economics

The Sunshine Economy
2:20 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

ENCORE: The Sunshine Economy On Agriculture

Credit Tom Hudson

Click play to hear Tom Hudson host this episode of WLRN's ongoing radio and online series, The Sunshine Economy, airing Mondays at 9:00 a.m. on WLRN 91.3 FM.

Squeezed between South Florida's neighborhoods and the Everglades is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry. Tomatoes, beans and avocados all sprout from the rocky South Florida soil along with one of the largest nursery industries growing trees, shrubs and other landscaping plants.

Agriculture generates a direct $700 million dollars a year in Miami-Dade County alone. The economic impact of the plowing, growing and picking of those crops is much larger.

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Economics
5:27 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Gov. Scott's Top Business Recruiter Gets A Pay Hike

Governor Rick Scott speaks to board members with Enterprise Florida, the state's public-private economic development agency on Oct. 31.
Credit Rachel Morello

The outlook was largely positive as Governor Rick Scott, government officials and business leaders gathered in Coral Gables to discuss progress in boosting Florida’s economy.

The Oct. 31 gathering coincided with a board meeting of Enterprise Florida, the state’s public-private economic development agency.

Gov. Scott opened the discussion by praising both the public and private sectors for contributing to recent signs of economic recovery. He cited an increased focus on education and the addition of 365,000 private sector jobs since he took office.

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Gambling
2:43 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Senate Committee Hears Local Feedback On Casino Expansion

Credit tampabay.com

Florida’s Senate Gaming Committee held its first public workshop recently to hear local perspectives about the future of gambling in the state as well as the potential social and economic impact expanded gaming would have on South Florida.

Early last year, state lawmakers shot down a bill to allow major casinos in South Florida. But now they’re reconsidering that decision, and possibly changing other state laws on gambling --- and that has plenty of people concerned.

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Innovation
2:25 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Startups Try To Reroute Food Waste To The Hungry

Roger Gordon (left) is offered a box of bananas from a worker who was throwing away the lightly speckled fruit at Mexican Fruits in Washington, D.C. Gordon's startup, Food Cowboy, works with truckers to divert edible produce from landfills to food charities.
Serri Graslie/NPR

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 3:19 pm

In an alley in Northeast Washington, D.C., hundreds of pounds of produce are piled haphazardly on pallets. Mexican Fruits, a discount grocer, can't sell the fruit and vegetables inside these boxes because the food has gone soft or is lightly bruised. Some will be donated, but most boxes are destined for a large, green Dumpster nearby.

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Safety Net
7:30 am
Mon October 28, 2013

South Florida Food Banks Prepare For Funding Cuts

Credit Gloria Lewis

Florida's food programs are bracing for cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that kick in Nov. 1 --- while watching warily as U.S. House and Senate conferees prepare to negotiate a federal farm bill, which could have much more far-reaching consequences for hungry Floridians.

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Americas
7:00 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Cuba's Currency Correction: Will Castro Fall Short Again?

Cuban leader Raul Castro (middle) recently with other senior members of the Communist Party elite.
Credit Flickr

Last year I spoke by phone with a frustrated woman in Santiago, Cuba, who was trying to start a seamstress business. It’s the sort of small private enterprise that Cuban leader Raúl Castro claims to be encouraging as part of free-market reforms meant to salvage the island’s threadbare, communist economy. (But don’t dare say Raúl is copying China’s communist-capitalist system. That makes him mad.)

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Americas
3:48 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Cuba To Phase Out Two-Peso Currency System

A woman displays Cuban pesos, or CUP (right) and the more valuable convertible pesos, or CUC (left), in Havana Tuesday. Raul Castro's government announced that it will begin unifying the two currencies.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 4:09 pm

Cuba will end the two-currency system it has used for nearly 20 years. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba has used either American currency or a peso that's pegged to the dollar alongside its national peso.

The monetary unification will phase out a system that has become a symbol of exclusivity and foreign wealth. Many products that are imported into the country can be bought only with the dollar-based convertible peso. But most Cubans are paid in the standard peso, which is worth just a fraction of the other currency.

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Economics
3:44 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Job Growth Was Disappointing, But Some See Reasons For Hope

Hans Kahl (left) speaks with prospective employees at a job fair for veterans, in Miami on Tuesday. With job growth still slow, the Federal Reserve may keep trying to stimulate the economy.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 3:49 pm

When it finally came out Tuesday, the September jobs report — delayed for 18 days by the government shutdown — showed a labor market moving forward. But the pace was slow enough to prompt many economists to view it as a letdown.

Job growth "is disappointing, given that employment is still down by about 1.8 million from its peak prior to the recession," Gus Faucher, senior economist with PNC Financial Services Group, said in his analysis.

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Economics
11:00 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Broward, Palm Beach Beat Other U.S. Metro Areas In Jobless Drop

Broward County and Palm Beach’s unemployment rates are dropping faster than it is in any other major metropolitan area, according to a new federal report.

For August, the most recent month with updated federal data, the Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area saw unemployment plunge to 5.8 percent from 7.7 percent a year before. according to data released Monday. Palm Beach also saw a drop of nearly two percentage points (from 9.7 percent to 8.4 percent), ending Seattle’s six-month run atop the list produced each month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Trade
11:49 am
Mon October 21, 2013

How Spanish Investment, Trade Ties With Florida Offer Business Gold

Angel Santibañez is the owner of Brisas de España, 8726 NW 26 St., Doral, which carries a variety of goods from Spain including paella pans hanging from wall, hams, ceramics and food products.
Credit C.W. Griffin / Miami Herald Staff

Arriving in South Florida, visitors from Spain might feel as if they’ve never left the Iberian Peninsula.

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Economics
7:24 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Economists Fear 'Flying Blind' Without Government Data

The Federal Reserve headquarters in Washington, D.C., where the federal government shutdown left policymakers without key economic data.
J. David Ake AP

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 4:51 pm

Talk to economists about the government shutdown's impact on their forecasts and you'll hear this phrase again and again:

Flying blind.

For economists and investors, "at this moment, we are flying blind," said Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve and now president of Greenspan Associates LLC, a consulting firm.

Greenspan is not alone in feeling a little lost without the compass of government reports.

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Infrastructure
9:36 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Port Everglades On Florida's Short List For $35M In Investment Upgrades

Credit Ed Webster/Flickr

Port Canaveral, Port Everglades and the Port of Tampa are in line to receive $35 million next year to expand their facilities through a state program for strategic port investments.

As part of an effort to position the state's 15 seaports as a single global shipping hub, Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday he will recommend that the Legislature allocate the money to the projects. The announcement came during an appearance at the American Association of PortAuthorities convention in Orlando.

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Politics
7:24 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Congress Approves Bill To End Government Shutdown, Avert Default

Speaker of the House John Boehner pumps his fist after leaving a meeting of House Republicans at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 12:32 am

Bringing to an end an episode that once again exposed Washington gridlock at its worst, the House approved a Senate deal that will end a 16-day federal government shutdown and avert the first government default in U.S. history.

The 285-144 vote came at the eleventh hour, after weeks of partisan bickering and a very public airing of deep divisions within the Republican party. President Obama signed the bill into law after midnight Thursday.

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The Sunshine Economy
6:30 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Public Debt On TSE: Counting Up The Dollars And Sense

Credit U.S. Federal Reserve / Truth In Accounting

The debate in Congress over raising the debt ceiling was focused on the $16.7 trillion borrowing limit. That's a huge number that has been increasing rapidly since the Great Recession. The chart above from the U.S. Federal Reserve shows the federally reported public debt jumping from $6 trillion after the 2001 recession to almost $17 trillion this fall.  

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Energy
5:20 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

The 1973 Arab Oil Embargo: The Old Rules No Longer Apply

On Dec. 23, 1973, cars formed a double line at a gas station in New York City. The Arab oil embargo caused gas shortages nationwide and shaped U.S. foreign policy to this day.
Marty Lederhandler AP

Originally published on Sun October 20, 2013 8:31 am

Forty years ago this week, the U.S. was hit by an oil shock that reverberates until this day.

Arab oil producers cut off exports to the U.S. to protest American military support for Israel in its 1973 war with Egypt and Syria. This brought soaring gas prices and long lines at filling stations, and it contributed to a major economic downturn in the U.S.

The embargo made the U.S. feel heavily dependent on Middle Eastern oil, which in turn led the U.S. to focus on instability in that region, which has since included multiple wars and other U.S. military interventions.

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