August 12, 2010 |
Dramatic changes in the worldwide economic structure raise serious concerns, and much of the public debate and many decision-makers, as the old saying goes, can't seem to see the forest for the trees. The debate is too tightly focused on partisan rhetoric and how current global competition pits nations with differing cost structures, regulatory systems, and financing schemes against each other. We need hard work focused on achievable strategies if we are to thrive under the new realities.
June 15, 2010 |
Will politics slow our economic recovery? Will world leaders who pulled us back from the brink of a new Great Depression throw in the towel before the global economy gets the unemployed back to work? These are the moment's central questions, and I posed them last week to Larry Summers, President Obama's top economic adviser. Summers is often cast as an economic conservative because he was a serious budget balancer in the Clinton years. In fact, he is a pragmatist who thinks economics involves the art of tailoring policies to actual conditions.
November 24, 2009 |
New Jersey Gov.-elect Christopher J. Christie has been reaching across the aisle to Democrats since Election Day, and yesterday he reached across the Delaware River to one more member of the opposition party: Gov. Rendell. The two former prosecutors met for about 45 minutes at the Fairless Hills headquarters of a company that is setting up to manufacture polysilicon, a material used in the creation of solar panels. Christie said York Tsuo, the founder of AE PolySilicon Corp.
October 30, 2009 |
President Obama has pledged "to explore each and every avenue that will lead to job creation and economic growth. " One avenue would be redirecting nearly $300 billion in unspent federal stimulus funds to metropolitan areas, where most of the people, jobs, and gross domestic product in this country are found. While states hoard federal money to do little more than plug yawning budget gaps, cities are more likely to use it to create jobs in the short term and drive economic growth in the long term.
October 20, 2009 |
Considering the recent debate about transportation funding, some may be wondering whose responsibility it is to finance our roadway and transit systems. Well, if you live in Pennsylvania and drive its highways and bridges everyday, or use some form of public transit, then it is yours! As a civil engineer in the state's transportation industry, I have an insider's view of the condition of the state's roads and bridges. Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of structurally deficient bridges.
June 28, 2009 |
Imagine living in a society where reliable police and fire protection were available only to those who worked for the largest employers. In this fictional country, people with enough money might be able to buy personal protection - but perhaps not if they'd suffered a burglary five years ago, or once called 911 for a kitchen fire. Would people with good ideas and a little bit of money be willing to give up personal security for the chance to start their own businesses? Or would they cling to the safety promised by a job at a big company or institution?
April 27, 2009
CONGRATS to the letter-writer who penned "The 'Free Transit' Option" (April 21) for thinking BIG! Free transit in Philly would be an excellent stimulus for the city and its residents and could offer a model for the rest of the nation. We haven't been utilizing the infrastructure the city is fortunate to have to make the city more livable and, in the process, "green. " Recognizing that fares, a major expense in the lives of most workers who use SEPTA, are a relatively minor amount of the system's budget and inhibit the use and growth of quality public transit is the kind of thinking needed as we create a new, more functional economy.
December 9, 2008 |
After the recent electoral rout, we conservatives must redefine ourselves in a world that has changed since Reagan. One new reality is the imperative that government modernize America's aging energy, water and transportation infrastructure. Many conservatives are uneasy with such talk - clinging to the notion that government investment or oversight is anathema to core conservative beliefs. They fear the creation of another permanent bureaucracy, foresee a strain on the budget at a time of extreme economic distress, and argue that such spending is an ineffective stimulus.
October 30, 2008 |
The Federal Reserve cut a key interest rate half a percentage point yesterday in a bid to revive an economy reeling from the most severe financial crisis in decades. The central bank reduced its target for the federal funds rate, the interest banks charge on overnight loans, to 1 percent - a low last seen in 2003-04 as the nation was recovering from the 2001 recession and terrorist attacks. The funds rate has not been lower since 1958, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president. The cut was the second this month and brought the rate down from 2 percent.
January 29, 2008 |
In coping with tough economic times, local union leaders said the best defense was a good offense. "I'm the business manager of IBEW Local 380," said Kenneth R. MacDougall, whose union represents 1,000 electricians working in suburban pharmaceutical facilities and power plants. "But," he said, "I like to say I'm the business development manager. " Instead of singing the blues at the bargaining table, unions, he and others said, need to work with employers to generate business.