Millions of people work together to build that smartphone you are using. No one person has the know-how to build it. Thousands of inventions were needed before making the first one.
“I, Smartphone”, from the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, is a superb visual explaining the long supply chain and incredible range of skills needed to get that phone into your hands.
The link if needed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1Ze_wpS_o0&feature=player_embedded#t=17s
This is an update of the classic “I, Pencil”, which I mentioned here.
No one person has the skills
Continue reading ““I, Smartphone” – it takes millions of people and thousands of inventions to make a smart phone”
No one person on the planet has all the knowledge or skills necessary to make one pencil. It takes multiple millions of people contributing their specialized skills just to make one.
That story is told in “I, Pencil: My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Read”, which you can find here.
I’ve long been aware of that article, but am embarrassed to admit I’ve never read it before today.
It is brilliant.
Here’s the core idea:
Continue reading ““I, Pencil”, or, how many millions of people does it take to make one pencil?”
Previous posts here and here covered some of the info from a presentation by Mr. Lynn Helms, North Dakota’s Director of Mineral Resources, at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference on May 25, 2012.
The presentation had more information on the dollar impact of a typical well in Bakken. The additional info allowed me to rearrange the data into an income statement. I am an accountant after all.
I previously discussed this in another post. I’ll refine that analysis in this post.
Here is the income statement for a typical well over a full lifetime of production, based on the data in the presentation. Continue reading “Lifetime financial data for a typical well in Bakken – revised”
A while back my wife and I vacationed in San Diego. I learned a lot of new things in Old Town. That is a state park where many buildings have been renovated to reflect life as it was from 1810 through 1870.
I read a delightful, short history of Old Town titled San Diego’s Beginnings.
One of many fascinating things is the long list of outside pressures that forced massive change on the residents of Old Town.
Continue reading “Sometimes creative destruction does you in, sometimes it is political turmoil far away, and sometimes it is just destruction”
Update: Bottom line on the back of the envelope – 1.9 year breakeven point.
I’ve been wanting to do some math on the economics of drilling. Now’s the time.
UPDATE – Revised for higher productivity of Bakken wells of 142 barrels per day.
Previous post provided some data from an article in the Chicago Tribune for Occidental Petroleum – Insight: Peak, pause or plummet? Shale oil costs at crossroads
Continue reading “Back of the envelope calculations for drilling one well in the Bakken and value of annual production”
The University of Texas at San Antonio released a report describing the Economic Impact of the Eagle Ford Shale.
The study describes the same boom-time problems in the Eagle Ford field as exist in the Bakken area – restaurants struggling to hire enough staff to stay open, hotels fully booked, RV parks going up everywhere, and a crush of school children arriving for classes whose parents are living in an RV & not paying property taxes to fund the schools.
The report describes in detail that production increased dramatically from 2010 to 2011. It makes projections for 10 years out. Continue reading “Eagle Ford shale field production – economic impact report”
Fantastic primer on energy in the U.S. and world:
Hard Facts – An Energy Primer from the Institute for Energy Research.
I’ve just started reading it. Superb stuff. The first few tidbits that jump out at me:
Estimates that there is more recoverable oil in the U.S. than in Saudi Arabia:
The United States is home to the richest oil shale deposits in the world—estimates are there are about 1 trillion barrels of recoverable oil in U.S. oil shale deposits, nearly four times that of Saudi Arabia’s proved oil reserves.5
Vastly improved energy efficiency in the U.S. even with expansion in the per capita GDP:
• Energy use per person in the United States fell 12 percent between 1979 and 2010 from 359 million BTUs to 317 million BTUs per person.19
• Energy intensity—energy consumption per dollar of GDP—fell by 52 percent between 1973 and 2011.20
Are we running out of oil and gas we know about and can get to at economical price?
Continue reading ““An Energy Primer””
Employment in the manufacturing sector may be down, but the dollar output is high.
Consider two questions:
- What country in the world has the largest amount of manufacturing?
- If manufacturing in the U.S. was a separate country, where would it rank compared to GDP of other countries?
Would this be your response?
- Lots of places other than the U.S.
- really low
Correct answer: Continue reading “Is the manufacturing sector in the U.S. dead? Not exactly. Actually, not even close to it.”
Curious how a fracking well is drilled?
I’ve been wondering about a few things. Like how to drill horizontally, how to break open the dense rock, and how to prevent leakage.
Superb animated video from Voyager Oil & Gas answers a lot of my questions:
Continue reading “Animated explanation of hydraulic fracturing”
Mark J. Perry calls attention to a company that makes bracelets and charms for colleges and sororities – Manufacturing Boom in Michigan, Partly Due to Reshoring; U.S. Factories are Competitive Again
The company brought its manufacturing back from China.
The reason they did so as described by Prof. Perry, is the same reason there will be a lot more companies that do so: Continue reading “In a paragraph, here’s why we will see a lot more reshoring”
(cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)
Why doesn’t it feel like the real GDP has recovered from the recession? Because employment is still in the tank.
Continue reading “Again, here’s why it feels like the economy hasn’t recovered”
The Bakken field is producing tremendous amounts of energy. Mark Perry at Carpe Diem pointed out a cool visual on the rapid increase in production in the northwest corner of North Dakota.
Check out this link at Today In Energy for a quarterly visual on production from 1995 through 2010.
Continue reading “Visual of the radical increase in oil and gas production in the North Dakota Bakken field”
(Cross-post from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)
Mark J. Perry compares how long it takes to buy an electric kitchen oven in 1966 versus what you could buy today for the same number of hours labor. See his visual illustration at Living the Good Life: The Good Old Days Are Now.
He translates the cost of an oven in 1966 into the number of hours labor needed to buy it at the average hourly wage then. He figures out the average hourly wage today and figures out what home appliances could be purchased for the same number of hours work. The cost reductions are amazing.
Continue reading “Isn’t great to be alive today? Time to buy labor saving devices is really low, or working stiffs are getting richer”
(cross-post from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)
Mark J. Perry at Carpe Diem often uses a delightful formula that consistently makes me thrilled to be alive today.
General formula is this: You could have bought item X in whatever year. For the same amount of inflation adjusted dollars or same hours of labor, today you could buy X, plus Y and Z, along with A, B, C, D and E.
His post yesterday, The Magic and Miracle of the Marketplace: Christmas 1964 vs. 2011 – There’s No Comparison, has cool pictures from the 1964 Sears Christmas Catalog.
One of those really cool, great big, color TV consoles that takes up an entire wall could be had for $750 back then. Adjusted for inflation, that would cost you $5,300 in 2010. What could you buy today for inflation adjusted $5,500 today? His shopping list: Continue reading “Isn’t it great to be alive today? Christmas 1964 shopping list edition”
(cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)
A: Doing more with less. In other words, increased productivity.
On one hand, the unemployment rate continues very high, which means there are lots fewer people working. On the other hand, GDP has just passed the peak from before the recession, which means the size or value of the economy has recovered.
Check out this picture – Continue reading “Q: Why does it feel like the economy hasn’t recovered, yet the stats say it has?”