If you took Economics 101, then you know the most basic principle of economics: demand drives supply. For those of you who braved more advanced econ courses, you know that sometimes supply can actually keep the demand going strong.
Let’s look at cereal, for example. Corn is a cheap and plentiful ingredient. It’s also one of the major ingredients in cereal.
So the major cereal companies like General Mills and Kellogg’s can keep the shelves full and draw demand from kids who develop brand loyalty to their favorite cereal-box characters. This principle is best illustrated by the hordes of adults who stocked up on their favorites when General Mills released limited edition boxes of its discontinued monster cereals such as Count Chocula and FrankenBerry earlier this fall. However, Kellogg’s has begun laying off workers in response to declining sales.
Why does any of this matter? The October jobs report showed that the U.S. economy added 204,000 jobs last month, but somehow the unemployment rate went up. Join us for Saturday’s Melissa Harris-Perry when our host and panel will discuss just what the heck is going on with our economy.
Pretty much anyone with a driver’s license in America has been asked the question, “do you want to be an organ donor?” Some of us check off “yes” or “no” without giving it much thought–but what if the question changed to “are you willing to sell your organs?” A bit of a grotesque question, yes, but a real one for some in impoverished nations. On Saturday’s MHP, our host will be joined by Ric Esther Bienstock, the director, writer and producer of Tales From the Organ Trade. Bienstock found out just how much people were willing to pay to skip the line and buy kidneys on the black market and what price was enough for some to sell theirs.
You’ve heard of the separation of church and state; what about church and hospital? Churches are for spiritual healing and hospitals are for medical healing, or so conventional knowledge dictates–but what if bishops are running the hospital? New information from MergerWatch and the ACLU indicates that from 2001 to 2011, the number of hospitals affiliated with the Catholic Church increased 16%. What is more, according to Mother Jones, ten of the 25 largest non-profit hospital systems in the country are Catholic, caring for one in six patients. Host Melissa Harris-Perry and her panel will discuss the implications of this spike.
It was the apology heard ‘round the country. On Thursday, President Obama apologized for confusion about canceled policies and the mistakes made in the national health care exchange website launch in an interview with NBC News Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd. His apology came just a day after he spoke to individuals in Dallas about the vital need for Obamacare due to the immense health care disparities in the Lone Star state. We’ll take a deep dive into the dire health care realities of the Hispanic communities in America, including the abysmal www.cuidadodesalud.gov.
Be sure to read what we’ve linked above, and watch Melissa Harris-Perry Saturday at 9 a.m. EST on MSNBC! Also, don’t forget to join us on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland.