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You know, sometimes I just can’t win for losin’. Recently, Janet and I were scheduled for a flight out of Pounds Field at 6 in the morning. We were headed to Chicago. I was goin’ there to work a trade show, and I was draggin’ Janet along to show her the sights after I got through workin’. Anywho, we had to get up at 4 a.m., so Janet could get ready. more
While rich in economic diversity, the vast border region between the United States and Mexico shares many complex and inextricable linkages. Geographic proximity and centuries of interaction have brought a unique social, familial, cultural, and economic melding that transcends the two countries. more
At the end of the movie “Stand By Me,” the narrator states, “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12. Does anyone?” That statement is probably truer than anything I’ve ever heard. Well, this story is for all my buddies out there from Rice Elementary School. A buddy of mine from back in the first grade and I were talkin’ the other day, and he asked the question, “What do kids do now-a-days for fun?” Well, I started to answer him, but I found that I couldn’t. more
A variety of factors drive economic performance, from policy decisions to industrial composition to natural resources. Some of these can be influenced over time such as by fostering a climate which is business friendly or targeting particular industries for development efforts. It is also possible to enhance growth by encouraging education and training which meets the needs of growing firms, and cycles within industries can affect overall patterns. more
The other day, I saw a kid ridin’ down a hill in a homemade car-like thing. Boy howdy, you talk about bringin’ back memories. This kid’s car was just like the ones we used to make. It consisted of three, 2x4’s and four wheels. To operate it, you sat on the back axle, had your feet on the front axle that had a rope tied to both ends. Someone would push you down a big hill. You would have the rope in your hands and you would steer usin’ a combination of foot and rope power. more
The federal budget process is incredibly complicated. With a population of more than 327 million, nearly four million square miles of land area, and the largest economy in human history, sheer size is one reason for the difficulty. Add to that partisan politics, a long history of deficits, some genuine and pressing needs, and a large and growing debt level, and the challenge escalates further. more
Last year was a good one for U.S. manufacturing and related industries, with the value of production increasing more than it has in quite some time. This means that these segments of the economy are growing, which is clearly good news. Businesses of all types benefit when manufacturing expands. Some provide the goods and services needed for production, and others sell the items purchased with the wages and salaries earning up and down the production chain. more
Let’s see a show of hands of those who have had their car seat catch on fire – while driving. I’m thinking there’s only one of us in the vicinity and luckily, I lived to tell the tale. Some 45 years ago, I was spending the night at a church day camp site when I was roused awake by a couple of park rangers who informed me that they noticed my car was on fire. So they doused it. more
You know, this is one of my favorite times of the year. That’s right, Valentime’s. I know, it’s spelled, and pronounced V-a-l-e-n-t-i-n-e, with an “N”, but it ought to be Valentime. After all, that’s the way a kid says it. I’ve always loved Valentime’s Day, especially when I was a kid in school. I remember Valentime’s in the first grade. I was Valentime King and my childhood sweetheart, Kathey Bell was Valentime Queen. We sat side by side on our thrones, with our paper crowns and presided over our subjects. It was magical. more
The U.S. personal savings rate fell to its lowest level in more than a decade, setting off a firestorm of speculation about the implications. For 2017, the annual savings rate was 3.4 percent, down from 4.9 percent in 2016 and worse than it’s been since 2007. Late last year, savings dipped to 2.4 percent (the December reading), which is the lowest monthly level since the fall of 2005. more
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