Friday, October 3, 2014

Illinibucks

I really enjoy discussing this topic. It seems really interesting in order to level the playing field in some odd way. I think that these illini bucks would be utilized mainly in picking courses as undergrads are truly at a disadvantage. I think that is what most people fight for priority about just because your class standing can play a vital role in so many things like sleep schedule, work, going out, etc.

I'm a little unsure of some other uses of illinibucks other then maybe meals in the dining halls which would be valuable for upperclassmen that don't live in the dorms. As a senior I could definitely see myself using some illinibucks for a free meal here and there. These bucks could also be used at the bookstore when there's a huge line. It all depends on preference in the owner of the illinibucks which is why I think these three potential uses could work because each person will have the opportunity to choose what to use their bucks for.

I think that some problems if the administered price is too low is that people will want more. If you introduce this system just like most things, everyone is going to want more. There will be plenty of complaints about set price not being enough. We all want more than we can have, but if the price is too high then the competition levels will most likely be a big problem. I think it would be more of an issue with a higher set price because there's more possibility and tensions can build because many people will want to cut lines at the same time eliminating the purpose.

I think being a senior I would use most of my illinibucks on meals at the dining hall and maybe some on cutting the line at the bookstore.

Friday, September 19, 2014

To act opportunistically or not?

I currently work at a campus bar and when I started last year as a door we had to walk around the bar clean cups from tables, watch emergency exits, stop fights, etc. The worst part of the job began at 2 am when the bar closed because we had to clean essentially the whole bar including bathrooms while the bartenders cleaned the bar. This job is essentially seniority based which means guys begin as doormen then move up. Some help is given to those that have fraternity brothers as managers and so forth. So an example of acting opportunistically at my job would have to be managers advancing their fraternity brothers quicker than others. It happens a fair amount so that seems to be a good example of them acting opportunistically since they have the ability to do so. No one is to blame, they take advantage of the opportunity they’re given which in my mind is smart. It isn’t morally right since other kids in a lot of cases work at the job longer and don’t get promoted as fast which is pretty bad for those workers.



Another point I wanted to touch on was the cleanups. So the newest door always had to clean the girl’s bathroom, the second newest had to clean the guy’s bathroom and all the other doors had to clean the bar area and tables and all the remaining parts of the bar minus the actual bar because the bartenders cleaned that. Since we would hire new doors every semester, there are some ‘senior doormen’ who really don’t have to clean. You can throw out some trash here and there and talk to the head door and essentially get away with not cleaning for the most part. That would be acting opportunistically since you knew the newly hired doors would clean up pretty much anything. So last spring I was a “senior doorman” to say the least but I chose not to slack and clean little to nothing. I mean I easily could have since I was pretty cool with all the head doors, but I just chose to clean and even helped some new hires with the bathrooms from time to time. I don’t know exactly why I didn’t act opportunistically; I don’t think it was because I was thinking ethically or whatnot. I think I just wanted to leave as soon as possible because we had to all wait to leave until it was clean. I think that’s why I didn’t act opportunistically and chose to help the new hires instead of chill and not do very much. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Change, Organizational Structure and Transaction Costs

I would like to talk about my summer internship with the City of Chicago. I worked for the city clerk's office and essentially sold city vehicle tax stickers to Chicago residents. Seems pretty straight forward to sell vehicle stickers, but this summer the city was incorporating a new computer system to transition to year round sales.We were trained to use this new system right away and I would say that us interns that sold stickers at city hall sold more than the full-time workers. I think that we sold more stickers because we had never experienced the old computer system and were just going straight into the system that we learned and was fresh in our heads.

As far as the structure of the organization I would say it was pretty classical. There was a lot of hierarchy enforced and communication from level to level. We hardly ever talked to the supervisor's unless there was a problem with the system when they were near in the office. We were told to ask a tech person first. Management didn't communicate with us much at all during my eight weeks and from talking to full time vehicle tax distributors they didn't communicate with them much either. They actually seemed to really dislike management and we only saw Susana Mendoza the city clerk about four times throughout the summer when she chose to grace us with an appearance.

Transaction costs at work were really cheap for the city. All they really had to pay for was the paper that the stickers came on and I'm assuming the costs of swiping so many debit/credit cards. The design of the sticker this year was also rather plain which I'm sure cuts transaction costs even more. Other than that they usually earn up to almost 100 million dollars in vehicle tax from residents that go towards fixing potholes around Chicago neighborhoods and things of that nature. I think they return a great profit considering their costs can't be too high and instead of having to hire a bigger staff they hire interns during busy seasons for $9-$12 an hour.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Vilfredo Pareto Bio

Vilfredo Pareto was born in Paris, France. He is a historic figure in Italian economics. I didn’t know who he was prior to some research, but he played a vital role in the development of microeconomics and socioeconomics. He actually wasn’t involved in the economics field until his forties as he was an engineer earlier in his life.

He is well known for Pareto optimality and Pareto’s law of income distribution. He wrote his first book at 49 which was called Cours d’├ęconomie politique and his other book was called Manual of Political Economy. He also took over his mentor’s position as chair of economics at the University of Lausanne.

He had a big impact on economics in his life and short time in the field, but he made a large impact especially on socioeconomics and microeconomics.