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Jon Talton

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

Category: Uncategorized
January 20, 2015 at 10:10 AM

Obama, inequality and taxes

Whatever President Obama proposes in tonight’s State of the Union address will go nowhere in the Republican-controlled Congress. But he will attempt to use the bully pulpit to acknowledge and, to some degree, propose a way out of the worst inequality since the Gilded Age. Two years of free community college can’t hurt. Falling educational attainment…

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Comments | Topics: inequality, State of the Union speech

January 2, 2015 at 10:33 AM

Vote: My personal-finance resolutions for ’15

‘Tis the season for resolutions: eat less, drink less, talk less, appreciate life more, spend less time on social media, spend more time voting that the Seattle Times gets a new economics columnist… But what about your personal finances? Remember, there are two rules: Don’t be greedy and don’t be stupid. Everything else is details. So what…

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Comments | Topics: debt, Personal finance, Saving

November 11, 2014 at 10:58 AM

After the first Veterans Day

Veterans Day has its origins in the commemoration of the Great War, which ended in the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. In Commonwealth countries, it is Remembrance Day. America had enjoyed spectacular economic growth during the war, even before entering as a combatant on the side of the allies…

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Comments | Topics: Herbert Hoover, John Maynard Keynes, World War I

October 17, 2014 at 10:19 AM

Vote: Are you anxious about the economy

The laugh line in the otherwise somber play The Shadow Box is delivered by the saucy (and dying) grandmother to her repressed and puritanical daughter: “Does that make you anxious?” So here we are with the Dow up 300 points a few days after dropping 400 points. The stock market indices, as the great economist Paul…

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Comments | Topics: deflation, eurozone, Federal Reserve

May 28, 2014 at 11:01 AM

McDonald’s and ‘real careers’

Last week, with protesters chanting outside McDonald’s annual meeting, Chief Executive Don Thompson told attendees, according to news reports, that “the company has a heritage of providing job opportunities that lead to ‘real careers.’ ” While this brought sneers from many critics, I think he’s probably right…but mostly about the McDonald’s circa 1979. Ray Kroc’s…

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Comments | Topics: Fast food protests, McDonald's

May 22, 2014 at 9:53 AM

What’s driving Seattle’s growth

Let me pivot off Gene Balk’s story in today’s Times about Seattle being the fastest-growing major city in America. The economy is certainly a major driver. The biggest element is continued increase of jobs at Amazon.com. But the city also benefits from being a start-up star and having an abundance of technology and life sciences…

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