Anybody that listens to my appearances on the Jarrod Thomas Show will know the voice of my radio stalker. I am not sure I could live in the black-and-white world this individual inhabits. All roads lead to evil investment banks, every political party is wrong, China is the ultimate source of trouble, and so on. Usually he just does his little drive-by rant, selectively quoting anyone that agrees with his ill-pre-conceived notions about the economic world. Last week though he revealed the fatal lack of follow-through that taints all his ramblings.

Continue reading Follow-up from radio: Businesses still love profits

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I am anticipating some commentary from JT on the radio tomorrow about property taxes so I thought it appropriate to reiterate some of my earlier thoughts on taxes. The approach of local area policy makers matters when talking about taxes and tax relief. The typical way I am asked the question is whether or not people in North Dakota, or at least Grand Forks, will see tax “relief?” The answer depends on several factors.

Continue reading All taxes all the time

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The official release of the advance estimate of Q2 GDP today was actually greeted with a sigh of relief. What does it say about the economy when at 1.7% rate generates relief? The relief of course is because it is not worse, but this number is subject to significant revision and so it may only be a temporary stay. I get asked on the radio all the time about economic recovery. The answer remains the same: there is recovery, but it is wholly inadequate to make people “feel” like recovery has taken hold.

Continue reading GDP growth is cause for concern

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The Census Bureau released a paper (citation below, link here) attempting a correction of sorts for the poverty level in counties and cities with a university. Specifically, the paper looks at the poverty rates with and without college students living without their families and off campus. What they find is a significant difference for some communities. That is, for some of the communities, when you exclude these students you get a significantly lower poverty rate. This is not too surprising really when you consider the rationale for many attending college is to increase their lifetime income. Continue reading College Students & Local Area Poverty Rates

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