The world has been shocked by the news of the shooting in Newton, Connecticut. Although we don’t have all the details, it 28 people (20 of whom were children) were shot. What makes this massacre particularly tragic is that it occurred in an elementary school for children aged between 5 and 11. I was horrified and like most Europeans I wondered if America would now do something about its serious gun problem. It seems that every couple of weeks there is a new gun rampage and massacre. To those who say we should not politicise this event, let me say that we must learn from this incident so that it never occurs again. If this isn’t an event to make America re-examine its laws, then what is? Continue reading “Time To Fix Americas’ Gun Problem”
The results of the 2011 census show that the population gap between Catholics and Protestants has narrowed significantly. In fact, at current rates, the Catholics will be a majority after 2016. This has the potential to significantly destabilize Northern Irish politics. The fragile peace established by the Good Friday Agreement could fall apart. Republicans are excited with dreams of a United Ireland and Unionists are terrified with similar nightmares. However there is the lurking threat of a return to violence and a second wave of Troubles. Continue reading “A Catholic Majority In The North?”
What if everyone spoke the one language? What if this was done on an equal level instead of one culture dominating all others? What if there was a language designed so that it was easy to learn? What if there was a language without all the pointless and confusing grammar? What if there was a language to unite the world? There is, and it’s called Esperanto.
We Irish have a love-hate relationship with our language. We can’t decide if it’s a large part of our identity or a useless waste of time. One thing everyone agrees on is that it is dying. Only 2% speak Irish day-to-day and that number is continually shrinking. It is not spoken outside of remote pockets on the West coast. Young people show little interest in learning it and it seems to doomed to slowly die out.
As I was standing in the queue to pay a rip off price for a pint to use as mixer for the naggin of whiskey in my coat pocket, I wondered how I could apply my knowledge of economics to the situation. Ireland is well known for its links to alcohol and as a student drinking is almost mandatory for me. So what is the economics of drinking?
On this blog I have discussed a lot of economic theories and ideas. I wrote about many flaws in the market, problems of competition, the need for the government etc. But all of that is hypothetical so I decided to use some practical examples. Over the next couple of posts I will apply economic theory to different parts of the economy. It’s not going to be a rigorous examination, more just things I notice during the day. I’m a firm believer in the relevance of economics and that it must be based on the real world. The best way to test a theory is to see how it matches the real world. Continue reading “Applying Economics To Bacon”
Being poor is expensive. Not only do you have less money to get by with but everything also costs more. The secret to getting rich is in economies of scale and bulk buying, something the poor simply can’t afford. As they’re stuck trying to make ends meet day-to-day, they can’t invest in the future and so are stuck with false economies that cost them more in the long run. This is the source of the counter-intuitive saying that “You have to be rich to be poor.”