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NEWS
January 17, 2014
The last five paragraphs of Peter Morici's commentary regarding the need to reduce oil imports and grow the economy faster make a lot of sense ("Inequality is the new norm in the U.S.," Jan. 15). I know the left's arguments against being energy independent are because of environmental issues. But the common sense view is that 6 million gallons imported or 6 million gallons produced here in the United States has the same environmental impact to the world. I would much prefer American technology protecting us than other countries'.
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NEWS
Erin Cox and The Baltimore Sun | January 16, 2014
Republicans competing for their party's nomination faced each other Thursday night in the first formal debate in the race to succeed Gov. Martin O'Malley. Four candidates discussed the state's economy, its budget, education, decriminalizing marijuana and the state's storm water fees in an hour-long debate organized by WBFF Fox 45, the Baltimore affiliate. Harford County Executive David Craig, Del. Ron George, Charles Lollar and Brian Vaeth largely agreed on most issues  - lowering the state's taxes, paring back the size of government and rolling back Common Core, a new curriculum standard that has been the source of controversy in Maryland.
NEWS
January 14, 2014
Inequality is replacing the American dream, because the U.S. economy - thanks to Washington's mismanagement - is underperforming. America still produces one fifth of the world's goods and services, but it accounts for a much smaller share of global growth. Many U.S. products are no longer the best in class. Consequently, the economy can't adequately employ many of its college graduates, and wages are stagnant or falling for ordinary folks. America still has great strengths. High labor productivity, coupled with rising wages in Asia, make American workers a good value for global investors.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | January 14, 2014
Gov. Martin O'Malley announced Tuesday that he will push for raising the minimum wage in Maryland to $10.10 an hour over the next two years, with automatic increases after that to keep pace with inflation. O'Malley appeared at an evening rally outside the State House, which drew hundreds of union members, clergy, business owners and others who support a higher minimum wage. "We all do better when we're all doing better," O'Malley told the crowd. He pointed out that 21 states have higher minimum wage rates than Maryland does now. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who is running to succeed the term-limited O'Malley, led the crowd in chants of "10-10.
NEWS
January 13, 2014
Here we go again. Yet another letter to the editor ("Illegal immigrants steal American jobs," Jan. 3) blaming undocumented immigrants for all of Maryland's employment and economic problems. And, like all such letters, its argument instantly breaks up once it makes contact with the facts. Contrary to popular belief, many "illegal" immigrants entered the country lawfully and only fell out of lawful status because of the complexity and expense of trying to navigate an immigration system that is almost designed not to work for anyone.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | January 10, 2014
The federal government is expected to announce its approval Friday of a plan that would allow Maryland to continue setting hospital reimbursement rates for Medicare patients and could become a national model for reducing health care costs. The decision, eagerly anticipated by state officials and hospital executives, allows Maryland to remain the only state in the nation with a waiver from federally set Medicare rates, generally considered the lowest rates paid in every other state.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | January 9, 2014
Prepare for a year of more in the real estate industry - more improvement, mostly, but also more expense as mortgage rates, prices and rents rise. Analysts expect a solid 2014 here and nationally, after a year in which the battered housing market got on firmer footing. They predict home values will continue rising and expect to see more choices for home buyers as higher prices pull in more would-be sellers. Moody's Analytics is forecasting an 8 percent rise in average home prices in the Baltimore region this year, compared with a 5.6 percent increase last year.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | December 30, 2013
More people are likely to toast this New Year with a glass of French champagne, industry observers say, an optimistic economic sign as consumers look beyond cheaper sparkling wines. Sales of the bubbly beverage from the Champagne region of France have been on the upswing this year. That means brisk business for wine sellers at year's end, when the final three months can account for 40 percent of annual champagne sales. Rising sales of champagne and other luxury items can signal improving consumer attitudes, experts say, and some in the wine business are taking the increase as another indicator of economic recovery.
NEWS
By Anirban Basu and Zach Fritz | December 29, 2013
How did it come to this? Between 2007 and 2012, the State of Maryland raised taxes and fees 24 times according to Change Maryland, including raising income taxes during a 2012 special legislative session, increasing the sales tax on alcoholic beverages from 6 percent to 9 percent in 2011, and levying a hospital assessment that year. Despite these revenue enhancements, the state faces unexpectedly large fiscal deficits this year and next. What was estimated to be a $300 million surplus for fiscal year 2014 is now an $87 million deficit.
NEWS
By Andrew Wainer | December 26, 2013
In the midst of the debate over the largest potential immigration reform legislation in 50 years, American communities struggling with decades of population loss and economic decline are being revitalized by newcomers. The economic contribution of immigrants in high-skilled fields is relatively well-known, but less acknowledged are the contributions that "blue collar" immigrants make in revitalizing depressed communities and economies, both as manual laborers and small business entrepreneurs.
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