Economic (science) fiction on TV

How TV works is an interesting economics question.  Many shows are “free” to their audiences, and yet the TV networks make money because of advertising.  Of course, the ads will have “reach” power only if the programming catches a large-enough audience.  One especially successful show is Pinoy Big Brother (PBB), which is said to be a “reality” show because the “stars” in it play themselves and not fictional characters.

George started it in 1984.

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Senator Gordon’s killer tax

A "giant" killer
A "giant" killer

Taxes can distort incentives and have unintended effects.  This lesson in economics has application to the recent proposal to impose a 5-centavo tax on text messages.

The tax looks cheap relative to the nominal or notional price of P1 per text.  It is also paved with the good intention of improving the educational system, and legislators believe it is possible to design the tax so that it cannot be passed on to the consumer.

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If the dollar is weak, will the peso strengthen?

Here’s investment advice based on what the BSP is supposedly doing with its foreign exchange reserves and gold:  Sell US dollars, and buy real estate, gold, stocks.  In effect, Mangun says that we should think of what’s out there as an emerging inflationary bubble.

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Soon even the poor will buy drugs on the web

Pharmaceuticals can no longer sell cheap in India and dear in the Philippines. This seems to be the import of the 2009 case of Roma Drug v RTC, which one legal analyst believes is a case that helps to “break up cartels.”

As I’ve told my students, a cartel is not the same as a monopoly, but never mind.

The trick now is how to allow the poor to buy online.  This is a nice techie biz project, in addition to my earlier suggestion to hyper-energize dual-sim phones.