This class was very interesting to me because it approached economics in an organizational perspective. I was a little nervous initially to take this class because it is an upper level economics class but the topic interested me more than the other options. I never realized how there are legitimate economic theories regarding interpersonal relationship and organizations in economics. All the information I have learned in this class can be applied to real life economic situations and I hope I am able to apply these materials that helped me throughout in the course somewhere down the road. Transfer pricing and how all the factors in a supply and demand curve can affect almost everything in the economy really impressed me: market price, supply, demand, etc. The blog posts were very helpful because it made sure that students were able to focus on what the subject of the week was and apply, in their own personal opinion, a blog post regarding the topic. This helped me because by putting my thoughts into words I was able to get feedback from the professor to help clarify what I understand. The one problem I had with the class was sometimes the excel homework was difficult. Maybe a small part of lecture on Monday being allocated to how to do the excel would be helpful; I was able to overcome this by meeting when the professor when I needed to but for those who cannot do so, maybe a formula reference sheet or something would be helpful. I also appreciated the way this class was structured; it was a combination of offline and online involvement.
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Among my extended family back in my hometown, I have a strong reputation. I have a reputation based off of academics; my parents and the majority of my extended family emigrated here from Ethiopia. With that being said, I am the first of all my cousins to attend a university. I also was fortunate enough to gain close to a 95% scholarship; I was on math honor society, multiple clubs and sports, obtained a 30 on my ACT, and graduated on honor roll. I have always had success academically since I was a child, more so from natural ability rather than work ethic. My family always tells me I am lucky because they know I do not spend day and nights studying for exams. In high school, I prioritized my social life over academics yet still had profound success. This helped form my reputation which of some of my family members admitted to me that they envied. In second grade, I passed a math test that put me into fast paced mathematics with three other students. The teacher at the time told us we were two years advanced in our mathematics level. Thanks to that, every standardized test was a walk in the park for me. Combine this with years of intense pressure from my parents who themselves did not have the luxury of being able to attend college and the result is where am I now, at a legitimate school such as the University of Illinois. The means in which I plan on continuing my reputation is by proving my success to be meaningful. The way people view me does not change the way I plan to make life decisions. More importantly, I use my previous success access as motivation to work hard to land a reputable job, which will provide me room for growth and a great learning experience. The reason I came to the university of Illinois is to set myself up for my life post education: my career. Academics have done a lot of great things for me and have set me up to be successful, as I will be graduating with very little to no debt. I have never felt the need to abandon my academics and I will never consider doing so until I have finished my bachelor’s degree here. The goal is to graduate and then pursue work; hopefully sometime down the road I may come back to school for something such as an MBA but only work permitting. My reputation not only has been a reassuring factor in my academics but it has also been a huge confidence and self-esteem booster. Sometimes I get distracted from my success because of the peers I am surrounded by and the competitive environment the classroom gives the students. This is in comparison to my cousins, none of who have successfully graduated from any type of university. The reasoning for this is I do not like to compare myself to people who I am positive do not have the same ambitions as myself and that is why I like competition. My high school was very competitive and I believe that prepared me heavily for college because in every class it was almost a battle to get the best grade on the test.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
The standard principal-agent model is interesting because I never noticed before how it applies to situations in real life. I knew a specific situation that pertained to one of my good friends in high school. There were three parties in this triangular relationship. One was my friend, an aspiring athlete looking to play football on a full scholarship. The second was the head coach of his football team. The third were the prospective college scouts that were recruiting him. All three of these intertwined in one way or another; the college scouts can only talk to the high school coach at first and not to the player directly. In a way, the high school coach is that of an agent for the player because they are the ones that speak either against or on behalf of one of their players. The high school athlete wants to receive an offer from scout but needs the high school coach in order for him to have to a better chance. There were some conflicts that occurred through this relationship. The high school football player was a spectacular athlete and a great player but he had his flaws. One, he did not take the classroom seriously and had bad grades. Two, he was considered “cocky” and a very flashy player, which did not go over well with the head coach. Many college coaches were turned away once they checked his report card despite his tremendous talent; to them, if you cannot keep your grades up in high school when there are much less distractions, then how will you be able to do so in college. The few that were able to overlook the report card would ask questions to the head coach about the player’s character. This is where the conflict begins. Between the athlete and the coach, there has been tension because the athlete did not get any playing time junior year when he was clearly the better athlete then the man in front of him. The coach believed in seniority and rewarding hard work, which did not hold over well with the athlete. The athlete then proceeded to show disapproval and that led to not the best relationship between the two. Senior year they were able to hold off on their conflict because of the immaculate success they were having together, which led to an eventual state championship. The head coach ended up telling coaches that there were some behavioral issues with the athlete such as trouble listening to authority and hardheadedness. The problem here is that the athlete had so much potential but almost lost it all because of his lack of commitment to academics and a bad relationship with the one person he needed to vouch for him to play college football. Luckily, he got one scholarship to a school called Central Michigan and that was all he needed. A person who otherwise would not have gone to college was able to go for free. He was unhappy because he knows he was capable of going to way better schools such as in the big ten. He made the best out of the opportunity the scouts gave him and was very successful at Central Michigan. He started as a true freshman and for the next four years and broke man records. His historic success just shows that had he been more focused in class, more responsive to coaching, he could have been playing at schools such as Notre Dame or even here at Illinois. This example really showed me that the triangular relationship could be confusing because there are many different factors that are at stake.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
I am in a fraternity and we have had to deal with multiple problems as a group. One example of a problem we had to deal with was a couple years ago one of our members was acting foolishly and shot someone with an airsoft gun from the chapter house. This led to the victim approaching our house and beating up our president to the point where he had to go to the hospital for his injuries. The problem that resulted is eventually the IFC found out and our charter was in hot water. It took us a while to find out who the assailant was but eventually we did. The chapter was at a bit of a standstill; if we ratted out one of our members he would surely be expelled from the university. At the same time we have to preserve the integrity of our chapter and the years of hard work we put to maintain it. This led to our executive committee breaking all ties with the member of our fraternity who committed the heinous act and that also led to his expulsion from the university of Illinois. Some people were unhappy because they felt we ruined his future by getting him in trouble with the university; some people were angry towards him for bringing negative attention towards our fraternity, especially considering the modern day opinion towards fraternities nationwide.
Another example of a conflict in the work force is from the fictional TV show of law and order: special victims unit. I watch this show a lot and one episode really stuck out to me. One of the detectives, Elliot, is a very passion officer but at that the same time has the reputation of being a hothead. This is especially so when dealing with criminals who are child molesters or serial killers. One episode a teenager was accused of trying to rape older women. There was not enough evidence to convict him but the detectives let him know that the investigation will eventually prove him guilty. At one point, detective Elliot and the boy were alone and a neutral cop was walking by. The boy noticed that someone was coming and pretended that he was getting touched inappropriately and yelled “hey stop touching me there”. Then two days later he reported that detective Elliot had molested him and the cop who was walking by was interviewed. He stated that he had heard the kid say the aforementioned but could not see what was happening. Elliot was put on suspension pending an internal investigation and the New York special victims unit had lost their best detective. The staff helped handle the situation by all backing his character and working even harder on the case now that they had to work overtime. I feel like in a situation like this there is very little you can do because you cannot control erratic behavior by a sociopathic fifteen year old. Also, the public will always side with the victim and the fact that the teenager was able to plan it strategically really helped make it look believable. It was very unfortunate but it is a part of life and your plans do not always go the way you expect them to. The main thing is that Elliot was able to handle the adversity and maintained his innocence as he let the court system play out. It was sad that his reputation was tarnished and people were calling him insults such as child molester and creep. In the end, the child was overwhelmed with guilt and got caught trying to rape another women. He cried that he had an alcohol problem and confessed to lying about everything. People felt bad for him because he was a distraught teen with serious mental problems as a result of his father leaving him at a young age. Regardless, Elliot was free but it was an extremely difficult situation to go through and I feel bad for people who have to go through something similar to that in real life.
Monday, October 19, 2015
The piece “How to get Rich to share the marbles” was rather interesting, especially considering how plausible it was to explain the big picture of America. One part that really interested me was how the article stated that the chimpanzees did not share ever, regardless of joint participation or whatever the case may be. In every situation it was first come first serve and every chimp for themselves. This shows the difference between chimpanzees and us; they have no sense of emotional attachment or obligations the way humans do. To them, they show the primal animalistic behavior that is probably emblematic of how humans use to act in the caveman days. Nowadays, in order to maximize our potential, it is more important to work collectively rather than selfishly in order to fulfill the utilitarian idea that is best for all off. It also makes sense that if both toddlers have to work to get marbles, they feel that the result income is shared. Similarly to business co-owners working together to become successful, they feel obligated to share the reward because they needed each other to receive it. It was very smart of the psychologist to use three year olds because at that age you don’t necessarily feel moral obligations and more so react in an instinctive way. The scenario where they both pull the rope and don’t need each other was representative of many American homes. For example, one toddler received only a single marble at a time for pulling the rope while their peer received three marbles at a time. The toddler may feel that it is unfair they are on the side that receives less marbles and complain that there is no reason the other toddler deserves that spot. Two potential students in America today, student A and student B. S resemble this concept. Student A is born into the inner city with very little funding for the public schooling, little academic help from parents working overtime to make ends meet, and the constant stress to over come the surrounding that they were born into. Student B is from a gated community in one of the wealthiest suburbs in the state, can afford to attend the best private school in the country, and will always have some type of job lined up through his parents’ high-end connections. In America, what you are born into is critical into predicting where you will end up on the economic ladder down the road. The cycle of poverty is a vicious one and is difficult to overcome because of all the additional barriers you must hurdle. Whilst there are people who know since the age of five they are going to be wealthy, whether it is through inheritance or through connections. This leads me to the remark about Obama saying we can restore our economy by essentially leveling the playing field amongst everyone; “everyone does their fair share, everyone plays by the rules, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.” This concept is very true and important in concept, but honestly is not feasible. It is not feasible for the same reason the toddlers did not share their marble when it was their own to pull. People will always, to some extent, act in a way that reflects human nature because that’s just the way it is. If someone is capable of cheating the rules in order to gain a lot of money, most of the time people will take that chance especially if they feel it is low risk. Similarly, say there are two applicants for a high paying job. One applicant is extremely qualified while the other is not nearly as qualified but his uncle is the CEO; what do you think happens here? It is just one of the many examples of what leads to inequality and I believe the gift-exchange experiment from the pyschologists helped prove that.
Thursday, October 15, 2015
After graduation I, like many others, will be looking to put my degree to good use by obtaining a reasonably paying job. Currently, our economy is not what it was in the 90’s hence making the job market much more competitive. As an economic major at the university of Illinois, I believe that my personal resume is good but not outstanding compared to other college graduates. Similarly, lets assume that if I were to graduate in the spring and start working full time in June at a annual rate of $50,000. First, I would do my absolute best to be the hardest working employee that way a year later I would have much more leverage than my coworkers in regards to lobbying for a promotion. I am the oldest of my two siblings and the first in my family to go to college so I do not have any one to refer to in respect to following certain steps. Thankfully, I will be graduating very little debt (around $4000). My personal intent would be to stay at home for at least first six months and accumulate as much as I can into savings. I will have very little financial obligations if I am living at home; my father has already spoke to me about buying me a brand new car as a graduation present so all I would have to do is pay for gas and insurance which is completely reasonable. My goal would be to save as much money as I can and hopefully by the age of twenty-five I will be completely self-sufficient and move into an apartment. Then from there somewhere along the road prepare to put a down payment on a house and so forth. All the aforementioned are only plausible if I am successful in the sense that I have a full-time job and constantly improving at what I do. I also would like to begin to invest in a 401k plan, which is exponential so the earlier I start, the better off I am. A lot of the salary I have will not be spent on immediate gratification rather than towards many long-term investments. The best way to limit income risks for myself would be to develop a good credit score through timely payments, do well as an employee to garner positive recommendations, potentially pursue an even higher level of education such as masters, and overall just having a healthy state of mind and physical behavior. The last is better because I truly believe that when you are stress free, exercising, eating well, you are more prone to make better financial decisions as opposed to when you are stressed out and looking for ways to relieve that stress unnaturally. Growing up as a child I always loved playing games where you had to create a life with a long term plan, such as Sims or literally the board game life. It always interested me to see how certain actions will affect you immediately and five years from now. It is important that the financial decisions I make at twenty-two will keep me comfortable ten years from now at the age of thirty-two, etcetera. My summer jobs have been somewhat vague in terms of I was more focused on making money for school as opposed to getting a preview of the work force. The first summer after freshman year I worked for a construction company doing hard manual labor but made a solid $10 an hour which made me a lot of money that summer. The next summer I did office work for my father, which gave me an introduction to communication between employers and clients. All in all, I would most certainly be very conscious of all my purchases because of our unstable economy and the fact that I will never know if I could get laid off or whatnot. It is important to always focus on the future.