May 122014
 
Income inequality illustrated

For a presentation May 8 to the Washington Alaska Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, I added to my talk a few comments on income inequality. It is not hard to find ways of illustrating growing income inequality in the United States and elsewhere. Here a few slides prepared [continue reading . . . ]

Sep 052013
 

After my talk to CFA Society Spokane last week, a member asked why my presentation didn’t emphasize more good news. I responded that as a former newspaperman, I’m a man-bites-dog type. Dog-bites-man, the ordinary stuff that happens every day, doesn’t make the paper. I’m slow on my feet. In retrospect, [continue reading . . . ]

Sep 022013
 

For my money, the Washington Post‘s Robert Samuelson is one of today’s most accessible economics columnists. Don’t miss his column today. Excerpts: On this Labor Day, American workers face a buyers’ market. Employers have the upper hand and, given today’s languid pace of hiring, the advantage shows few signs of [continue reading . . . ]

Aug 302013
 

Mucking around recently released USDA data, I came up with the table below for a presentation to the CFA Society Spokane yesterday. I doubt the average Washington citizen appreciates what an agricultural powerhouse the Evergreen State is. Everyone knows we are the leading producer of apples. But we’re also No. [continue reading . . . ]

Aug 192013
 
Still a Great Disappointment

The Great Recession (January 2008-June 2009) was less severe and the recovery stronger than we thought at the time. But it was still the worst economic decline since the Great Depression. And the recovery remains the Great Disappointment. Uncle Sam in late July published national income and product accounts updated [continue reading . . . ]

Jul 302013
 
Jobs in Washington: What now?

Beginning in May 2010 and continuing for almost three years, aerospace employers in Washington State added to their payrolls at the rate of nearly 600 a month. Over eight months starting in April 2011, the pace of hiring was almost frantic, averaging about 900 a month, as Boeing scrambled to [continue reading . . . ]

Jul 232013
 

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma are both spending heavily gearing up for shipping-container volumes vastly beyond anything they’ve handled to date. They both may be chasing pipe dreams that will prove costly to their taxpayers. Data from the Pacific Maritime Association shows that container “handle” at Tacoma peaked eight [continue reading . . . ]