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"Businomics Blog" - 3 new articles

  1. I Don't Know What It Means: Hitchhiking Robot
  2. Poor Countries, Rich Countries
  3. Housing Vacancy Improving
  4. Search Businomics Blog
  5. Prior Mailing Archive

I Don't Know What It Means: Hitchhiking Robot

The AP has a story about a robot hitchhiking across Canada. This seems very important, though I don't quite know what it all means.

Hitchhiking Robot

    


Poor Countries, Rich Countries

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?

  • If Canada were as poor as Mexico, or
  • If Mexico were as rich as Canada?

I know which I think would be better. How about you?

    

Housing Vacancy Improving

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.

Housing VacancyThe "owned" category (most single family homes and condos) has been close to normal for some time, though there's certainly room for a couple more tenths of a percent decline.

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.

    




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