September 3, 2015 |
There's a lot to like about the current state of the Philadelphia region's economy, particularly in the city, economist Mark Zandi said Tuesday afternoon during a panel discussion at the Union League of Philadelphia. "For the first time in a long time, it feels there's real underlying strength here," said Zandi, who is chief economist at Moody's Analytics. But the goal of the panel was to talk about what keeps the Philadelphia region from excelling economically like rival metro areas, such as Boston; Austin, Texas; and Seattle, and what can be done about it. Other members of the panel - sponsored by a nonprofit, Students Helping Students, which redistributes supplies and furnishings from wealthy schools to poor schools - were Jeremy Nowak, a consultant and former head of the William Penn Foundation, and Matt Cabrey, executive director of Select Greater Philadelphia, a group that markets the region to companies looking to relocate.
August 17, 2015 |
In the case of the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, you have to pay up front if you want to save at the pump - and wear an ecological white hat. The top-of-the-line hybrid I tested, the Limited Platinum AWD, had a base price of $49,990. That's $5,850 more than a comparable gas-engine model. What you get for those extra bucks is a substantial improvement in fuel economy. The conventionally powered counterpart to the tester has EPA mileage ratings of 18 city and 24 highway. The test car is rated at 27 city and 28 highway.
August 9, 2015 |
Statistics in Friday's employment report from the U.S. Labor Department point to an economy humming along nicely: Employment was up by 215,000 jobs in July, with hires in nearly every major sector. The unemployment rate stayed the same at 5.3 percent. Employment numbers from previous months were revised upward, indicating more growth. But the statistics don't do much for housing supervisor Marian Gwadera, 55, who, on July 31, lost his job overseeing janitors at 2116 Chestnut St., thereby becoming one of the nation's nearly 8.3 million jobless.
July 28, 2015
HOW DOES A CITY make progress? That's never a simple proposition, especially in a city like ours. Political will is certainly a factor (as is citizen will), but even the most disciplined political will can be no match for a strong stand from the business community. For example, much of the reform of the city's tax structure over the years would not have happened without the business community; we doubt that major events like the pope's upcoming visit or the Democratic National Convention would be a reality without their participation, either.
July 21, 2015
PHILADELPHIA'S future is dependent on the future of its children. Most parents know that. And most parents - rich, poor and middle-class - want a better life for their children. They also know, in their gut, that the path to that better life is an education. There is a vast aspiring class of parents in this city who spend an enormous amount of time and effort seeking a good education for their kids. They join the admissions lottery at charter schools. They sometimes move to be in the catchment area of a good public school.
July 14, 2015 |
ECONOMIC POPULISM is having a moment of celebrity these days. But so is economic gluttony. These conflicting impulses - equality vs. liberty - have been in constant competition. For some, equality of opportunity and outcomes is the ultimate political value; for others, it is liberty, which is degraded when property rights are too restricted by taxation and regulation. There is a view in both parties that voters are in an egalitarian mood. I don't buy it. The icon of economic gluttony in politics today is Donald Trump, however grotesque and trivial that may seem.
July 4, 2015 |
Gov. Christie has blasted President Obama's economic record and won praise from some in the GOP for vowing to boost annual GDP growth to 4 percent, about double the current rate. The Republican governor, who announced his candidacy for the presidency Tuesday, is widely seen as a gifted political communicator and retail politician. But he may not be the best messenger for GOP economic policy, given New Jersey's lackluster economic performance since he took office in 2010. Although the state economy has shown signs of life in recent months, economists aren't sure the growth can be sustained, and it all may be too late for Christie, anyway.
June 6, 2015 |
Edwin Rothman of Elkins Park, former director of the Pennsylvania Economy League in Philadelphia, died Thursday, May 28, of heart failure at Abington Memorial Hospital. He had been ill for a short time. His family declined to release his age. As director of the Economy League's Eastern Division from 1972 to 1983, and research director before that, Dr. Rothman was an influential civic leader in Philadelphia. He had joined the nonprofit group in 1955 and wrote numerous reports that influenced government policy.
May 19, 2015 |
If America's economic rebound continues, and small public companies keep growing, there's a way to express that in your portfolio. It's a popular exchange-traded fund that tracks the small-cap segment of the stock market: the iShares Russell 2000 Growth Index Fund (symbol: IWO). Wall Street institutions use IWO, as do smaller investors like Kevin Tierney of KJT Investments, who manages about $25 million in client assets. The iShares Russell 2000 Growth Index ETF tracks small-cap growth stocks, and seeks to mimic the performance of the index.
April 30, 2015 |
TRENTON - New Jersey's top elected Democrat on Tuesday accused Gov. Christie of ignoring the state's slow economic recovery, suggesting the governor's presidential ambitions were impeding progress at home. "He needs to be back here with a plan on what we're going to do to fix this place, 'cause you can't fix it when you're not here," Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) said at a Statehouse news conference late in the day. "You don't fix anything when you can't look anybody in the eye. I get his ambitions, but he's the governor of the state of New Jersey, and enough of the blaming.