Slim chance of Social Security expansion

April 16, 2015, by John Norris

Expanding Social Security benefits will become a campaign issue for two simple reasons: older people tend to vote, and voters like politicians who are profligate with other peoples’ money. Now that Sen. Warren has opened the subject, expect a lot of debate, particularly in states with large retirement populations. However, once the elections are over, and the dust settles, expanding Social Security will be a dead end issue. With the vast numbers of Baby Boomers...

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Some Common Cents for February 13th 2015

February 17, 2015, by John Norris

I get a lot of questions, and have a lot of conversations about the future; that just goes with the territory. Invariably, and I am not being hyperbolic, there will be some discussion about the so-called Millennial Generation. After all, according to demographic experts, there are more Millennials than there are Baby Boomers. So, I suppose any discussion about the future has to at least make mention of the largest generation in our nation’s history....

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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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Common Cents for December 7th 2012

December 10, 2012, by John Norris

All the debate over the fiscal cliff has masked some real problems in our nation’s economy. We are so focused on short-term economic growth, you could argue we are failing to see the forest for the trees. Will either political party’s taxing & spending proposals really permanently drive the US economy back into the Middle Ages, or even worse, the 1970’s? Not hardly likely. Tax rates alone won’t do that, nor will spending cuts. However,...

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