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The Economics of Atheism

For centuries now, religious institutions that once held immense amounts of power have been fighting cultural, social, and political forces that have limited their influence on society. While religious establishments in Islam and Christianity have been remained intact, there is a force that they have been unable to stop: economic growth.   The data above reveals that today less people are religiously affiliated than in the past. With a twenty-one percent decrease in religious affiliation compared to the “Greatest” generation, Millennials are departing from religion’s thousand-year-old hold. Moreover,while this data is specific to the United States, this trend can be seen across the economically developed world. A Pew Research survey found that about 135.2 million people in Europe do not identify with any religious or spiritual institution. This is a clear contrast to the Christian stronghold that Europe once was. The decrease in people’s association with particular religious institutions, has occurred over a period of increased economic production. The chart below was compiled by economist Angus Madison. It details the growth of GDP per capita throughout time. It reflects the observable correlation between GDP per capita and a country’s religious tendencies. Though one may not be able to conclude causation here, the association can be seen not only through comparing historical data, but also through religious differences between wealthy and KEEP READING >>

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Equity Crowdfunding: Venture Capital meets Kickstarter

One of HBO’s most popular shows, Mike Judge’s Silicon Valley satirically pokes at California’s affluent tech-driven economy. The program’s plot revolves around the eccentric character of Richard Hendricks, a brilliant software engineer who drops out of Stanford to pursue his own startup company. Hendricks is representative of the “new” American Dream, the tale of a brilliant computer nerd who changes the world with his compilable ideas. While an emblem of modernity, there is something distinctly ancient in Hendricks’ misadventures. Judge casts him as an Odysseus-like hero, navigating the frustrating waters of Seed and Series A funding. Hendrick’s “Pied Piper” startup, with its revolutionary formula for data compression, is swatted around by godly venture capital firms and angel investors; on numerous occasions, the viewer is convinced that the startup will never see the light of day. To this end, the show exposes the tough economic reality that many entrepreneurs now face. There is KEEP READING >>

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Competing against the Robot

The recent influx of robots into American factories has had a lasting impact on employment in the United States. Each robot added to a factory decreases the workforce in the immediate area by 6.2 workers. Researchers estimate that for every one robot per thousands workers, the employment rate fell by 0.2 to 0.3 percentage points and wages also fell by 0.25 to 0.5 percent. As a result, many have come to question the helpfulness of robots within the workplace. Because robots decrease employment and wages, workers have become outraged at their effects on job security. The only positions, which has yet to suffer the decreasing in employment, are restricted to management. This is only due to the inability of robots to understand the emotional intelligence and leadership needed in the workplace. Although these trends are more widespread in blue-collar work, there were still smaller effects on employment and wages in business services and retail as well.         Robots are able to KEEP READING >>

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Just for Fun: Taxing the Hamilton Stairs

One of the major problems that students attending classes in Hamilton face is that they see unusually high traffic on stairways during the few minutes before and after class. This creates a bottleneck situation due to a large number of students competing for a tiny space (two narrow stairways) during specific time periods. Naturally, one solution would be to divert some of the students away from the two stairways by offering them alternative ways of transportation. The only alternative route would be the Hamilton elevator, which is equally congested and incredibly slow and inefficient. Some might argue that the school should increase capacity – building a new stairway. However, the extra capacity will not cause additional students to use the stairs because the total number of students taking classes in Hamilton is fixed. Moreover, this tactic can be rather difficult to implement, as the school is likely unwilling to spend extra money to renovate the building and build an entire new KEEP READING >>

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The Future of Marijuana on Campus

Marijuana legalization has been a divisive issue in the United States for decades, yet it appears to have finally turned the corner.  While marijuana is still prohibited under federal law, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington - and last week, California, Nevada and Massachusetts - have all legalized the recreational usage of marijuana and the commercial sale of marijuana with a license.   Foreign countries are also easing their stances on marijuana.  Canada is poised to legalize the drug in spring 2017, opening itself up to a $5 billion-dollar industry.   For college students, marijuana legalization may seem like a dream come true.  In 2015, daily marijuana usage on college campuses reached its highest percentage since 1980, even as the consumption of alcohol, narcotics, and amphetamines declined.  Moreover, the rapid growth and diffusion of small dispensaries in states that have legalized marijuana has removed barriers to access.  Colorado, for example, has over 900 licensed KEEP READING >>

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