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Blog Post #10: See ya later. It’s been real, yo.

Well. This is it. It was fun. I’m still not sure how I ended up here, and I am definitely still not sure how to read Economic news, but, hey, it’s time to wrap it up.

How did this all start? When it was announced that our sources would come from Cracked, I was ecstatic. I loved Cracked, and always had wondered just how accurate their stories were. However, being a more comedic news site, I decided to try something a little unexpected. I set out to find the most boring, dull, subject I could possibly find, and make it interesting. What did I end up with? Economics, of course.

When I used to think of economics, I thought of this:

or this:

But sadly, for the rest of my life, I will only think of this:

You see, I discovered why economic news is presented in such a boring fashion. It’s that boring. After digging through historic economics books and financial debt reports, I was almost to the point of giving up. Even articles with awesome names involving fake sugary tobacco products turned out to only be painstakingly brutal to have to read. It was a challenge to even remain conscious at some points.

After finding my Cracked article, I turned to the library database for finding a few academic article. Databases are tricky. They make you feel like you’re doing everything write half the time, but the other half, you just sit there and stare at it.

Because I don’t particularly like, academic articles, and also slightly because I don’t like having to read articles off of a computer, I decided to go the now-more-unconventional route and find a few books. This was a smart idea. Why? Because I really like libraries and seeing shelves of books stacked more than halfway to the ceiling is cool, and distracts me from the fact that the book I am picking up contains more economic news that I am going to have to suffer through.

I was also lucky enough to have some excellent news stories over my subject in the actual Cracked article. Overall, I was able to put together more than enough excellent sources. Whether or not I will ever try to make a subject so horrid into an interesting story again, however, all depends on how this paper turns out…

Blog Post 9#: This List of Economic Writings that Almost Killed Me

This is it. It’s almost finished. Two more blog posts. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it…

So, someone asked me the other day “Grant, what sources are you planning to use in your paper about China buying the U.S.?” (The person being Professor Tunningley, and the question being better represented by an assignment sheet). Today, I am here to answer that question.

First off, I have the Cracked article. Written by Marcus O’Reilly, it covers, as the name suggests, “5 Scary Myths You Probably Believe About the Economy“. It covers a wide range of things, as my Blog Post 1 suggests. Since I feel I have already covered that one pretty well, I’m going to skip it. Feel free to check out that Blog Post for more info.

Second, I have a few books. “A New Economic View of American History” by Susaan Previant Lee and Peter Passell. I goes over several points in American History, and looks at it from an economic perspective. I’m hoping to find instances of cases similar to this situation in China in which we got into economic “trouble” with another nation. Next, I have “Asian Money Markets” by Cole Scott Wellons. This piece covers a (much more brief) history of Asian Economics. I am hoping to find information in this piece about, you guessed it, similar occurrences in China.

Third, I have an interview. Yes, a real live interview! I mean… from a book… But it’s still an interview! In “A Vision for the Future”, edited by Luc Keulendeer, Dirk Swagerman, and Willem Verhoog, a Mr. J. Lintjer is interviewed about then-current Far East economic woes, and how their banking system is constructed.

Four our internet sources (See what I did? It’s a really bad pun!), I found most of them linked from the cracked source itself. There is “China’s Treasury Holdings Makes U.S. Debt Their Own“, from the NY Times written by David Barboza about how China buying up our debt is doing nothing more than make our problems their problems. Then, there is another NY Times article by Paul Krugman, who’s title “Nobody Understands Debt“, pretty much sums up my experience with this research. He basically says that all the hype about China buying U.S. debt is just hype, and that 9 times out of 10, the Capital’s economic correspondents have no clue what they are talking about. Finally, from Business Insider, we have the case of writer Joe Weisenthal. His work, titled “Here’s the REAL Reason Japan and China Own So Much U.S. Debt”. This piece was covered very fully in my blog post about it, so for more, click here. (<- No, over there).

Finally, I have one last academic article. And, of course, it contradicts everything I have said so far. “Debt Crisis and Candy Cigarettes” was covered very fully by another of my blog posts, so to see this one, click here. (Just kidding click here.)

https://i0.wp.com/www.carlascio.com/images/Victory.jpg

That’s it. It’s finished. One annotated blog-style bibliography. Now for naps.

Blog Post #8: The Magic of the Dewey Decimal System

For the rest of my life, one number will stay with me for the rest of my life. It was both a horror, and a salvation. 330. What is so special about 330? 330 is the Dewey Decimal System number for Economics. And it is a BROAD topic. I even managed to find a book from the late 1800’s that concerned the economic impacts of how a master treated their slaves.

Finding actual books in the library turned out to be more work than I anticipated, but it was a lot of fun. I would hardly realize 40 minutes had passed before I found my books. All together, I got two books on the history of economics between China and the U.S., and another book about the history of Debt in the U.S., and our current policies concerning it.

These books look like they are going to be very helpful. It is going to be interesting trying to work my way through them over the next week, looking for information.

Blog Post #7: The Deceptive Title and the Best Abstract Interpretation Ever.

The most interesting sounding of my academic articles, “Debt Crisis and Candy Cigarettes“, has a lot of interesting information. Sadly, only the last sentence involves candy cigarettes. The abstract basically reads “… interest rates… increase… credit rating firms… U.S. debt… ratio… GDP expands… investors… mismanagement … investment… George W. Bush… credit card… Bank of China”. However, after multiple readings and careful analysis, I came to a conclusion. I have no idea how to read economic things. Then came a second conclusion.

The claims that are made in the abstract are that 1) The U.S. get downgraded again 2) our debt/GDP ration increases, or 3) other countries decide we are too much of an irresponsible uncle of a country to lend money to, then interest rates on our debt is going to go up, and this rise in debt is almost guaranteed to happen.

They go on in the article to explain how the rise in the interest of the debt in an ongoing thing, and that by 2020, we are going to be in a lot of debt trouble. They actually don’t provide a lot of evidence, but the end very elegantly integrates the “Candy Cigarettes” into the title, with “All the news, however, isn’t bad. While mirrors and razor blades are being peddled in the street, inspectors from the government got on the ball and threatened Tobi Lyden, the owner of an old-fashioned soda shop in St. Paul, Minnesota, with fines and criminal citations for selling candy cigarettes”. While it has almost nothing to do with the rest of the paper, it does add that little extra something that made me click on the article in the first place.

The article really counters what the Cracked article claims. It says that the more debt that gets bought by foreign countries (in this case, China) the more debt we are going to go into, and in the long run, this is going to be a very bad thing.

Blog #6: Revision of Infomercial/ How Much I Suck at Databasing

When I first started using the Library Database, I was impressed with how easy it was to use. The simplicity of filtering through different types of content made searching for article made the search almost fun. Having done research papers in the past without any training towards how to use a database, I can tell that it is going to make searching for sources much less complicated than being thrown into a library and told “go”. I was able to find three academic article related to my topic in minutes.

I did have one problem with the libraries system. Apparently, in order to search through the databases, you have to be logged in or on campus. I had a little trouble longing in. For 4 hours. On the worst internet connection I had used in my life. I even managed to pull one article up, but then it denied me access to the full article. However, once I was back on campus, I had no problems at all.

The sources that I found seem like they are going to be extremely helpful to my paper. I searched primarily for academic articles, since my Cracked article had none cited. The sources all seem like they will be very helpful in the long run, but, as is almost any economic article, they are extremely boring to read. But that’s the challenge I set for myself, right? To accept the most boring and challenging topic and make it interesting? (What is wrong with me…)

The sources, with such captivating titles as “The Role of China in the U.S. Debt Crisis”, “China Buys Up U.S. Debt”, and the (actually interesting sounding) “Debt Crisis and Candy Cigarettes”, are filled with promising info about why China is currently buying U.S. debt and what may come of it in the future. Interestingly enough, it seems like they may not be in full support of the ideas put forth by Cracked. Only time will tell!

Blog Post #5: Script for Database Informercial/ How I Found Sources

When I first started using the Library Database search program, I was very impressed. It is so easy to use, and being able to filter through categories as simple as it was made a huge difference. Having done research papers in the past without any training towards how to use a database, I can tell that it is going to make searching for sources much less complicated than being thrown into a library and told “go”. I was able to find tons of material related to my topic in minutes. The only problem I had was that, after finding one source and accidentally closing the page, it was near impossible to find it again. Of course, that’s my fault for not writing down what the title was.

The sources that I found seem like they are going to be extremely helpful to my paper. I searched primarily for academic articles, since my Cracked article had none cited. The sources all seem like they will be very helpful in the long run, but, as is almost any economic article, they are extremely boring to read. But that’s the challenge I set for myself, right? To accept the most boring and challenging topic and make it interesting? (What is wrong with me…)

The sources, with such captivating titles as “The Role of China in the U.S. Debt Crisis”, “China Buys Up U.S. Debt”, and the (actually interesting sounding) “Debt Crisis and Candy Cigarettes”, are filled with promising info about why China is currently buying U.S. debt and what may come of it in the future. Interestingly enough, it seems like they may not be in full support of the ideas put forth by Cracked. Only time will tell!

Blog Post #4: Money News, Now With Pictures… Or… Picture…

The news article “China vs. Japan: The Winner? The Us… ” seek to convince the reader that foreign countries buying up our debt is a good thing. The provide some really interesting data, like this amazing graph!

Basically, it is saying that, while China and Japan are buying up more of our debt, it is gaining them less profit, and that, because of this, they will buy up even more debt. It says that, in the long run, this can only be great for America. While this isn’t mentioned directly in the Cracked article, it definitely supports what the article is trying to persuade the reader to believe.

Blog Post #3: Money News, the Reason I Will Never Be an Economist

Since there is still no academic writing to be found for my article, I will be using a few of the news posts from my cracked sources. One of the more interesting articles I’ve found through the endless maze of links is one by Matt Phillips, titled “China vs. Japan. The Winner? The US“. It talks about how China and Japan are actually fighting it out to buy more of U.S. debt, because it keeps their currency value more reasonable. The thing is, in the end, the U.S. ultimately wins! This all leads back to China’s buying of U.S. debt a good thing, and not going to end with them basically owning us.

Another interesting article I found is from the New York Times. The article, “China’s Treasury Holdings Make U.S. Woes It’s Own“, written by David Barboza, talks about how, because of all the U.S. debt they have acquired, China is literally at the mercy of the government’s decisions about the economy.  Overall, it almost seems to be the consensus of most news reporters on the subject of China’s debt holdings that the more debt that is bought by foreign countries, the better it is for us.