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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

April 18, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Vote: Are we an oligarchy?

Abraham Lincoln, like many of the Founding Fathers before him, knew that government of the people, by the people and for the people, “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” was something new in the world, especially for a continental empire. Throughout history, democracies had existed in small places and not for long….


0 Comments | More in Politics and the economy | Topics: Citizens United, McCutcheon

April 15, 2014 at 11:07 AM

The box that changed everything for shipping

Port of Seattle commissioners and other maritime officials on Wednesday will mark the 50th anniversary of the port’s first container terminal. It was leased to Sea-Land Service and Seattle became one of the first ports to have a dedicated container facility. This is the way the world’s 10,000-mile supply chain works now, as grippingly explained by…


0 Comments | More in Ports of Seattle and Tacoma

April 14, 2014 at 10:23 AM

In Oregon, digging out of a deep hole | Jon Talton

The Great Recession hit Oregon harder than any other state in the Northwest. Demand for durable goods plunged. The same happened for the state’s timber sector as housebuilding collapsed. And areas such as Bend were epicenters of overbuilding. Unemployment went from 5.2 percent in early 2008 to a peak of 11.6 percent in 2009. In February,…


0 Comments | More in Pacific Northwest economy | Topics: Oregon econom

April 11, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Vote: The tech stock meltdown

The Nasdaq suffered its worst selloff since 2011 on Thursday. It’s down again today. There are a few exceptions: Microsoft is doing OK. But most tech stocks are selling off. As I write, shares are down 1.8 percent. The situation is not limited to tech — markets worldwide suffered a severe collapse overnight — but…


0 Comments | More in Stock market

April 10, 2014 at 10:20 AM

A new push for foreign investment in Puget Sound

I’ve been waiting for the Brookings Institution’s Global Cities Initiative to come to Seattle. The program, established during the recession to help metro areas improve their competitiveness, came closest in Portland, where it sought to leverage PDX’s sustainability cluster to move beyond that region’s dependence on Intel. Today, leaders are announcing a Global Cities pilot program…


0 Comments | More in | Topics: Foreign direct investment

April 8, 2014 at 10:21 AM

No, the jobs hole hasn’t been filled

With last Friday’s report that the economy added 192,000 jobs, we have now technically recovered all the jobs lost during the Great Recession. We’re back to 2008 levels of private-sector employment. You get a gold star if you said, “but it’s not 2008.” That’s the important “but” that should be in all the headlines. The working-age population…


0 Comments | More in Jobs/Unemployment | Topics: Seattle economy

April 7, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Venture capital shifts to cities

One of the most profound real resets from the Great Recession has been the movement of talent, capital and companies back to America’s cities and dense, transit-accessible inner suburbs. It shows up in venture capital, too, according to a new study from the Martin Prosperity Institute. Richard Florida’s team did a deep analysis of 2011…


0 Comments | More in | Topics: Venture capital

April 3, 2014 at 10:37 AM

McCutcheon, corruption and the economy

Combined with Citizens United, the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling on McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission is the most aggressive and far-reaching piece of judicial activism in modern American history. It will ensure the country’s transformation into an oligarchy where wealth controls politics and policy. This is actually very bad for most business and capitalism as a…


0 Comments | More in Business legal issues | Topics: McCutche

April 2, 2014 at 10:02 AM

The wages of work: rotten

If you need additional evidence of the radical divergence between people who make most of their earnings through investments and “rents” — and the majority that depend on wages and salaries, here is the latest report from PayScale, the Seattle firm that tracks compensation data. In other words, this is why a roaring bull stock…


0 Comments | More in Income/wages

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