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Jon Talton

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

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April 24, 2014 at 3:13 PM

How the Northwest stacks up in income growth

For the first time, the government has measured the inflation-adjusted living costs across states. With the national average being equal to 100, Washington came in at 103.2 in 2012, a relatively higher-cost state (of course, you get what you pay for: Mississippi was lowest). Oregon, by contrast, was 98.8; Idaho 93.6, and Alaska 107.1. You…

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0 Comments | More in Pacific Northwest economy

April 24, 2014 at 10:11 AM

UW event will take deeper look at inequality

The Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies at the University of Washington will host an event Friday that will take an in-depth look at rising inequality. It is aimed at connecting major scholars with activists, but promises to offer plenty of perspective for the general public. Professor George Lovell said, “We aim to take a step…

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0 Comments | More in Inequality

April 23, 2014 at 10:17 AM

One last push on Trans-Pacific Partnership

President Obama’s visit to Oso yesterday was made en route to Asia, where he hopes to give a decisive push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the giant, “high standards” trade deal four years in the making that would involve the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations. The TPP would be the most ambitious trade…

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0 Comments | More in Trade | Topics: Trans-Pacific Partnership

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….

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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…

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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,…

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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, Amazon.com shares are down 1.8 percent. The situation is not limited to tech — markets worldwide suffered a severe collapse overnight — but…

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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…

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0 Comments | More in | Topics: Foreign direct investment

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