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Infrastructure is defined by the “American Heritage Dictionary” as the basic facilities, services, and installations needed for the functioning of a community or society, such as transportation and communications systems, water and power lines, and public institutions including schools, post office, and prisons. Historically, politicians have tended to give infrastructure spending short shrift while favoring social […]

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Accounting for Retiree Benefits

It is probable that states and cities will soon be recording the full cost of health care promised to public employees once they retire.  New Government Accounting Standards Board principles urge officials to record all health care liabilities on their balance sheets instead of pushing a portion of the debt to foot notes.  Most states […]

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Consumer Spending and Economic Growth

The U.S. economy is generally believed to be substantially consumer driven.  Accordingly, trends in consumer spending are closely watched by investors and economists.  With an economy that is largely dependent on consumer spending, it is important to recognize that an individual consumer can spend only so much. Recently reported retail sales figures have been disappointing.  […]

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Living to 100

It is beginning to appear that life expectancy approaching 100 years may be a realistic premise.  This raises some key questions, of which perhaps the most important is, “can you afford to live to 100?” We are all probably familiar with the quote, “if I’d known I was going to live this long, I would […]

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Single-payer Healthcare

Healthcare remains a headline issue with a wide range of proposals.  The discussion is highly politicized and generally tends to emphasize benefits while glossing over costs.  Inevitably, there are comparisons with other national systems and recurring comments, from advocates and critics, without much clarity as to what actually comprises single-payer healthcare. Wikipedia defines single-payer healthcare […]

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The Uneasy Bull

At any given moment, investors are faced with a multitude of uncertainties.  For example, we see geo-political risks both here and abroad; the threat of war with North Korea and the senseless massacre in Las Vegas can shake anybody’s confidence in the market.  Storms have destroyed cities in Texas, Florida, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico […]

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