“Ukraine plan to raise import tariffs on range of goods alarms US” – Mini Internal Assessment

Tariffs, are the taxes imposed on imported goods and services. Tariffs are mainly used to restrict trade, creating barriers between countries that import and export goods.

In this article, it reports how as we are facing an economic slowdown around the globe, Ukraine is planning to increase tariffs on more than 350 goods, which includes vegetables, plants, meat, washing machines, and all the way to automobiles.These imports are said to be worth $4.6bn (£2.9bn) in total.

These implications by Ukraine has been a concern to the members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), as well as giving concern to the US. By increasing tariffs, some fear the possible knock-on effect on other countries that are restricting trade.

The effect of tariffs on imported goods can be seen on this graph below:

As seen on the graph, imported goods have decreased from Q2 → Q1, as well as Q4 → Q3, due to the price increase from P(World) to P(World) + Tariffs. However, domestic producers have benefited from this. Producers have increased from Q1 → Q3, which means that the unemployment rate has decreased. In addition, the tax revenues for the Ukrainian government have increased, which means that there is an increase in competition against imported goods for domestic producers. The triangle marked “A” indicates the dead weight loss to society (DWLS). In this case, the DWLS is for the producers, who are not capable of producing anymore, due to the price raise. DWLS is the cost produced by market inefficiency. The triangle marked “B” indicates consumers who cannot consume the goods anymore.

In conclusion, the increase in tariff would be a positive change for the domestic producers, employees, economy, and the government. However, if Ukraine increases its tariffs, the foreign producers and domestic consumers will not benefit.


Economics Blog post 5: Rise in Cigarette Taxes

This article was published on November 29th 2012, delivering information on the recent data found by the Washington University School of Medicine in St.Louis. The data collected from a period of three years, showed how the rise in cigarette taxes made it much more likely for hard-core smokers to cut back on smoking. When the study started in 2001, they recorded that an average of 16 cigarettes were smoken by a typical smoker. However after three years, the amount of cigarettes being smoked decreased to an average of 14 cigarettes per day. This data conveys the tax situation, where in 2001, the average price for a pack was $3.96, and in 2004, it had increased to $4.41. Interestingly, they also found out that heavy smokers quit smoking more than light smokers, over the past three years while cigarette prices rose. The changes in price gave less effect to those who smoked less. This is thought to be because for heavy smokers, much of the money they spend in a day is spent more on cigarettes than light smokers. This means that consuming cigarettes are a bigger part of their day than light smokers. Thus, the more you smoke, the more you buy, and so heavy smokers are easier to realize the increase in their money loss.


The above graph shows the situation of the article. The point that is connected by P1 and Q1 is the market equilibrium at the stage of 2001. The supply curve is straighter than the usual graph because cigarettes are considered as an inelastic good. The sale of Inelastic goods are not effected as much when a change in price occurs. These goods are also called necessity goods, and examples include water, electricity, and various kinds of drugs. Opposing to this, the sales of elastic goods are effected more when a change in price occurs. When expressing an elastic good on a graph, the curve will become more horizontal. Elastic goods include luxury goods such as expensive cars, branded bags or clothes, and so on. Cigarettes are thought to be closer to an inelastic good, since it is a type of drug. For smokers, it is a necessity good. Thus, the supply curve is more vertical. Next, when there is an increase in the tax, the curve will shift inwards. This will make the price rise, shown as P2 on the graph. The point connecting P2 and Q2 is our new market equilibrium. The box between P1 and P2 is represented as the difference between the old price and the new tax price, and also is the consumer burden. Likewise, the box below is the producer burden. Both of these boxes together are called the whole Government revenue. The green shaded triangle is called the deadweight loss, which is the loss to welfare, utility or benefit to market participants.


(466 words)

Economics Blog Post 4: Minimum Price Sets on Alcohol to End the Cheap Sales

This article from BBC was published on November 28th 2012, delivering a story on the ministers setting a minimum price of 45p a unit when selling alcohol in England and Wales. The very purpose of this plan is to tackle the increasing problems and crimes associated to consumers drinking in a disorderly way. The Home Office has decided 10 weeks of consultation on the plan, discussing the how it will reduce illness, crime, and accidents related to drinking. The ministers are also considering the banning of multi buy in shops; buying two for the price of one. The aim of this plan is to alter the alcohol price of heavily discounted shops, and to reduce heavy drinkers. Researchers say that these changes will not affect consumers who do not drink at a exceedingly fast pace. To make the data easier to understand for readers, the article shows a diagram explaining how much 45p is compared to common drinks consumed:

As seen on the diagram, a measure of 45p would mean that consumers will have to pay for £1.56 for a can of lager, and at its maximum, £16.88 for a bottle of Vodka.

Researchers from Sheffield University say that a minimum of 45p would make alcohol consumption decrease by 4.3%, resulting to 2,000 fewer deaths, and 66,000 people not being carried to the hospital.

Once the minimum price (in this case the amount) of 45p is set by the ministers, producers of alcohol will need to raise their previous price up to the minimum price. Therefore, when P1 is raised to P2, consumers who have been consuming vast amount of alcohol will not be able to consume as much anymore. This is exactly what the initial aim was by the government, and so the consumers will start buying less drinks. This has also been done with cigarettes, where the government thought cigarettes were a harm to consumers, and so they would add taxes to cigarettes, increasing its sales price.However this is a different story to the situation with this article, since taxes interfere. Going back to the graph, when the price is raised, the quantity demanded will decrease from Q1 to QD. However, according to the graph, as the price was raised, the producers are able to supply more of the product they are selling. This causes the quantity supplied to increase from Q1 to QS. Consequently, the quantity demanded ans supplied will not equal. Thus, there will be an excess in supply shown in blue, on the graph. In the end, the quantity consumed will be at Q2.

(425 words)




Pachelbel’s Canon in D: Analysis

Video of Pachelbel’s Canon in D

This piece is probably the best known work of Pachelbel, and is one of the most famous works of Baroque music. This is the only canon that Pachelbel wrote, and was originally composed for three violins, and a cello.

The melody is extremely memorable, especially with the violin arrangement, where all the violins imitate the melody of one another. Even though the entire piece itself is calm and peaceful, it still contains dynamics, which creates a merry mood. This is also the reason why the piece is highly popular for a “wedding song”.
This piece has a polyphonic and a homophonic texture, however it is created by one musical idea. After the double bass starts playing the first two bars of the bass part, the first violin enters with the main melody. After another two bars, the second violin imitates the same melody, repeating itself. This creates the polyphonic texture and harmony to the piece, as the chord progression goes from D major, A major, B minor, F sharp minor, G major, D major, G major, and finally A major. This piece is played in a classical genre, and its tempo varies within who it is played or arranged by. Slower arrangements usually vary from 40 to 70 beats on the quarter notes, although on the original sheet music, there is no indication of the tempo. This piece was written in the period of middle Baroque (written in 1680). The main melody of this piece has a very conjunct contour line, where the motif is repeated within different instruments.

Survival Simulation – Economics

Did you survive?

1. What problems did the group face in round one?
 The common problem we all faced was how unorganised it was. Since we weren’t given any time to discuss or plan in the first round, we all went into action before talking it out. This caused issues such as two people doing the same thing, resulting with abundant amount of fishes whereas igloos were not enough.
2. What basic problem did the group try to solve during the planning period prior to round two?
Learning from our mistakes, we all decided on what each of us were in charge of, and we carefully planned out who will do the cutting, drawing, and so on.
3. What did you need to survive?
For the simulation, our resources for surviving were fishes for food, Igloos for shelter, and ponchos for clothing.
In order to survive the game, we all learnt that it was important to plan ahead of what could face us.
4. How did the group organise itself during the discussion period between rounds to increase production?
We discussed on who should produce what resource, since some of the resources were hard to draw or cut out. Although we ended up deciding that it would be a better idea for the person who made a certain resource before, to be in charge of the same one, since he/she would be more experienced.
5. How might you have organised yourselves so production was increased even further?
While producing resources, certain materials such as staplers were not enough for the whole group. Thus, many of us waited for that one stapler, when we could’ve made other resources while waiting.

Family Relocation ~ HKC 8 ~

Family Relocation HKC 8

I have lived in Yokohama, all my life. Both of my parents were born here as well. Although, both of my grand parent’s families are from the Kansai area.

My Father’s side:

My father’s father (my grandfather, Tsuneo Kawamura) used to live in Kyoto. My grandfather and grandmother are born in Kyoto, and they met each other in Kyoto. They were married in Kyoto, and they moved to Yokohama at around 1958, because the business in Kyoto wasn’t going well. In Kyoto, they were doing a Kimono business where they dyed the colors into the Kimono. But that wasn’t going so well so they decided to move to Yokohama, where their relatives offered jobs. And then they started several restaurants in the Kannai area. There, my father (Hideaki Kawamura) was born.

Kyoto: 250px-Kiyomizu-dera_and_Kyoto_at_night Picture 1

My Mother’s side:

My grandfather (Hisao Noguchi) on my mother’s side (Noguchi side of my family) was born in Nara, which in the west area of Japan, on 1940. He grew up in a place where there were no buildings at all.  There were schools, post offices, and houses, but there weren’t many buildings like Tokyo. He lived in a place where it was almost in the mountains. When he was in high school, he moved to another place in the west area of Japan. He moved to another high school where he could get more and better education for university. He went to a university in Tokyo. He met my grandmother (Yoshiko Noguchi) in Yokohama, where he went for work. After they married, they lived in Yokohama and my grandfather went to Tokyo for work.

Nara (Koriyama Castle) (On map: Nara highlighted):200px-Koriyama_Castle_Nara Picture 2

Although before my grandfather’s family (father’s side) lived in Kyoto, they lived in Busan, Korea. My grandfather’s family immigrated to Japan, in the 1920’s because of financial and economy reasons. And my grandfather was born on 1929, in Kyoto, Japan. He lived in Yokohama and passed away when he was 56 years old, on 1954. This was when my father was 25 years old. It was the time when my father hadn’t even met my mother yet.

Busan, Korea (on map: Busan highlighted) :250px-Haeundae_2008 Picture 3

So basically, both side of my family relocated to the Kanto area from the Kansai area, for educational and financial reasons.My ancestors are mostly all from the Kansai area, Nara, and Kyoto. They immigrated to Yokohama as they found new work and jobs, where they eventually chose to live with their own families.

Poetry Blog Post ~A Birthday Candle by Donald Justice~

The poem, “A Birthday Candle” is a poem by Donald Justice. This poem is the 77th poem in the poetry 180 website. This poem is a very short poem, which has six lines in one stanza.

I think this whole poem is a one big metaphor, simile using a birthday candle and a birthday. In the first line, the speaker mentions, “Thirty today”. This simply means that the speaker has turned to thirty years old. “I saw The trees flare briefly like a candles on a cake”. This part uses a simile. This part expresses how the speaker saw the sunlight shining behind the trees, flaring briefly like the fire flaring softly on the candles of a birthday cake.

“As the sun went down the sky, A momentary flash, Yet there was time to wish”. This part is a metaphor as well. “As the sun went down at the sky”. This line expresses how the candle is about to be blown away. When the sun goes down the sky, the light goes dimmer and dimmer. This is the same as the candle. You can see that the momentary flash in this part is when the fire on the candle is blown away. “Yet there was time to wish”. I think this part is explaining that a day goes very fast, even a birthday. So the speaker wanted to show how a birthday can go away very quick like how the candle is blown very fast.

This poem is a very short poem with many metaphors and similes. The whole poem is mainly a simile and a metaphor. By this, it is quite hard to understand at first. I understood the whole meaning after reading it for around three times. I think Donald Justice uses similes and metaphors in a unique way. This poem is a free verse, which has no regular rhyme or rhythm to the poem. This poem also gave me a simple imagery of the sun going down the sky with the trees, then a birthday candle being blown away.

The poem, A Birthday Candle by Donald Justice

Poetry Blog Post ~Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter by Robert Bly~

The poem “Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter” is a poem by Robert Bly. This poem is the fortieth poem on the poetry 180 website. In this blog post, I will be commenting and analyzing on this poem. This poem has five lines, with one simple stanza.

This whole poem mainly explains the joy of being alone and spending your time slowly. How wasting time alone can be fun and relaxing. The speaker in this poem describes what is happening at that moment.

“It is a cold and snowy night. The main street is deserted.” The first line of this poem starts with a view of that day. This line shows that the whole poem is in winter, at night, where it is snowy and cold. “The main street is deserted.” This part means how no one is walking the main street. How the main street is just snowy and cold and only the speaker is at the main street. “The only things moving are swirls of snow.” This second line expresses how the street is clear and still except for the snow falling. “As I lift the mailbox door, I feel its cold iron.” This next line expresses how the night was freezing and the mailbox turned very cold. This line describes how the speaker notices the iron of the mailbox has turned very cold. “There is privacy I love in this snowy night.” This line shows how the speaker is enjoying the snowy night. How there is joy to be alone. The speaker is expressing how he/she loves to be alone sometimes, where no one is around him/her. “Driving around, I will waste more time.” This last line gives a neat ending to the poem. By reading this line you can imagine how the speaker is in the car, driving around the street after he/she has mailed the letter.

During the whole poem, the speaker always describes what is happening around him/her. This created an imagery of the snowy night and the street where no one walked. This poem is mainly a free verse. Also this poem is a very short poem that is end-stopping. A line ends very short and quick. Since the poem is very short, it should be read twice to be fully understood. There are no similes or metaphors in this poem.

The poem, Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter by Robert Bly