Obama's job and yours

Will the economy produce a lot more jobs in 2012, or are we stalled looking at permanent unemployment and a new underclass? It’s an important question because the answer to it predicts the course of the election season far more than anything else. It’s the economy, stupid – really it’s the jobs.


Eating our own farm financial cooking

One winter evening in 1999 I was sitting in on a Farm Beginnings class being held in the southeast Minnesota community of Plainview when a local banker stood up and made a statement that about knocked me out of my chair.


Growing jobs, revisited

Back in October 2010, job creation was at a complete standstill.  The bottom of total employment was hit in February of that year and little had changed since.  A simple analysis came through Barataria from Gary Shilling designed to predict when the turnaround might possibly occur – sometime after the economy (as Gro


Fueling the future

News stories on the economy are full of many subjects that would have seemed strange to American readers just a few years ago – European banking, the developing world, clever financial instruments, and so on.  There is one word that is strangely absent, however – “Recovery”.  This once prominent term has apparently been banished from reporting, possibly because no one believes that th


The water, energy and food nexus

As I flew back from Bonn last week, on my way back from the Bonn 2011 Nexus Conference (16–18 November), one thing was clear to me. Corporate environmentalism is entrenching itself firmly in the corridors of global governance, and challenging its advance will require new strategies.


Where are the jobs?

Since October, most of the financial news has been about Europe and the potential for a global meltdown.  The credit squeeze resulting from this crisis has become painful enough to demand serious action, which in global terms means our own MORE »

Black Friday: Did I just support a bunch of exploitative capitalist powermongers?

I didn't actually buy anything on Black Friday, unless you count a pair of drinks at the Minnesota Centennial Showboat. I did, however, write about Black Friday—and drew a lot of flack for it.

On The Tangential, a creative writing blog I'm among the proprietors of, I published a post titled "Shut the Hell Up About How Stupid Black Friday Is." 


Graph of the Day: Which percent are you?

With all of the hullaballoo these days about the 99% and the 1% – or the 47% and the 53% if you're reading conservative propaganda – it's worth figuring out which percent (roughly) you're in. With that in mind, here's a graph to help you out.


Moral hazard

Back in 2009, there was a lot of talk about the “moral hazard” of bailing out big financial institutions.  The concern was that, once bailed out, the banks would learn that no matter what happened the Federal Reserve and government would be there to cover all of their bad loans – and thus make more.   In short, providing insurance for default makes it more likely that it will occ


OPINION | Minnesota gains from imported talent

Patricia Tetteh and her husband Victor Lartey provide valuable services for people in the Rochester area and for patients at the Mayo Clinic.

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