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Business News Update

Cause + Effect

Forbes Magazine recently released its annual survey of the best cities across the nation for job seekers and the gainfully employed.

The top-10:

Salt Lake City, Utah
Raleigh, North Carolina
Phoenix, Arizona
Jacksonville, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Austin, Texas
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Wichita, Kansas
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Placing that list into political perspective:

Conservative state w/ GOP control of statewide offices
Conservative state w/ pro-business politicos
Conservative state w/ GOP control of state legislature
Conservative state w/ GOP control of statewide offices
Conservative state w/ GOP control of statewide offices
Conservative state w/ GOP control of state legislature
Conservative state w/ GOP control of statewide offices
Pro-business state that's conservative on the issues
Conservative state w/ GOP control of state legislature
Conservative state w/ GOP control of state legislature

Business Politics

Speaking of business and of politics, it goes without saying the topic of insurance has become a major kitchen table item in Louisiana since 2005. Therefore it was not at all surprising -- in addition to Bobby Jindal's easy victory -- to view the results of Louisiana's open race for insurance commissioner:

51% - Donelon - GOP
36% - Crowley - Democrat
14% - Other Republicans

Totals:

65% - GOP
35% - Democrat

When the public gets a severe reality check and there's no full incumbent people tend to wake up from their comas and vote Republican. If on the other hand you've got an open political contest and it's okay to be spoiled brats or lost in the fog then Democrats tend to thrive.

Stock Markets

Wall St. has been manic-depressive over the past couple of weeks.

Speaking of the stock markets and of manic-depression, back in year 2000 Vanguard's S&P 500 Index was trading at or around $140 per share. Stock market investors at that time were euphoric. They cheerfully were buying up shares.

In August 2002, however, the 500 Index fund had plunged to around $75 per share. Investors were gloomy. The economy was bad. Enron and Worldcom dominated the headlines. Many investors sold their shares in a panic.

In July 2007, however, the fund traded at $143 per share. Investors were euphoric. They cheerfully bought shares. There had been a rocket ride upwards for the S&P 500, virtually with no detours, since early-2003.

In August 2007, however, the fund dropped to $130 per share. Investors were gloomy. The media's so-called "mortgage tsunami" had struck. Many investors sold their shares in a panic.

Today (EST) the fund closed at $139.72 per share.

Morals of the story:

- Price matters.
- Being a stock market Lemming ain't a bed of roses.


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Comments (6)

I would disagree with Albuq... (Below threshold)
David in San Diego:

I would disagree with Albuquerque, thought it is based upon an experience of nearly 10 years ago.

Intel was proposing to build a facility in ABQ. The city decided that they didn't want them there, so they moved the site across the Rio Grande and built it a little unincorporated town of Rio Rancho.

Second, an existing plant in ABQ wanted to do an expansion. It would require massive amounts of water that had to be deionized before being used as process water. There proposal was to purchase the water, treat it for the process and use it, run it through their own treatment plant, and distribute it (all at their cost) to the city's parks to be used as recycled water for the plants. The city said no and that new site now exists in AZ.

Austin may be in a conserva... (Below threshold)
skegatz:

Austin may be in a conservative state but Travis county is blue-on-blue. As far as moving there for a great job: Austin was never designed to handle the influx of folks from Cali and other states that moved there during the tech boom. As a result the once sleepy capital town is now a traffic jam nightmare.

Rio Rancho and the areas we... (Below threshold)

Rio Rancho and the areas west of the Rio Grand in Albuquerque are developing fast, and while there are a few empty buildings or run down strip malls here and there in town the turnover and renovation seems to be ongoing and the economy seems to be very strong. Probably it's in spite of State and City government. The mayor pushed through light rail, which we'll be paying for, and the governor has done a few... rather interesting things... to draw business to the state. We'll be paying for the space port for the foreseeable future as well. (I'm not sure it exists in any form yet.)

It's the state left of Texas.

Albuquerque is a nice place to live. The most surprising thing is really excellent Asian food, particularly Vietnamese diners all over the place, and good sushi, too. I'd compare eating here favorably to eating in the SF Bay Area.

Charlotte should be right n... (Below threshold)

Charlotte should be right next to Raleigh!

Good to see you back, Ja... (Below threshold)

Good to see you back, Jayson!

Before you even listed the fact that each of these cities had a Republican administration at the helm, I knew why Chicago wasn't on the list: Democrat-controlled, from the bottom to the top.

I live in a beautiful city. But it is massively, almost intractably corrupt. Taxes and fees grow ever higher, and no one (both at the City and County level) believes in cutting excess, conducting cost-benefit analyses, and privatization when cost-effective. Meanwhile, the place has become so expensive that my rent comprises nearly 50% of my income (a single woman can't live just anywhere) and I've given up hope of owning my own place.

Perhaps it's time to start looking into SLC, Raleigh or Pheonix (if they ever get smart regarding the financial drain of illegal immigration, yet another factor ruining Chicago).

Hooverville I say!... (Below threshold)

Hooverville I say!




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