Archive for the ‘Economic Perspective’ Category

Homeowning versus renting

The decision to buy a home versus rent is one of the biggest a person will make. It wasn’t so long ago that nearly everyone wanted to own a home, but after the housing crash, people haven’t been so sure. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden offers advice.

Who’s buying our debt?

It’s well known that the United States relies on foreign buyers to purchase much of the government debt used to fund the ongoing deficit. But has the composition of the debt buyers changed recently? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden responds.

Fitting cell phones into your budget

Spending on cell phones has increased significantly in recent years, but people all have limited financial resources. If we’re spending more on cell phones, is there something we are no longer spending money for? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden responds.

Service jobs

Employment in the service sector has been a growing part of our economy for several decades, but many people hold the impression that most service jobs are low paying. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden considers whether this belief is accurate.

Will natural gas power our vehicles?

One of the game changers in the energy world has been the gigantic increase in natural gas production. Much of it here in our country. This raises the interesting question of whether eventually we could substitute natural gas for oil based gasoline as a fuel for our cars and trucks. Is this a far-fetched proposition? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden responds.

Tobacco taxes and smoking

Although not as dominant as it once was, tobacco production is still an important industry to North Carolina. Traditionally tobacco products have been subject to relatively high taxes. Do we know the impacts of those taxes on tobacco product users? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden responds.

Wealth update

Household wealth took a big hit during the recession and has struggled to come back. Many economists think a rebound in household wealth is a key to a robust economic recovery. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden takes a look at where we stand today on household wealth.

Paying to learn

Most people want students in school to learn more and get better grades, and many programs and ideas have tried to accomplish this. One that has generated some controversy is paying students who do better on tests. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden explains the consequences.

Re-evaluating rent control

Several U.S. cities impose controls on the amount of rent landlords can charge tenants. On the surface, this may seem like a good idea. But are there also some unintended consequences? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden responds.

A growing industry for North Carolina

Information technology has been expanding for several decades, and North Carolina has several IT firms in the Research Triangle Park and other locations. But a new part of the IT sector is emerging in our state. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden explains.

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