economy

U.S. Federal Reserve / Truth In Accounting

The debate in Congress over raising the debt ceiling was focused on the $16.7 trillion borrowing limit. That's a huge number that has been increasing rapidly since the Great Recession. The chart above from the U.S. Federal Reserve shows the federally reported public debt jumping from $6 trillion after the 2001 recession to almost $17 trillion this fall.  

Forty years ago this week, the U.S. was hit by an oil shock that reverberates until this day.

Arab oil producers cut off exports to the U.S. to protest American military support for Israel in its 1973 war with Egypt and Syria. This brought soaring gas prices and long lines at filling stations, and it contributed to a major economic downturn in the U.S.

The embargo made the U.S. feel heavily dependent on Middle Eastern oil, which in turn led the U.S. to focus on instability in that region, which has since included multiple wars and other U.S. military interventions.

If you hit the drive-through, chances are that the cashier who rings you up or the cook who prepared your food relies on public assistance to make ends meet.

A new analysis finds that 52 percent of fast-food workers are enrolled in, or have their families enrolled in, one or more public assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps) Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Public Debt On TSE: Lining Up Lenders for Landing

Oct 16, 2013
Tom Hudson

The federal government may be partially shut down and flirting with an unprecedented debt default but the Broward County Aviation Department had no trouble borrowing $450 million this month.

Miami To NY Hedge Funds: We’re Ready For You Now

Oct 14, 2013
CARL JUSTE / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Miami hopes to lure hedge funds out of New York with an updated twist on a familiar message: Come south for warm winters, zero state or city income tax and -- finally -- a downtown worthy of Wall Street’s elite.

“It’s really showing the maturity of our city,’’ said Nitin Motwani, a Miami developer and board member of the Downtown Development Authority. “The more people get familiar with what is happening in Miami — the real Miami — the more people are going to say, ‘I’m going to give Miami a shot.”

Animals and transportation. Those are two areas Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry says residents would like to expand county services. And while the county has seen its finances improve as the housing market has recovered somewhat, the county is not looking to expand its workforce.

Tom Hudson

Paul Krugman is a lightning rod for economic criticism. He's used to it. For several years Krugman has argued in his New York Times columns for more government stimulus spending, not less.

Saying "American workers and families will have a champion in Janet Yellen," President Obama officially nominated her to chair the Federal Reserve, once Ben Bernanke completes his term in January.

Yellen "is the kind of person who makes everybody around her better," Obama said, adding that Yellen is "extremely well qualified" and "renowned for her good judgement."

Obama made the announcement at the White House on Wednesday, flanked by Yellen and outgoing Fed chief Ben Bernanke. If confirmed, Yellen will be the first woman to head the American central bank.

Tom Hudson

Mayor Carlos Gimenez started his career as a government employee in 1975. He's still one today, but with a very different perspective. From a firefighter to mayor of Miami-Dade County, he now leads over 25,000 full-time public sector employees.

Gambling Study Raises Doubts At Florida Senate Hearing

Oct 8, 2013
z4x7.blog.com

A massive expansion of gambling throughout Florida could boost state coffers by $1 billion a year instead of a $22 million loss previously estimated, authors of a gaming study told a Senate committee on Monday.

Tom Hudson

Since 2008, Nobel Prize-winning economist and Princeton University professor Paul Krugman has been a loud and consistent voice calling for more government stimulus to help the American economy recover from the Great Recession, induced to a large extent by the financial implosion on Wall Street.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Public Debt

Tom Hudson

One cost of the federal government slowdown is a delay in the monthly checkup on the nation's job market. The September unemployment report was due out Friday morning, but U.S. statisticians are among those on leave until there is an agreement on funding the government.

Tom Hudson

Like a lot of law enforcement agencies in South Florida, the Lauderhill Police Department run by Lauderhill Police Chief Andrew Smalling did not hire any new officers for several years as the city's budget was hit by falling property values. But now Lauderhill is hiring again. It's looking for five new officers, offering full benefits and a starting salary around $50,000.

Wikipedia.org

A Florida Senate committee on gaming will take up the controversial issue of expanding casinos and gambling in the state at a hearing today in Tallahassee.

The hearing will include a discussion between elected officials and analysts from New Jersey-based consulting firm Spectrum Gaming Group, a firm with strong ties to the casino industry. The company was commissioned by lawmakers to compile a much-anticipated report on the impact of gambling on economic growth.

The work that Shaun O'Connell does is required by law, yet now he's sidelined by the government shutdown.

O'Connell reviews disability claims for the Social Security Administration in New York, checking that no one's gaming the system, while ensuring people with legitimate medical problems are compensated properly.

Billions of dollars are at stake with this kind of work, yet O'Connell is considered a nonessential employee for purposes of the partial government shutdown.

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