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The recent presidential election and the extensive coverage of voting patterns raised awareness of an apparent “divide” between urban and rural populations. Differences often noted include age, income, educational attainment, and race. The economic divergence is notable, with the fastest growing industries concentrated in urban areas, while rural areas are experiencing slower expansion. more
Markets are among mankind’s most powerful inventions. Although they have existed in some form for several millennia, it is only in the past few centuries that we have used them to organize entire economic systems. Once we turned them loose, we unleashed a period of global growth unlike anything that had come before. They are not perfect, but they are truly remarkable and, like most economists. I am a big fan. more
Things are definitely looking up in the oil and gas business, with more rigs, more jobs, and more spending. The economic benefits of this activity are rippling through the economy, and that is definitely good news. It looks like we may have turned the corner back toward expansion, though there are some signals that the recovery may face some challenges. more
I walked into the house the other day and found Janet in the kitchen. “What’cha doin’?” I asked. “Making fudge for my Sunday School class’ party,” she said. “Really?” I said. “When is it, and do I have to dress up?” more
EDITOR’S NOTE: Perhaps the only thing better than Rusty telling a fishing story is one that has three chapters. This week, we’re running the final chapter of “Being overcome by gold fever.’’ more
What started out a few years ago with the Library selling some donated rose-bushes has blossomed into a full gardening experience and more. more
EDITOR’S NOTE: Perhaps the only thing better than Rusty telling a fishing story is one that has three chapters. This week, we’re running Chapter Two of “Being overcome by gold fever.’’ --- more
The next few decades will bring major changes in the U.S. labor market. The growth rate will slow and the labor force will become older and more diverse. The percentage of the population which is working will also continue to fall. more
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Rockport late on Friday, Aug. 25 as a Category 4 hurricane, the strongest storm to hit the U.S. since 2004. Although the weather system was soon downgraded to a tropical storm, the record-level torrential rains that continue to circle the Gulf Coast as I am writing this almost a week later have caused devastating flooding and damage in Houston and the surrounding areas. Federal officials have estimated that 30,000 people will need to seek refuge in shelters and 450,000 will require some sort of disaster assistance by the end of the storm, but those numbers have to be regarded as preliminary. more
EDITOR’S NOTE: Every once in a while, Rusty gets lazy and somehow talks his wonderful wife Janet into taking over his column duties. She rescued him this week when he said he was “out of town.’’ more
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