September 22, 2012 |
What to make of this week's dueling economic headlines? Somehow, Philadelphia is growing both more impoverished and more competitive. The Pew Philadelphia Research Initiative is out with a new study revealing that the suburbs, not the city, have raised residential taxes most rapidly over the last decade. Philadelphia hasn't achieved tax parity - not by a long shot - but the Pew report suggests strongly the city is moving in the right direction. Encouraging. And yet The Inquirer's Alfred Lubrano reports that Philadelphia's poverty rate jumped 6.4 percent in a year, solidifying Philadelphia's status as one of the nation's poorest big cities.
September 20, 2012 |
NEW YORK - FedEx Corp. says the global economy is stalling, and it's going to get worse next year. A decline in global trade is shrinking earnings at the world's second-largest package delivery company. On Tuesday, FedEx said a continued slowdown in the developed world combined with high fuel prices will keep trade volumes at low levels. FedEx sharply cut its earnings forecast for the fiscal year ending in May. It further warned net income in the current quarter will fall below analysts' already reduced expectations.
September 19, 2012 |
Budget analysts and credit rating agencies continue to cast doubt on a "Jersey Comeback. " On Tuesday, Standard & Poor's became the third credit agency within days to warn that New Jersey's $31.7 billion budget, which went into effect July 1, is based on overly optimistic revenue projections. It depends on expected revenue growth of nearly 8 percent, more than twice the rate of the previous year. The Christie administration itself is presenting a muted economic forecast to investors, a far cry from the governor's months of touting the state's economic "comeback," a slogan he recently abandoned.
September 11, 2012 |
NEW YORK - Stocks slipped on Wall Street as troubling economic news from China and the U.S. outweighed optimism about more stimulus from the Federal Reserve. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 52.35 points to close at 13,254.29 on Monday. The Standard & Poor's 500 slipped 8.84 points to 1,429.08 and the Nasdaq composite fell 32.40 points to 3,104.02. The stumble marks a pause in a rally last week that took the Dow and the S&P 500 to their highest levels in more than four years.
September 8, 2012 |
Center City is the spoiled golden child of Philadelphia: always getting the accolades, the extra allowance, and all that special attention from Mom (City Hall) and Dad (the media). Understandably enough, this can make the other neighborhoods a bit jealous. Where's our Sister Cities Park? asks Fairhill. Why does murder seem to matter more when it happens in Center City? wonders Kingsessing. Those are fair questions. But the disparity in treatment between the city's neighborhoods and its core isn't going away any time soon, and for good reasons.
September 8, 2012 |
As Isaac was swamping the Gulf Coast last week, we talked about hurricane preparedness and insurance coverage. Now, it's time to talk about storm cleanup. Even when flooding is limited, say, to a basement, there are still precautions to be taken and special damage remedies to be considered. Recommended cleanup procedures have changed little over the years, although the emphasis has shifted to the effects of prolonged contact with floodwater. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency currently stresses that failure to remove contaminated materials and reduce moisture and humidity can present serious long-term health risks.
September 7, 2012 |
Tom Smith, the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania, released his economic-policy plan Wednesday, calling for a "flat tax" on all earners. Smith, in a news conference at a City Avenue hotel, declined to specify what percentage of income he thought Americans should pay. But he said a flat tax would be an improvement on the current tax code, which he described as full of "gimmicks" and "loopholes" and "10 times the length of the Bible without any of the good news.
September 5, 2012 |
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Paul Ryan delivered a scathing criticism of President Obama's stewardship of the nation's economy Monday, arguing that even conservative punching bag Jimmy Carter's presidency was better as Democrats streamed to the state to nominate Obama for a second term. "The president can say a lot of things, and he will," the Republican vice presidential candidate told more than 2,000 supporters in East Carolina University's student recreation center, about 230 miles east of the Democratic National Convention site in Charlotte.
September 4, 2012 |
When a wet dog shakes himself dry, he does something amazing. He hits just the right rhythm to maximize the drying effect with minimal effort. The seemingly casual jiggle imparts enough centrifugal force to expel 70 percent of the water in his coat in a fraction of a second. This fact comes courtesy of experiments by David Hu, a professor of mechanical engineering and biology at Georgia Tech. He and his students found that the highly tuned drying ability is shared by 30 other furry mammals.