Economically Speaking

Some Common Cents for September 26th 2014

September 26, 2014, by John Norris

A few weeks ago, my son asked me: “Dad, what do you think would happen if the sun exploded?” It was around sunset, and I had just said something along the lines of: “John, you know the sun has already set, don’t you? That light you see actually left the sun around 8 minutes ago or so.” So, his question to me wasn’t as bizarre as it might seem at first blush. Further, according to...

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Some Common Cents for September 12th 2014

September 16, 2014, by John Norris

I am sure it started out as something of a lark: why not be independent? We can surely go it alone, can’t we? As the Saturday Night Live character Stuart Smalley used to say: "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me." However, less than a week from now, the Scots will go to the polls to decide whether to stay in the United Kingdom or become an fully sovereign Scotland....

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$15 minimum wage would mean some workers make $0

September 9, 2014, by John Norris

This past Thursday, fast food workers in an estimated 150 cities went on strike for higher wages. Many of the demonstrators called for a $15-an-hour minimum wage. Just how realistic is this? Read full article here as previously published in the Montgomery Advertiser September 7th 2014.   The opinions expressed within this report are those of John Norris as of the initial publication of this blog. They are subject to change without notice, and do...

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Some Common Cents for Sept 5th 2014

September 5, 2014, by John Norris

Just what is money? According to Merriam-Webster, money is: “something generally accepted as a medium of exchange, a measure of value, or a means of payment.” For centuries, people used metals of various types for money, and certain, more primitive, cultures used things like shells, glass, and even rocks. Today, money primarily takes two forms: 1) paper, and; 2) computer keystrokes. Sure, we still pass along metal coins, and people certainly barter and the like....

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Incentives are risky, but so is not making the attempt

September 2, 2014, by John Norris

I saw the state gave Baxter International something like $5 million in incentives to expand its plant in Lee County and potentially create 200 new jobs. That seems like a lot of money for that number of jobs, is it? From what I understand, the incentive package is chockablock full of, well, incentives. The company gets $1 million when it adds 100 jobs, and another $1 million for the next 100. After that, the incentives...

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September has historically been the worst month for the market…

, by John Norris

So with stocks near record highs, should investors be worried about a big September swoon once the Hampton Jitney returns to Wall Street after Labor Day? Many experts (including Oakworth's John Norris) say no. Here are 4 reasons why.

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Some Common Cents for August 22nd 2014

, by John Norris

My brother-in-law absolutely loves the movie “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” I like it too, but not quite as much as he does. Even so, while much of the humor still holds up today, or should, the younger generations probably get a little lost in the whole Cold War aspect of the film. Really? You were that worried about the Russians? To people born since 1990, that...

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End To The Economic Mediocrity In Site?

August 18, 2014, by John Norris

After years of what I would consider a mediocre overall economy, I have to ask: when are we going to see meaningful growth, if ever? This is killing the middle class. So, what can be done? I make a pretty fair number of economic presentations, and always tell audiences to expect subpar economic growth for the foreseeable future. That sounds more complicated than it actually is, because I am being necessarily vague. After all, while...

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Some Common Cents for August 15th 2014

August 15, 2014, by John Norris

This morning, I saw a headline which used the word surreal to describe the US economy. According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of surreal is: “marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream; unbelievable, fantastic.” This is apt. When I pour through the data and look at trends, I keep coming back to a modestly growing economy that is vulnerable to external shocks. In other words, yes, the economy is growing at a mediocre, but...

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Some Common Cents for August 8th 2014

August 8, 2014, by John Norris

On Wednesday, my wife and I dropped off her car to have her transmission fixed, good times. I mean that money was just burning a hole in my pocket waiting to get out. The guy who owns the shop is a fellow named Joe, who was born and lived the first 19 years of his life in Lebanon. He claimed to be 52. After we had worked out a price, we made small talk for...

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