Energy is a big story in North Dakota, and really North Dakota is a big story across the country. Domestic oil production is really taking off with North Dakota a celebrated part of the story. This graph shows the situation import-export situation for US as a whole.
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.
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.
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
The Wall Street Journal did an analysis of comments by Federal Reserve members and judged the accuracy (article). “Hawks” are thought to be more aggressive anti-inflation policy authorities than “Doves”. I find it interesting that they go so far as to judge a winner in this situation. Long run outcomes are still not known and would be an important part of scoring who was “right”. But there are a few other issues here as well.