Will we fall off the fiscal cliff?
Now that the election is over, Washington’s attention has turned to something called the fiscal cliff. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden describes what it is and why it matters.
“Well, there’s been a lot of discussion on this … . It’s really the result of a failure of the Congress and the president last year (2011) to reach a budget deal. So what they did is they said, ‘Look, we’re going to set up a trap in some sense. If we don’t reach a budget deal in another year, we’re going to … have a lot of bad things really happen quickly, and that’s going to give us motivation to really get to a deal.
“And so what these bad things will be if, at the end of 2012, a deal’s not reached is several taxes will go up, hitting virtually everyone in the country, as well as federal spending will go down.
“Now we can debate whether, long run, that’s what we want to have happen in the federal government — and some say that’s exactly what we want to have happen — but what concerns economists is the suddenness of this and the size of the changes will be all at once, and that’s the where the term cliff comes from.
“And many, many economic analysts shows that if we did see this happen — that is, the increase in tax rates combined with the cut federal spending — we would see the economy shrink at least for a quarter, at least for the first three months of 2013. Unemployment would go up. … More people would be put out of work. And of course no one wants that to happen.
“So, this is why many think that a compromise will eventually be reached. A deal will be reached, but obviously we’ll have to wait and see.”
Entrepreneurship is one of those $50 words related to business and the economy. In fact, in one of the presidential debates, it was used several times. But what does it mean? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden explains.
A major new survey of business leaders was recently released. Among the questions asked were a series about pluses and minuses of doing business in the United States compared to other nations. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden sums up what the leaders said.
There’s been much discussion in the United States about the increase in income inequality. This means that incomes at the top of income distribution have grown faster than incomes at the bottom of the distribution. Is this an issue confined to our country? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden answers.
For more than 40 years, the United States has had the goal of becoming energy independent. But for most of those years, the U.S. has gone the other way and become more energy dependent on other countries. Has the tide finally been shifting? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden responds.
With the recession being so deep and the recovery being rather mild, one might expect that a variety of federal and state programs that help the needy would have experienced a big jump in their expenditures in the past few years. And the data, says N.C. State University economist Mike Walden, confirm this.
Although manufacturing in the United States and in North Carolina has shrunk from what it once was, it still accounts for almost 25 percent of total economic output in our state. But there is a great deal of worry about the future of manufacturing and whether any will remain domestically. N.C. State University’s Mike Walden explains the trends that economists see.
As we get closer to the end of the year, it’s a good time to take stock of the job situation. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden takes a look at the latest North Carolina jobs report and what it shows for the past year.
Mary Walden asks her husband, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden, “After all that time you spent in school and for the last 35 years teaching about the economy, why can’t you predict it?”
When Mary Walden graduated from college and took her first full-time job, she lived with a roommate. Both were young teachers with little money, and they thought they could share many of the expenses and cut our total living costs almost in half. She asks her husband, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden, whether this strategy still works today.