Gongol.com Archives: November 2011
Brian Gongol

November 19, 2011

The United States of America Small towns are hanging on by a thread
Tough times mean employers leave. Employers leaving cuts into the tax base. So taxes have to be raised to keep paying for basic services. Higher taxes put pressure on households and businesses, causing some to leave. And thus the negative feedback loop persists. There is a way to break the feedback loop, but it requires doing something to assure the private sector that services will still be delivered and that taxes won't be hiked. It also requires some creativity -- the main streets that used to be full of businesses serving the thriving ag markets nearby don't have as much to do today because the ag population has decreased so sharply over the last century. So small towns need to sell themselves on the basis of quality of life -- and find new occupants for those main streets that don't have to be geographically prominent. Lots of business can be done today from anywhere in the world.

Business and Finance The housing market is probably the sector in the worst shape in the entire US economy
And it's going to take some time to work out the glut in housing that was constructed in the last two decades. The rate of construction exceeded the rate of new household creation, and until that glut works itself out, we're going to see continued trouble in the housing sector. Pella Corp. is laying off 3500 people because of the drop-off.

Weather and Disasters Tornadoes from space
3D satellite analyses of tornadic thunderstorms show huge updrafts. The more we can figure out about analyzing these storms while they're happening (or before), the better we'll be able to protect life on Earth.

Aviation News EU bans full-body scanners at airports
They're doing it over fears of a cancer risk (which is probably pretty unlikely, except for very frequent travelers), but there are plenty of other very good reasons to object to those scanners.

The United States of America Budget problems could mean a smaller US ICBM arsenal

Computers and the Internet Google directly challenges Apple's iTunes

Humor and Good News Paper covers rock

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