Aviation Data Suggests a Mixed-Bag of Rail Riders
February 22, 2010
Now that we’re a full week past the initial high-speed rail announcement, we’ve taken the time to resurvey some of the elements of this massive investment. Demand is one of those elements and it’s critical to projecting ridership. One method we’ve designed to measure HSR demand is corridor air travel. By offering specific boarding information, federal air data provides a stellar source of passenger travel information between any two metropolitan areas. Using the data we published back in October, here is how the corridors receiving at least $200 million stack up.
The Tea Party Glossary
February 03, 2010
Here's one thing about the Tea Party movement everyone can agree on: It's confusing. With decentralization as a core value, the Tea Party phenomenon can seem like a baffling collection of individuals and organizations, often divided against each other. But with its first national convention now underway in Nashville, and as Tea Party groups gear up for campaigns around the country, it's time we met the movement's main players.
Did "African American" History Really Happen in Atlanta, Cleveland, Philly, and Detroit? Listening to the Census.
January 22, 2010
The figures from the American Community Survey just in are more than crunched numbers. They suggest that this might be a good year for a certain term now familiar in American parlance to be, if not consigned to history, reassigned. Namely, as of now, almost 1 in 10 black people are foreign-born. About 1 in 30 are from Africa. Which means that they are--you see where I’m going--African American in the true sense.
Metro Home Price Recovery: Strong, Weak, Non-existent?
December 30, 2009
Yesterday’s release of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index has economists—and probably the Obama administration—on edge. The reason: an apparent softening of demand in October, which translated into weak home price growth across the 20 markets that the index tracks. That followed stronger, more widespread price growth in the summer months. The news has stoked fears of a “double dip” in house prices and the resulting havoc it might wreak in the mortgage market. Like the economy itself, though, what you make of U.S.
Tea Funk Party Don't Stop
December 03, 2009
Tea Party: The Documentary Film, chronicling the movement from Bush’s bailouts to 9/12, probably won’t be coming to any theaters near you. It “premiered” last night in Washington’s Reagan Center, with Astroturf instead of a red carpet and tuxedoed anti-tax types instead of shining starlets. The producers haven’t secured a distribution agreement, and are relying on word of mouth and their website to promote the DVD (a perfect Christmas gift, at only $19.95).
Food Stamps and the Growing Suburban Safety Net
December 01, 2009
An important federal program that tends to fly under the radar received some unprecedented real estate this past weekend--an enormous spread on page A1 of Sunday’s New York Times. Jason DeParle’s article, and some nifty interactive maps on the Times website, portray the recent rapid growth of the food stamp program, now officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or by its rather unfortunate acronym, SNAP.
Why Pastors Need Economics Lessons
November 25, 2009
From the A.P.: ELLENWOOD, Ga. -- Someone made off with loot from a Georgia church but also left behind an apology. A note scrawled on the wall said: "Sorry but I'm poor. Forgive me Lord." The Rev. Roger Davis tells WSB-TV that expensive equipment including microphones and a laptop containing important records were stolen over the weekend from Berean Baptist Church.
‘He Hasn’t Lost Anything Yet’
November 02, 2009
It was Halloween 2001, and Kennesaw State freshman Nick Ayers was sitting anxiously in an Atlanta airplane hangar. A friend had recommended him for a campaign position with Republican state senator Sonny Perdue, who was mounting a long-shot gubernatorial run against Democratic incumbent Roy Barnes. The portly, middle-aged politician disembarked his Bellanca Super Viking and, as Ayers recounts the story, walked down the stairs holding a lid-less cup of coffee. Eager to make a good first impression, the nervous blonde teenager extended his hand for a firm shake.
The Race Man
October 26, 2009
Up from History: The Life of Booker T. Washington By Robert J. Norrell (Harvard University Press, 508 pp., $35) I. Once the most famous and influential African American in the United States (and probably the world), Booker T. Washington has earned at best mixed reviews in the decades since his death in 1915. Black intellectuals and political activists, from W. E. B.
Did Weak Lending Standards Really Drive the Crisis?
September 29, 2009
Many commentators assume so. But the role of declining lending standards may be overstated. In a new Atlanta Fed paper, Kristopher Gerardi, Adam Shapiro, and Paul Willen take a look at Massachussets home prices over two housing cycles from 1989 and 2008 and conclude that falling home prices (rather than weak underwriting standards) played the key role in the crisis: [H]ad prices not fallen, we would simply not have had a major foreclosure crisis, regardless of whether lenders had lowered underwriting standards in 2003 and 2004.