How Come Prices For Turkeys Fall Just Before Thanksgiving?

In a few days it will be Thanksgiving, that great holiday where people consume huge quantities of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pie for dessert.  One of the strange things about this holiday is that a few days before everyone starts cooking, turkeys go on sale!  In my family, we  almost never eat turkey except at Thanksgiving.  Why does the price come down at the one time in the year when demand for the product spikes? Continue reading

Is Japan Really in a Recession?

Yesterday and today the business news highlighted a story that Japan was now in a recession.  The media defines a recession as any time a country has two consecutive quarters of falling GDP.    The graph from the Wall Street Journal, seen at the bottom of this post, confirms that Japan’s GDP has shrunk over the last six months.  Based on the extensive negative press coverage Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for early elections.  An important question needs to be asked.  Is Japan really in a recession?  There are three reasons why Japan’s economy is much healthier that the media portrays.   These three reasons strongly suggest to me that Japan is not in recession right now. Continue reading

What is the Impact of College’s Desire for Ever Increasing SAT and ACT Scores?

Colleges and universities each year brag about the qualities of their incoming freshman class.  Today Ohio State released its annual report on the type of students who enrolled there.  OSU, like most selective colleges and universities, trumpeted the achievements of its entering class and like many other schools bragged that it has been ever more selective by bringing in applicants with ever higher SAT and ACT scores.  The report caused me to stop and ask myself the question, “Is there a downside to the desire by colleges to focus on continually boosting the credentials of the incoming freshman class?” Continue reading

Why Do People Pay $25 for Cards Against Humanity?

The number one bestselling toy/games on Amazon today is a card game called “Cards Against Humanity.”  Almost 14,000 Amazon shoppers have written a review of the game.  Not only does this game hold the number one slot but the expansion pack, which contains an additional 100 cards is ranked number two in this Amazon category.  Card games and toys with massive followings are nothing new in the world (Pokemon cards, baseball cards, etc.), but Cards Against Humanity is special because if you go to the game’s website one of the first things that you see are two buttons.  The left button states “Buy now for $25” while the right button states “Download for free.” Why do people pay $25 when the company makes it simple to avoid paying them even one penny? Continue reading