Writing Archive

A Reagan Comparison the White House Wants to Make

Ronald Reagan is respected among most Americans as a president who tore down the Iron Curtain, ushered in a 15-year bull market, and generally restored optimism. Even Barack Obama admitted in 2009, that “I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America.”
But if you flash back to this day in 1982, nearly two years before [...]

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Two Maps that Help Sum Up this Election Cycle

It’s tough to throw a pin on map these days and not hit an area with some kind of economic distress. So today when the Washington Post and Mint.com released maps of home foreclosures and poverty levels, respectively, it looked like just about the whole nation was facing hard times.
The first map from the [...]

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Where Have Wages Fared Best Under Obama?

When Democrats were campaigning in 2006, one of the bedrocks of their platform was raising in the minimum wage. Democrats across the land, liberal and conservative, saw it as an easy political win, a campaign wedge issue, and an economic no-brainer. Once they got in power, it was one of few pieces of [...]

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A Winning Investment, A Political Nightmare

The irony of TARP is that is was actually a winning investment for the government. The loans that were provided — and in some cases forced — to banks “are turning out to be net cash positive“ in many cases. TARP probably saved the U.S. financial system from an even more aggressive downward spiral, [...]

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Which Districts are in the Foreclosure Belt?

The Department of Labor Statistics announced on Monday that the recession that started with the subprime mortgage crisis officially ended in June, 2009. Wall Street rallied on the news and the Dow jumped 101 points, but the announcement probably fell on deaf ears in neighborhoods from San Bernadino to Cape Coral.
Unemployment is the definitely [...]

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Wealthiest States are Backbone Of Financial Reform “Yea” Vote

It’s no surprise that the financial reform bill passed today, but it is interesting that 19 of the senators from the ten wealthiest states voted “Yea” on a bill intended to impose 533 new rules on the financial services industry.
It’s a complicated topic, which is why the Main Street vs. Wall Street rhetoric might be [...]

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Power to the People

On a sweltering afternoon in August, 2003, a blackout in Ohio cascaded across the northeast and knocked out power for 50 million people.  Official inquiries blamed it on “overgrown trees,” but a National Journal cover story suspected that hackers “working on behalf of the Chinese government and military” could have been responsible.
Whatever the cause, it [...]

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Jobs Report is Mixed, but Future Looks Brighter Nationwide

Another mixed jobs report for Obama.  The unemployment rate dropped to 9.5% even though the economy lost 125,000 jobs last month, mainly because 225,000 Census jobs were eliminated.  But if it’s any comfort to the White House, Moody’s is predicting a bullish jobs market for 2011.
The map below, produced by USA Today and based on [...]

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Why Financial Reform Passed

Financial reform was much a easier win for Obama than health care (Forbes called it a “rather painless” process), and I think the map below explains why.  The image was supposed to be on the Fortune 500 cover, but the mag rejected it, perhaps because the gloomy picture it casts of the American economy.
The map, [...]

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America’s Next Oil Boom State Will Be…

North Dakota.
The USGS recently upgraded its estimates of recoverable oil in the Bakken Formatoin in North Dakota (and northern Montana and Saskatchewan) to 4.3 billion barrels.  To put that in perspective, the entire United States, including Alaska and the Gulf, produced 1.7 billion barrels in 2005.
Oil companies have reportedly known about the formation since the [...]

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