Wednesday, October 24, 2012

RS 7: The Economics of the Music Industry

            In the two podcasts I listened to, “Why K-Pop Is Taking Over The World” and “Katy Perry’s Perfect Year”, I learned that economics plays a bigger role then I expected it to play.  Music in America is one of only huge industries left that we still out do every other country in.  But slowly and surely Korea is on its way to something great. As big as the music industry is, you would think the record labels would be pulling in some more cash but that is not the case.
            As they said on the podcast, anywhere in the world you go, you will hear the American music.  It is such a big industry that is worldwide, with a fan base so large that there just are no signs of it slowing down.  Most recently though Korea had a star shine pretty bright when the song “Gangnam Style” came out.  It burst onto the music scene when it hit youtube.  It is now one of the most viewed videos on youtube with over five hundred million views in just three months.  If that is not a sign that Korea has a music culture on the rise then I don’t know what is. 
            If you turned on the radio last year you would hear Katy Perry on ever radio station about twenty times a day.  She absolutely with out a question was the most successful artist in the past decade if you go on strictly hit songs.  Not only are her songs catchy but they have good lyrics.  That is why she has so many hit songs, clever lyrics mixed with a good beat will give you fame. And that is exactly what happened to her.  She has become one of the most famed musicians in the past decade but also one of the most high paid.  With all the revenue she produced the record labels on average will earn fewer than ten million dollars by the end of an album.  The record labels do so much and get so little in return.  So these record labels have almost become extinct, there are three big record companies left in what is now; Sony, Warner, and Universal.  They have started to make deals with the artists by collecting income off of every revenue that the artist gets because it was getting to the point where these labels were just not getting paid enough for the work thy put in.
            Before this new deal was being used by the recording companies they would only get commission off of the money earned through song and album purchases.  When a song was bought off of iTunes, the recording company would only walk away with about twenty to twenty-five cents from the ninety-nine cent song.  But now with the Internet people download songs illegally for free, so the artist is not gaining any profit off of that person because they didn’t pay for it.  People will also just go on youtube and just sit there and listen to their music for free along with Pandora.  These tow websites allow you too listen to music for free at no cost to you except at the cost of artists who put in the hard work to produce that song.  So with the economy changing constantly, in the future we will get to the point where there are no record labels and ITunes will no longer exist.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

RS 6: An Economist Gets Stoned

  In the podcast "An Economist Gets Stoned" they talked about drugs and how legalizing them could have an effect on the economy.  In 2012 seventeen states including Connecticut had legalized the use of marijuana for medical use only.  Medical marijuana is only distributed to those with proper documentation because it is not street legal. 
   In this podcast Plant Money interviews a Harvard economist by the name of Jeffery Miron.  Miron did a study of the economy on the use of marijuana and whether or not making marijuana legal would help boost the economy due to people being taxed on the plant.  Miron claimed the drugs would become cheaper because of increased elasticity due to the legalization and more easily accessible.  He states that the reason being that black market drugs are so much more expensive because of the fact that they are illegal and that there is a lot that goes in to the business to make sure it is not discovered by the police. 
   I personally believe that legalizing marijuana would solve a lot of problems if people did not take advantage of this law nor did they harm anyone and just stayed to themselves.  The way I look at it is this, legalizing the drug would allow for the government to create a tax on the drug making a profit from it.  Also, by legalizing it you do not have to pay the law enforcement as much to watch out for the drug deals.  In my eyes it would help our struggling economy.  Marijuana plants are no different then a normal plant.  These plants just give you a high if you smoke them, if used within reason it causes no harm to others.  In the United States we live by laws that promote freedom, so we should be allowed the right to smoke the plant in controlled amounts. 
  Relating this podcast to elasticity is rather simple.  Legalizing marijuana would increase supply and in my eyes increase the demand because people will now want to try a drug that was once deemed illegal. So with supply and demand up, elasticity is also up.  And with the elasticity up it allows for the price of the marijuana to decrease in a big way because more people are willing got buy it and its not such a high demand due to the fact that it was illegal and hard to get because you had to find a black market dealer.
  To look at this topic from the other side of the spectrum if you are talking about my personal opinion there are reasons to believe that making this drug legal could boost the prices.  The government could pass laws to control prices on the drug allowing them to control how much is sold due the high asking price.  But to me honestly I just do not see them asking for large prices because if it was made cheap and governments taxed it, then they would make bundles of money off of it and it would soon become a million dollar business.  So to me I think making marijuana legal would benefit everyone and by it being illegal right now is just a hassle to law enforcement because the sales of illegal marijuana is never going away and is only going to get bigger and will continue to cause a problem.

Monday, October 15, 2012

RS5 - Ted Talks

   Ken Robinson spoke at a conference about education and how school can be a major factor on the students creativity. I believe education is all about preparing children for the future but also to guide them to pursue things that they value the most and would benefit them the most in their future.  

   As Ken Robinson said in his presentation, I agree that school is educating students out of their creativity.  You go to any elementary school, middle school, high school, and most colleges you will find that the mathematics, languages and humanities all come before the arts.  The arts is where you can let your creativity take over and do things you really cant in most classes.  You can express yourself in paintings, plays, musicals, and dances.  In the other classes you are given strict rules to follow and have equations to memorize and aren't given the chance to be who you really are.  In dance, art, and music you can let lose and be your true self and not have a care in the world.  You can write your own lyrics and draw your own art and not have someone tell you that you are wrong.  But in math if you mess up the equation you are wrong and you have failed.  Making mistakes in the arts can sometimes lead to something extraordinary.  And that is what will make you who you are, there are no right or wrongs. The arts allow you to be creative, and to most people I know, when they are being creative they are happy and in a great mood.  And for one to be successful in their future you need to help and guide them to that happy place, their special god given talent.

    Education is preparing students for the future, its about paving the path for the child to learn and grow.  Educating a student for the future is pretty difficult because as Ken said, you can only predict the future for about 5 years down the road.  And who knows what material you teach them will still be valid by the time they enter the work force.  Education to me is about giving the student skills to have mental toughness, and good decision making skills.  Its not about finding square routes and being able to name all the planets in the solar system, education is about figuring out what is important and what is irrelevant.  Education is about guiding the student in the direction that will best fit them.  Whether is a difficult road or an easy road to pave, you do the best you can because the decisions you make as an educator may affect the choices the student makes.  

   Education is one of the most key things in a young students life.  Its about giving the student the support he or she needs to become successful in the path that they chose.  I believe education is all about preparing children for the future but also to guide them to pursue things that they value the most and would benefit them the most in their future.