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That's The Randle Report for September 23, 2016
Join us again Monday morning for all of the American South's business, economic development and political news in real time and in one place. Use the sort buttons or the search window to find any story you need to find from last week, last month, last year or several years ago. Click on the headline above to access Southern Business & Development's website, the economic development magazine of the American South; the fourth largest economy in the world.
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What Trump, Clinton and Pundits Miss: Long U.S. Boom In Cheap Energy
THE COSTS OF digital processing, storage and bandwidth drop about 33% per year. That’s why you can buy a 50″ flat-screen HDTV for $300 (I paid $3,000 for one in 2008, and it still works great), a laptop for $200 and several brands of smartphones for $100. Cool as these cheap prices are, they’re not digital tech’s neatest trick in the last ten years. Hint: It’s not the iPhone, Facebook FB -1.33%, Snapchat, Uber, Airbnb or Netflix NFLX +2.28% television, either. Digital tech’s most impressive, shape-shifting win in the global economy has occurred in oil-and-gas production. Since 2008 the cost-efficiency of fracking oil and gas from shale rock has improved 400%, according to Mark Mills, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a Forbes.com contributor. Forbes
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Is the U.S. election killing the economy?
The matchup between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is the wackiest U.S. election of our lifetimes. It isn't helping the economy Growth was already off to a lousy start in 2016. Experts predicted a summer rebound, but so far, election concerns are growing and the economic gauges are lagging. "Ultimately, what will determine whether we have a recession next year is the comfort level Americans have with who occupies the White House in 2017," says Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at The Economic Outlook Group. CNN Money
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Immigration Does More Good Than Harm to Economy, Study Finds
Waves of immigrants coming into the U.S. in recent decades have helped the economy over the long haul and had little lasting impact on the wages or employment levels of native-born Americans, according to one of the most comprehensive studies yet on the topic. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report on immigration assesses the economic and fiscal impacts of immigration, offering a broad look at a phenomenon that has moved to the forefront of the presidential race, with both candidates debating the downsides and merits of immigration. The Wall Street Journal
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Charlotte's economic success masks deep black-white divide
Charlotte is an economic powerhouse, a major banking center with a growing population and a better than average job market. But that success masks difficult times for many people who live there -- especially its black residents, many of whom are struggling with much lower income and much higher unemployment and poverty rates than their white counterparts. Racial inequality, poverty and segregation in housing and education "have relegated many residents to the sidelines" while the rest of Charlotte thrives, poverty researchers at the University of North Carolina law school said in a report earlier this year. CNN Money
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Atlanta Goes Big On $300 Million Infrastructure Project
Perhaps the most important things cities can do is invest in infrastructure that enables its economy and residents to develop to their fullest potential. Most people know about the industrial and manufacturing explosion that took place in America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, creating new products and offering jobs for millions. Less well known, however, are the investments cities made that enabled the economic explosion. New York’s expansive subway system opened in 1904, providing millions of people with the ability to easily access all parts of the city. Chicago famously reversed the course of the Chicago River in 1900 to ensure access to an abundant supply of clean Lake Michigan water. For better or worse, neither city would be what they are without the infrastructure investment. This kind of investment is the foundation for economic development. Forbes
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Are the rich paying their ‘fair share’? Alabama financial guru lays out the stunning statistics
With the 2016 elections right around the corner, the familiar debate over tax policy and whether the rich — the “Top One Percent” — are paying their “fair share” has returned to the forefront. Birmingham, Alabama-based financial guru Jeff Roberts, who was recently named one of the top private wealth advisors in the nation by Barron’s®, came on Yellowhammer Radio Tuesday to lay out the facts so people can decide for themselves. Yellowhammernews.com
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Alabama coach Nick Saban is America’s highest paid public employee, and he’s a bargain
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A study by 24/7 Wall Street revealed this week that University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban is the highest paid public employee in the United States. Saban makes $7.09 million per year, just edging out University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh. “In the vast majority of states, college football and basketball coaches are the highest paid public employees,” 24/7 Wall Street explains. “When a millionaire coach is not the state’s top earner, high ranking medical officials or deans at state University-run hospitals and college presidents are usually next in line.” Yellowhammernews.com
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Japanese investment is quietly fueling a growing number of industries in Alabama
When it comes to Japanese investment in Alabama, auto manufacturers Honda and Toyota and their broad network of suppliers across the state immediately come to mind. But the Asian nation is behind a significant number of non-automotive companies here as well, from chemical and steel producers to pharmaceutical and life insurance firms. In all, there are more than 140 Japanese companies that call Alabama home, and their combined annual contribution to the state economy, from a consumer perspective, tops $200 million, said Mark Jackson, honorary consul general of Japan in Alabama. Yellowhammernews.com
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Honda makes 4 millionth car and engine made in Alabama
Just shy of its fifteenth year in Alabama, Honda Manufacturing of America hit a major milestone Thursday when it finished its 4 millionth vehicle made in Lincoln. The Lincoln facility makes all of Honda's Odyssey minivans, Pilot SUVs, Ridgeline pickup truck, Acura MDX Luxury SUVs, and the V-6 engines that power each of these. "The commitment and dedication of our 4,500 associates has allowed HMA to achieve this production milestone and fulfill our commitment to quality for Honda customers across the globe," HMA President Jeff Tomko said in a statement. AL.com
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Features & Opinion

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

For those who still languish over "losing to China" or believe that the economy is still in recession, wake up and smell the data. Economic development in the South was about as good as it gets in calendar year 2015 according to the data. And as for China, borrowing a quote from the late football coach Bear Bryant that he made in the half-time locker room down 15-0 to Georgia Tech in 1960, "We got 'em right where we want 'em." For those of you who don't know the rich history of Alabama Crimson Tide football, Bama scored all of its 16 points in the fourth quarter, kicking a field goal on the last play of the game to beat Tech 16-15.
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Mike Randle
Today, factories in the U.S. make twice as much product as they did in 1984. And they are doing it with one-third of the manufacturing workforce. In fact, the output of durable goods in 2015 was the highest in the nation's history. So, we do have a strong manufacturing base, at least in the South, much of the Midwest and parts of the West, and it is getting stronger because on a cost-basis, we can compete with any major manufacturing nation in the world.  
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

FEATURE     
The argument for or against a minimum wage hike continues between the reds and the blues, as well as within the economic development community in the South. Should we stay the course with a minimum wage under $8 an hour to better compete with Mexico, the South's biggest competitor for jobs, or set a minimum wage just over $10 an hour, a wage floor most centrists support? That $10 per hour is, according to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, about right in most states in the South for one adult to be able to cover basic expenses plus all relevant taxes.
 
 Randle Report - Business News in the South
Recent data from the Computing Technology Industry Association (Comp TIA) showed that the technology industry is one of the fastest growing job generators in the South and the nation. The report also indicated that technology job compensation is growing faster than any other sector.
 


 

 

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