Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
With 500 million users, a lot of privacy is at stake. Who would have thought that Big Brother would have been welcomed in with open arms?
One must weight the costs and benefits. I still believe that the benefits outweight the costs of social networking.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
What trade off is made between your constitutional right to privacy and national security? After 9/11 most of the American public accepted few rights in exchange for security.
With Facebook's 500 million users all sharing personal data, it seems I reckon that a feeling of acceptance that a social network gives is the same trade off. I read somewhere that 50% of Facebook users accept a friend invitation from people they don't know. My crude cartoon was meant to capture the idea that an economic system evolves through the choices and actions actors make among other ideas.
With school closing for summer break, I can't wait to return to blogging rich content.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Saturday, May 08, 2010
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Five years ago, I sought a better way of teaching about the abstract concept--loanable funds. The result is this worksheet. It's still lacking in an adequate discussion of why the curves more the way they do, but the worksheet will prepare your students for the AP Macroeconomic exam next week.
Monday, May 03, 2010
Sunday, May 02, 2010
How To Use Economics To Get A Raise
By Mike Fladlien
Juanita is the receptionist for a local attorney.
Her duties include, greeting clients, file interrogatories, scheduling
appointments, and performing triage in emergencies. She works
from the moment the office doors open until her boss leaves the building.
Juanita wants to help maximize her employer’s profits, but lately
she’s been thinking about a raise. Juanita has been waiting
for the right time to ask for the raise, but the time never is right.
Juanita thinks that if she continues to work hard,
her boss will reward her with a higher salary. She even volunteers
to take on extra duties like cleaning the windows and running ad hoc
errands. She needs the money to help supplement her family as
she now as to take care of her aging mother. How does Juanita
ask for a higher salary?
Women care more than men about family and running
the household. Women will go to the store after work so that they
can have a hot supper on the table. Men will often stay later
acquiring more human capital and building valuable networks for the
If a woman wants a raise, she’s going to have to
find a way to add value to her time at work.
Be a Complement Not a Substitute
Complementary goods are like a right shoe and
a left shoe. One shoe simply isn’t sufficient. You need
both shoes. If the job you’re doing can be done by a machine
or done by cheaper labor, then you need to find a way to become part
of the process. For example, if an answering machine can replace
a receptionist, then when the machine becomes cheaper, it’ll be used
in place. The receptionist has to build client relationships and
answer the phone. In other words the receptionist has to be able
to do the work that a machine cannot. A receptionist can also
build value for the attorney, by rescheduling clients who miss appointments
so that the boss doesn’t have an empty space on his/her calendar.
The receptionist might call ahead to confirm appoints. This is
work that a machine cannot easily do.
A worker must differentiate herself from other workers.
It’s not enough to be able to do the job. A worker must add
something extra. Perhaps Juanita has specialized knowledge of
accounts receivable software that can’t be duplicated or outsourced.
Perhaps she has knowledge of contract law that can’t be easily learned.
When Juanita works with clients perhaps they comment about the personal
attention that makes them feel special.
Women often want a job that is close to home.
Often women take the first job offered to them without bargaining for
a wage rate. After she becomes entrenched into the business, she’s
unable to move or find another job paying more. When a woman finds
herself in this position, she will have to ask for a raise. Working
harder doesn’t get noticed. Juanita has found that completing more
volunteer tasks signals to the employer that she will work for less
pay. How can Juanita negotiate a higher salary?
The answer isn’t working harder. Juanita will
have to ask for a raise. This is different since many women are
perfect subs. Juanita might fear losing her job, being assigned
extra duties, or even the boss’s diatribe.
I think the employee should role play with her husband
or friends to gain confidence. Go as far as to make the set as
real life as possible. The goal of the role playing is to prepare
for every scenario so that whatever situation arises, the employee is
able to execute her request. Like sports, practice doesn’t make
perfect, only perfect practice. When you role play, it’s easier
to ask for a raise since you’ve already done. It’s easier
to do something again once you’ve done it.
Tell the Boss What You Do
There’s an old sales mantra that goes, “Facts tell, stories sell.”
You are going to have to sell you employer on your value.
In order to do that, you’ll have to show, not tell the boss how valuable
you are. The way to “show” your boss what to do is to tell
Chip and Doug Heath write about the power of stories
in their bestselling book, “Made to Stick”. Here’s a simple way you can use stories
to show the boss how much value you add by letting him or her deduce
or discover your true worth. Use similes when speaking about your
day. For example, Juanita could describe a difficult client on
the phone as, “Getting Mr. Jones to commit to a court date was like
disposing a hostile witness”. This shows your employer
that you know the legal jargon (learned in law school) and also convey
how much time you invested in working with the client without a long
Make the Discussion About the Company
Do you have a colleague that always has something
negative to say about everything? When you see that colleague,
what do you think? Do you think, “Oh no, what is she going to
complain about now?” You’ve paired your colleague with an
emotion. This is not how you want your employer to see you.
You don’t want your boss pairing you with a negative
emotion such as, “Now what does she want?” So when you approach
your employer about a raise, the discussion can’t be about you.
For example, you can’t say, I need the money for unexpected medical
bills or college tuition for my son. Instead, you have to exchange
mutual benefits and detriments.
When you approach your employer, you have to show him how much
value you add to the business. Perhaps you can say, “I rescheduled
the 2:00 for 4:00 because the attorney for Walmart* had more time to
negotiate a higher settlement.” In order for you to get that
raise, your boss must treat you as he sees you. If he sees you
as someone who “wants” something he will treat you differently than
if he sees you as someone who “contributes” value to the company.
When Juanita volunteers to work extra, she reinforces
the attitude that she should work to make the office environment comfortable—a
traditionally feminine role. Juanita’s volunteerism signals
her employer that she will work for less. If Juanita wants a pay
increase, she should negotiate for a higher entry salary. She
can add value to her position by strengthening her skills that add value
to the company. Soon Juanita will find herself in a position to
bargain since she’ll be hard to replace and Juanita will have the
extra income to take care of her family.