The recent situation with Carillion should force many to consider the larger issue of corporate, or public, pension solvency. The underfunding of pensions is serious in many cases, and the “guarantee” of funds availability in retirement is not 100%. Whether we want to talk about social security, the North Dakota state teachers’ pension fund, the situation below with Carillion or a different company several of the issues remain the same.

Continue reading Failures, Pensions, and Demography

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It is a constant refrain on my part. Population is the key. This is true if I am in class teaching undergraduate or graduate students, on the radio talking with JT or the public, or in  casual conversation with family or friends. Population is a key to growth, and I think most people get it. The problem is arriving at a policy that encourages sustainable population growth. North Dakota has more jobs than unemployed, and has had the problem for a long time, indicating an issue with attracting in-migration in needed numbers. Neither have we seen a demographic change in births or mortality sufficient to overcome these problems.

Continue reading Demographic Policy Lessons for North Dakota

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One of the most interesting stories of the aftermath of the tax legislation is the race to pay property taxes this year in many states so they still qualify for deductions. Clearly this is a big issue for those living in high tax states. The images are amazing when you think about it. When was the last time you saw a line of people to pay their taxes well before the due date?

Continue reading Taxes and timing

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