With the semester drawing to a close and the summer session getting ready to start soon my thoughts turned towards population issues. (I teach a population analysis class in the summer for the graduate students.) One of topic coming up in that class on a regular basis is pensions, particularly the math behind pensions. I thought a little post about the issues surrounding defined benefit pensions in order. JT also asked about alternative uses of the $3 billion available in the legacy fund when it becomes available in the future. So let’s start with this issue.

Continue reading Summer Plans: Teaching Population & Pensions

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JT and I talked about the issue of economic development in Grand Forks on the Jarrod Thomas Show today. Let me preface my remarks with a recognition that economic development is a difficult process, whether we are talking about managing it, reacting to it, hoping for it, or whatever. Development can inherently alter relationships in an economy, and in unpredictable ways. (Note I am not advocating management of economic developing because I think that often creates its own issues but we can discuss that later.)

Continue reading What’s that in the sky?

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My students and I had a good laugh this week about the Apple watch commentary in the press. A great deal of the discussion originated from this Bloomberg article. The general notion from the article is that you will “want one, but not need one.” This got a¬†pretty serious discussion going about a few issues: 1) the state of consumerism in the U.S. (and the world today) and, 2) the effects of disruptive innovations on markets.

Continue reading Apple Watch: Discussions with my students

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