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Van Lines

with Joe Vanden Plas


It's time to tackle the skills gap

Before the October surprise of 204,000 new jobs, the U.S. economy created 163,000 jobs in September (revised upward from 148,000) and averaged 190,000 new jobs per month over the prior year. While October marked the 44th consecutive month of job growth, we’re creating jobs at such a moderate pace that it will take several more years to recover all the jobs lost in the Great Recession. Many elected officials don’t seem to have noticed, but there appears to be a structural transformation underway that must be addressed if employers expect to find the labor they need, not only to function but also to flourish.

Posted at 06:59 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1


No getting rid of The Big Easy

With the appointment and expected Senate confirmation of Janet Yellen as chair of the Federal Reserve, nobody expects the Fed to unwind its “easy money” policy before the announced date of 2015. The real questions are: Will Yellen be an even more aggressive bond buyer than her predecessor, Ben Bernanke, who had hoped to start tapering off by year’s end? And will she have the resolve to tighten the money supply when it’s called for?

Posted at 08:20 AM | Permalink | Comments


The GOP: What a swell party it was

It’s hard to sum up just how badly insurgent House Republicans and a few myopic senators have shot themselves, and the party as a whole, in the head with their hopeless quest to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Not in the foot — in the head.

Posted at 02:42 PM | Permalink | Comments: 4


The case against college

Rebecca Blank, UW-Madison’s new chancellor, might want to have my head examined (she’ll have to get in line), but given the debt load accumulated by today’s collegians, perhaps some of her students should consider a blue-collar life. Outside of manufacturing and construction, many are unaware of Wisconsin’s longstanding apprenticeship program.

Posted at 12:37 PM | Permalink | Comments: 2


My Green Bay Packers Mount Rushmore

Of all the blogs and columns I’ve written, this one might be the most controversial. No other topic I’ve written about will likely cause so much disagreement in my beloved home state as this one. That includes my advocacy of low tax rates to promote economic growth, my assertions that federal government policy is causing too much uncertainty among the people who make hiring decisions, and my belief that if we want to save our entitlement programs from financial ruin, we’d better reform them soon.

Posted at 10:43 AM | Permalink | Comments

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