Pensions & Mortality

Americans Are Dying Younger, Saving Corporations Billions – Bloomberg

This is a really important article for businesses, but especially those in North Dakota. With a long reputation of "greying faster than the country as a whole" it raises the question of whether businesses in the state, or the state, would reap similar (potential) benefits. The simple fact is that we continue to see errors made in terms of benefit contributions and shortfalls in pensions, even in North Dakota. We can do the math better and we should.

Posting can resume

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I was prepping testimony to the state legislative committee looking at the revenue forecasting process in the state of North Dakota. That took a bunch of my time, as did the usual chair work and the like. I gave that testimony today so I will return to my rants and musings about all things economic, including sharing my thoughts about the forecasting of state variables (likely expand beyond my testimony) and my outlook for the state’s key economic variables.

Policy Paralysis

This is not a rant about healthcare legislation, or a lack thereof. It is not even about the ill-conceived sequencing of healthcare legislation and tax reform. My take is that tax reform was more important, would give a chance to generate some bipartisan efforts that could be exploited going forward. I will admit I did not anticipate a leadership crafting bills in secrecy from even their own rank and file.

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Challenges for North Dakota, pt. 1

Many people ask me about the challenges for the North Dakota economy moving forward. This is much more difficult to do than it may seem; there are no easy answers here. There are many reasons for this. What seems to be an problem now may resolve itself of its own accord in the near future. It could also be the case new problems arise as a result of federal policy or technological innovations. As Yogi Berra said, “Predicting things is hard. Especially about the future.”

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County Average Wages in ND, 2015

As part of a deeper look at many factors related to North Dakota economic development, growth, and, for lack of a better term, “transition” I am looking at a broad set of data (even broader than normal). Think of it as a jigsaw puzzle where you do not know the number of pieces ahead of time and do not know the end picture you need to assemble. That is kind of where I am right now. That said, I thought I could share a recent picture I made.

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