August 15, 2004
When oil was found in 1996 in Equatorial Guinea, the former Spanish colony in West Africa was one of the poorest countries in the world. Today, this small and sparsely populated country of 465,000 inhabitants has an offshore production of 350,000 barrels a day, making it the third-largest sub-Saharan producer of oil, behind Nigeria and Angola. According to the African Development Bank, a year after oil was found, gross domestic product went up 76 percent. In my role as a public health consultant, I recently visited Equatorial Guinea for the first time since 1993.
March 21, 2004
AMONG SOARING personal bankruptcy rates, corporate layoffs and major stock market swings within the past few years, a consistently rising standard of living is no slam-dunk. So how do you get by on instant coffee once you've lived on latte? That's a decaf venti latte with caramel sauce in Jennifer Dulles Jansky's case. Her daily java fix went perfectly with the rest of her life: The affluent upbringing, the white-collar job, the fancy wedding, the one-year anniversary trip to Florence, Italy, in 2002.
July 6, 2003
For generations, Americans have been riding inflation to a better life. They get a job, buy a house and, over time, accumulate wealth as wages and home values climb. But what if prices started going down - triggering deflation instead of inflation? A growing number of economists - even the Federal Reserve - are worrying about that possibility. Many don't expect it to happen, but for the first time in most people's memory, the prospect of deflation is a legitimate concern, experts say. "Nobody seems to object to a little bit of inflation.
August 29, 2000
Among the top selling points area officials have touted to lure businesses and workers to the Baltimore area is the quality of life, including the relatively low cost of living. An independent study now supports their claim that salaries go further here than in most other areas, including Northern Virginia. The average income of workers in the Baltimore region is higher than the national average, and, once the costs of goods and services are factored in, the area's per-capita income ranks in the top 10 among 219 regions surveyed by Old Dominion University.
October 24, 1999
URBAN and Virginia Linn figured they had a good idea of what to expect financially in retirement.Urban, a mathematics statistician at the former Martin Marietta Corp. before retiring in 1989, was familiar with budgeting and investments. Virginia, who retired three years ago at 64, had seen the financial issues facing seniors through her job at Baltimore's Commission on Aging.Still, the Baltimore couple had a few surprises. Virginia was shocked by the federal tax bite. Urban was struck by ever-rising insurance rates and the switch to a fixed income.
June 10, 1999
WASHINGTON -- Americans feel almost as good as last year about their lives and significantly better than two years ago, the annual Harris "feel good" poll reported yesterday.The Harris "feel good index" is 74 percent, down from 75 percent last year and up from 68 percent two years ago. The biggest increases from two years ago came in the category of optimism about the economy, which rose to 68 percent from 40 percent in 1997.Ninety-six percent said they feel good about their relations with their families, 94 percent are satisfied with the quality of their lives, 92 percent like their homes, 90 percent are happy with their health, and 87 percent are happy with their standard of living.