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Jon Talton

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

July 16, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Catch-up Friday: King Co. biz survey, wealth inequality, cities and offshoring, and more

Catching up:

— The Greater Seattle Chamber and 30 business organizations and government agencies are undertaking what they hope is an extensive survey of conditions for employers in King County. The Job Sector Survey will collect data on sentiments, challenges and aspirations of businesses. Go here to learn more and take part.

— Business Insider offers “15 Appalling Facts About Wealth and Inequality in America.” Among them: the gap between the top 1 percent and everyone else is wider than at any time since the 1920s; the top 1 percent owns one-third of the country’s wealth, while half of America only owns 2.5 percent, and half of America owns only 0.5 percent of the country’s stocks and bonds.

— You think the iPhone 4 is Apple’s biggest problem? Umair Haque in the Harvard Business Review writes a provocative piece about the real vulnerability of Steve Jobs’ baby:

So Apple’s Achilles heel is this: It’s part and parcel of what you might call a global Ponziconomy. That’s one where businesses do better by doing bad. There, companies compete to make some people better off by making others worse off. Like Bernie Madoff’s returns to investors were largely illusory, so the benefits offered by a Ponziconomy are often simply fictional — as we’ve discovered the hard way over the last couple of years or so.

— Tens of millions of jobs are due to be sent offshore by corporations in the coming years, and they won’t just be factory work. But not all cities are equally vulnerable, according to research Richard Florida offers in The Atlantic. If Florida is right, jobs in technology centers such as Seattle and Silicon Valley are hardly immune. “The regions with the greatest percentage of at-risk jobs across all three (Bureau of Labor Statistics) risk-categories are chiefly those with high percentages of higher-skill knowledge work. Among them: Seattle.

— Yet another problem with the financial “reform” bill: It failed to address the Fannie and Freddie zombies. Christian deRitis looks at the lost opportunity on Dismal Scientist.

Today’s Econ Haiku:

The market tanking

Deflation, unemployment

Out of bubble bath

Comments | More in Income/living standards, Jobs/Unemployment, Macro/Big picture, Outlook, Small business, Tech economy, Working America

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