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How to 'Tune' a City
There’s an aphorism often attributed to the jazz bassist and band leader Charles Mingus: “Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that's easy. What's hard is to be as simple as Bach.” In his new book The Well-Tempered City, Jonathan F. P. Rose makes a creative effort to give some truly simple advice to mayors, urban leaders, and city-builders: work in harmony with nature. Citylab.com
Submitted 8 hours ago

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To Get Smart Cities, We First Need 5G Networks
Imagine driving through a big city in which sensors switch red lights to green so you are never needlessly stuck at an empty cross street waiting for a signal change. Or imagine working remotely at internet speeds exponentially faster than today’s wireless networks can offer. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Morningconsult.com
Submitted 10 hours ago

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How self driving cars might change our cities, and when
When I was a kid, I loved Arthur Radebaugh's wonderful series Closer than we think, with its predictions of what he thought was the relatively near future. It seems that we are living through an era of significant change that is closer than we think, particularly when it comes to issues like self-driving cars or autonomous vehicles (AVs). The role they will play in our cities is one of the most contentious issues in urban planning these days. Will they save cities, ruin them or just be a big bust? And are they closer than we think? Treehugger.com
Submitted 10 hours ago

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If the greed of Lowe's makes you mad, why doesn't this?
So it turns out Lowe's is a greedy, sneaky, opportunistic corporation. Surprise! Let's build some ill-will together. They want their stores revalued in Alabama and elsewhere, to save a gazillion dollars in taxes by arguing – with an implied threat to cut and run – that their stores really aren't worth beans. They want them valued as if they were empty shells. And Alabama state and county officials are up in arms, worried about losing $1.5 million every year if the do-it-yourself weasels do it their way. If Lowe's succeeds at getting these tax breaks, everyone else will try to do the same, they say. AL.com
Submitted 10 hours ago

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How to Save Coal Country: Pump Up Pensions or Create Jobs?
Does the government have an obligation to support the coal miners' union pension? This is the latest contentious issue circulating Capitol Hill, as a new bipartisan bill to prop up the retirement funds of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) makes its way through the Senate after clearing the Senate Finance Committee. Fox News
Submitted 11 hours ago

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It's Official. Engineering Helps Economies to Grow
In this column, I try to talk about the most exciting technologies and projects I can find, in both developed and developing cities. But behind every one of these innovations, you’ll find a humble engineer (or two). Engineers help to develop the physical infrastructure we all rely on – transport networks, roads, bridges, water and energy supplies, and waste management. We also have them to thank for our digital infrastructure – communications and navigation networks that are part and parcel of urban life. Engineers play a huge role in healthcare and food, and in manufacturing and research. And by building this infrastructure, engineering has had a much wider and more lasting impact – it has helped to fuel economic growth. Well-built housing and sanitation improves the quality of life of all residents. Good transport links make it easier for businesses to trade their goods, and enables the workforce to be more mobile. High-speed internet can boost productivity, improve efficiencies, and help an organization to look beyond its local or national borders… the list is endless. Forbes
Submitted 12 hours ago

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Why manufacturing remains critical to U.S. economic growth
Manufacturing jobs are a critical part of the American economy. They provide some of the highest wages for our labor force, especially for blue collar workers. Some argue that the U.S. economy is now permanently stuck in a lower gear, and there are those, including Hillary Clinton, who insist that U.S. manufacturing is destined to move offshore. Their "solution" is to convert the U.S. to a service sector economy -- yet service sector jobs tend to offer lower pay. Dallas Morning News
Submitted yesterday

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The Future of the U.S. Economy Lies in Mexico
The muscle behind the U.S. economic expansion is the same as the recovery's weakness, and it lies in one word: Mexico. Since the low in December 2009, employment in the U.S. has increased by 13.6 million workers. Forty-three percent of that growth, or 5.9 million workers, came from Hispanics -- some born in the U.S., others immigrants. Mexico is by far the largest country of origin for Hispanic immigrants to the U.S. Net migration from Latin America since the recession has been minimal (more Mexicans have left than arrived), so this can best be thought of as a "demographic dividend" from Hispanic immigration in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. More Hispanics are entering their prime working years, or are too young to retire, in contrast to the shrinking labor force of white non-Hispanic Americans. Excluding Hispanics, the labor force in the U.S. is virtually unchanged since 2008. Bloomberg
Submitted yesterday

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Immigrants Don’t Steal Jobs or Wages. Billionaires Do.
With the advent of Donald Trump, what was once covert in the Republican message has become overt. Yesterday’s dog whistle is today’s screaming siren. Case in point: anti-immigrant bigotry, which was most recently expressed in Donald Trump Jr.’s recent “Skittles”-themed Twitter attack on Syrian refugees. Think about that. Don Jr. compared people who are fleeing horrific violence to … tiny candies. This emotional inability to distinguish human beings from inanimate objects, and therefore to empathize with their suffering, seems to border on the sociopathic. Even Wrigley, the candy’s manufacturer, distanced itself in a statement that said: “Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it is an appropriate analogy.” Ourfuture.org
Submitted yesterday

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The Human Mission To Mars In The New NASA Budget: Onward To The Red Planet Or Just A Giveaway To The Aerospace Industry
For fans of America’s space program, the news from Universe Today that the Senate has just passed a NASA fiscal year spending bill of $19.5 billion and that the principal focus is a human mission to Mars might seem like reason for celebration. But is this new budget really written to support exploration or is it designed to prop up the old, traditional aerospace industry at the expense of upstarts like SpaceX or Blue Origin? Inquisitr.com
Submitted yesterday

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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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