Tuesday, September 01, 2009

ECON 303 Assignment for 9/2

Please email me or post in the comments below a brief description of a debate/argument/discussion you find interesting. Any topic or subject is fine (that is, it needn't be something obviously economic -- economics, politics, public policy, sports, entertainment, social norms or customs, etc. are all fine).

I would like to explore the effects farmed fishing has had on the fishing industry, as well as the implications of regulation on the industry as a whole.
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City Bike Policies: How can these policies encourage biking?
I would like to look at the effects of using EtOH as a substitute in gasoline. How has this effected differnent economies around the world?
The role of government in the food industry and how socioeconomic factors determine what we eat...agricultural subsidies, price of fast food versus price of healthy food, health issues resulting from our diet as they relate to the current health care debate
The one child policy in China
1)Did it really help decrease the population in China?
2)What are other advantages and disadvantages of this policy?
3)What should other developing countries learn from this policy?
How does traffic congestion effect growth in cities and the surrounding areas. What effect do different congestion reduction methods have.
how would the legalization and subsequent heavy taxation of marijuana affect our economy? should we realistically be concerned for the productivity and safety of a nation under the influence?
I'm interested in the social sciences around renewable, "green" energy sources. I'm also looking forward to hearing about the next big breakthrough with solar or geothermal, and even some of the other bizarre ways of getting energy like kites: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/saul_griffith_on_kites_as_the_future_of_renewable_energy.html
The issue of torture to procure information from suspected terrorists:

- When, if ever, is it ever justified?
- What are the consequences of torture - does it increase terrorism?
The relevant factors that influence the hiring process beyond qualifications and a relevant resume. For example: address, physical appearance, style and name.
I would like to discuss the effects of microcredit on the economic condition of individuals and to a country overall.
Passenger trains in the U.S. Why are they used so seldomly here whereas they are a much more important mode of transportation in other regions, i.e. Western Europe? Why did U.S. passengers come to rely so heavily on other forms of travel in the last century? Also, would it actually be feasible and/or beneficial to attempt to increase the number of passenger trains in the U.S.?
Is Twitter a substitute or a complement to facebook?
whoops, forgot the description:
Twitter and Facebook have similar purposes but a few different features. Are people dropping one for the other (substitute), finding ways to use them together (complement), or are the features different enough to make them neither substitutes nor complements?
What are the impacts local and national impact of repelling the Rockafeller laws (minimum mandatory sentencing for narcotics)? Specifically examining crime rates and employment opportunities released convicts in comparison to the local, regional and national trends. Hopefully analysis would reveal whether or not minimum mandatory sentencing raises the opportunity cost of drug possession or sales or are the laws social constructs designed to punish illicit behavior.
I would like to look at the most effective way to save endangered species. What is most important? (ex. habitat preservation, education and awareness, etc.)how does this vary due to political, social, and economic conditions of an animal's habitat? What are the economic benefits of preserving endangered species? (tourism?)
I would like to look at why the expenses of higher education are increasing at such a rapid level in comparison to income. Also, it would be interesting to compare our university system to those of other states.
Water scarcity is a growing concern. What are local and global approaches to solving this problem?
I would like to asses the relationship between P.L. 480 Title II/ Food For Peace aid and rates of hunger/undernourishment in Tanzania.
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