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These are cynical times we live in, to be sure. From daily political skirmishes and workplace threats to the specter of unhinged world leaders rattling their nuclear sabers, it seems as good a time as any to sit down, draw a deep breath and relax. Thankfully, Christmas is just a few days away. But this most precious of Christian observances has undergone so many major renovations over the years the cynic can point to the crass commercialization of the holiday and mutter “why bother.’’ more
Taking a long-term view of the outlook for the Texas economy, I am encouraged, yet also cautious. With all of the key ingredients for economic success, the state is well positioned for expansion in business activity and the prosperity that goes with it for decades to come. However, continued economic performance hinges on adapting to the underlying changes in the population and workforce. 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
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
Now, I’m fixin’ to get into this week’s junk, but first I’m gonna have to do some explainin’. The reason I’m explainin’ is because it has to do with the story. This explainin’ may be borin’, but hang with me because the story at the end is worth it. There are a lot of you out there that already know about what I’m fixin’ to explain, but some of you won’t, and I want those that don’t know, to know. 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
By all standard definitions, the US economy is at “full employment,” which loosely means that everyone who wants a job has one. The unemployment rate declined to 4.2 percent in September, and the number of unemployed persons declined by 331,000. At last count in August, there were more than six million job openings across the United States, up more than 590,000 from a year prior and the highest ever recorded. 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
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