Showing posts with the label recession

Video on Middle Class Employment Difficulties

The video helps highlight the concept that Americans need opportunities to succeed. These opportunities come from both the gaining of skills to compete on the global market but also the businesses that create opportunities to put these skills to good use. The recession has hurt many middle class Americans and through new efforts and pushes for development Americans can regain leading market positions. 8 million + jobs were lost during this period. The video helps in explaining the difficulty middle class Americans faced.

Is Higher Education Crashing? Report Indicates Major Problems on Horizon

States are cutting funding and college tuition is rising and student loans are exploding and we are officially in a public higher education crisis. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities more states are pushing the burden on students and this may have an impact on the skill level of the next generation and their ability to successfully navigate the economic environment. The problems are a result of a number of issues related to budget cuts, increased tuition, and policy decisions.  The primary issue is that public college education is increasingly being removed out of the hands of the average student. During the recession it was necessary to cut state budgets to ensure that the books were in balance. Despite these cuts many states still were not able to balance their budgets in other areas. State appropriates from 2008 to 2013 for higher education declined around 19%, student expenditures rose 27% and enrollment has increased over 11%. The report indicates

American Gothic as a Depiction of the Great Depression by Grant Wood

American Gothic (1930) The painting an American Gothic was produced by Grant Wood in 1930. It was completed in Iowa as a backlash against Europeans trying to depict Americans from their own vantage point. The concept of self-representation was called Regionalism. It was part of a movement of paintings by Americans to characterize "true" American life. The picture is of a farmer and his daughter. Grant Woods used his sister and a dentist to model the image. One can see the age on the father's face and his willingness to work hard and save the farm. Perhaps he was saving it for his daughter. As the Depression took hold you can see the determination with just a touch of a classy sports jacket thrown over his bibs. It is an interesting clash of age and youth, wealth and poverty, ruggedness with soft flowers in the back, and commitment with a get-to-work attitude.  Grant Woods moved to Cedar Rapids after his father passed away in 1901. He went to an art school in Minne

Keynesian Theory: Benefits and Detractors

Keynesian economic theory has been under increased scrutiny as the U.S. national debt load increases and the economy suffers from a long period of recession. The theoretical standpoint of the Keynesian model is one of a mixed bag where those elements that would have a positive impact are often drowned out by inefficient governmental waste, political favoritism, and the cost of servicing the debt. Under certain circumstances the policies can help stave off economic collapse but fail to bring about positive benefits the longer it is used. According to the U.S. Census Bureau an era between 1790's to 1930's only saw deficits in government spending in approximately 38 years. Most of this debt was short-term and a direct result of increased costs of war or economic downturns (Lee, 2012). Total federal budgets ran at approximately 3.2% of GNP when compared to nearly 70% of GNP today (The 2012 Long-Term, 2012). At such a high debt-to-earnings scenario the Keynesian approach loses its

The Concept of Business Cycles and Recession in Economics

Economic cycles are a natural part of business life and have occurred in one form or another for nearly every generation. These boom and bust cycles exist in everything from the biological organisms to stock market investing. It is often beneficial to view economic theories of business cycles to understand how imperfect information impacts the national economy as it moves through these growth patterns. Such cycles are many years in the making and can have a devastating impact on the economy if recovery is not forthcoming. Bob Lucas, a Nobel  Prize Laureate, developed a monetary theory of business cycles that helps explain economic growth spurts and decline (1972). To him, inaccurate perceptions of economic factors contribute to these cycles that push the system out of homeostasis. Firms, and their management, only have limited time and resources for understanding their environment and typically focus on only that information which is needed for their immediate purposes. It takes cons