Economy

Minimum Wage 2.0

Minimum wage has been a hot topic lately, and the subject of a recent newsletter (http://www.proficientsourcing.com/minimum-wage/).  In it’s simplest form, the arguments for say it’s an economic boost and step to address income inequality.  The cons say it hurts those most in need of jobs (the unskilled young).  So this time we’ll examine the issue a bit more and hope you will add to our blog. Our first question is if the minimum wage question… Read More


Gender Pay Equality — An Update

Workplace gender pay equality (or the lack thereof) is often in the news, so we look for (hopefully) reliable new information. Last December we found something about C-suite equality (http://www.proficientsourcing.com/gender-equality-boardroom-not-much/) and just this week we found another. Our guess is many of you have had experience with salary negotiations during job interviews, so this one may be of particular interest. We hope so. The September 5, 2017, article in the Harvard Business Review, “Why Banning… Read More


US Manufacturing Jobs (and more)—Then and Now

There’s a lot of political noise lately about jobs and especially manufacturing jobs.  So what’s realistic and what’s the story with all this?  We found a couple of articles that provide clues (links at the end). Most of us involved in manufacturing know of the good old days when the US was king of the world, manufacturing jobs were plentiful and paid well with generous benefits.  All that was due in large part to the… Read More


Work for a big company—big advantage…or not?

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when people sought employment with big firms and stayed with those firms for a career. Then it was believed, and probably rightly so, that salaries and benefits were a big advantage for employment with major companies.   It appears that this belief has been relegated to the dustbin of history, probably forever in our view, according to an article from the Wharton School of Business… Read More


Big Company Profit Growth? Why?

Recently we found a report of profit growth for companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 of nearly 14% in the first quarter of 2017. Given the poor overall economic growth (GDP growth was 0.7% in the first quarter—a 3 year low!), there’s the obvious question of what’s going on here? This report from USA Today (link at the bottom) article says that stronger demand for US goods by foreigners is the reason. What follows… Read More


Minimum Wage: Good Deal…for whom?

Raising the minimum wage appears on the political agenda every now and again.  There are some who believe a major increase in the minimum wage is an important weapon in the inequality battle.   It’s clear the minimum wage, if changed significantly, will have many effects, so what’s the real story? Let’s start with this July 2016 report from Journalist’s Resource: “A 2013 paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, “Revisiting the Minimum Wage-Employment Debate: Throwing… Read More


Trade Agreements – Election Year Fodder

Trade agreements have become a frequently heard subject this election season. Recently, Gov. Kasich (R-OH) appeared in Obama’s White House to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which contradicts the position of his party’s presidential candidate. That’s an unusual move in politics, so just what’s going on here? According to a helpful BBC article from July, 2016, the TPP involves 12 countries: the US, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and… Read More


Truth or… Consequences?

It would seem truth is a very devalued currency these days. We have been struck by the media’s lengthy attention to the apparently stupid antics of Ryan Lochte and his 3 teammates in Rio. For those of you not paying attention to the Olympics and associated events, Lochte, a highly decorated world-class swimmer and 3 teammates were involved what appears to be a late night, perhaps drunken, event involving public urination, damaging a gas station… Read More


Brexit: Who Cares?

Well, maybe you do. In that case, no doubt you’ve been bombarded by news reports covering the gamut from outright economic Armageddon to no big deal. The question here is what does it mean for your procurement situation? Apparently the markets continue to roil, and today (July 8) when I was writing this we saw another news item from Reuters, which in part said “Worries have only intensified since the [Brexit] vote and Fed Governor… Read More


Economic forecast for Manufacturers

The Cincinnati CPA firm Barnes Dennig has a special emphasis on manufacturing. Occasionally they sponsor presentations, roundtables, and speakers that deal with many manufacturing related subjects. This one below, which we have found particularly good, is free. Next Thursday, November 12, Barnes Dennig and a few other local companies will sponsor a wonderful presentation that features nationally known speaker Alan Beaulieu, who gives a terrific presentation with a very valuable message. Mr. Beaulieu’s company is… Read More


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