Gov. Pat McCrory said Wednesday he’d like to improve salaries for all of the state’s educators eventually, including veteran teachers, community college instructors and university faculty. But he said that will depend on the state’s future revenue picture.
Immediately, he said, the focus is on raising base pay for early career teachers to $35,000 by 2016 – a plan he announced last month.
“There has been no strategy on education compensation for the last decade,” McCrory added. “It’s just been dealt with year by year, and the last five years with almost no pay raises. So part of our goal is to have a long-term strategy on how we compensate our teachers.”
Still, he cautioned, “We cannot make that commitment until we know the money is available.”
McCrory said the budget forecast isn’t even clear for the upcoming fiscal year and could be affected by higher Medicaid expenses and lower tax collections because of the recent winter storms. ...
UNC President Tom Ross said the university system is producing 8,500 additional degree earners now compared with 2007-08, yet spending 18 percent less to do it. The UNC system has sustained more than $600 million in recurring cuts during that period, he said. Part of the system’s budget request for next year includes money to keep top professors.
This is the second time Gov. McCrory has blamed the cold weather for not wanting to give raises to teachers and professors (here is a link to the first one). I've Google Scholared all sorts of "weather" and "taxes" combinations and can't find anything in the literature that suggests that bad weather affects tax collections in the long run. There is nothing on this in the short run either but there is anecdotal evidence that people don't spend much money when they are locked in the house due to bad weather. What might surprise you is that once people are released from their weather prison they go shopping and tax collections go back up!
It will be interesting to see how long the long term university faculty pay strategy takes to develop. In the interim, faculty are leaving for other jobs.
Drezner also mentions that his own most influential publication was one making the obvious point that China’s ownership of a bunch of US bonds doesn’t give it leverage over America; a point people like Dean Baker and yours truly have also made. When you try to make this point to Beltway types, however, you encounter not so much disagreement as incredulity — “everyone” knows that China has immense power over us, “nobody” disagrees. Indeed, if you go to the link you’ll see that Dean was reacting to a news article that stated the Chinese power thing not as a dubious hypothesis but as simple fact.
I've made that point for about 13 years (after I taught Money and Capital Markets at UNCW ... at 8 am with a brand new baby after teaching a night class [what sort of sadist gives a guy that sort of schedule?]). How does China have power over us by holding our bonds? What are they going to do, sell them? Then the price of bonds goes down, interest rates spike, we have a recession and demand for Chinese exports fall. Also, they're holding our bonds so they can keep the value of their currency artificially low.
The central and eastern parts of the United States are currently suffering through one of the coldest winters on record, with the so-called polar vortex returning yet again this week to the Midwest and Northeast. Here are The Onion’s answers to readers’ most common questions about this year’s unusual and bitterly cold winter:
Does the inclement weather have anything to do with global warming?
No one’s looked into it yet.
How many people totally ate it while walking on a slick sidewalk this winter?
Only you, and everyone saw.
This harsh winter has been caused by the North Enchanter holding dominion over the winds of the ether plane. So to defeat him, we just need to summon a hearth witch, right?
Who are you?
I am Professor Snowflake.
What is the best way to deal with this world’s cold?
You just have to keep carrying the flame inside you. No matter how hard it gets to be, you carry that goddamn fire. It’s a hard world. Life is hard. But no matter what, you carry that fire, and you don’t let go.
These are only my favorites. You should read the whole thing.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory went on two national talk shows Sunday to talk about climate change and the winter storms that have iced over the state in the past two weeks. ...
Instead of focusing on global warming, McCrory said people should concentrate on keeping the air and water clean. ...
But environmental protection must also strike a delicate balance with economic development, McCrory told host Bob Schieffer. ...
Both shows also spoke to the governor about the two winter storms that battered North Carolina over the past two weeks. McCrory pointed out the beautiful North Carolina sun was out and the weather was going to warm this week. He also thanked public employees that worked hard to keep people safe.
"It about depleted our budget. It's also going to have an impact on our economy in North Carolina because people were stuck inside and not spending money," McCrory said of the storms on "Face the Nation."
See post title (if you have a better sun than we do, prove it!)
Once people get back outside they end up spending that money. I doubt if there is anything but a small temporal effect on the economy (i.e., you can't use the weather as an excuse to say that tax collections are too low to give state employees small raises).
Update: I've read this again and am in serious distress. The "stuck inside" comment indicates a serious misunderstanding of how an economy works. One would think that the cash in one's pocket disintegrates unless it is refreshed by exposure to a market or two.
I like to post cold weather events under the facetious title "Global warming my a$$," to point out the ludicrousness (word?) of using a single weather data point as counter-evidence of a trend. Well, here's my equally facetious attempt to use a single data point as evidence of a trend. Just in the interest of being balanced.
The halfpipe at the Sochi Games "is garbage," one prominent snowboarder told Yahoo Sports, and the across-the-board backlash against it from riders continued to build as the IOC postponed snowboarding practice Monday morning and tried to salvage the pipe's integrity amid warming temperatures.
American Danny Davis, one of the sport's most respected figures, said the pipe's flat bottom – the area that serves as a transition between the 22-foot-tall walls on each side – is bumpy and full of sugary snow, causing significant problems for riders. Two other sources confirmed Davis' concerns, with one calling the halfpipe "unsalvageable."
"It's the Olympics. It should be flawless," Davis told Yahoo Sports. "What a lame showcase of snowboarding, and what a lame way to treat the athletes."
Temperatures in the Sochi area climbed into the mid-50s on Monday, complicating efforts to reshape the pipe and address riders' concerns. Morning halfpipe practice was canceled and postponed until 7:20 p.m. local time, allowing cutters time to address the issues that are more related to performance – the bad flat bottoms slows down riders and throws off their lines – than safety.
... A new map from Reddit user Alexandr Trubetskoy (a.k.a. atrubetskoy) is sure to stoke this regional competition. Using data "taken from hundreds of various points from user responses...interpolated using NOAA's average annual snowfall days map," Trubetskoy made a map showing how much snow it typically takes to close schools in the U.S. and Canada. Notice that for much of the southern U.S., all it takes is "any snow" to shut schools down. For the Upper Midwest and Canada, two feet of snow are required for a closure. ...
Before this map gives Midwesterners a superiority complex, it's worth remembering: School closures say more about an area's infrastructure than the toughness of its citizens. Schools in the South close at the mere hint of snow not because the people who live there are wimps, but because snow is such a rare event—and most cities there don't have a fleet of snow plows the way Northern ones do.
If you click on the map to enlarge it you can see three wimpy counties in the northwest corner of North Carolina. I live in one of those. And we have plenty of snow infrastructure.
Hunkering down at home rather than going to work, canceling thousands of flights and repairing burst pipes from the Midwest to the Southeast has its price. By one estimate, about $5 billion.
The country may be warming up from the polar vortex, but the bone-chilling cold, snow and ice that gripped much of the country – affecting about 200 million people – brought about the biggest economic disruption delivered by the weather since Superstorm Sandy in 2012, said Evan Gold, senior vice president at Planalytics, a business weather intelligence company in suburban Philadelphia.
While the impact came nowhere close to Sandy, which caused an estimated $65 billion in property damage alone, the deep freeze’s impact came from its breadth.
“There’s a lot of economic activity that didn’t happen,” Gold said. “Some of that will be made up, but some of it just gets lost.”
Still, Gold noted his $5 billion estimate pales in comparison with an annual gross domestic product of about $15 trillion – working out to maybe one-seventh to one-eighth of one day’s production for the entire country. ...
School closures took their own toll, keeping home parents who couldn’t find alternatives for their kids. Even if those parents worked from home, they might not have been as productive, said Tony Madden, regional economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
Ah, school closures. Our school district pursues a zero margin for safety. My kids were home Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Schools were on a two hour delay Thursday and today (there was an ice warning called from 9 pm to 9 am but lifted before 5 am, I think). I tried to work from home, answering email and blogging (talk about unproductive!), but those papers I need to revise are waiting until next week. Kids are going to school on Saturday until noon, so maybe I'll get some work (or exercise!) done (other than blogging) then.
"This blog aims to look at more of the microeconomic ideas that can be used toward environmental ends. Bringing to bear a large quantity of external sources and articles, this blog presents a clear vision of what economic environmentalism can be."
... the Environmental Economics blog ... is now the default homepage on my browser (but then again, I guess I am a wonk -- a word I learned on the E.E. blog). That is a very nice service to the profession. -- Anonymous
"... I try and read the blog everyday and have pointed it out to other faculty who have their students read it for class. It is truly one of the best things in the blogosphere." -- Anonymous