economy

Economic Disaster

Feb 19, 2013
http://www.princeton.edu

02/19/13 - Tuesday's Topical Currents is with Princeton University economics professor and Wall Street Journal columnist Alan Blinder.  How did the worst economic disaster in post-war American history occur?  The US financial system, he says, was far too complex and unregulated for the public good.  Blinder has written  AFTER THE MUSIC STOPPED:  The Financial Crisis, the Response and the Work Ahead.   Links http://www.princeton.edu/~blinder/

Time was, the stretch following Christmas Day until New Year's Day was a quiet, sleepy spot on the American calendar. The six-day span hung like a lazy hammock between the holidays.

Not anymore.

Nowadays, the WAC — Week After Christmas — is busy and abuzzing. All around the country, Americans continue to celebrate — Kwanzaa, the Christmas afterglow and the coming New Year.

CBC Saunders Real Estate/flickr

Consumer confidence in Florida dropped this month, but retailers were busy over the Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend.

The National Retail Federation says more people went shopping on Black Friday this year than ever before.

University of Central Florida Economist Sean Snaith says shoppers may just be more budget conscious and eager to take advantage of big sales.

NEWSCAST: Black Friday Draws Thousands Out On Thanksgiving

Nov 23, 2012
Bob B. Brown/Flickr

Hitting the malls on Thanksgiving night is becoming more common in South Florida. Stores are offering more than sales to entice shoppers away from the dinner table. 

Details from WLRN-Miami Herald News. 

Voters in Washington and Colorado just approved measures legalizing marijuana for recreational use. But businesses that want to sell marijuana in those states will face a problem: No bank wants to do business with them.

I called several banks in Washington. I called a local credit union, a tiny bank in the San Juan islands. Everybody said basically the same thing. Even if selling marijuana is legal under state law, it's still illegal under federal law. And banks and credit unions worry that this could get them in trouble.

One In Five Floridians On Food Stamps

Nov 15, 2012
NDReedplayer

One in five Floridians - about 3.6 million - is receiving food stamp benefits and the number is rising in South Florida, according to new data released by the state..

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties all saw increased enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in October.

The Sun Sentinel reports that the trend is particularly troubling for Broward County

This week, President Obama will meet with congressional leaders to begin working out a deal to avert a budget calamity commonly known as the fiscal cliff.

Economists are unanimous in saying that if the leaders fail to keep the country from going over the "cliff," both the stock and labor markets will fairly quickly go "splat."

Florida Jobs Numbers Improve Slightly

Oct 19, 2012
Thompson Rivers (flickr)

The September jobs numbers are out for Florida and the news is somewhat better statewide. Seasonally adjusted, unemployment dropped to 8.7 percent which is down 0.1 percentage point from August.

FLGOVSCOTT/Flickr

Gov. Rick Scott is trying to appease educators.

They didn’t like it when he chopped $1.3 billion in education funding from the state budget.

They liked it even less when he called for an expansion of charter schools and other alternatives to traditional public schools.

So, while most people are focused on the November ballot, USF Political Scientist Seth McKee says Scott appears to be ramping up his 2014 reelection campaign by extending an olive branch to teachers.

Florida Leads The U.S. In Foreclosures

Oct 11, 2012

Florida is number one when it comes to foreclosures. This is the first time since 2005 that Florida has held the top spot.

The rankings for September are based on figures released Thursday by RealtyTrac.

Within the state, Broward County has the highest percentage of homes going through the foreclosure process.

Michael Grunwald & The New New Deal

Oct 1, 2012
www.michaelgrunwald.com

10/01/12 - Monday’s Topical Currents is with Time Magazine Senior Correspondent Michael Grunwald, who’s chronicled the events and reactions surrounding the 2009 federal stimulus package, which reached 700-billion-dollars. In The New New Deal, Grunwald examines what prompted conservatives to condemn the stimulus as a monstrous waste and liberals to lament the lost opportunity for a bigger and bolder package. Grunwald speaks with literary contributor Ariel Gonzalez.

www.americascheapestfamily.com

09/25/12 - Tuesday's Topical Currents is with Steve and Annette Economides, known as America’s Cheapest Family. They’ve made saving money—and still living well—an art form. They plan carefully and only grocery shop once a month. How about feeding seven on $350 dollars a month? The Cheapest Family doesn’t give allowances—the kids earn their way and learn the value of a buck by buying their own clothes.  The book is The Money Smart Family System: Teaching Financial Independence To Children Of Every Age

Flickr/Dean Terry

A controversial agreement between Palm Beach County and developers is finally producing reduced-price homes for low- to middle-income families.

It’s just not happening fast enough.

In 2006, at the height of South Florida’s building boom, the county decided to set aside affordable housing for its workforce.  So it struck what sounded like a sweet deal for developers: they could build more houses than usual within certain areas, provided they knock down some prices. 

Flickr/breezy421

Some South Florida cities were born beaches -- others just kind of decided to become beaches.

In recent years, several cities have attempted to raise their profiles and attract tourists by tacking a "Beach" onto the end of their names.

Sammy Mack

Journalist Frank Deford’s stories have appeared in Sports Illustrated, HBO Real Sports and NPR. He and his wife spend every winter in Key West, where Deford says he breathes in the island’s different air.

It’s very possible to dismiss Key West, as the British say, as just too much by half. I mean, you arrive at the airport and it says WELCOME TO THE CONCH REPUBLIC – and everybody is quick to let you know that Key West really isn’t Florida … which is to say: it’s too good for Florida, or, for that matter, too good for any mere state of the union.

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