Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

School-Choice-700x466-1January witnessed a massive shift in the balance of power both in this state and at the Federal level as Republicans gained control in both. One thing is certain; we will all be confronted with new ideas and change. One such topic that seems to be making both national and state headlines is education, and in particular, alternate forms of delivering and paying for that education.

Before I offer opinions on these school choice ideas, let me extend a word of gratitude to our current educators. I believe teachers are some of the greatest people in the world doing a massively important job. We owe so much of our lives and successes to great teachers who taught and inspired us along the way. Regardless of the institution (public, private, or homeschool), you will find many great teachers. Sure, there are bad apples in each, but by and large teachers care about the well-being and success of the children under their care. They are deserving of our thanks and praise! (more…)

blue collarHow many times have you heard someone say, “You need to go to college so you can get a good job and make good money.” I think there are all sorts of issues with this statement, but before I expound, let me share with you a problem I believe is continually getting worse – a lack of skilled trades labor. A 2013 article by Forbes magazine places a spotlight on this growing problem. Here is an excerpt.

“For the last three years, according to ManpowerGroup, the hardest segment of the workforce for employers to staff with skilled talent hasn’t been registered nurses or engineers or even web developers. It’s been the skilled trades – the welders, electricians, machinists, etc. that are so prevalent in manufacturing and construction. But if these skilled-trades workers are difficult to find now, as Manpower’s survey indicates, just wait a few years. The skills gap is likely to become more acute. If the skills shortage is debatable today,” economic development consultant Brian Kelsey wrote last year, “it likely won’t be at some point in the future.”[1] (more…)

IncomeAn article recently appeared in the news written by Robert Reich, professor at UC Berkeley, titled, “The 4 biggest right-wing lies about inequality.” A copy of the article can be found here. He said America is “heading toward levels of inequality not seen since the days of the 19th-century robber barons” and the conservatives are lying about the situation. The lies he cited are as follows. (1) The rich and CEOs are America’s job creators. So we dare not tax them. (2) People are paid what they’re worth in the market. So we shouldn’t tamper with pay. (3) Anyone can make it in America with enough guys, gumption and intelligence. So we don’t need to do anything for poor and lower-middle-class kids. (4) Increasing the minimum wage will result in fewer jobs. So we shouldn’t raise it. Additionally, Reich, obviously against what he perceives as a widening inequality gap, says the situation can be reversed, but it will take bold political steps, which I’m sure he endorses. Here are a few responses to his thoughts. (more…)

minimumwage11Raising the minimum wage was become a hot topic in the political sphere. Barack Obama has proposed to raise the minimum wage of federal contract workers to $10.10/hr and many states have followed similar paths. There has even been talk of tying the minimum wage to the consumer price index. However, there are many who decry these proposals as wrong, socialistic, harmful to the economy, etc. So how are you to think about this matter? Is there really a right or wrong answer? Let’s examine some arguments from both sides and then look at two underlying principles that may help you develop a more settled conviction on the issue. (more…)