Saturday, June 21, 2014

Social Network Avoidance

Only 30% of the CEOs at the top companies traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange are active on social media sites, gathering spots for millions of potential customers.

According to the report, Steve Ballmer, of Microsoft Corp.; Jeff Bezos, of Amazon; Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, and John Chambers, of Cisco Systems don't use any of the major social networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and Instagram.

LinkedIn is the most used social network, as 23% of CEOs at the top 100 firms listed on Nasdaq are members. Twitter is used by 11% of the CEOs, making it the second most popular tool.

And though Google+ may trail rival Facebook in overall users but when it comes to the top CEOs, it has an edge. According to Augure, Google+ has 8% and Facebook has 5%.

Social Networks Growing but Slowing

About one in seven people around the globe use a social networking site at least once a month, and that number is expected to grow significantly over the next several years.

Yet it is significant to note that while the number of social network users is growing, that growth rate is slowing. For instance, 2012 showed a year-over-year growth rate of 17.6%, but this year's growth slipped to 14.2%. And by 2017, the growth rate is expected to slide to show 7.6%.

Un-Brain Drain

Earlier this year, 50,000 additional H-1B visas were made available to U.S. companies for skilled workers under the proposed Immigration Innovation Act, which was introduced into the U.S. Senate in January.

The limit had been 65,000, which high-tech companies claimed was too few, thus hurting American business and innovation.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Woe is Medicaid

Medicaid’s open-ended matching grants to the states have led to huge cost growth, but not better health care. Congress should give each state a fixed amount of funding and free them to experiment with better ways of providing care for the needy. Limiting annual growth in the block grant to five percent would save $760 billion.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Secure Social Security

Social Security has huge unfunded obligations, and it causes ongoing damage by reducing personal savings and harming labor markets. Meanwhile, spending on federal disability programs has soared as the number of recipients has multiplied.

America should move to a system of personal accounts for retirement and disability, but meanwhile we would save $640 billion by indexing initial benefits to prices, modestly raising the retirement age, and trimming the disability rolls by one quarter.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Monopolies Aren't All Bad

Profs. Kevin Murphy, Edward Snyder and Robert Topel of the University of Chicago have written about some of the results of bargaining between big businesses and their customers. Big businesses often offer volume discounts, quote nonlinear prices and give loyalty incentives to customers, all mof which can encourage customers to purchase more, perhaps in a quantity similar to what they would buy in a more competitive market with lower prices.

If this bargaining view of monopolies is correct, then the standard view of big business has exaggerated the degree to which dominant sellers harm the economy.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Monopoly - Here We Come

Sprint is considering an acquisition of T-Mobile US that would reduce the U.S. mobile industry to three large carriers if approved by regulators.

The country's third-largest mobile operator, which itself was acquired by Japan's SoftBank only months ago, is studying regulatory concerns and might make a bid in the first half of next year, according to a WSJ report.