Shortage of Helium

1512 Words7 Pages
Irvin Morales
Econ 201
Dr. Popp
Helium Shortage The second element on the periodic table; He, also known as helium, is a gaseous element that is located somewhere in the sun’s atmosphere and deep underground in some natural gasses (Helium 2012.) Helium can be refined and later stored in tanks to be sold to the market. But where exactly does the helium go after it has been refined? And in what state of matter does Helium sell at the most? It is unknown to many, but helium is actually used for more than just blowing up balloons for birthday parties. Helium is rare because there are no biosynthetic ways of making it, and all the helium that we currently have in the world is a result of the decaying uranium and thorium
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Clearly this is a problem for him because his store literally runs on helium (Global 2007). Some party balloon stores are filling balloons with mixtures that contain less helium; this is causing the price in balloons to increase. I even encountered a problem with this helium shortage, when last week I was refused my weekly allocated 6 balloons for my street team meeting by the Titan Pride Center because they hadn’t received their helium delivery. Countries in Asia are quickly expanding their electronics industries and developing welding techniques, which call for a higher demand in helium. The demand for helium in the United States has risen over 80% in the past two decades, and due to its growing industries, at more than 20% in areas such as Asia (Campoy 2007.) One laboratory in New York experienced huge prices increase, from $4 a liquid liter to almost $8 in the span of a summer. As we see in Figure 3, the demand for helium increase and the supply remains inelastic because there is no production of helium and there is only a fixed amount. At this point, the supply and demand curves have to meet at a new point of equilibrium to give the new equilibrium price. Because like I mentioned before, there is no way of producing helium biosynthetically, there are no close substitutes which makes helium almost a necessity and very inelastic (Helium 2012).
If there was a tax to be imposed on helium for any given reason, a tax on
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