DECEMBER NEWS 12/30/07 The 2008 economy, Hale Stewart, Huffington Post. Checklist of things to watch for. 12/17/07 The Rise of Medical Tourism, Harvard Business School. Medical “tourism” is travel for medical purposes. The case of a hospital in South India is reviewed. The author says that the hospital is seeking to qualify to UK National Health Service standards. The facility is attracting more UK than US patients. 12/5/07President to Freeze Mortgage Rates, Washington Post. President Bush reached agreement with mortgage firms to freeze interest rates for five years for distressed homeowners. Advocates hope it will forstall crisis but others say it is a bailout. The plan would put some homeowners on a fast track to refinance their mortgages.
NOVEMBER NEWS 11/30/07 Apple's Hire Power: Job Growth Best in the Country, NY Post. BLS data for October released 11/17 and 11/28 show NYC added 57,000 (compared with October 2006) or 1.5 percent, ahead of the national average job growth of 1.2 percent. (But "best in the country" is justified only because NYC is big so a 1.5 percent addition is big, and the chart attached to the story is incorrectly labeled.) A major source of new jobs is business and professional services, which added 14,700 jobs. Within that sector, advertising jobs grew 7.7 percent - with Internet advertising more than making up for the losses in print advertising. Another interesting area is construction, which grew 5.4 percent, the largest increase since February 2001, during a period when national construction jobs fell 1.1 percent. The financial sector grew by13,000 jobs - but this number may falter in November. 11/29/07 One Out of Eight US Residents Is an Immigrant, NY Times. Over the past seven years, 10.2 million immigrats entered the United States, more than any previous seven-year period in American history, bringing the total number of immigrants to 37.9 million, one out of eight residents. More than half of immigrants came without documentation, according to the Washington, DC-based Center for Immigration Studies, which relied on Census data. One-third lack health insurance. 11/29/07 Feds to Suspend Rule against Employing Illegals, NY Times. The administration will suspend a rule issued in August holding employers liable for hiring illegal immigrants, pending revision of the rule because of objections by a federal judge. 11/29/07 Baby Boomers Will Rewrite the Rules of Retirement, McKinsey Quarterly. The boomers have changed the rules all the way through, so why should retirement be different? 11/29/07 Foreclosures Soar in Two Boroughs, NY Post. Compared with October 2006, foreclosures in October 2007 rose 170 percent in Queens and 50 percent in Brooklyn. 11/27/07 Immigrants Account for 37 Percent of NYC Payroll, 22 Percent of NYS Economy, Metro NY. A report from the Fiscal Policy Institute hammers away at data showing that immigrants contribute at least as much to the economy as other residents. An immigrant is defined in the report as someone born in another country. This underreported analysis gives a good picture of the occupational and geographic distribution of immigrants in NY State. 11/20/07 Traffic Mitigation Testimony Constructive, Environmental Defense. A majority of witnesses before the Traffic Mitigation Commission offered constructive suggestions for improving the traffic congestion/mitigation plan.
11/25 (HuffPost): An email I received from a friend attributed to Rep. Ron Paul a $3.5 trillion estimate for the cost of the war in Iraq. His source was the Joint Economic Committee Democratic majority, headed by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). Here, for my friend and you, is a guide to the sometimes confusing evolution of these cost estimates. More: 11/25/07 Huffington Post, Why Estimates of the Cost of the War in Iraq have Been Rising. 11/24/2007 John Tepper Marlin, Blogspot, A Guide to Estimates of the Cost of the Iraq War.
11/01/07(Acknowledged inbook): David Toomey, New Time Travelers (New York: W.W. Norton, 2007), about scholars who have written in-depth about time travel. John Tepper Marlin provided information about his uncle Dr. Willem Jacob van Stockum, a mathematician who was the first to show (in 1937) how Einstein's theory of relativity implied possibilities for time travel.
10/25: “At the heart of the subprime loan problem were lenders and borrowers who didn't ask enough questions about whether the terms of the mortgage were appropriate. Financial literacy would have helped the borrowers, at least.” 10/25/07 Comment by John Tepper Marlin on Nonprofit Expands Financial Education Effort, Crain’s NY Business,
10/24: "Problems are global, politics is local. In May, an elderly Penn South resident was killed by a truck as she was walking across Ninth Ave. Several fatalities have resulted from cars speeding downtown or turning at this intersection, a neighborhood “dead man’s curve” (see article in ChelseaNow) and ). Something has now been done about it. ..." (See NYC DOT slide show on the twofer innovation.) 10/24/07 Blogspot, Chelsea Intersection Made Safer.
10/23: "The health problems of World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers have been in the news. Now Peter F. Rousmaniere has produced the most comprehensive analysis to date of what actually went wrong. He cites three independent failures at the local or state levels. One, the City’s safety enforcement at Ground Zero was poor, well below recognized standards… Two, employers, insurers, and City and state regulators failed to monitor the health condition of these workers… Three, NY State’s workers compensation system effectively collapsed…" 10/23/07 Blogspot, Why the Safety Net Collapsed for WTC Rescue Workers.
10/23:“Twoprevious blogs presented compared the high and growing U.S. national debt with the debts of other countries. The rate of borrowing is, in the words of NYC Mayor Bloomberg, “lunacy”.The debt will reduce the standard of living of our children, while continuing current-account deficits add to the odds of future global financial instability. To the pile of evidence against current practice I add the growth of the U.S. national debt by Steve McGourty… 10/23/07 Blogspot, More on U.S. Debt.
10/19/07: "For the day, the Dow fell 367 points or 2.6 percent to 13,522. For the week, the Dow was down 4.1 percent. The other indexes fell by similar percentages. The day had little specific news to drive it. Initial news-service analyses didn’t make sense, explaining the downdraft based on isolated weak earnings reports. Two theories that might help explain the steep drop: (1) Rational expectations theory operating cumulatively on information in the presence of cognitive dissonance. (2) The madness of crowds. ..." 10/19/07 Blogspot, Bad Day, Bad Week for Wall Street.
10/19 (HUFFPOST):Turkey and the Rebel Kurds: Next Move "President Bush's response to the Turkish Parliament's declaration of war against the 3,000+ rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in oil-rich northern Iraq was muted because the United States needs Turkey. The Kurdish administration in northern Iraq seems unable to control the small number of PKK separatists, while labeling in advance any Turkish forays to strike at PKK camps as a violation of Iraqi sovereignty. Such forays would immensely complicate the war in Iraq... Turkey's economic needs might give it pause. ..." 10/19/07 Blog on Huffington Post, John Tepper Marlin.
10/17/07 Blog on Huffington Post, John Tepper Marlin, The Growing Price of U.S. Debt, "The U.S. public debt is currently $9 trillion. That's an average debt for 303 million U.S. residents of about $30,000, or for 135 million U.S. taxpayers of about $67,000. (The numbers are about six times bigger if we add unreported U.S. liabilities.) This debt is being financed by our children and by the rest of the world..."
10/11/07 Blogspot, Top 5 City/County Websites "New York City's web site - http://www.nyc.gov/ - is by far the most popular local government web site in the United States, based on visits to the sites. As of August 2007, NYC's site had a 7.3 percent market share. It is more than three times as popular as the next-most-visited site..."
10/10/07 Blogspot, NYC Speaker Quinn's Five Fiscal Reforms. "The NY State Financial Control Board (FCB), created in 1975 to oversee New York City's finances, sunsets in less than a year. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn this morning proposed a five-point fiscal reporting/oversight program (full text here). All of her points are. ..."
10/5/07 Blogspot, September Job Numbers, "The stock market rose significantly today on the much-awaited September employment situation release from BLS, which said: 'Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 110,000 following increases of 93,000 in July and 89,000 in August (as revised).' The 'as revised' parenthetical comment refers to a major swing in the August numbers. The BLS's August employment situation release had reported a decline of 4,000 jobs, and the revision is to a growth of 93,000 jobs. What happened?..."
10/4/07 Blog on Huffington Post, John Tepper Marlin, The U.S. 10-Trillion-Dollar Debt Limit. "The Senate has signed off. The president's borrowing power has been floated up to $10 trillion, which beats the AmEx black card. The president's limit when he came into office in 2001 was $6 trillion. So it's been hiked an average of $500 billion per year during his eight years of office. ... Over the weekend Mayor Bloomberg assailed the continuing huge U.S. budget deficits in a friendly speech to British conservatives..." 30 comments as of 10/15/07.
10/4/07 Blogspot,Predatory Credit Card Issuers? "Who's at fault for the high level of credit card debt and the high fees that are being charged? The credit card issuers, who make it so easy to borrow, or we American consumers who run up five and six-figure credit card bills we can't afford, until the credit stops? ..."
10/1/07 Blogspot, The Rising National Debt - Why It Matters. "Congress has just approved raising the U.S. federal debt ceiling to a tad short of $10 trillion. What happened to the virtue of thrift and foresight exemplified by the fable about the ant and the cricket? The ant works all summer to save for the winter, while the cricket just sings his heart out. Come fall, the cricket begs in vain for food and starves to death, not having figured out the America Buys on Credit solution – buy what you want and put it on Uncle Sam's credit card until it maxes out at $10 trillion. ..."