The economics of extending unemployment benefits

How about more than two years of unemployment benefits? What might be the implications of extending unemployment benefits, which already has been pushed out to reach 99 weeks? Let’s first consider the current state of unemployment in the nation. As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics early this month, the unemployment rate declined […]

Eliminate the fire dept.?

It’s easy to conjure images of firefighters from movies, their heroic efforts to battle flames and save lives. And no one can forget the images of 9/11, seeing the firefighters who lost lives while saving others, selflessly doing what they do best. And those cute Dalmatians, who can resist them? But that heroic nostalgia and […]

Are we only as strong as our weakest link?

We all want speed, agility, adaptability, innovation and sustainability in our businesses, especially in these difficult, complex and volatile times. To attain these measures of success, our organizations need to take a look in the mirror. We are only as productive and effective as our “weakest link”. For some leaders, this may be a process […]

Increasing employee engagement, military style

By Mary Kelly Corporate managers frequently complain that employees are unfocused, unproductive, and struggle to work cohesively. Employees not actively engaged generally lack interest in the goals of the organization. In economics, we call this the ‘principle-agent problem’ meaning employees look out for their own interests before considering their employer’s interests. Motivating employees and ensuring […]

A couple ideas about bases in foreign countries

Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul has some interesting ideas, and they don’t all make sense but let’s consider a recent one. During a CBS “Face the Nation” interview, Paul said the idea that the U.S. must have 900 military bases spread over 130 countries is an old fashioned. “It makes no sense at all,” he […]

“Occupy Wall Street” and the morality of free enterprise

What is “Occupy Wall Street” — along with other “Occupy” movements that have popped up in various spots — all about in the end? Many people seem bewildered. They ask: What does the movement want to achieve exactly? What’s the point? Occupy Wall Street claims to speak for the 99 percent that are not in […]

Book Review: “Social Q’s”

by Philip Galanes Every year, you’re faced with a quandary. Missing the office holiday party is not an option. You have to go, no question. But attending is filled with potential trouble. Will you, in the holiday spirit, say the wrong thing to the boss? What if your beloved makes a fool out of you? […]

Accounting, small business experts offer yearend tips

If small business owners take some time this month to review their 2012 business and tax plans, it could mean a little more money in their pockets next year. Local accountants and small business specialists are offering a few end-of-year tax tips. Stockman Kast Ryan accountant Cheryl Solze says keep first things first. “No matter […]