In our economics class incentives have really interested me. This economic term is something consumers and suppliers use everyday without noticing it. One of the major components to the United States is the US Stock Exchange. Apple undoubtedly one of the most popular electronic companies in the world. According to the Washington Post, Apple has sold more then a total of 85 million iPhones in the U.S. since 2007 launch and 34 million iPads since 2010.
Apples stocks have slowly been increasing since 1983. This past year Apple experienced its highest opening price for a share $702.10 which was seen between October and December of 2012. Since January 2013 though Apple has had some trouble with their stocks, they have slowly been decreasing in price and closed April 23, 2013 at a price of $406.13. The reason for the drop in stock prices is because Apple haven’t released any large new products since the iPad Mini and people are finding it easier to buy the iPhone 4 free with a two year contract then spending $200 on an iPhone 5.
“On Tuesday, the technology giant announced that it planned to more than double its program to return cash to shareholders through stock buybacks and a higher dividend, spending $100 billion on the effort through the end of 2015. Its share repurchases alone will increase to $60 billion from the $10 billion it committed previously, the largest such plan in history, the company said.”
The move to renew investors interest with Apple stock came as the company announced its first profit decline in a decade. Apple said its net income fell 18 percent in its fiscal second quarter, as one of the most successful technology franchises in recent years, the iPhone, showed signs of slowing down.
Apples announcement of the company planning to double its cash return to shareholders through stock buy backs and high dividends, is an example of incentive. Apple hopes that their new program invites investors to buy back into the company by giving them a incentive of double cash back. If successful, Apple could see another successful year like they did in 2012.
During the second trimester of Government one topic that really interested me was the fiscal cliff project. I guess I was lucky we went into depth over this topic. The reason this topic was so interesting was because it was something that going to affect us in real time, it wasn’t a law or something that only affected us if we didn’t follow the rules or broke the law. Also the fact that the whole nation had to worry about the looming fiscal cliff was really eye opening for many people. For about the one percent of the people that don’t know what the fiscal cliff is, it is a set of budget control acts that were placed to activate once we reached a certain amount of debt. The cuts varied all the way from the defense program to medicaid. The cuts were supposed to go into affect in January providing both political parties didn’t get something worked out. The looming cliff also would raise taxes for everyone! But as everyone expected Obama was able to work out a deal before the dead line ever came. The deal that both parties were able to come to peace with was a deal that technically just moved back the budget cuts until March. March being right around the corner we can all assume what is going to be on CNN and on the daily news, The Fiscal Cliff. I feel like Obama has a tough situation on his hand because he has the job of making up a plan that both parties will like and agree on, which would literally be the hardest thing. Knowing both parties fight for different things and finding something in the middle of budget cuts and raising taxes doesn’t sound too likely with this crisis coming up within the next month. The thing that this project made me really think about was the compromise both parties have to make. I had known that both parties had separate views but had never really thought about how much they must argue and how hard it would to come to a deal. As an American I think it’s vital that both groups come to agreements on everything they do or else the government would just be in shambles.
We as Americans have the right to form our own opinions about anything, therefor our own opinions on political views, each side stands for something different and if you’re in the middle you aren’t really contributing to the people in congress and helping the nation progress as a whole. Something that this class has made me realize is that too many people follow in their parents foot steps because thats all they know, it is critical that everyone forms their own opinion on each situation. That opinion may be the opinion of your parents but is so important that you stand up what you believe for and not only stand up but also represent your political party. Not knowing what party you favor is fine, but its vital that you educate yourself during this time on not knowing so that when you become old enough to vote its a simple decision and you are helping the government and everybody in the states. Junior year in high school was a perfect time to this class into affect, to many people would blow it off any other year before that and junior year is right before you’re 18 giving a heads up on what politics are, how you affect them if you do or do not vote. Before being in this class I didn’t know much about politics and how our government works. But after two trimesters it really opens your mind about whats happening and helps you form your own opinions.
Over a week ago President Obama gave a major speech, The State of the Union address. Within this speech President Obama spoke about major things he is going to concentrate on during his next 4 years. The speech varied all the way from things like The creation of a China task force to monitor trade violations, to problems about the current debt. A few things that really stuck out during the speech were when he mentioned gun laws, the debt ceiling, and taxes. As everyone in the world knows at the end of 2012 the United States was supposed to go threw something called the fiscal cliff. Both parties worked together to try to avoid these massive cuts, and eventually something was worked out, well what was worked out is just going to push this back until March. Obama went in to detail about something called the Buffett rule which states a minimum 30% tax rate for individuals whose income exceeds $1 million. No tax increases for anyone earning less than $250,000. Personally I think that is a fine idea and would work out great but it’s still not enough money to bring down the debt ceiling we are talking upwards of 16 trillion dollars, raising taxes isn’t nearly enough. Budget cuts are going to be critical if the US is going to get out of debt, the one major problem, the political parties. If the US cannot get both political parties to work together the debt will just keep increasing. Making it nearly impossible for us to bring down our debt, this must be something both parties are going to have to loose something on.
The next big thing everyone is worried about are the gun laws, Obama has said he will use his executive power to set laws if the parties can’t come to an agreement. As the President doesn’t have the direct power to do this he has many ways of convincing the right people. I agree with the majority of the Americans that something must be done with guns, no gun is worth a child dying. In 2012 the NRA did a study relating firearm deaths to motor vehicle deaths in 10 different states, the results were horrible. In every single state studied the death by firearms exceeded the death my motor vehicle, this information is appalling to hear and see.
These few things I took out of the Presidents speech were the things that stuck out to me and felt had a large influence in class. The Taxes and fiscal cliff problem were things I would of never considered researching or worrying about but being in Government it has really opened my eyes about what happens in the news, and really helps to explain things. For all of the things being said about gun laws nothing is really happening yet, and after the SOTUS Obama really showed that he will use his power as President to make things happen in Washington. Without Government class this year I think many of the major things that have happened throughout the world and the states regarding politics would still be in the dark for me. This class has also help me form opinions about many things that are happening in the news and in D.C. as it hasn’t forced me into a position to pick a political side I think that it has really helped broaden my perspective on politics and really give me an overview that I would have never been able to receive if the class was bias towards on political side.