Roads vs. Schools

By |2017-08-15T15:54:29-04:00August 11th, 2017|Categories: Global Market Update|Tags: , , |

Should emerging economies build more schools or build highways? Photo: Jogi Don. Source: Wikipedia The short answer would be “both.” Moving goods and services around is critical to an economy, but developing human capital is also essential. An educated populace is going to be able to operate complicated equipment, manage more effectively, develop new products and respond to markets more readily. But unless you can deliver your output where it’s needed, your improved skills aren’t very useful. [...]

If You Build It ….

By |2016-11-17T15:41:36-04:00September 15th, 2016|Categories: Global Market Update|Tags: , , |

Is more infrastructure spending the solution to our economic woes? Photo: HuBar. Source: Wikipedia Politicians on both sides of the aisle seem to love infrastructure spending. They get to brag about all the jobs they created. Sometimes they get an airport or a bridge or a highway named after them. And infrastructure spending is supposed to help economy. But does it, really? Consider Japan. In the ‘70s and ‘80s Japan’s economy was booming. We were all “turning [...]

Puzzling Out Productivity

By |2016-11-17T15:42:12-04:00September 7th, 2016|Categories: Global Market Update|Tags: , , , |

How can we get the economy moving? Photo: Doug Tengdin When people think of productivity they usually think about getting more done during their work-time, about working harder or smarter or more focused. But when we talk about productivity in the economy, we think about how much workers can get done within the structure of their jobs. Productivity is important. Economic growth is determined by labor growth times productivity growth. That’s all there is to it. So [...]

A Sleepwalking Economy

By |2016-11-17T16:11:00-04:00August 27th, 2015|Categories: Global Market Update|Tags: , , |

What’s wrong with the economy? Photo: Arielle Jay. Source: Morguefile Economic growth seems to have stalled. Since the last recession, GDP has grown at a measly 2% real rate. To put that into context, economic growth after a significant downturn usually booms, as it did after the recessions in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. In the four years following those recessions, the economy average 5% growth. But in the ‘90s and early ‘00s, we only grew 3%. [...]

Stimulus You Can Believe In

By |2012-05-09T06:53:23-04:00May 9th, 2012|Categories: Global Market Update|Tags: , , |

Was the stimulus a waste?That’s the question as we approach the “fiscal cliff” of January 1, 2013, when the automatic spending cuts of the deficit compromise and the tax hikes associated with the expiration of George W. Bush’s tax plan kick in. Certainly with 5 million jobs still missing and GDP running at 2%, it’s hard to say that the economy is strong. Proponents of the stimulus say it would have been worse without it; skeptics point [...]