Tag Archives: Economics

The Resurgence of the American Auto Industry | The White House #in

The Resurgence of the American Auto Industry | The White House #in

GM: $69M investment and 2,500 jobs at Detroit-Hamtramck to produce Chevy Impala, Malibu #in

General Motors Co. will add two shifts and about 2,500 hourly and salaried workers to its Detroit-Hamtrack plant to build the Chevrolet Malibu and next-generation Impala, officials say.

This morning, the Detroit automaker officially made the announcement as part of its plan to create or retain about 4,000 jobs and invest $2 billion in 17 manufacturing facilities in eight states.

GM says it will invest $69 million into retooling for the new production of the Impala, which joins the extended-range electric Chevrolet Volt and the upcoming Chevrolet Malibu at the facility.

The jobs will be filled by laid-off UAW members with the possibility of new hires to follow, according to GM.

Read the rest at mlive.com

The Happynomics of Life

The Brits don’t go in much for happiness. Stiff upper lip is more the thing, and a good laugh if warranted. Trying to be happy just seems like piffle to a practical people. Undeterred, Prime Minister David Cameron has decided to create a national happiness index providing quarterly measures of how folks feel.

His foray into “happynomics” has prompted a deluge of criticism — “woolly-headed distraction” was a mild commentary — at a time when Brits face a year of cuts in everything from public-sector jobs to child benefits. The consensus seems to be that Cameron is going touchy-feely because in reality he’s wielding an ax.

That may be so. But the case for trying to measure the happiness of a society, rather than its growth and productivity alone, has become compelling. When Western industrialized societies started measuring gross domestic product, the issue for many was survival. Now most people have enough — or far more than enough by the standards of human history — but the question remains: “What’s going on inside their heads?”

Little that’s good, it seems. Stress has become the byword for a spreading anxiety. This anxiety’s personal, about jobs and money and health, but also general: that we can’t go on like this, running only to stand still, making things faster and faster, consuming more and more food (with consequent pressures on prices); that somehow a world of more than seven billion people is going to have to “downshift” to make it, revise its criteria of what constitutes well-being.

Just what goes into well-being is confounding. Many of the variables — like love and friendship and family relations — are hard to pin down. But British research has suggested that money itself does not confer happiness, although wealthier people tend to be happier; that employment is critical to self-esteem; that women tend to be happier than men; and that people need something beyond the material for fulfillment.

Read the rest at nytimes.com


Advanced economies cope better with disasters

It has always seemed to me that the worst devastation in natural disasters befalls the poor. That is not to say that people with money cannot be harmed but the ability to adapt plays a significant role in recovery from any situation.

By Alan Wheatley, Global Economics CorrespondentPosted 2011/03/13 at 10:16 am EDT

BEIJING, Mar. 13, 2011 (Reuters) — The earthquake that devastated northeast Japan displaced the country’s main island by 2.4 meters and even tilted the axis of the Earth by nearly 10 centimeters. The shock sounds awesome but it was imperceptible. History suggests the same will be true of the economic impact.

Smoke and scattered containers are seen at a devastated factory area after an earthquake and tsunami in Sendai, northern Japan, March 13, 2011. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

The instinctive reaction when viewing the extensive damage and frantic efforts to secure damaged nuclear reactors is to assume economic havoc will follow.

But researchers who have studied similar disasters in rich countries reach a reassuring conclusion: human resilience and resourcefulness, allied to an ability to draw down accumulated wealth, enable economies to rebound quickly from what seem at first to be unbearable inflictions – be it the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York or Friday’s 8.9-magnitude earthquake, the worst in Japan’s history.

Read the rest at newsdaily.com