More Sunny Days Are Likely Ahead for the U.S. Economy

“Will the Fed kill the current expansion? That seems unlikely,” writes Alan S. Blinder in The Wall Street Journal. The former Federal Reserve vice chairman says economic expansions don’t die of old age, they go on until something kills them. The most common cause of U.S. recessions in the postwar era has been monetary tightening by the Fed. Today seems different though: “There’s no inflation in sight. Janet Yellen and her colleagues are trying to extend the good times by raising interest rates as gradually as possible, ready to pull back if signs of a slowdown emerge.

Wall Street Journal

Why We Love the South

Ah, the sweet South. The warm weather, the comfort food, sipping on sweet tea is a transcendent experience. The South is unlike any other place on earth. The temperament, the soft accents and friendly faces capture a geographical region that tames the soul. Then there’s peach pie and recapturing our youth by catching fireflies at dusk in a Mason jar on a summer night. It’s enchanting, delightful, forgiving and as author, H. Jackson Brown, Jr. explained about the South in As Southern As It Gets: 1,071 Reasons To Never Leave The South, “Treat her well for she can be very generous. And, as you know, unforgettable.” But don’t take his word or our word for it. Come join us and take a trip below the Mason-Dixon line and consider all the things that make the South great.

Beliefnet.com

Here’s a way the US could get a better deal out of Nafta without changing it

There are two ways of looking at Laredo, Texas, a border city at the southern edge of the US.

One is as barren outpost of the US economy, condemned by geographic misfortune to a marginal existence. The other is as part of one of the most dynamic economies in North America: the border of Texas with the Mexican states of Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas.

Qz.com

The future of work: Manufacturing jobs are there, but workers need skills

Herbie Mays is 3M proud, and it shows — in the 3M shirt he wears; in the 3M ring he earned after three decades at the company’s plant in suburban Cincinnati; in the way he shows off a card from a 3M supervisor that praised Mays as “a GREAT employee.”

But it’s all nostalgia.

Mays’ last day at 3M was in March. Bent on cutting costs and refocusing its portfolio, the company decided to close the plant that made bandages, knee braces and other health care supplies and move the work to its plant in Mexico.

Dallas Morning News

Want to Attract Millennials in Manufacturing? Make Mobility a Top Priority

Manufacturing workers are retiring in droves, with an estimated 2.7 million jobs being vacated by 2025. At the same time, the growth and advancement of the industry is expected to create an additional 700,000 jobs for skilled manufacturing employees over the next decade. As a result, manufacturers are scrambling to fill this knowledge and skills deficit with the next generation of workers — millennials.

Industryweek.com

Can Next-Generation Nuclear Power Meet World Energy Needs?

As the construction and adoption rates of nuclear facilities slow down globally, now more than ever it seems nations are gradually phasing out nuclear energy as a choice replacement option for fossil fuel-derived energy sources. The exit of industry leaders like Siemens, Toshiba’s recent $6.3 billion lossand the lack of interest in nuclear power reactors resonate this assertion. Alternative options for global power generation are being heavily investigated and include nuclear fusion, geothermal, and carbon capture and sequestration, but these alternatives are still in the developmental stage. Nuclear power is a viable option, and next-generation reactors (expected to be deployed between 2020-2030) represent advancements in sustainability, economics, safety, reliability and proliferation resistance.

Forbes

UPS CEO: Fix infrastructure because 5-minute delays can cost us $105 million per year

UPS Chairman and CEO David Abney said Tuesday the U.S. must fix its roads and bridges because a simple delay adds up to millions of lost dollars.

“We have about 100,000 drivers, and if we have a five-minute congestion delay on each of those drivers every day, that’s $105 million a year,” Abney said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Abney made the case in a joint op-ed with rival FedEx CEO Frederick Smith in Sunday’s Wall Street Journal. They said U.S. companies and the government must rally together on key initiatives, including infrastructure.

 CNBC

A Roadmap to Job-Creating Transportation Infrastructure

HOUSTON- —  The Center for Opportunity Urbanism’s (COU) new report on the nation’s infrastructure, “A Roadmap to Job-Creating Transportation Infrastructure: Doing the Right Things Right “explores the best ways to address broad public concern about our flagging transportation infrastructure without increasing both the crushing national debt and federal deficit.

According to the author, COU Senior Fellow Wendell Cox, “The Trump Administration must propose approaches that go beyond business as usual, focusing federal resources on higher priorities. What is needed here is a bold departure from the policies of the past.”

Business Insider

OH NO, ANOTHER MEGADEAL?

Mississippi reportedly is in the running for another automotive manufacturing plant.

Hold onto your wallets. There’s no telling what this one might cost the state to land.

In the past, the bidding war between states, mostly in the Southeast, to attract foreign automakers has been done largely behind the scenes. Economic developers in Mississippi have claimed the potential projects had to be kept hush-hush, or the manufacturer might go elsewhere.

Japanese automakers Toyota and Mazda, in a joint venture they are pursuing, are doing away with that pretense. They have made public their intentions to put a $1.6 billion plant somewhere in this country, probably in the union-unfriendly South, and they have essentially said, “Let the bidding begin.”

 Northsidesun.com

Poverty rate, not jobs, is the true measure of success

Since July 1, President Trump has tweeted to celebrate the results of the U.S. stock market nine times and has tweeted about strong employment numbers 13 times. His frequent tweeting about these two metrics appears to indicate that they are his key indicators for assessing how we are doing as a country. It is worth noting, however, that during this timeframe, not once has he tweeted about the “poverty rate” in the U.S. Why not?

Yes, the U.S. stock market, as measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, seems to be doing well, as the Dow posted record closing highs all of last week. This, however, should not be too surprising. Since 2013, the U.S. stock market has hit a new high closing record 157 times (123 times under President Obama, 34 times under President Trump). Here’s another way of looking at it: The U.S. stock market has hit an all-time high in 30 of the last 54 months. In other words, the U.S. stock market has been doing well for quite some time now, meaning the record-breaking numbers that the President is tweeting about aren’t quite as rare as they might seem.

What should be surprising and alarming is the fact that the President does not seem to view the U.S. poverty rate as a key indicator of how America is doing.

News & Observer