News: N.D. farmers Vertically Integrating with Investments in East Coast Restaurants

How do you make a product or a company more profitable? There are lots of ways including reducing costs through innovative practices, creating a differentiated product that commands a higher price. And there’s also vertical integration — the method of getting control of the supply chain and middlemen that separate a raw product from the end user. Here’s a story from Philly.com about a couple ND farmers using...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Diversifying an oil and gas economy in Carlsbad, NM

Carlsbad, New Mexico — it’s a city with more than a few similarities to Minot. Notably, it’s fortunes also rise and fall with the price of oil. It’s a cycle that’s led community leaders and business owners alike if there aren’t better ways to build a sustainable livelihood and economy. Sound familiar? As a solution, Carlsbad is turning towards hospitality and tourism, and another familiar theme here on...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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Tax & Spend or Borrow & Spend? Or Reject the Premise?

Commentary: Tax & Spend or Borrow & Spend? Or Reject the Premise?

I am very possibly of the minority when it comes to public opinion, but nonetheless in the mainstream with the opinions of the majority of credible economists. If there are tax reductions by Congress, it will in all probability stimulate the economy at least over the short term. A tax decrease would also be popular because taxes in and of themselves are inherently unpopular. That said, tax decreases...

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News: Nobel Goes To American Richard Thaler For Work In Behavioral Economics

Economics is very much a scientific study of simplified, rational decision making. But there’s a problem, humans aren’t always rational decision makers. Sometimes we’re downright weird and inexplicable. Richard Thaler was among the first economists to consider our weirdness, and his work won him a Nobel Prize. NPR has the story.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Grand Forks warily eyes once-dependable federal grant process

Elected officials in Grand Forks are opening their eyes to a new financial reality — funding from the federal government is coming more slowly and less regularly. It means many programs, particularly those that fall under the umbrella of Community Development Block Grants have a less secure future. It matters for Minot because local municipalities all answer to the same federal government.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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Commentary: Equifax Deserves the Corporate Death Penalty

If your personal information was compromised by the data breach at Equifax, hopefully you’ve been notified and are taking steps to protect yourself. And if you were impacted, there’s no doubt the situation has been more than a little inconvenient. And all of it speaks to what standard of corporate responsibility Equifax should be held to. For Ron Fein writing at Wired, the breach is egregious and should...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Costco has officially raised the alarm on US tariffs

With recent discussions about NAFTA making headlines, it’s always worth noting when and where possible how businesses react to political posturing. The first law of politics and policy should be, “beware the unintended consequences”. And in the case of the tough talk over North American trade policy, it’s fair to say the private sector is taking notice. Hopefully, the rhetoric doesn’t serve as a cooler for economic growth and...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: An arcane American law protected by powerful interests is causing insane traffic jams

What does a hundred-year-old law that forces goods transported between American ports to use American-made ships have to do with traffic and L.A. and possibly our economy in North Dakota? Erik Olson asks the question (about the Traffic in L.A. part) and provides the analysis of the trickle down regulatory effect and the unintended consequences. This law is so ingrained in our culture we may have forgotten we can...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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Commentary: Our economic future depends on storytellers

Heard a good story lately? It’s kind of a trick question, because if you did, you may not even know it. Storytelling is a time-honored art form, but we’re just now discovering the relevance it has to what we think, who we trust, and how we act. And our ability to spin a yarn may just be the key to success in an economy that is rapidly evolving...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Tech workers brace for Seattle’s plan to ‘tax the rich’

The City of Seattle is on a pathway toward attempting to solve their low-income housing and public transit challenges by implementing an income tax on individuals earning more than $250,000 per year and couples earning more than $500,000. It’s not the first policy initiative Seattle has undertaken to attempt to make the City more livable for lower income residents; Seattle is also in the process of implementing a...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: First tech, now financing: U.S. shale firms get creative to pump more oil

Necessity is the mother of invention, and we’ve experienced that first hand here in the North Dakota oil patch. The necessity was to survive an OPEC supply assault intended to force shale operators out of the market with lower prices. The invention was better, more efficient ways to drill. And as the term of the low prices extends, financing the operation seems to be the next part of...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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