Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Why Are We Driving Less?

For much of the last half century, one of the major trends in the country has been increased driving, says host Mary Walden. Vehicle ownership rose. Households moved to the suburbs, and road construction couldn’t keep up with the increased driving. But this hasn’t necessarily been the case in recent years, she tells her husband, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden, and asks, “What happened?”

Where are the welders?

One of your cousins recently retired from a career as a welder. He told his children not to follow in his footsteps as a welder, arguing it was very hard work and was a dying occupation, says host Mary Walden to her husband, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden. She then asks, “Is he correct?”

You Decide: Which future will prevail?

Dr. Michael Walden is William Neal Reynolds professor of agricultural and resource economics at N.C. State University.

The optimistic and pessimistic views of our long-term economic future couldn’t be more different. Perhaps rather being one or the other, the future might be a combination of the two.

Growth through Efficiency

A long time ago, I learned that sometimes the simple things are the most important. Some are saying this should be the guiding principle for our economy, especially as it applies to using our resources, says host Mary Walden. She asks her husband, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden, “Please explain.”

Peak population

For the first time in centuries, perhaps since the Middle Ages, experts are predicting an eventual limit for the world’s population. This is after decades of an exploding population and concerns about adequate resources, says host Mary Walden. “What has caused the turnaround?” she asks her husband, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden.

A switch in poverty

I can remember when I was a child several decades ago (we won’t say how many) that my family worried a lot about my grandparents, says host Mary Walden. That wasn’t unusual because living in old age wasn’t easy for many economically. Once they stopped working, older folks had no labor income and pensions were meager. “Has that changed today?” she asks her husband, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden.

Confusion from the Fed

New Fed Chair Janet Yellen recently held her first press conference. She was asked about rules or statistics the Fed would use to make decisions about changing interest rates. Some say Chairperson Yellen’s answer created more confusion than clarity, says host Mary Walden, who asks her husband, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden, “What happened?”

Millennials vs. boomers

Demographers say the millennial generation, those born after 1980, is now larger in numbers than the boomer generation, which includes individuals born from 1946 to 1964, says host Mary Walden. She asks her husband, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden, “What kinds of implications does this have for the economy?”

Bye-Bye to Bitcoin?

Those using the cyber currency called bitcoin suffered a big shock recently: Apparently hackers were able to steal between 2 million and 3 million dollars’ worth of bitcoins. As a result, the value of a bitcoin in terms of dollars was cut in half, says host Mary Walden. She asks her husband, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden, “Is this the end of the cyber currency experiment?”

Shale Gas Developments and Home Prices

The extraction of natural gas using underground drilling techniques — generally called fracking — is very controversial. Supporters say it will help the country to become energy independent, while detractors worry about environmental and health issues, says host Mary Walden. She asks her husband, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden, “Do we have any way to evaluate these concerns?”

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