Archive for the ‘Economic Perspective’ Category

Spending shifts

Electronic products such as cell phones, computers, and digital video disc players have become a part of most household purchases today. Have we seen these purchases change people’s spending habits? N.C. Cooperative Extension economist Mike Walden explains the results of a recent analysis.

Fears of deflation

Economists have been using the d-word — deflation — more frequently. Deflation means that prices are falling; what can be wrong about that? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden explains.

Tax-free holidays

Shoppers in North Carolina got a break earlier this month: During the first weekend in August no sales tax had to be paid on lower-priced clothing, school supplies and certain computers. What is the purpose of these tax breaks, and what is their impact? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden explains.

Business incentives

Before completing its short session the North Carolina General Assembly approved a new group of business incentives. These incentives are used to attract new businesses by reducing their tax payments to the state. How can the state afford this kind of program? N.C. Cooperative Extension economist Mike Walden lends his perspective.

Different views on health care

Although the legislative battle over health care is complete, the debate continues. Part of this debate stems from different ways of looking at the role of health care in our economy. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden summarizes the competing views.

State pensions

State pensions are important to many workers. In North Carolina state and local government workers as well as teachers rely on state pensions for their retirement. But there is a looming problem in many states where pension funds might run out. How serious is this issue? N.C. Cooperative Extension economist Mike Walden responds.

Who’s buying the debt?

The federal government has issued over $2 trillion of new debt during the past two years. Who bought it? N.C. Cooperative Extension economist Mike Walden answers.

Jobs created and saved

The president’s chief economic advisor issued a report recently saying the $800 billion dollar stimulus package passed last year has so far resulted in between 2.5 million and 3.6 million jobs being created or saved nationwide. How has this number been arrived at? Did someone go around and count the jobs? N.C. State University extension economist Mike Walden explains.

Energy costs

There haven’t been too many complaints about gas prices this summer. Are energy prices finally behaving themselves? North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist Mike Walden weighs in.

Expiring tax cuts

Some federal tax rates are scheduled to increase next year unless Congress takes action. Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist, explains how people will be affected.

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