My fellow Forbes.com contributor Ana Swanson asks the question, "Would You Rather Be Rich in a Poor Country, or Poor in a Rich Country?" Her article has some startling statistics. For example, the poorest five percent of Americans have incomes higher than 60 percent of the world's population.
In my speeches I often hear from people who are focused on rankings (are we number one?) rather than levels. I ask them, which would be better for America?
I know which I think would be better. How about you?
The housing market is improving, according to vacancy figures released today by the government. Forget "bank-owned" and what Realtors call "inventory." The best way to look at the housing market is to see how many housing units are empty.
The rental category took a big drop, which is positive for the housing industry, even if negative for home-hunters.
Both categories are important, as there is some mixing of people between the two categories.
Keep in mind that these are national averages; some local markets look very different. In addition, an excess supply of housing in Michigan does little to help fast-growing Sunbelt states.
Looking forward, I expect fairly good growth. In fact, we could have 20 percent stronger housing construction without overbuilding.