent In Country's Currency

Amount Spent in US Dollars









































Total Amount Spent On the Trip




Copyright 1996 Amy S Glenn
Last updated:   09/13/2017   0130

Creative Commons License