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Demand pushing Jersey Shore rental prices higher as peak weeks sell out

assetContentBeachgoers hoping to spend a week at Gary Hunsinger’s home on Philadelphia Avenue in Lavallette this summer are out of luck: the Jersey Shore property advertised online as just 100 yards from the beach has been booked solid from the first Saturday in June through the end of August. Hunsinger, of Westfield, said he had 10… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 27th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Economy, Jersey Shore, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Demand pushing Jersey Shore rental prices higher as peak weeks sell out

Bankers Brought Rating Agencies ‘To Their Knees’ On Tobacco Bonds

money-500x250This story was co-published with Marketplace. When the economy nosedived in 2008, it didn’t take long to find the crucial trigger. Wall Street banks had peddled billions of dollars in toxic securities after packing them with subprime mortgages that were sure to default. Behind the bankers’ actions, however, stood a less-visible part of the finance industry… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Economy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Bankers Brought Rating Agencies ‘To Their Knees’ On Tobacco Bonds

One-Third Of U.S. Children Live In Poverty

In a new paper released by the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), a research center at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, researchers find that many children living in large cities in the U.S. are living in poverty. Nearly 3 in 5 children in Detroit are poor, and this rate has grown by… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Economy | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments »

Why the Republican victory is good for markets

republicansThe Republicans have taken control of the U.S. legislative agenda for the next two years if not longer, and that has political and market implications up until 2016 and likely beyond. Let’s see how they handle this role, given the divisiveness within the party itself and the fact that it did not really run on a…

Posted: November 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Elections, 2016 Presidential Politics, Economy | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Why the Republican victory is good for markets

Banks Should Defer Bonuses 10 Years: Fed Official


Fed Res official(Reuters) – Banks should defer bonus payments for 10 years and tap the bonus pool to pay any regulatory fines, a top Federal Reserve official said on Monday, taking aim at continued lapses across the industry even after the 2007-9 financial crisis. New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley said banks should move toward paying… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Economy, Federal Reserve Bank, News | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Banks Should Defer Bonuses 10 Years: Fed Official

Guadagno Visit to TechLaunch Sparks Small Business Week Enthusiasm

Guadagno Visit to TechLaunch Sparks Small Business Week Enthusiasm (via NJ Tech Weekly)

New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno visited the TechLaunch (Clifton) accelerator on May 6, 2014, bringing her own special brand of excitement and marketing know-how to the young companies participating in the 16-week boot camp program. She dropped by TechLaunch…

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Posted: May 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Christie Administration, Economy, Kim Guadagno | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Guadagno Visit to TechLaunch Sparks Small Business Week Enthusiasm

NJ budget suffers another setback with $600M hole in April

NJ budget suffers another setback with $600M hole in April (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — New Jersey’s budget will take a big hit in April to the tune of $600 million, state officials announced today, warning that one of the best months for tax collections has been seriously behind Gov. Chris Christie’s expectations. The…

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Posted: April 29th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Economy, New Jersey State Budget | Tags: , , | 4 Comments »

Depressing scene at Brookdale Job Fair

By Art Gallagher
[email protected]

Hundreds of middle-aged people looking for work at Brookdale this morning. April 4, 2014

Hundreds of middle-aged people looking for work at Brookdale this morning. April 4, 2014

When I was readying to leave the house this morning,  my wife asked if I was working on a story.  “No, I’m looking for a job,” I replied.  Her head snapped up in surprise. In all the years she’s known me I’ve never said those words.  I’ve always been the owner, or early in our relationship, an unmanageable top producing salesman.

The truth is I wasn’t sure what I was doing when I headed into the job fair at Brookdale Community College this morning.  I met a NJ.com reporter who got the ax yesterday, effective in September, in the overflowing parking lot outside of Collins Arena.  “Working a story or looking for a job?” I asked him.  “A little of both,” he replied before getting called away to cover a fatal car accident in Howell.

I was doing a little of both too. I’m having more fun building this business, MMM, than I had in building any of the others I’ve built or help build, but the revenue is not coming fast enough.  If the big media companies are contracting, there’s no harm in taking a look at what is out there, especially if I can make a story out of it and meet potential advertisers.

“Ha, you’re here looking for advertisers,” a recruiter from Town Square Media said to me when I introduced myself and asked her what an Integrated Sales Person was. She got me, but if Town Square wants to buy MMM, give me a radio show, blog and a fat check, I’ll listen.  An Integrated Sales Person sells ad for websites, radio shows and other mediums, I found out.  I’m now looking for one of those.  The recruiter either wasn’t aggressive or quickly sized me up as not a good fit. Probably both.

The Asbury Park Press’s recruiter was telling visitors to their booth that they weren’t hiring until they finish their across the street move in Neptune. Why were they there? Gannett would have to write a really big check and give me more authority than any corporate nudnik would consider in order to get me to fix that mess.

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Posted: April 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Art Gallagher, Asbury Park Press, Brookdale Community College, Economy, Education, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Tax revenues indicate that New Jersey’s economy is on the upswing

1999_NJ_Proof

 

New Jersey’s tax revenues exceeded projections for the seventh consecutive month and income tax collections were the highest ever in June, even without a “millionaires tax.”

The Treasury Department announced yesterday, that income tax collections in fiscal 2013 were 12.4% higher that in fiscal 2012 (the fiscal year ends on June 30) and sale tax collections increased 3.7%.

The State’s fiscal 2013 revenue collections through June totaled $25.6 billion, $1.58 billion higher than in fiscal 2012.

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Posted: July 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Economy, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Blame Hoover

By Jim Morford, cross posted at InTheLobby

When I was a youngster and things weren’t going well in the economy, the Democrats would always claim, “It’s Hoover’s fault.”  Republicans, on the other hand, blamed Democrats for “getting us into war” citing Wilson, Roosevelt (FDR) and Truman.

Today, things have changed. Democrats blame Bush for both the economy and for getting us into war.

But who really should bear the responsibility, if not the blame, for the problems facing our country today? To be sure, there is enough blame to be shared by both political parties for landing us in the deeply troubled economy that haunts us today. Politicians of all stripes and at all levels of government have, through fiscal irresponsibility, over taxed and over spent the public’s money. Truly, the blame can reach beyond politicians to include skillful labor unions who have negotiated benefits beyond the ability of governments and private sector employers to pay for them. Additionally, an apathetic public – perhaps the greatest cause of all our woes – has allowed corrupt politicians, avaricious businesses and organized labor to loot the public coffers.

Since the days of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, our country has been on a Fabian path to statisim. Some are surprised that the Obama Administration has accelerated the pace.

In his most recent book, The Next Decade, geopolitical analyst and founder of Stratfor George Friedman presents a provocative and insightful look into the next decade. It’s a book well worth reading, as he sees a time of massive change and what the US will need to do to survive.

Before we jump headlong into speculation about the next decade, let’s take a look at the recent past to get some idea of whose policies and actions have put us where we find ourselves today.

From 1949 until 1995, the Democratic Party held majority control of the House of Representatives, thereby acting as a restraint on one-party dominance when Republicans sometimes had majorities in the US Senate and/or the White House. The philosophy of bigger and bigger government, embraced to greater and lesser degrees by both political parties, has dominated the country since the 1930s.

It was the relatively short period from 2003 to 2007 that the Republican Party controlled both houses of Congress and the White House. Even during the “conservative” presidency of Ronald Reagan, at least one house of Congress remained in the control of the Democratic Party and government continued to grow.

The current and dramatic shift in political dominance in Washington did not just take place on January 20, 2009 when President Obama was sworn into office. The shift actually began on January 3, 2007 when the Democrats recaptured control of the US Senate. At that time, the Dow closed at over 12,600; unemployment stood at 4.6% and the economy under George W. Bush set a record of 52 consecutive months of job growth.

It was on January 3, 2007 that Barney Frank (D) became Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and Chris Dodd (D) took over the Senate Banking Committee. 15 months later a meltdown occurred in the banking and financial services sector of our economy, notwithstanding President Bush’s urging repeatedly that serious reform was needed.

One of the most important responsibilities that a member of Congress has is to enact an annual budget for the federal government. However, the US Senate under the leadership of Harry Reid (D) has failed to pass a budget since 2009. The House, under Republican control since 2011, has twice passed budgets and sent them to the Senate, which for purely partisan reasons has failed to enact a budget bill. Unfortunately, Majority Leader Reid and his Democratic colleagues believe that partisanship  is their primary responsibility, rather than fiscal stewardship and sound public policy.

The Federal budget cycle is governed mainly by six laws. Probably the most important of them is The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 that governs the basic practices of federal budgeting and spending. Because of partisan irresponsibility in refusing to enact a budget and to avoid government shutdowns, Congress gets along by enacting continuing resolutions. Doing so fails the test of fiscal responsibility. However, public apathy (cited above) allows negligent politicians to get away with it.

President George W. Bush was no fiscal conservative or effective small government advocate. During his eight years in office, he increased the federal budget by 104% and the national debt grew by $3.3 trillion.

The Obama Administration has accelerated the pace of spending and debt to unsustainable levels. Today, the national debt stands at over $15 trillion. The debt is dismissed by some as just money we owe ourselves, but the interest on that debt has to be paid out of tax revenues, or borrowed and added to the debt. That interest so far in 2012 is nearly $4 trillion. There are those politicians who see increasing taxes as the only answer to any problem. Others contend that the problem is not that government has too little in revenue, but that it is spending far too much.

Whether it is the fault of Republicans, Democrats or both, it is a useless exercise to simply blame. Rather, we must reverse course and get our fiscal house in order if we are to survive as a nation that resembles anything we have known up until now.

There are solutions, but no easy solutions. Our apathetic and dependant population “served” by corrupt and power-grasping politicians may result in our becoming more like Greece than the affluent land of opportunity we once were.   

In a 2011 interview conducted by economist Donald Luskin, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan observed that he sees the United States as having crossed the threshold, a point of no return, at which we’ve taken on too great a government debt, and at the same time made too great a commitment to government control of the economy. Luskin wrote, “He told us that we won’t recognize America 20 years from now, and that we won’t like what we see.”

Jim  Morford is former Associate  Director of Government Relations for the NJ Education Association, former VP and chief lobbyist for the NJ Chamber of Commerce, former President of the NJ Food Council and is Executive Director Emeritus of the NJ Society for Environmental, Economic Development (NJ SEED). He is a partner in the Trenton-based consulting firm of Morford-Drulis Associates, LLC. The opinions expressed in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any clients or associates. 

Posted: April 26th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Economy, Statism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »