I’m often asked about how regional forecasts are constructed.  The fact is that different outfits construct regional forecasts differently. At the lowest level of rigor, a forecaster may just discuss broad trends, perhaps referring to historical data, but not provide a numerical forecast.  These forecasts are not without value.  Improved understanding the general sweep of… Read more

The No Child Left Behind Act became law in 2002. Among other things, it required standardized testing of students, beginning in 2003. The scores are used to evaluate the quality of the schools. It sounds reasonable. Congress certainly thought so. It was co-authored in the Senate by Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Judd Gregg (R-NH), while… Read more

The Taylor Rule The Taylor Rule relates the target federal funds rate with the gap between actual and target inflation and between actual and capacity output.  The higher is inflation or the lower is the output gap, the higher is the target funds rate.  The rule is both descriptive and prescriptive.  It was originally proposed… Read more

I don’t think I’ve ever watched a compete 35 minute internet video.  I haven’t been to a movie for well over a decade and probably less than 10 times over the 40 years I’ve been married.  We have a TV at home, but no cable or antenna.  The kids use it to play Wii or… Read more

A few days ago, I attended a presentation on by David Flaks. David is the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation’s (LAEDC) Chief Operating Officer, and he was discussing LAEDC’s new LA County Strategic Plan. A few hours later, I was called by a Ventura County Star reporter, Stephanie Hoops. She asked for my thoughts on… Read more

Global population is estimated to reach 7 billion this year.  The United Nations is projecting that global population may reach 15 billion by the end of the century.  This projection is based on population growth continuing at its current growth rate of a shade under 1% per year.  However, extrapolation of the current growth rate… Read more

Today’s jobs report indicates our labor markets remain in the doldrums. The unemployment rate fell slightly from 9.2 percent in September to 9.1 percent in October, but jobs increased by only 80,000. The 80 thousand job gain was the result of private gains of 104 thousand that were offset by government sector losses of 24… Read more