Mar 092015
 

Is China done? Is the 66-year-old dictatorship of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) about to end? “Predicting the demise of authoritarian regimes is a risky business,” writes old China hand Dr. David Shambaugh in a not-to-be-missed essay (subscription required, or use your library card) in the Wall Street Journal March [continue reading . . . ]






Feb 232015
 

Overview bullet points ahead of my economic-update presentations last week to the Northwest Wall & Ceiling Bureau (slides here), a trade association, and the Economic Development Association of Skagit County (slides), perhaps Washington’s most successful economic development association: Listen to the music of the global bond markets. The tune they [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 . . . ]






Jul 152013
 

I was a newspaperman before I became, in order, a newsletter editor-publisher, then a self-trained economist and professional speaker. I still love newspapers. And not just the on-line versions. I still savor dead trees. Four newspapers thud on to my front porch on weekdays, five on Saturdays, two on Sundays. [continue reading . . . ]






May 282013
 

Things on my mind as I prepare for the business/economy segment on KUOW‘s Weekday program at about 10:40 a.m. Pacific time May 29: 1. The Boeing Boom? So over. The headlines over the past several weeks about layoffs and other cutbacks at Boeing (excellent coverage in the Seattle Times by [continue reading . . . ]






Feb 042013
 
Population explosion . . . NOT

Do Malthusian nightmares about the population explosion keep you up nights? Relax. Chill. We Americans (numbering 315 million) are having too few babies. Middle-class fertility has fallen to about 1.6, far below the replacement rate of 2.1. That means fewer workers to support your Social Security benefits. And the problem [continue reading . . . ]






Aug 182012
 
Too many Canadians?

That’s the headline on Page 1 of the Seattle Times today. The article reports that some residents of the Bellingham area, an easy drive from the Canadian border, are grumbling that Canadian shoppers are overcrowding the parking lots of Costco Wholesale¬†and other box stores on the U.S. side of the [continue reading . . . ]