Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Can Kentucky Do Better?

Friday, October 25th, 2013
Maurice McTigue

Maurice McTigue
(Photo of courtesy George Mason University)

Maurice McTigue is an interesting man.

He served as a member of parliament and cabinet minister in his native New Zealand, and was his country’s ambassador to Canada. He helped craft pro-growth, market-driven policies to reform the nation’s government and economy, which became so successful that some call the results the “New Zealand miracle.”

Now McTigue shares his vast experience as a consultant to state governments and federal agencies, and as vice president of outreach at the Mercatus Center, a think tank at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia.

Despite reports from state officials who say our economy is growing and creating jobs, McTigue believes Kentucky needs to do better. In July, he told a state-wide Chamber of Commerce business summit that the Commonwealth should be more competitive with other states when it comes to job creation by becoming more business friendly.

This Sunday at 1 p.m. on KET, I’ll talk with McTigue on One to One. We’ll discuss why Kentucky’s economy isn’t doing better. (The show also airs Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. on KET2.)

I’m eager to hear your thoughts about McTigue’s assessment, and what you think Kentucky can do to better compete with our neighboring states. You can post your comments here, or share them with me on Facebook (billgoodmanKET) or on Twitter (@BillKET). I look forward to hearing from you.

The Debt, the Shutdown, and Obamacare

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

In a recent New York Times magazine article, Adam Davidson (of NPR’s Planet Money podcast and blog) provided an excellent analysis of the current debate over raising the debt ceiling – and what’s at stake if it’s not increased. It’s one of the best articles I’ve seen on the problem.

Traditionally, raising the ceiling was not a political issue. That changed in 2011 when a significant faction of Tea Party Republicans entered the House of Representatives. Now it seems every few months we face another rancorous debate over whether to increase the debt limit. Davidson says no wealthy country has ever voluntarily defaulted on its debt and that playing chicken with the debt ceiling could have disastrous global consequences.

“At some point, the government won’t be able to pay interest on its bonds and will enter what’s known as sovereign default, the ultimate national financial disaster achieved by countries like Zimbabwe, Ecuador and Argentina (and now Greece). In the case of the United States, though, it won’t be an isolated national crisis. If the American government can’t stand behind the dollar, the world’s benchmark currency, then the global financial system will very likely enter a new era in which there is much less trade and much less economic growth. It would be, by most accounts, the largest self-imposed financial disaster in history.”

As we face another possible government shutdown, it will be an interesting week to look under the political rocks Democrats and Republicans are hurling at each other and see what exactly is going on in Washington.

On Monday’s edition of Kentucky Tonight, we got some insights into the debate over the deficit, the debt ceiling, and ongoing efforts by Republicans to defund Obamacare. Here’s a sampling of that conversation with Louisville Metro Councilman David Tandy; KC Crosbie, national committeewoman for the Republican Party of Kentucky; Somerset Community College political scientist James Taylor; and Brian Strow, economics professor at Western Kentucky University.

The Economy, Sequestration, and Jobs

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

This summer, economics professor Dr. John Garen invited me to sit in on a graduate seminar at the University of Kentucky. The class of about a dozen eager students plus several of Dr. Garen’s colleagues met each week to discuss economic theory and the last 100 years of economic policy in the United States and the world.

Garen’s well-prepared lectures and the text he provided the class, Lawrence White’s book “The Clash of Economic Ideas.” served as an apt primer for our conversation last Monday on Kentucky Tonight. Dr. Garen was a guest, along with state AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Dave Adkisson, and Malcolm Robinson, professor and chairperson of economics at Thomas More College.

Many discussions about jobs and the economy in the U.S. today pivot to a debate about the effectiveness of sequestration. That was the procedure approved by Congress to limit the size of the federal budget. It established a hard cap on the amount of government spending in certain defense and non-defense categories, resulting in furloughs and layoffs in many government agencies.

The very mention of sequestration elicited disagreement among our panelists.

Later, I asked the Chamber’s Dave Adkisson about the value of public-private partnerships in creating jobs in the Commonwealth.

Next Monday on Kentucky Tonight, we’ll discuss the new science standards recently approved by the state board of education and the debate over teaching students about evolution and climate change.

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