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Enjoying your cheap gas? Thank fracking — and the beauty of free markets!
One of the biggest stories of 2014 has been the astonishing drop in global oil prices. The price of the benchmark Brent crude went from over $100 per barrel at the beginning of the year to the $60 range as of this writing. It's worth noting how massive and completely unexpected this price drop has been. And it's worth noting how good it is for the U.S. economy. The price of oil is one of the biggest drags on consumer demand, the largest driver of the economy. And to what do we owe this miraculous event? The Week
Submitted 1 years 244 days ago

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Marriage equality's big year, in 2 maps
It was a big year for same-sex marriage in the US: 18 states granted gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. Mic showed the remarkable shift using two Freedom to Marry maps: Vox.com
Submitted 1 years 244 days ago

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Before-and-after maps show how freeways transformed America's cities
Between the 1950s and the 1980s, cities across the country undertook massive freeway construction projects. In many cases they decided to run the freeways straight through downtown, bulldozing thousands of homes and businesses in the process. Vox.com
Submitted 1 years 244 days ago

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Entergy: Louisiana needs more electricity for industry
BATON ROUGE, La. — The state’s largest utility needs to come up with more power before the end of 2016, and then find even more by the end of 2019 to meet the demands of Louisiana’s ongoing industrial boom. Fuel Fix
Submitted 1 years 244 days ago

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Oklahoma to increase wind-generated power
OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal agency says Oklahoma will likely see an increase in wind-generated electricity used to power homes. Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration says developers are planning to increase wind power capacity with projects primarily in Oklahoma, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Texas. Fuel Fix
Submitted 1 years 244 days ago

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Why 2014 was a landmark year for high-speed rail in Texas
A decade from now, high-speed rail could be as commonplace in Texas as interstates and air travel. Commuters will hop on a 205-mph bullet train in downtown Dallas and find themselves in downtown Houston 90 minutes later. Trains could make 68 trips a day between the two cities. Houston Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 244 days ago

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Medicaid expansion effort in Florida could get sunnier in 2015
Winter has just started, but the heat could be rising soon on Florida to expand its Medicaid program under Obamacare. Florida so far has resisted calls and significant financial incentives to expand Medicaid eligibility for nearly all poor adults—a move that could offer health coverage to 670,000 or more currently uninsured people in the state. CNBC
Submitted 1 years 244 days ago

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Florida to increase minimum wage Thursday
On New Year's Day, Florida's minimum wage will increase by 12 cents to $8.05 per hour, benefiting an estimated 364,000 low-wage workers in the state. The minimum wage for tipped workers in Florida will rise by 12 cents to $5.03 per hour. The increased consumer spending generated by Florida's minimum wage increase will boost economic growth by $38.7 million, according to an analysis of Census data by the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute. Florida's minimum wage increase is the result of a state constitutional amendment approved in 2004 that provides for annual rate adjustments to keep pace with the rising cost of living. wtsp.com
Submitted 1 years 244 days ago

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Will Florida finally do right on same-sex marriage?
Today could be a historic day. Monday December 29, the day the state of Florida gets on the right side of history and allows county clerks to begin accepting marriage licenses for same-sex marriages. Sun-Sentinel
Submitted 1 years 244 days ago

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The year in business: Bourbon thrived, but much of the state's economy just treaded water
Kentucky bourbon had a record-setting year in 2014, but was rare bright spot in the state's economy. The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce said Kentucky's 2014 economy lagged behind that of the nation. Despite that, Toyota got ready to add Lexus production to its behemoth Scott County operation; Lexmark continued its evolution as a company that combines services with hardware to provide business solutions and Lexington got a Cheesecake Factory that warmed the sweet tooth of Central Kentuckians like the opening of no other restaurant this year. Kentucky.com
Submitted 1 years 244 days ago

 

 

 

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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