Brother Rabbit’s Bonuses

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo delivered a report to Congress on the bonuses paid to the employees of nine recipients of the TARP bailout money. He called it “The ‘Heads I Win, Tails You Lose’ Bank Bonus Culture.” (July 30) AG Cuomo concluded that even “in these challenging economic times, compensation for bank employees has become unmoored from the banks’ financial performance.” The report is only about banks, of course, since all the investment banks and brokerage firms changed their status to “bank” to become eligible for TARP bailout money last fall.  read more »

Meet Me in St. Louis

There is a bend in the river – and that’s where they put the city of St. Louis.

St. Louis is fun – and here is a guide to finding your way around. Just remember the bend in the river.

Imagine a bow (as in bow and arrow) aimed to the east. The imaginary arrow slides right through the Gateway Arch overlooking the river. Just to the west, behind the levee, is the old downtown.  read more »


Projecting 30-45 Year Olds in the United States

We constantly hear the the harping about "brain drain" in our local editorial pages and economic developer's board rooms. Most of the time, the term is referring to college-age or immediately post college individuals. However this overlooks another slightly less mobile age group that might be more amenable to direct recruitment tactics: 30-45 year olds, or those that may be looking to resettle as their priorities shift more seriously to their career, their family, and more importantly a balance of the two.  read more »

Britain, the Big Blue State

This week in the UK saw the publication of a much-awaited report on social mobility. Member of Parliament Alan Milburn chaired the “Panel on Fair Access to the Professions,” which studied which segments of the British population are advancing upward into the professional class. The report has generated coverage and discussion in nearly every media outlet. So what did the report conclude?  read more »

Elected Official Domestic Migration from San Francisco?

San Francisco, like every other core county in a metropolitan area of more than 1,000,000 (with the exception of New Orleans) continues to lose domestic migrants. Between 2000 and 2008, US Bureau of the Census data indicates that more than 10 percent of San Franciscans have left for other counties. But if one is a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (board of county commissioners), it may be convenient for only part of the family to join the exodus.  read more »

Rural-Urban Rift on Healthcare Reform

While much of the media coverage on the ongoing healthcare reform debate has focused on partisan division, a less mentioned point of conflict exists between rural and urban healthcare interests.  read more »

Decline in Construction and its Effect on Gender

Unemployment in the construction sector increased by 79,000 in June, according to a report The Associated General Contractors of America released earlier this month. Over the past year, that number has grown to 992,000.

Even more alarming is the disparity between the construction worker unemployment rate, over 17.4 percent, and the national average for all sectors, around 9.7. Construction employment is crumbling before our eyes.  read more »

Transportation fantasyland in DC

I want to pass along this Wall Street Journal op-ed on some of crazy transportation goals starting to get traction in Congress. The main excerpt:

Messrs. Rockefeller and Lautenberg aim to "reduce per capita motor vehicle miles traveled on an annual basis." Mr. Oberstar wants to establish a federal "Office of Livability" to ensure that "States and metropolitan areas achieve progress towards national transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals."  read more »


Fears of Stimulus Favoratism to Pro-Obama Counties is Overblown

A recent USA Today analysis of government disclosure and accounting records has revealed that counties that supported Obama last year have reaped more of the benefits of the stimulus package than those counties that supported Senator John McCain.  read more »

Here Come Wall Street’s Carbon Trading Wizards?

If you think that Wall Street’s vapor traders helped house the nation’s people then you are probably eagerly looking forward to how they will keep our environment clean. Under current “free-market” cap and trade proposals the same people who brought you the housing bubble and have contributed to wild swings in energy prices are eagerly anticipating their next vaporous bonanza. Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, one of the few elected officials vigilant enough years ago to foresee the effects of financial deregulation, believes there is a better way.  read more »