January 16, 2015

In 2007 the American birth rate was clipping along at a steady pace. With an average of 69.3 infants being born for every 1,000 fertile-age women, U.S. citizens were making enough babies to keep the population stable. Then the economy took a nosedive the next year and the birth rate quickly followed suit. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, as of 2013 Americans were making only 62.5 babies per 1,000 potential mothers, an amount that falls well below Continue reading

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November 30, 2014

The stock market crash of 2008 sent shockwaves across the world’s economies, leading many to speculate about the future of American financial policy on the global stage. In the eyes of many experts at the time, the U.S. dollar was especially at risk of losing its decades-long dominance. After all, the inferno of the financial crisis spread so fast because many nations measure their own currency against the dollar. When its value plummeted, so did countless other currencies.

The debacle Continue reading

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August 26, 2014

Economists have long argued that a skills gap is growing among the American workforce. Hundreds of businesses both large and small have echoed this sentiment, claiming that there aren’t enough qualified people to perform certain jobs. However, in most cases this line of thinking simply doesn’t add up. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of unemployed people exceeds the number of jobs available in every industry. In durable goods manufacturing, for instance, there are approximately 576,000 idle Continue reading

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August 5, 2014

Even though the U.S. has a gross domestic product (GDP) valued at nearly $17 trillion, that huge figure still doesn’t come close to providing a complete picture of the American economy. Each year billions upon billions of transactions go undocumented, untaxed, and ultimately unrecorded by official GDP statisticians. Whether it’s earning a few bucks by mowing a neighbor’s lawn or by selling drugs, these concealed deals all form what’s known as the underground economy.

Many economists have said that it’s Continue reading

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August 1, 2014

For decades big companies have done their best to avoid hefty corporate tax rates levied by Uncle Sam. The U.S. government collects 35 percent of a domestically based corporation’s income, a figure based on the entirety of the company’s worldwide revenue. This mighty bite from the bottom line leads many firms to reincorporate their companies in places like the Cayman Islands or Ireland, where the corporate tax rate is just 12.5 percent. While this process of “inversion” is entirely legal, Continue reading

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July 20, 2014

 

In early June, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signed a bill into law that will raise the city’s minimum wage to $15-an-hour. At more than double the federal level, Seattle’s new wage floor will become the highest in the country once it is fully implemented. Large businesses have until 2017 to reach the $15 mark while small businesses can wait as late as 2021. In both cases, wages will be slowly raised in the intervening years to make the process Continue reading

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June 12, 2014

Recent federal banking regulations have placed limits on the fees that financial institutions can charge for things like overdrafts and credit card transactions. Although this has been good news for consumers and merchants, the new rules have reduced revenue streams for banks across the country. As a result, many institutions are looking to make up the difference through additional sources of income, such as Western Union branches.

The more than 160-year-old money-wiring firm sells its services to 52,000 locations throughout Continue reading

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March 31, 2014

The slow reemergence of American manufacturing has been touted by politicians on both sides of the aisle as an essential force in the recent economic recovery. But in many cases, the manufacturers driving production across the nation aren’t American at all. In fact, Honda recently announced that it built and shipped more cars from the U.S. than it imported here from Japan.

According to Honda executives, the company’s current status as an American exporting power wasn’t the intention when it Continue reading

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January 19, 2014

Although the American economy is slowly recovering, the job market is not. Low and minimum wage work has driven much of the recovery while mid-level jobs that disappeared during the recession have failed to rematerialize. Confronted with this bleak “new normal,” many people in both the private and public sectors have called for an increase to the federal minimum wage. Advocates for change point to cases like that of Anthony Goytia, who must supplement his salary as a Wal-Mart clerk Continue reading

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January 12, 2014

When people think about the average American college student, their minds often wander to images of fresh-faced teenagers hitting campus right out of high school on their parents’ dime. But in reality, only one-third of the nation’s more than 20 million students enrolled in two- and four-year universities fit that description.

Though it may not surprise seasoned professors, the idea of the “traditional” college student is becoming increasingly outdated. According to recent data collected by the U.S. Department of Education, Continue reading

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