Some Common Cents for March 15, 2013

March 26, 2013, by John Norris

What is the value of a quality education? There are any number of statistics and theories on the subject. College graduates make ‘this much more’ than people who don’t finish college, on average, that sort of thing. In 1993, according to the Census Bureau, the United States exported $424.382 billion worth of goods excluding foods, feeds, and beverages before any adjustments. On average, the US had 22.219 million workers employed in ‘goods production’ that calendar...

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Education Woes, Not Just a School Problem…

, by John Norris

You tend to put everything in an economic context. So, what is the potential economic impact to the state of the controversial Alabama Accountability Act the governor signed into law this past week? After reading the legislation twice, the overall economic impact will probably be somewhere in between the loudest arguments from both sides. Such is the case with most things. However, this act alone won’t cure what ails our public schools. Educating a child...

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Some Common Cents for March 8th 2013

March 14, 2013, by Shelley deClerk

Employment Friday is a time for reflection: just where are we, and just how far do we need to go? The answers are seldom what you want to hear. This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced the US economy added 236K new jobs last month. This was more than expected, and should have been very good news. Even more, the Unemployment Rate fell to 7.7%, the lowest level in some 4 years! Still,...

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Strong start to 2013 or Simply a Lackluster end to 2012?

March 11, 2013, by Shelley deClerk

Q: Last week you wrote about whether we are in a recession, and were noncommittal. However, the stock market is up and the economic data has been pretty good recently. With all the other bad news out there, why has the U.S. started the year on such strong footing? A: Why has 2013 started off as good as it has? Well, it is still early, but the easy answer is: because the last half of...

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Some Common Cents for March 1 2013

, by Shelley deClerk

Alas, the poor American middle class, I knew him Horatio. Just what is the proverbial middle class? Statisticians like to assign dollar amounts to define just who fits into this august category. Individuals almost always classify themselves as some measure of “middle class,” regardless of household income. That is why we have the phrases “upper middle class” and “lower middle class.” But do you want to know the real definition? One which isn’t as arbitrary...

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Common Cents for January 25th 2013

March 8, 2013, by Shelley deClerk

Yesterday, I participated in a panel discussion at the behest of The Birmingham Venture Club, which is, as the name implies, an organization which tries focuses on entrepreneurial opportunities and trends. After the perfunctory, canned questions from the moderator, a member of the audience asked the following, and I paraphrase: “What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs in getting involved with private equity opportunities?” As the microphone was at the other end of the...

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