Tuesday, 31 July 2012

History of Economics: Why It's Still a Teenager

by Viva Avasthi

Image source: http://www.heathwoodpress.com

As it is a relatively new subject, economics could be considered a teenager compared to other subjects! If we look back through Western history, it is clear that most subjects developed substantially in the classical civilisations of Ancient Greece and Rome. From mathematics to music, literature and forms of science, the Ancients form the basis of most of the subjects we study today. For some reason, this is not the case for economics. Although the word 'economics' comes from the Ancient Greek οἰκονομία, the Greeks only really studied home economics and wrote books only in subjects like bargaining for horses. Why is this the case? Why is it that for the first influential book on economics to be published in the western world, we had to wait until 1776 for Adam Smith and his The Wealth of Nations? Here, three main contributing factors are explored:

Monday, 30 July 2012

Thought for the Week (30/07/12)

by Shireen Avasthi

Forgive your enemies but never forget their names.
What Kennedy means by this is that you should be willing to forgive your enemies, but you shouldn't go so far as to trust or befriend them.

If someone can stab you in the back once, they're more than capable of doing it again. You should keep your guard up in their company, but don't let it show.

You should be open minded enough to forgive someone and move on, even after they've done you wrong. You don't need to forget what they did to you in order to forgive them for it.

Try forgiving someone this week;
it'll make you feel great. Good luck :)

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Gender Equality: Fact or Fantasy?

we can do it, gender equality, feminismby Shireen Avasthi

In the Western world, many people are under the illusion that gender inequality is alive and thriving in the East, and in the West everyone is equal. Despite this being a common opinion, it is far from the truth. Admittedly, the East has a lot of problems where gender inequality is concerned, but the West definitely doesn't have a clean slate either.

So let's start with the East. Here are 10 of the most shocking examples of gender inequality that exist there:

Saturday, 28 July 2012

The Five Most Interesting Conflicts - The Boer Wars

by Hannah Gent
boer war, economics for teens, economics for teenagers, most interesting conflict

In the second of my five articles looking at military conflicts I am going to consider the wars that took place between 1880 and 1902 at the southern tip of Africa called the Boer Wars. 

The word ‘Boer’ is the Dutch word for ‘farmer’.  Dutch farmers had settled in the southern African regions of Orange Free State and the Transvaal in the 1830s having relocated from the Cape region to escape from British Rule there.  When, in the late 1800s the British Crown threatened to annex these two Boer states the Boers decided to defend their independence.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

The Standard Model of Particle Physics and the Higgs Field: What are they exactly?

by Sparshita Dey

higgs boson, particle physics

The Higgs boson theory is a theory based on the Standard Model of Particle Physics – a model of the fundamental particles which make up the universe and a model capable of explaining all physics as we know it today! As for the recently discovered Higgs boson particle, physicists have been expecting its discovery since Peter Higgs proposed its existence in 1964. Since then, it has been a major part of all physics, equations and ideas even though it had not been discovered until this year when CERN’s hadron colliders proved the existence of these fascinating, fundamental boson particles.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Ageing: Why Are People Scared of It?

by Shireen Avasthi
old woman, fear of ageing
Why do so many of us have a fear of ageing?

Having a phobia of ageing is nothing to be embarrassed of - lots of people are in the same situation. The question is: why do so many of us have a fear of ageing? 

What do you value most about youth? Is it beauty, intelligence, freedom, just having a good time and a laugh, or is it something else? Whatever it may be, chances are that there are multiple stereotypes pinned to it. More likely than not, one of these stereotypes is that you will be robbed of this quality as you grow older.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Who Are the Real Winners and Losers of the Olympics?

by Viva Avasthi

A very thorough video created by The Economist to provide a useful overview of the impacts of the London Olympics 2012. It is definitely worth watching the entirety of this video as it makes the impacts on many types of people very clear.

 In my opinion, the point made in this video about how there are no children's pools in the Olympics stadium is a particularly relevant one considering that schools are supposedly going to be making use of the Olympic venues in the future! Could this be seen as a sign that the legacy of the Olympics has not been very well planned by the government, despite what they say?

What do you think of the idea of The Teen Economists authors making their own videos in this way?

Please comment below and tell me if you would like to see more of these types of videos on the blog. 

Monday, 23 July 2012

Thought for the week (23/07/12)

Image created by Lindsay Whitehead
by Shireen Avasthi
Only do what your Heart tells you.
What Diana means by this is that you should live your life the way you want to. 

Don't let anyone else tell you what you should or should not do; don't let anyone dictate the way your life plays out. Listen to your heart, because you only live once, and you should lead the life you want to live.

However, I don't think that she would be encouraging completely stupid and reckless behaviour!

Do what your heart tells you, at least for this week :)

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Can Murder be Justified?

by Salma Rana
police line, murder, economics for teens, economics for teenagers, teenage economist, teen economist
This question may seem rather straightforward and you may initially find yourself leaning towards ‘No, murder cannot be justified’ because all in all, it is not acceptable to take away someone else’s chance at life. Right?  However, when you look at the bigger picture you find that it is more complicated than that because of the various degrees to murder and really, what is classified as murder and what makes it justified? 

Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Five Most Interesting Conflicts - The Hundred Years' War

by Hannah Gent

Over the next five weeks I will be looking at some of the most interesting conflicts since the fourteenth century. Although there are many other remarkable, historical wars, the five that I have chosen are conflicts that are famous by name but their details are not so well-known.
hundred years war, history, battle
These are the conflicts that I will be writing about each week in chronological order:
  • The Hundred Years' War: 1337-1453
  • Boer Wars: 1880-1902
  • WWI: 1914-1918
  • The Arab Israeli Conflict: 1948-present day
  • The Vietnam War: 1955-1975

In this article, I will be explaining what the Hundred Years' War was, what was the cause of the conflict and why I find this period of interesting.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Famous Economist 'Interviews': An Introduction

famous economist, karl marx, adam smith, john maynard keynes, keynes by Viva Avasthi

As a new regular feature, I will be 'interviewing' some renowned economists to try and develop a better understanding of the various economic fields of thought, models (as in graphs used to explain theories) and problems as well as potential solutions. At the start of each 'interview', I will provide a short biography of each economist before asking some questions. 

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Older Women in the Media

women, tv, female presenters, bbc
Luck of the draw or are older women not welcome on TV?
by Clemency Flitter

Female equality is something that many people would like to feel has finally been put to bed and women are now being seen on a par with men in most areas. However, it seems to me that the media has so far been a little slow to take up this ideal. Recently the BBC has been under fire over an ageism scandal after a former Countryfile presenter, Miriam O’Reilly, won an age discrimination case against the BBC after being dropped from presenting the TV show. While I agree that this may have been a clear case of age discrimination I can’t help but wonder if the same would have happened if Miriam was a man.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

How to get into Grammar School

by Shireen Avasthi

Do you have a younger brother or sister, or a daughter or son who is preparing for the 11+? Do you know anyone who is preparing for the 11+? Are you? If the answer is yes to any or all of these questions, this book is the perfect thing for you! Here's an exclusive preview of my book, How to get into Grammar School. The full book is now available on Amazon!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

10 Impacts of the Olympics on the UK

by Viva Avasthi
olympics mascot. olympics, mascot, wenlock, mandeville, economics for teens, economics for teenagers

With only ten days remaining until the opening ceremony for the London Olympics commences, here are ten ways that the Olympics have affected (or will affect) the UK.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Thought For The Week (15/07/2012)

by Shireen Avasthi

Pablo Picasso's Self Portrait
My mother said to me, "If you become a soldier, you'll be a general; if you become a monk, you'll end up as the Pope." Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso. 

      What Picasso means by this is that no matter what you do with your life, you should strive to be the best that you possibly can in that field. You should try to make a difference in the world through the choices you make in your life. He is also suggesting that you should maintain self-confidence and pride but still be humble at the same time.

Try your best at everything you attempt this week. Good luck with the week ahead! :)

Sunday, 15 July 2012

A Modern Monarchy?

by Clemency Flitter

It seems that the monarchy in Britain is more popular than ever! After the relatively recent royal wedding and the more recent Diamond Jubilee people are in love with the British monarchy more so than ever; after all our monarchy is something that is quite rare in these times. Since the French Revolution having a monarchy became something that was increasingly rare as many European countries such as Russia (who got rid of the Tsar) and Germany (who dispatched with the Kaiser near the end of World War I) have left their monarchy behind and moved on. However, maybe Britain’s decision to stick with our traditionalist monarchy has paid off rather well in the long run.

queen, queen in china, diamond jubilee
The "Queen" arrives to great crowds in Shanghai
As one of very few surviving monarchies the Queen and Buckingham palace attract many tourists to London each year. There is also a lot of foreign media attention in large events in which the monarchy feature. America, in particular, had a lot of media attention spent on the Royal Wedding and even made a film about it! On the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee President Barack Obama sent out a video message to the Queen and there were many American tourists in London to get a glimpse of the Jubilee procession. The Queen is also very popular in China, recently a lookalike was present in Shanghai to try to give Chinese people the feel of the Diamond Jubilee, this caused a big stir as thousands of people flocked to see the fake monarch as news spread of the arrival of “Queen Elizabeth”.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

A Guide to the Syrian Uprising

by Hannah Gent


This is a very simplistic guide to what is happening currently in Syria. The 'Syria Crisis' started with protests earlier in 2011 when protesters asked for the release of political prisoners. The protests have then continued and the violence has escalated. The overall aim of the protesters was to gain democracy and 'greater freedom'. The BBC news link shows what the protesters wanted in more detail and how President Assad has responded.

Syria is an important country in the Middle-East. This means that the chaos here could cause problems in near-by countries such as Israel and Lebanon. Furthermore, even without the violence, Syria still needs a large amount of time to recover from the economic impact of the instability of the country. One of the main reasons why Syria is facing economic problems is because of the lack of tourists and therefore business. Moreover, places like Lebanon and Jordan have had to take in thousands of Syrian refugees. Jordan, which is already struggling against a large national deficit and high unemployment rates, is also facing a decline in the number of tourists. This means that Syria is inflicting these economic stresses onto other neighbouring countries which may cause unrest between countries in the Middle East and lead to further violence in the near future.

What do you think will happen with the current situation in Syria?

syria, middle east, politics

Friday, 13 July 2012

The Social Contract: Part 2

by Viva Avasthi

bees, the fable of the bees, economics for teens, economics for teenagers
Is the ideal society reflected in The Fable of the Bees?
Niall Ferguson argued in the first of this year's Reith Lectures that the social contract (which I explained in my previous article) needs to be restored between the generations. I agree with him to an extent, because it does appear to be the case that governments often don't work in the interest of improving conditions for both the present and the future generations, but to improve their chances of collecting votes. This leads to a vicious circle in one sense, because the government is forced to provide people with what they demand rather than to do what is ideally required to tackle a particular problem.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

First World Problems And Some Solutions

government, depression
Are "first world problems" unworthy?
by Clemency Flitter

I’m sure that I can’t be the only one whose heart sinks whenever they hear the now over-used phrase, “first world problems”. It seems that in these times of globalisation, when everyone knows how people in other countries live, it’s almost impossible to have a problem worthy of being thought of as anything more than a “first world problem”. 

I don't deny that conditions in third world countries are more than appalling and, of course, worthy of people’s consideration and help. But just because there are reams of people who could be considered to be having a much worse life than our own, has the bar somehow been raised whereby our problems are only worth true sympathy if they involve starvation and death?

At first I thought that this surely couldn't be the case. After all, there are often times when I can’t help but sigh when I hear someone start up a long rant about a favourite top having been lost in the wash. It seems to me that "first world" people in general seem to give themselves a bit of a tough ride with their true problems and true worries. 

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

GoCompare: Major Hate or Clever Scheme?

by Shireen Avasthi

Many of the British readers of this blog will have noticed GoCompare's new billboard advertisements - they're everywhere! If you haven't seen them, they look like this:

go compare, gio compario
go compare, gio compario
go compare, gio compario

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Social Contract: Part 1

by Viva Avasthi

“Society is a contract… the state is a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are yet to be born.” (Edmund Burke - 18th Century political theorist and philosopher)

people, society, culture, economics for teens, economics for teenagers
Edmund Burke was essentially suggesting that the well-being of the nation and all its citizens is of greater importance than the individual. In a sense, this is very similar to the quote "no man is his own island" in the way that the idea of everybody being deeply interrelated is a prominent feature of both quotes. But how many of today's governments are actually adhering to the 'contract' that everybody seems to have unwittingly signed? This intriguing idea was elaborated upon by the economic historian Prof. Niall Ferguson in the first of this year's  BBC Reith Lectures. In this first of a series of four lectures, Niall Ferguson argued the case that "today we've had a breach of [the contract]." 

On Friday, I will be explaining how Niall Ferguson defended his point of view and I will be giving a few counter-arguments both for the sake of debate and to provide you as readers with a relatively balanced perspective. However, before we engage in some serious debating on Friday (yay!), here's a chance for you to share your initial views on the subject.

 Do you believe modern governments are in breach of this 'contract'? Do you feel that governments need to be more open in terms of revealing their decision-making and so on to the public? Comment, comment, comment!

Click here to read the follow-on article.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Thought For The Week (09/07/2012)

by Shireen Avasthi

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.

What Frost means by this is that you can't be hung up on things that happened in the past. In most cases, there is nothing you can do to change things from the past, so you should try to move on. You should live for today and plan for tomorrow, because while you have no control over what happened yesterday, you have full control over what will happen tomorrow.

Good luck with the week ahead :)

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

A Simple Guide to the Libor Rate

by Viva Avasthi

The biggest issue being discussed on British news lately is the Barclays scandal which involves accusations that the Libor rate was fixed by Barclays to make the bank falsely appear to be doing well. The questions that arose in my mind were, "What is the Libor rate?" and, "Why should I care if it's been fixed by Barclays?"

No doubt many of you have also been wondering what this mysterious but supposedly highly important Libor rate is. Alongside informing myself on the subject, I thought it might be good to clear up the facts for you as a reader, too. Don't worry though, this article won't be too long and it'll be fairly easy to get to grips with.