Gongol.com Archives: April 2009
Brian Gongol

April 29, 2009

News Things will get better in the long run, but in the short term, life is going to be weird
Because economies, countries, and people are all tied together more than at any time in decades (if not more than ever in history), seemingly small events and changes can have big repercussions. In the long term, of course, the good will almost certainly outweigh the bad and we'll all be better off for it. But in the short term, weird things are going to happen. For instance, the American stock market will probably get really strange over the summer as earnings changes start to work their way into some of the major metrics used to price stocks, causing the leading indicators (like P/E ratios) to get all wobbly. And we certainly don't know yet what the pandemic panic will do as the World Health Organization tries to estimate the spread based on incomplete information. Nevermind, of course, that tens of thousands of people die from regular flu every year -- the thought of a "pandemic" is enough to cause entire nations to shut down. Meanwhile, food insecurity remains a huge issue that has fallen off the public's attentive radar almost completely since last year. That doesn't mean the problems have been fixed; it only means that we're fixated on other problems.

Science and Technology Lots of young engineers and architects are being laid off
There could be some very interesting side effects in the long term: If jobs that have normally been held in high esteem (and that require math- and science-based education) start to look less appealing to younger students still searching for careers, will that have a chilling effect on the pursuit of higher-end jobs in the future? Related: There are some interesting contrasts to be seen in how different countries encourage innovation. Iowa's approach involves dumping taxpayer money into "advanced manufacturing, biosciences, and information technology" as a means of encouraging growth. It doesn't seem like the best use of the public's money.

The United States of America The bottom 50% of American taxpayers paid 3% of all income taxes

Broadcasting Podcast: Why GM is a canary in the coal mine for the entire country
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Broadcasting Podcast: Register your child's name as an Internet domain now
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Water News Columbus faces a hefty price tag for new levees

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