Utah economy

Utah economy

An integrated power grid would benefit the western United States

According to a new report from the national trade association Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) by independent consultancy Energy Strategies.

A western RTO would diversify state economies and save taxpayers millions of dollars in energy costs each year, the report said. An RTO is a cooperative agreement that allows electric utilities in multiple states to share energy resources through an organized regional market. Today, the west is one of the only regions in the country without an RTO running its power grid.

Regional transmission organizations are cooperative agreements that allow electric utilities in multiple states to share energy resources through an organized regional market. (Photo by Andy A. Widmer/EyeEm via Getty Images)

The research found that all western states – which it defines as Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming – would benefit economically from an RTO, which would reduce electricity prices, add energy resources and expand business in the region.

By 2030, compared to the status quo, a Western RTO could save Western states $2 billion in annual energy costs, while adding up to 4.4 GW of additional clean energy to the grid.

“The sooner the west develops an RTO, the sooner residents of the western United States will see the economic benefits of a cleaner, more efficient power grid,” said Amisha Rai, chief executive of AEE. “The West needs a power grid that is more secure, resilient to extreme weather conditions and more accommodating to an evolving energy mix. By building an RTO of the future here in the west, states can achieve these goals while creating jobs and saving money for households and businesses.

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Utah economy

Salt Lake City launches program to increase solar power

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Salt Lake City launched Solar Salt Lake on Thursday — a program that offers Salt Lake City residents huge discounts on solar installations as more homes decide to go solar.

The bulk purchase program aims to streamline residents’ access to solar power, supporting the local solar economy.

The city has partnered with Gardner Energy, believed to be one of the nation’s oldest solar companies, which has served Intermountain West since 2004.

Gardner Energy has completed more than 1,000 residential and commercial solar installations, totaling more than 17 megawatts of solar energy.

Solar Salt Lake was launched to help meet the city’s climate goals and offers discounted bulk purchasing for up to 50 installations.

“Salt Lake City is committed to protecting the public health and safety of its residents, including ensuring access to clean air, clean water, and a livable environment,” according to

The declaration is a resolve by the city to be climate positive, and is demonstrated by the city’s efforts to curb climate change.

Here are some things the city has done to be climate positive:

  • In 2020, Salt Lake City announced the successful approval of a major renewable energy project to meet the majority of the Municipality of SLC’s electricity needs.
  • In 2021, the Elektron solar project started in Tooele County and is expected to go live in 2023.
  • On the community side, Salt Lake City has worked with Rocky Mountain Power and other communities to pass HB411, the Community Renewable Energy Act, which will see Salt Lake City achieve the 100 X 2030: 100% energy goal. ‘renewable energy for community electricity supply by 2030’. ” objective.
  • Salt Lake City is also working with other Utah 100 Communities to move toward the net goal of 100% clean electricity.
  • Salt Lake City has also set the “80 X 2040: 80% reduction in community greenhouse gas emissions by 2040” goal, which includes a reduction of at least 50% in the community footprint. by 2030.

Click here to learn more about what the city is doing to reduce climate change.

Click here to complete the Solar Salt Lake registration form.

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Utah economy

Utah consumer sentiment continues to fall in July

Newswise — August 4, 2022 (Salt Lake City) — Utah consumer sentiment fell in July, according to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute’s survey of Utah consumers. Utah’s index fell to 62.9 in July from 64.4 in June. A similar survey for the United States showed consumer sentiment rising slightly to 51.5 in July from 50.0 in June. This is the first month since the Gardner Institute began tracking consumer sentiment in October 2020 where Utah’s index fell while national sentiment rose.

“Consumer expectations about the economy can impact day-to-day shopping behavior and therefore business cycles,” said Phil Dean, chief economist at the Gardner Institute. “Concerns about high inflation, including fuel prices, continue to affect consumer sentiment in Utah. High fuel prices are a particularly salient price point for consumers, although prices have fallen these Emerging signals suggest that low-income households are facing financial strains that are beginning to alter their purchasing behavior.

The Utah Consumer Sentiment Survey uses questions comparable to the University of Michigan Consumer Survey. These questions measure residents’ views on current and future economic conditions. Both surveys include a random sample of consumers, including demographic questions to assess the representativeness of the sample.

Full results are now available online.

Source: Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute and University of Michigan



The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute serves Utah by preparing research on the economic, population, and public policies that help the state prosper. We are experts in Utah demographics, leaders in the Utah economy, and experts in public policy and survey research. We are an honest broker of INFORMED RESEARCH, which guides INFORMED DISCUSSIONS and leads to INFORMED DECISIONS™. For more information, please visit or call 801-587-3717.


The Eccles school is synonymous with “doing”. The Eccles Experience provides world-class business education with a unique entrepreneurial focus on real-world scenarios where students practice what they learn long before graduation. Founded in 1917 and educating more than 6,000 students annually, the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah offers nine undergraduate majors, four MBAs, eight other graduate programs, one Ph.D. in seven management training areas and programs. The school is also home to 12 institutes, centers and initiatives, which conduct academic research and support an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation. For more information, visit or call 801-581-7676.

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Utah economy

Washington County Implements Utah’s Most Restrictive Water Ordinances

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah – Washington County’s largest cities have implemented new water ordinances to help protect water resources in what a news release called the nation’s fastest growing region.

The new measures include a ban on non-functional turf for newly constructed commercial, institutional and industrial developments, and a turf limit in new homes.

New golf courses in St. George will also not be approved unless the development can provide its own source of non-potable water for irrigation, according to a Wednesday morning news release from the Washington County Water Conservancy District. .

The ordinances would be the most restrictive for new construction in Beehive State.

“We can’t risk running out of water,” said Zach Renstrom, chief executive of the Washington County Water Conservancy District. “The prolonged drought has threatened our only source of water – we need to make changes to how our community uses its water to protect our economy and our quality of life.”

Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox said, We salute Washington County’s current water conservation achievements and efforts, including setting a higher standard for development in the state with these new municipal ordinances.

“Our future depends on every community in Utah, making water conservation a top priority,” Cox said.

The ordinances also require the use of secondary (untreated) water and reuse (treated wastewater) for outdoor irrigation, if applicable, depending on the version. Currently, the county uses it to irrigate parks, schools, golf courses, city-owned facilities, and some residential neighborhoods.

“The district is developing a regional reuse system in partnership with its municipal customers that will significantly improve the availability of reused water for future development,” the statement said.

Other requirements of the order include:

  • Hot water recirculation systems
  • Luminaires labeled Water-Sense
  • Energy Star Appliances
  • Sub-metering of multi-unit installations
  • Restrictions on water features, including misting systems
  • Water budgets for golf courses
  • Limits on water used by car wash facilities

The new ordinances are expected to save nearly 11 billion gallons of water over the next 10 years, according to the release.

Officials said each municipality will enforce its new order, adding that cities will review complaints received about water waste and monitor metering data to notify and impose penalties on non-compliant customers.

“To help encourage compliance, the district will begin assessing an additional high water usage fee in 2023. The money generated from this fee will fund water conservation programs, including rebates to replace the ‘grass through water-efficient landscaping,’ the statement read.

The county’s long-term water supply plan, according to the release, includes additional water conservation and reuse, optimization of local sources and development of new resources.

“Washington County has already reduced its per capita water use by more than 30% since 2000 – the largest reduction in water use in Utah – and plans an additional 14% reduction by 2030. , using 2015 as the base year.”

REMARK: The Washington County Water Conservancy District is a public, nonprofit organization that oversees water resources in Washington County, UT. Visit for more information.

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Utah economy

Utah real estate market stabilizes – Lehi Free Press

Sales are down, inventory is up, and price increases come to a halt. So why are so many Utahns still priced high on the real estate market? The median home price in Utah fell for the first time in nearly two years. In June, it fell to $530,000, down slightly from $535,050 in May.

Meanwhile, sales slow down considerably. From April to June, sales of single-family homes in Wasatch Front counties fell 10%, to 7,140 units sold, from 7,921 units sold a year earlier. Single-family home sales in Salt Lake County were down 15% from the second quarter of 2021 to 2,800 units sold from April to June of this year.

But don’t get too excited or jump to worrying conclusions, like the idea that Utah’s housing bubble will burst and prices will plummet.

The slowdown indicates that, as the Salt Lake Chamber put it, Utah property values ​​are beginning to “stabilize.” According to Dejan Eskic, a senior fellow at the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Institute and one of Utah’s top housing experts, the news is welcome in a housing market that is punishing buyers. Of house. He is also the Salt Lake Board of Realtors’ top economist.


“After two years of a frenzied market with numerous offers in the tens of thousands of dollars over asking price,” Eskic said, “Utah’s real estate market is returning to normality.”

While homebuyers have struggled over the past two years to negotiate a tough market, often with just days to make a winning bid before a property is purchased, the market is gradually calming down.

“Instead of a few days, it will probably take a few weeks,” Eskic said.

It’s something that Eskic feels personally. He recalls the sense of urgency he felt when he bought his house during the frenzy, joking that he “probably spent more time deciding which running shoes to buy” than determining if he were to make an offer on his property.

So what does this mean for the Utah real estate market, and where do we go from here?


Yes, real estate prices are starting to stabilize. However, they are stabilizing at record highs, and for various reasons that Eskic will explain below, they are expected to remain high.

Housing prices in Utah are stabilizing, but at a higher level.

This is bad news for Utahans and the state’s housing affordability problem. Yes, higher mortgage rates of 5% to 6% these days have dampened demand slightly, but they’ve also cost 70% to 75% of Utahns, according to Eskic’s estimates. The typical monthly mortgage payment has fallen from $1,400 earlier this year, when interest rates were lower, to $2,600 today.

Again, context is crucial. The median home price in Utah has fallen slightly, but is still above $500,000. In January 2019, it was just under $300,000, according to

“So our prices are still out of this world,” Eskic said. However, he pointed out that the state’s year-over-year price increases had increased by more than 20% by the mid-teens.


Higher mortgage rates would no doubt cool what has been a runway market for years, but with Utah’s economy robust, jobs abound and the state’s housing shortage remains a chronic problem, demand will remain strong due to state expansion.

Why is Utah isolated from the rest of the country?

According to the Salt Lake Chamber’s Economic Scorecard, Utah has the third-lowest unemployment rate in the United States, tied with New Hampshire and after Minnesota and Nebraska. Utah’s consumer confidence, on the other hand, fell in June to its lowest level since data collection began in October 2020, matching national levels of consumer confidence in its 70-year history. .

That means Utah is “slowing growth as inflation and rising interest rates weigh on consumers,” according to Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber.

Despite these issues, according to Miller, Utah’s economy is robust and “Utah remains a net positive for industrial growth across all sectors.”


Even though the “dirty word ‘R’ – a recession” is rife as the United States grapples with inflation and other issues, Utah has generally fared better than the rest of the country due to of its strong economic situation.

“We’re not immune…but we’re also in a little bubble,” Eskic said. “Our market has grown organically for a long time, and so regardless of what’s going on in the economy, (people) come here because they feel safe in Utah. They see less uncertainty in Utah because… we are stable.

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Utah economy

Floods strike a new blow in place that has struggled – ABC4 Utah

JACKSON, Ky. (AP) — Evelyn Smith lost everything in floods that devastated eastern Kentucky, saving only her grandson’s muddy tricycle. But she has no intention of leaving the mountains that have been her home for 50 years.

Like many families in this dense, forested region of hills, deep valleys and winding streams, Smith’s roots run deep. His family has lived in Knott County for five generations. They bonded with people who supported them, even as a region long mired in poverty lost more jobs with the collapse of the coal industry.

After rapidly rising floodwaters from nearby Troublesome Creek submerged his rental trailer, Smith moved in with his mother. At 50, she is disabled, suffering from a chronic respiratory disorder, and knows that she will not return to where she used to live; his owner told him that he would not put the trailers back in the same place. Smith, who had no insurance, doesn’t know what his next move will be.

“I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore,” she said. “I’m just in shock. I don’t really know what to do now.

For many people who have lost their homes, connections with family and neighbors will only become more important after the floods destroyed homes and businesses and engulfed small towns. Yet in a part of the state that includes seven of the nation’s 100 poorest counties, according to the US Census Bureau, they might not be enough for people already living on the margins.

“The poor people of eastern Kentucky are truly some of the most disadvantaged people in our entire country,” said Evan Smith, an attorney with the Appalachian Research and Advocacy Fund, which provides free legal services to people with low incomes. income and vulnerable. “And for those who have now lost vehicles, homes, loved ones, it’s hard for me to see how they are recovering from this.”

“I mean, people will,” Smith added. “People are sometimes more resilient than we can imagine. But without some kind of state and national help, I don’t know what we’re going to do.

He thinks some people who can afford to leave will, with younger people – less likely than their elders to try to rebuild where they are – more likely to seek employment elsewhere.

Coal once dominated the economy in this corner of Appalachia, providing the best-paying jobs in a place that struggled to support other types of work, but production has fallen about 90% since the height of 1990, according to a state report. . And as production declined, jobs disappeared.

The record flooding “couldn’t have come at a worse time,” said Doug Holliday, a 73-year-old attorney in Hazard, Ky., who represents miners with black lung disease and other health issues.

“The coal business has run out of steam and a lot of people have left,” Holliday said. “The people who stay are living paycheck to paycheck or Social Security, and most of them live in mobile homes on the periphery of the economy.”

Holliday believes an old friend died in one of these mobile homes, which was washed away by floodwaters and has not been seen since. He’s not the only one trying to account for people in what Gov. Andy Beshear called “one of the most severe and devastating floods” in Kentucky history.

There is a chance that the legacy of the coal industry, however diminished, has made the floods worse. The hardest-hit areas of eastern Kentucky received between 8 and 10 1/2 inches (20-27 centimeters) of rain over 48 hours, and land degradation caused by coal mining may have changed enough the landscape to help push the rivers and streams. to peak at record highs.

“Decades and decades of surface mining and mountain top extraction prevent the earth from helping to absorb some of this runoff during periods of high rainfall,” said Emily Satterwhite, director of studies. on Appalachia at Virginia Tech.

The North Fork of the Kentucky River reached 20.9 feet (6.4 meters) at Whitesburg – more than 6 feet (1.8 meters) above the previous record – and peaked at a record 43, 5 feet (13.25 meters) in Jackson, National Weather Service meteorologist Brandon Obligations said.

Melinda Hurd, 27, was forced to leave her home in Martin, Ky., on Thursday afternoon when the Big Sandy River surged up her steps – then kept coming.

“As soon as I walked down my steps, it was waist high,” she said. She is staying with two of her dogs at Jenny Wiley State Park in Prestonsburg, about 20 minutes from her home.

Hurd’s neighbors weren’t so lucky; some were stuck on their roofs, waiting to be rescued.

“I know our whole basement is destroyed,” she said. “But I feel very, very lucky. I don’t think it will be a total loss.

Hurd has a paid job caring for an elderly woman, which means she has no insurance or benefits.

Hurd’s home was also flooded in 2009 on Mother’s Day, destroying almost everything inside. She then received financial assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and will likely need more help this time around.

During a briefing with Beshear, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said more help was on the way. And the governor has opened an online portal for donations to flood victims.

Satterwhite said many residents will want to stay, held in place by attachments to extended families and support networks that sustain them through good times and bad.

Smith, the woman who recovered her 2-year-old grandson’s tricycle, said the rapidly rising water forced her off her trailer around 1.30am Thursday.

“Everything in there is covered in mud,” she said. “There’s probably 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) of mud in the parts. The walls are all waterlogged all the way up.

Despite all this, she does not leave Knott County. She thinks she could never do it.

“It’s the mountain,” she said. “It’s the land, it’s the people connecting to make it a home.”


Contributors include Anita Snow in Phoenix and Mike Schneider in Orlando, Florida. Selsky reported from Salem, Oregon and Schreiner from Frankfort, Ky.

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Utah economy

Do Scandals Really Help This GOP Candidate?- POLITICO

In 2018, Eric Greitens resigned as governor of Missouri after being accused of sexual assault and financial impropriety – he denies both.

In March this year, his ex-wife, Sheena, accused him in a affidavit of hitting her and their young son after the resignation – he denies that too.

And in June, he posted a now-notorious ad showing him carrying out a fake armed raid on a house looking for “Republicans in name only.” (That one, he doesn’t deny; it was a viral fundraising success, according to his campaign.)

You might call his Senate run “scandal-ridden.” Indeed, recent polls have shown his months-long lead in the field slipping. But like many Trump-era GOP politicians, Greitens tries to turn all that negative press to his advantage, portraying himself as an anti-establishment hero battling mainstream media and corrupt politicians.

Kathy Gilsinan traveled across Missouri to learn more about why Greitens, despite or even because of his many scandals, still appeals to so many voters — and why some of his former allies have turned on him. For politicians like Greitens, she writes, “outrage is a feature, not a bug.”

Read Gilsinan’s story.

“[He is] an evil old man who baits work, plays poker and drinks whiskey.

Can you guess who said that about FDR Vice President John Nance Garner in 1939? Scroll down for the answer.**

Bad buds… A Washington lobbyist is suing former House speaker turned marijuana maven John Boehner, claiming he stole talking points on legalization and stole the idea of ​​creating an umbrella cannabis advocacy group. Lawyers for the defendant released a statement last month that boils down to: What is this guy smoking?

Whether you’re on Team Boehner or not, the lawsuit is a window into the cutthroat nature of the cannabis business in Washington’s political influence industry, writes Michael Schaffer in this week’s Capital City column.

44 percent… of Gen Zers aged 18-25 think there will be another Civil War in the United States – a higher percentage than any other political, geographic or demographic group we surveyed, including liberals (32%) and conservatives (30%).

Utah Interpartisan Test… Evan McMullin rose to prominence as a protest candidate against Donald Trump in 2016. Now the conservative is back on the ballot – not as a gadfly, but as a strong contender to unseat the Utah senator Mike Lee.

McMullin’s candidacy is the perfect trial balloon for cross-partisan efforts to defeat far-right Republicans in red states, writes Samuel Benson. He will have to unite Republicans skeptical of Trump, independents and Democrats willing to compromise. Utah has all three.

If you’re totally confused if we’re in a recession right now, don’t be ashamed. Republicans insist we are. The Democrats are shouting that it is not. And economists, as they often do, say maybe yes, maybe no. It depends on what you mean by “recession”. Here’s how to sound smart about it without heavy lifting. (From POLITICO’s chief economics correspondent, Ben White.)

– It is not true that we are “officially” in a recession even if the Republicans say so. Yes, we have had two consecutive quarters of economic contraction as measured by gross domestic product, an element of a classic recession. But the GDP numbers we have now are subject to revisions. And other areas of the economy, like job growth and consumer spending, are unlike any recession we’ve ever seen.

– Believe it or not, there is actually an official recession designation body. Amuse and wow your friends by telling them it’s the National Bureau of Economic Research, or NBER to the crowd. The economic wizards behind the curtain at the NBER often don’t decide whether a period is a recession until well after the recession in question has ended.

– When making this call, NBER economists look at a series of data. If the data shows a broad contraction in economic activity over an extended period, they call it a recession. That is just about everything. And we are not there yet.

– Finally, frown in any economic conversation and say, “We’re not in a recession right now, but we could soon be one if the Fed goes too far.” Drop the mic and go.

– If you’re forced to follow, just say the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to fight inflation, but if it “pumps the brakes” too hard, the good stuff in the economy (jobs and spending) could go wrong. And THAT would definitely be a recession.

Historian Ted Widmer found another piece of history on sale this week: A vintage LEGO model of the International Space Station.

News that Russia will withdraw support for the ISS after 2024 marks the end of a long era of scientific collaboration dating back to July 17, 1975, when cosmonauts and astronauts shook hands for the first time in space. It was a welcome sign that the Russians and Americans could work together, above ground, even if they still had some problems at ground level.

It is too early to tell if a new version of the Cold War is beginning. But a remarkable collaborative experience comes to an end. For those who wish to retain the vision of the ISS as a unifier, floating high above our earthly differences, a vintage Lego model can be found on eBay for $104.99.

Putting on for power… When the PGA pulled tournaments from Trump complexes in 2016 and 2021, it would have ” empty ” the chief golfer. This weekend he wants revenge by hosting the LIV Golf Tour, a flashy upstart luring some PGA pros with Saudi money – despite bitter criticism from families who lost loved ones on 9/11.

But this isn’t Trump’s first foray into alternative sports. Jeff Pearlman, the author of a book about Trump’s blunder in the United States Football League in the 1980s, tells Ian Ward that there are parallels between the two sports insurgencies supported by Trump.

This imagedated 1910, shows Franklin D. Roosevelt teasing his cousin, Jean Delano, on the sailing ship Half Moon II in Campobello, New Brunswick, Canada.

FDR first visited Campobello Island when he was one year old and spent many subsequent summers vacationing there with his parents, then his wife and children. Here he developed a love for the ocean and sailing. It was also there that he first contracted polio aged 39 – after swimming in the ocean he began to suffer from a fever and weak legs, which led to partial paralysis.

Roosevelt Campobello International Park is now dedicated to the memory of FDR. It also symbolizes the American-Canadian bond, due to the island’s position in Passamaquoddy Bay, which forms the border between Maine and New Brunswick.

** Who dispelled? answer: The labor movement may have liked FDR, but some leaders weren’t too keen on his vice-president. This beard came from John L. Lewis, president of the United Mine Workers of America from 1920 to 1960.

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Utah economy

Housing Market: Are Utah and Idaho Stable Places to Buy a Home?

Yes, housing markets in the West — including Utah — went haywire after the COVID-19 pandemic sent many Americans shopping.

The rush for housing in fast-growing and relatively more affordable areas like the West has sent prices skyrocketing. But now that rising mortgage rates are tempering demand, does that mean prices are about to plummet?

The answer to this question is nuanced. While experts aren’t predicting home values ​​will plummet like they did in 2006, some say it’s possible that prices in particularly “overvalued” regional markets could see prices fall by as much as 10% over the next year, perhaps even up to 20% if an economic recession hits. Some economists have particularly looked at Boise, Idaho as an area with the greatest chance of this happening.

But what about Utah?

Beehive State, with its years-long housing shortage, rapid population growth, strong job market, and desirable proximity to world-class hiking and skiing, still faces quite a significant housing demand – and economists have ranked its regional markets as having a lower risk of falling home prices than the Boise market.

And this week, CNBC ranked Utah first for having the most “stable” housing market, according to the outlet’s America’s Top States for Business study.

“No matter how you look at it, the housing market in the Beehive State is booming,” CNBC reported.

“Prices are rising at the second highest rate in the nation, but with the fastest pace of construction in the nation, plenty of new inventory is on the way to Utah. Foreclosures are manageable and home equity is strong in the country’s largest housing market.

CNBC also had a more optimistic rating for Idaho than other economists like Moody’s Analytics, which told Fortune Boise prices could fall by up to 20% in a recession.

Instead, CNBC ranked Idaho as the No. 5 most stable housing market in the nation.

“Idaho’s housing market has been a gangbuster for some time now. Buying a home in the Gem State is not for the faint of heart,” CNBC reported. “But new construction is slowly starting to relieve the inventory squeeze. Rising foreclosures are a potential red flag if the economy tips into a recession.

Here’s how CNBC’s “stable” housing markets ranked. The outlet considered the states’ economic rankings in 2022, year-over-year price appreciation, new construction by year, and the rate of foreclosures and insolvencies for the ranking.


Economic ranking 2022: No. 6 (Top States Grade: A).

Appreciation: 27.1%.

Housing starts per 1,000 inhabitants: 12.2.

Seizure rate: 1 in 2,063 dwellings.

Underwater mortgages: 1.4%.


Economic ranking 2022: No. 3 (Top States Grade: A).

Appreciation: 20.1%.

Housing starts per 1,000 inhabitants: 7.3.

Seizure rate: 1 in 4,965 dwellings.

Underwater mortgages: 1.2%.

3. Florida

Economic ranking 2022: No. 4 (Top States Grade: A).

Appreciation: 25.7%.

Housing starts per 1,000 inhabitants: 9.6.

Seizure rate: 1 dwelling out of 1,211.

Underwater mortgages: 1.4%.


Economic ranking 2022: No. 8 (Top States Grade: A-).

Appreciation: 19.3%.

Housing starts per 1,000 inhabitants: 8.9.

Seizure rate: 1 in 2,326 dwellings.

Underwater mortgages: 2.5%.


Economic ranking 2022: No. 5 (Top States Grade: A).

Appreciation: 27%.

Housing starts per 1,000 inhabitants: 10.5.

Seizure rate: 1 in 6,015 dwellings.

Underwater mortgages: 1.6%.

6. Tennessee

Economic ranking 2022: No. 2 (Top State Grade: A+).

Appreciation: 24.1%.

Housing starts per 1,000 inhabitants: 8.2.

Seizure rate: 1 dwelling out of 2,797.

Underwater mortgages: 2.9%.

7. Vermont

Economic ranking 2022: No. 33 (Top State Grade: D+).

Appreciation: 20%.

Housing starts per 1,000 inhabitants: 3.2.

Seizure rate: 1 in 13,930 homes.

Underwater mortgages: 1.1%.


Economic ranking 2022: No. 22 (tie) (Top States Grade: C-).

Appreciation: 27.4%.

Housing starts per 1,000 inhabitants: 9.

Seizure rate: 1 dwelling in 1,861.

Underwater mortgages: 1.4%.

9. South Carolina

Economic ranking 2022: No. 13 (tie) (Top States Grade: B-).

Appreciation: 21.4%.

Housing starts per 1,000 inhabitants: 9.5.

Seizure rate: 1 dwelling out of 1,081.

Underwater mortgages: 3.4%.

10. South Dakota

Economic ranking 2022: No. 12 (Top States Grade: B-).

Appreciation: 20.1%.

Housing starts per 1,000 inhabitants: 8.8.

Seizure rate: 1 in 17,724 dwellings.

Underwater mortgages: 4.8%.

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Utah economy

How do small towns get flights? Thanks to Essential Air Service

If you look on a map, Page, Arizona, looks quite remote. It is surrounded by desert on the shores of Lake Powell, just across the border from Utah. By car, Page is about 4.5 hours from Las Vegas or Phoenix, the nearest major cities.

And yet, this city of about 7,500 people offers two daily flights to Phoenix thanks to the Essential Air Service program, a subsidy that allows small communities to stay connected to the national air network.

These flights help keep Page’s tourism-dependent economy afloat, said Michael Schneider, regional sales and marketing manager for Aramark, which operates Colorado River tours from Page under the Wilderness River Adventures brand in contract with the National Park Service. .

“We really rely on these Essential Air flights,” Schneider said. “We need tourists to come to keep the economy alive on Page. That’s what most people work in, our restaurants, our hotels, our tourism-type businesses. That’s pretty much what on how the city works.”

DOT complaint data shows passengers are still not satisfied with the air service

Ask the captain:Answers to all your air travel questions

What is Essential Air Service?

The Essential Air Service (EAS) program is a government grant that subsidizes airlines to fly to smaller communities.

EAS was developed in response to airline deregulation legislation passed in 1978, according to Daniel Friedenzohn, professor of aeronautical science and associate dean of the College of Aviation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. .

“Some markets may not be able to get air service without subsidies,” he said. “It has allowed some communities to have air service that they wouldn’t have without this Essential Air Service program in place.”

What are Essential Air Service flights like?

It can really vary. There are minimum requirements for aircraft size and frequency, but operators have a lot of leeway when it comes to the aircraft they use and the type of service they offer on board.

“You may not get all the benefits of flying on a regional jet or even a larger airliner, but it is generally a reliable service and in many case, the flight is not that long,” Friedenzohn said.

At least on the Page-Phoenix route, which is operated by Contour Airlines, flights typically last less than an hour and are similar to those operated by major airlines with larger planes, according to Schneider.

“They have refreshment services, they have a bathroom, it’s quite similar to a normal jet, just much smaller,” he said.

A Contour Airlines ERJ-135 jet, which the carrier uses for Page-Phoenix flights

How can travelers book Essential Air Service flights?

It also depends on the operator, but most flights can be booked like any other airline.

“In today’s world, you book on the website if you can, and obviously everyone uses the internet these days or an app,” Friedenzohn said. “For some people it may be unique because people don’t know the airline in question.”

The Basics of Basic Economics:What travelers need to know about these cheap tickets

How are communities eligible?

EAS-eligible communities in the continental United States must have received grants between September 30, 2010 and September 30, 2011 and must be at least a 70-mile drive from the nearest major airport. They must also maintain a minimum of 10 passengers per subsidized flight on average per day each year, unless it is more than 175 miles from the nearest larger airport. The subsidy is limited to $200 per passenger on average, except for communities located more than 210 miles from major airports.

Communities in Hawaii and Alaska have different requirements, and the DOT stopped adding new communities to the EAS list in the lower 48 in 2012.

The Ministry of Transport website has more technical details on the qualifications.

“It’s important that people (who) live in the community can connect to major flights,” said Schneider, who lives in Phoenix. “I can hop in a cab and be at the airport in 10 minutes and fly to a foreign country, they don’t have the luxury of doing that,” but the EAS service allows people in small towns to make those connections easier.

What are the requirements for airlines to operate Essential Air Service flights?

Airlines bidding for EAS contracts must generally plan to operate at least two daily flights to the subsidized community on 30- or 50-seat aircraft. Operators can also use smaller planes, including those with nine seats or less, and fly at higher frequencies.

Friedenzohn, of Embry-Riddle, said the DOT sometimes relaxes those requirements on a case-by-case basis.

In 2021, DOT spent nearly $340 million in EAS grants.

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Utah economy

What is driving inflation and what is its impact on Utah’s economy and labor market?

A “Now Hiring” sign is pictured outside of Staker Parson in Salt Lake City on July 13. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

Estimated reading time: 4-5 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s employment summary for June further reinforces the idea that Beehive State’s economy is doing better than the national economy.

“Right now, the economic numbers are still strong here in Utah,” Mark Knold, chief economist for the Utah Department of Labor Services, said Friday.

The state’s nonfarm payroll employment for June is up about 3.5% over the past 12 months, with the state’s economy adding 56,300 cumulative jobs since last June, bringing the current number of Utah jobs at 1,666,300, according to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, June 2022. Job Summary.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is “historically low,” at just 2%, well below the national average of 3.6%, according to the summary.

“History has shown that when the economy is operating at such a dynamic pace, it doesn’t stay there long. Something exogenous usually comes along to temper such a breakneck pace,” Knold said. “The economic omens of such a shift may be ahead of us.”

The main omen is economic inflation, he said.

“When prices rise noticeably in front of consumers’ eyes, it negatively impacts both their economic psychology and their enthusiasm,” Knold said.

Due to the negative influence of inflation, Knold pointed out that those who guide government actions with respect to the economy may tend to take an aggressive stance on inflation with the intention of bringing the economy down. inflation to a more passive economic position.

“The Federal Reserve Board of Governors, or the Fed, are the influential lords of the national economy,” Knold said.

When inflation is high as it is now, the Fed tends to raise interest rates in an effort to bring inflation down.

This process, however, can slow or hamper the US economy, Knold said.

“Everyone expects the Fed to act aggressively to raise interest rates in an effort to bring down this inflation, even if it means delaying the overall economic pulse of the United States in the short term,” he said. he declared.

What are the factors driving inflation?

So what is fueling inflation?

Knold said it comes down to several factors, some the Fed has influence over and some it doesn’t.

“Product supply chain disruptions have restricted the flow of goods from other countries, such as China, contributing to higher product prices and thus fueling inflation,” Knold said. “The Fed does not have the authority to reopen supply chains.”

He added that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which caused gas prices to skyrocket, is not something the Fed controls.

“Conversely, a national economy where workers’ wages are rising rapidly, producing rising prices that contribute to inflation is something within the Fed’s management sphere,” Knold said.

He noted that while the Fed doesn’t have the absolute power to change inflation, it does have the power to get consumers to change their spending habits.

“If you can’t increase the supply of goods, your other option for maintaining price stability is to reduce domestic demand for goods,” Knold said. “That’s what many expect from the Fed going forward and many are anticipating a US recession in 2023 because of it.”

Utah’s Economic Health and Labor Market

If a recession does occur, Knold said the current health of Utah’s economy — which is at “the most favorable level possible” — will work in the state’s favor.

“There is plenty of room for an economic downturn before such a weakening reaches levels that become painful and damaging to the economy,” Knold said.

He also noted that Utah’s housing market could use some time to reinvigorate supply while demand pulls back a bit.

“The current hyper-stretched labor market may be of such a unique composition that what we normally expect from recessions – such as noticeable amounts of job losses and high unemployment – ​​may not be the results we will see if a recession was to come in the next year,” Knold said.

Knold said it “seems very likely” that a national recession will occur within the next year. What’s less clear, he said, is how this recession will affect both the economies of the United States and Utah.

This is partly because there has never been a time when the United States has faced so many workers leaving the labor force without an equal (let alone excessive) force aging.

“Future recessions may not have as many setbacks and disruptions in labor markets as they have in the past,” Knold said. “Setting new levels of recession expectations could be part of the economic stories of Utah and the United States in the future.”

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Logan Stefanich is a reporter for, covering Southern Utah communities, education, business, and military news.

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Utah economy

Mitt Romney: Saving the Great Salt Lake is worth billions of dollars

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, introduced a bill in the US Senate last year to study saline lakes.

The bill struggled to gain attention because, as the senator from Utah said, few people seemed to understand or care about the Great Salt Lake. While researchers have warned of the severe impacts that the drying up of the Great Salt Lake would have on the environment, the problem has apparently been bottled up in Utah.

That’s why he doesn’t believe recent coverage of the Great Salt Lake’s drying up in The New York Times and other national media has made much of a difference to the concern Utahns already have about the lake. However, it seems to have helped his colleagues in Washington realize the importance of the situation.

“Now they understand. ‘Yeah, we care’ because it’s going to send arsenic into the air and other heavy metals, and it won’t just affect Salt Lake City and the global economy. , it will affect other communities (east of Utah) as well,” Romney said.

“It’s a real problem for our country and I think it’s something that the national media has understood…so my colleagues in the Senate and the House realize that it’s a big problem,” adds he. “It’s not just a Utah problem, it’s an American problem.”

It’s also a problem that will likely take “several billions of dollars” to fix, which he says is now the next step for the troubled lake.

Romney made the comments during a videoconference with members of the Utah media on Wednesday, pointing to a similar bill he introduced with Utah Representatives Burgess Owens and Chris Stewart. Bill authorizes $10 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to “monitor and assess” water availability and condition of Great Basin saline lakes, like Great Salt Lake, to better understand ecosystems Lake.

It is also creating a feasibility study to deal with the ongoing drought conditions around the Great Salt Lake, which would look at any “potential technologies” like pipelines, coastal desalination plants or channel reinforcement projects that could redirect the water sources to the lake. This includes the ability to allow redirection of water sources across state lines into the lake.

Utah Senator Mitt Romney speaks about the Great Salt Lake with members of the media Wednesday afternoon.

The Great Salt Lake reached a record high on July 3, when levels dropped to 4,190.1 feet at the US Geological Survey’s Saltair station. It has since dropped at least another tenth of a foot, with periodic levels below 4,190 feet, according to the federal agency.

The Utah Division of Forests, Fires and State Lands estimates it would cost $1.69 billion to $2.17 billion if the lake were to drop another 10 feet in the future. Beyond that, every 8 feet it falls exposes 30 miles of lake bed which contains heavy metals that have been absorbed over time. This is in addition to the impact it would have on the 10 million migrating birds that use the lake each year.

Romney said the money requested in the bill has already been secured and he expects recommendations for solutions to begin to emerge over the next year. These results will be used to define strategies to help raise lake levels in the future.

How much does a solution cost?

It remains to be seen what those solutions are and how much they will cost, but each extreme idea will likely be costly.

For example, in 2012 the US Bureau of Reclamation studied the idea of ​​a pipeline to pump water from the Missouri or Mississippi rivers westward; the agency estimated at the time that such a project would cost between $8.6 billion and $14.6 billion, according to the Arizona Daily Star. Adjusting for inflation, that would be more than about $18.2 billion today.

A Great Salt Lake pipeline is something that would be considered in the new federal study, although the idea is met with many skeptics. Gov. Spencer Cox, in a joint interview with KSL-TV and the Salt Lake Tribune for the Great Salt Lake Collaborative on Tuesday, said he still believed a pipeline was “highly dodgy,” but at least he’s come to terms with it. to consider it with any other unconventional idea imaginable.

“We owe it to everyone to look at all the possibilities,” the governor said.

Romney agrees it’s worth studying even if it’s a pipe dream. He also thinks the cost of a solution will be worth it, pointing to the Big Dig, a Massachusetts project that was still underway when he was governor there, which ultimately cost more than $15 billion.

“If we’re willing to spend $15 billion on the Big Dig, we should be willing to spend whatever it takes to make sure we preserve the Great Salt Lake and Utah’s economy and to some extent , the nation’s economy. ,” he said.

But looking at the mind-boggling estimates, it’s easier to ask, what if Utah reduced the water it uses?

What about conservation?

Utah passed a handful of bills in the last legislative session that leaders say will help the Great Salt Lake. The state amended the “use it or lose it” component of its water law earlier this year to allow those with water rights to donate or lease their water rights. to improve flow in the Great Salt Lake, Cox said.

One law, in particular, also provided $40 million to be used to protect and restore the Great Salt Lake watershed. The National Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy were recruited in June to help oversee this program. Cox adds that Utahans in residential areas are doing better at reducing the water they use on lawns, while more farmers are also looking for ways to be more efficient with their use of water. the water.

Romney argues that anything that helps reduce water usage so that water from Utah’s rivers and streams flows into the lake is “probably the easiest, cheapest, and most proven method.” to help the lake, but studies aren’t yet clear about how much it will help. And with less rainfall and a string of light snowfalls over the past few decades, it’s not clear that reducing consumption alone will be enough.

All this will be taken into account in the next study of the lake.

“I believe (conservation will do) a lot, I suspect a lot, hopefully conservation alone will do the job – otherwise we’ll have to look at some of the more extreme options,” he said. “I hope we don’t have to reach them. We may not have to.”

Until the US Army Corps of Engineers completes its study, the senator said the future will be “difficult to predict”. What is much easier to predict is what will happen if the Great Salt Lake continues to decline at the rate it is currently trending.

Given what is at stake and the new national attention on the issue, Romney believes the Great Salt Lake will not be ignored as it once was.

“I believe the recognition of the consequence for Utah, for the national economy and surrounding states,” he said, “the consequences of that notoriety will tend to focus people’s minds so that they act”.

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Utah economy

US Forest Service green light proposed Uinta Basin Railway – Cache Valley Daily

The Uinta Basin Railroad’s preferred alternate route (marked in red) would connect the Uintah Basin in eastern Utah with existing interstate rail connections in central Utah. The US Forest Service approved the right of way on July 14.

PORTLAND, ME — The U.S. Forest Service has granted approval for a rail right-of-way to connect the Uintah Basin to the existing interstate rail network in central Utah.

Governor Spencer Cox announced and applauded the Forest Service’s decision July 14 at the National Governors Association Summer Meeting in Portland, ME.

It’s a Huge Win That Will Get Utah Energy to Market Fastercleaner, safer and will help the economy of eastern Utah,” Cox said.

The Uintah Basin Railroad Project is an 88-mile, single-track rail line that will connect the Uintah Basin in Eastern Utah to the Central Utah Interstate Rail System.

The preferred alternate route proposed by local authorities would extend from two endpoints in Uintah County near Myton and Leland Beach to a proposed connection with the existing Union Pacific Provo Subdivision near Kyune, Utah.

Approval for the railroad was delayed by environmental concerns because approximately 12 miles of the preferred right-of-way passed through federal lands in the Ashley National Forest.

Cox said the Forest Service decision will now allow the Uintah Basin Railroad proposal to proceed.

State and local governments, the Ute tribe, energy producers and railroad companies have argued for decades that better access to the outside world will help the (Uintah) Basin diversify its economy,” Cox explained. “Without a doubt, this infrastructure will improve economic opportunities for individuals, families and businesses.”

The Uintah County Railroad is a proposal by the Seven County Coalition in eastern Utah. This group — made up of county officials from Carbon, Daggett, Duchesne, Emery, San Juan, Sevier and Uintah — was formed in 2014 to promote regional planning, increase economic opportunity and implement sustainable infrastructure projects.

“The Uintah Basin Railroad will be important to Utah’s economy and rural Utah’s ability to diversify its economic flows,” said Senator J. Stewart Adams, President of the Utah Senate. .

“The mining lease dollars generated by the mining industry and the export of Utah crude to domestic and global markets means more revenue, which benefits other infrastructure (worldwide). the state).”

The Uintah Basin is located in the northeast corner of Utah. It is bounded to the north by the Uintah Mountains, to the south by the Tavaputs Plateau, to the west by the Wasatch Range, and to the east by high ground that separates it from neighboring Colorado.

The Uintah Basin is rich in natural resources, including hydrocarbons, phosphates, and other minerals critical to the US economy. It is, however, one of the largest areas in the western United States without interstate rail or road connections or major airport service.

Without those connections, Cox said Duchesne and Uintah counties had been put at a competitive disadvantage when trying to attract business investment and residents had very limited job prospects.

We are delighted to see the potential of this region unleashed“, added the governor.

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Utah economy

Fastest warming states since 1970 |

Just a degree or two more doesn’t seem like much. You’ll barely notice the change on a sunny afternoon or in the warmth of a cup of coffee. But over time, it’s enough to change our environment from top to bottom.

Every state is warming, with higher temperatures fueled by everything from powerful ocean currents and giant coal-fired power plants to leaky commuters, cows and old buildings.

To determine which U.S. states are warming fastest, Stacker consulted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s climate-at-a-glance tool. All states (except Hawaii and Alaska, for which state-level data are not available) are ranked here by their average warming, temperature changes of the most hot spots from each state being included for context. Ties are broken by the fastest warming city in each state. When available, data from the three fastest warming cities is included; for some states, data for only one or two cities was available.

The main cause of rising temperatures today is an increase in human-made greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide and methane. The more gas we emit by burning fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal, and in our agricultural practices, the more heat is trapped. Plants and trees alleviate the situation somewhat by absorbing carbon dioxide during photosynthesis. The ocean also absorbs carbon dioxide, but it can only store a limited amount.

As temperatures rise, winters get shorter. Ice on the Great Lakes forms later and disappears earlier. Colorado’s snowpack is melting up to 30 days earlier than just a generation ago. With less snow in the mountains of New Mexico and Colorado to feed the Rio Grande, the river is drying up.

Meanwhile, springs are wetter with more frequent (and more destructive) flooding, and summers are drier with longer sweltering heat waves that can be debilitating and deadly for those who can’t afford the price. to stay cool. High winds fuel wildfires in mountain forests and barges run aground in the low waters of the Mississippi River.

Evaporation threatens water supplies for drinking and irrigation, while algal blooms choke inland lakes. In the heart of the country, crop yields are falling. Along the coasts, land becomes too salty for agriculture, as salt water seeps into freshwater aquifers and groundwater.

Spectacular beaches are also disappearing. Rising seas threaten the existence of picturesque barrier islands. According to a 2020 study published in npj Climate and Atmospheric Science, global ocean levels could rise more than four feet by 2100 if aggressive mitigation efforts are not undertaken.

Many states are taking action to burn less coal, use less electricity, tighten fuel standards, encourage people to drive less, create greener cities and build more efficient buildings to change our consumption, our behaviours, our habits and our attitudes towards warming temperatures. . Keep reading to see which states have seen the fastest temperature increases over the past 52 years and how those increases have affected the people who call those states home.

You might also like: Large cities are most at risk from sea level rise

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Utah economy

ThinkGeoEnergy – Geothermal Energy News

Geothermal Lithium Mining Award banner (Source: American-Made Challenges website)

Five universities in the United States have been announced to move to the next state in US-made geothermal lithium mining price and can work on their projects to help extract lithium from geothermal brine.

In a statement shared yesterday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the finalists for the $4 million U.S. Lithium Geothermal Mining Prize, a competition supporting innovations that help reduce costs and impacts. environmental aspects of lithium extraction from geothermal brines. , salt water that is a by-product of geothermal energy production.

Demand for lithium, a critical material used in electric vehicle batteries, grid-scale electricity storage, phones and laptops, has grown rapidly in recent years, with global demand expected to increase by 500% by 2050. The United States depends on other countries. for nearly all of its lithium supply, and mining the ore depletes water resources and can harm the environment. The use of brines already produced by geothermal energy presents a solution because it is an environmentally friendly process that produces lithium.

“A reliable supply of lithium in the United States is critical to enabling 100% clean energy conservation and strengthening our energy security,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, Principal Assistant Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Energy. renewable. “We look forward to these teams developing innovative solutions that can empower the United States on an essential mineral that powers many aspects of our daily lives, now and in the future.”

With this award, the DOE is advancing the development of national, competitive, and sustainable lithium sources, particularly around the Salton Sea in Southern California. This area has the potential to produce more than 600,000 tons of lithium annually and support a robust supply chain that makes the United States a leading lithium exporter.

The five Geothermal Lithium Mining Award finalists have identified impactful solutions that can safely and cost-effectively extract lithium from geothermal brines. Each team will receive $280,000 and participate in the third and final phase of the competition. The finalists are:

  • George Washington University – Ellexco team: “Chemical-free extraction of lithium from brines”
  • Rice University – LiSED Team: “Selective Lithium Electrodialysis”
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign – SelectPureLi team: “A redox membrane for LiOH extraction”
  • University of Utah – University of Utah Team: “Engineering Lithium Ion Sieving Technology”
  • University of Virginia – TELEPORT team: “Targeted extraction of lithium with electroactive particles for recovery technology (TELEPORT)”

Over the next 12 months, these teams will manufacture and test their designs and present their prototypes to a panel of expert reviewers. Winners will be announced in fall 2023 and will receive a total of $2 million.

The American-Made Geothermal Prize is administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and funded by the Geothermal Technologies Office of the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Source: US Department of Energy

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Utah economy

Jobs with the strongest growth over the last decade | Lifestyles

Photo credit: Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock

The U.S. job market has been strong for workers for much of the two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began. After the pandemic shut down large parts of the economy and put millions out of work, employment recovered quickly and the unemployment rate stood at 3.6% in June 2022. But the workers were also able to be more selective about their employment opportunities. Workers across all income scales have sent quit rates to historic highs in what’s been called the ‘Great Quit’, seeking jobs with higher pay, better working conditions or aligned with their mode lifestyle or professional goals.

Despite the economic disruptions of the pandemic and the looming prospect of a recession, many workers today have great opportunities to earn more or advance their careers. And some areas offer even more opportunity than others thanks to economic, demographic and technological trends that predate the pandemic. From globalization to the aging of the population to the rise of the Internet, major forces have reshaped the economy and created new professions and even new industries in a few years.

Among the broad occupational categories, health support occupations have experienced the greatest growth over the past decade. These occupations have seen a 67% increase in employment since 2011, fueled in large part by the aging and rising health care needs of the baby boomer generation. Other high-growth categories include business and financial operations, transportation and material moving, and management, which have each grown more than 40% over the past decade during the steady recovery of the economy. economy after the Great Recession. And computer science and math occupations have seen impressive growth of 36.6% as technology, data and analytics become increasingly essential to the operation of businesses.

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Utah economy

Utah House members launch election campaigns | News, Sports, Jobs

Courtesy of Alexis Warnick

Utah Rep. Norm Thurston smiles for a photo next to a yard sign. Thurston began his re-election campaign on Thursday, July 7, 2022.

The next time Utah County residents hear a knock on their door, it might not be a summer seller; it could be their elected representative. With GOP primaries in the past, Utah House Republicans are shifting into high gear campaigning for the fall and talking to their constituents.

For Rep. Norm Thurston, that meant spending the week with party officials in the area and getting to know the public.

According to Utah County Republican Party Chairman Skyler Beltran, all races in the county will receive equal party attention and with a simple message at all levels.

“Voters will hear a clear message about parental rights, the protection of individual freedoms and the value of strong families. All the fundamentals of our Party,” Beltran wrote in an email.

Thurston represents District 62, which stretches from South Provo to Springville. He officially launched his campaign for a fifth term by reaffirming his focus on three main issues: the economy, education and individual freedoms.

Two of which, the economy and personal freedom, are, according to him, interconnected.

“When the economy is good, people prosper. When people prosper, they rely less on government,” Thurston said.

Specifically, it is pushing for “minimum regulations” and plans to review professional licensing laws. He mentioned reviewing professions that have “too heavy” course requirements that don’t count work experience for licensing, among other issues.

Thurston isn’t alone in focusing on education. Utah’s 2022 legislative session was highlighted by a handful of controversial school-focused bills.

Thurston voted against the two most notable bills – the Hope Scholarship Program, House Bill 331, and Student Eligibility for Interscholastic Activities, HB 11, known colloquially as prohibition of transgender sports.

While saying he supports parents with choices, he thinks there are already a multitude of public options between public schools, charter schools and home schooling.

“The Hope Scholarships Bill was intended for only one thing, adding private schools to that list,” he said. He is not opposed to the idea of ​​the bill, but ultimately did not support the final draft due to a lack of clarity regarding where the money will come from and where it will go.

Although he is firm in his beliefs, Thurston will not support any bill without having the opportunity to examine the wording.

“While I know where I am conceptually, the details of these bills really matter. … House Bill 11 would be a very good example of this – the version we looked at in the House was not the version that came back from the Senate,” he said.

Thurston voted in favor of HB 11 to override Governor Spencer Cox’s veto.

Although his goals are broad, Thurston has become connected to one of his most recurring issues – license plates. During the previous session, he drafted a bill that would have significantly changed state laws regarding license plates.

His focus on the rear bumpers of cars will and has been part of his run at Utah House. Democrat Daniel Friend repeatedly mentioned Thurston’s attention to license plates during his campaign.

“While this may sound funny to him, it is serious. It affects our constitutional rights,” Thurston said.

He thinks the problem has to do with the free speech and personal freedoms of Utah drivers.

Thurston and Friend will face each other in the general election for the second time, having both sought the seat in 2018 when Thurston won with 55% support.

Although there are 16 Utah House of Representatives districts spanning Utah County, not all GOP incumbents will face opponents in November.

Five races feature Democratic challengers after just two in 2020.

Beltran said the number of races contested would not affect the course of campaigns – and took the opportunity to fire at the Democratic Party over the decision not to have a candidate in the U.S. Senate race.

“No change in our strategy this year. Our message of conservative values ​​and principles continues to resonate with voters in Utah County. Democrats have their work cut out for them when they decide their candidate and platform in the Senate were a lost cause and did not put anyone in place,” Beltran said.

Thurston, however, simply enjoys having an opponent on the general election ballot.

“I think elections are important. It’s important that people have a choice and that candidates present their best ideas,” he said.


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Utah economy

‘Art is a good teacher’: New public exhibition draws attention to the drying up of the Great Salt Lake

On Tuesday, people march past a painting of the hand celebration: Save Our Great Salt Lake on 300 South in Salt Lake City. The painting is one of more than a dozen that highlight problems with the drying up of the Great Salt Lake, which hit an all-time high this week. (Carter Williams,

Estimated reading time: 7-8 minutes

Editor’s note: This article is published through the Great Salt Lake Collaborative, a solutions journalism initiative that brings together news, education and media organizations to help inform people about the plight of the Great Salt Lake – and what that can be done to make a difference before it’s too late. Read all of our stories at

SALT LAKE CITY – Jacob Brooks’ latest painting is quite simple, so simple his 3-year-old son can understand the message Brooks is trying to convey.

It’s a California seagull with a sego lily on its chest – Utah’s state bird and flower – sprawled on canvas. The bird is clearly sad, shedding a tear under the message “Save Our Great Salt Lake”. It’s intentionally simple enough that virtually anyone who meets it – even a 3-year-old child – knows something is wrong with the Great Salt Lake because the bird is crying.

“The simplicities I created were honestly aimed at the younger generation,” explained Brooks, an artist who lives in Provo. “It opens up a kind of dialogue about why the seagull is sad, which (leads to) talking about our shrinking Great Salt Lake.”

It is one of more than a dozen Great Salt Lake-themed paintings currently displayed on a four-block stretch of downtown Salt Lake City. They are the latest subject of a rotating public art exhibit created by the arts and culture nonprofit Craft Lake City.

The organization installed the 14 new artworks in downtown Salt Lake City over the 4th of July weekend, all of which highlight the importance, history of the lake or the looming environmental dilemma its drying up would create. The goal is to raise awareness of the importance of the lake, especially for those who don’t think too much about it, says Angela Brown, executive director of arts and culture association Craft Lake City.

“I think many of us who have lived in Salt Lake for several years often forget that we are so close to such a beautiful, unique body of water,” she said. “It really is a very, very unique body of inland saltwater – there aren’t many in the world.”

Art with a cause

All of the artwork in the collection is part of Craft Lake City’s Celebration of the Hand series, which began a few years ago to provide those traversing 300 South with an uplifting experience. This exhibit rotates the art every few months or so with different themes and ideas. All artwork is created by local artists.

As Brown pondered what this summer’s theme should be, it all seemed to come back to the city’s namesake: the Great Salt Lake.

Part of it has to do with how the Great Salt Lake has become Utah’s symbol of drought and water conservation. It hit an all-time low for the second time in two years and is expected to continue falling even lower in the coming months, US Geological Survey officials reported on Tuesday. Experts attribute the lake’s decline to the current western drought and ongoing mega-drought, as well as projects that have diverted water from its tributaries.

Its decline is alarming as more and more of the toxic dust – containing arsenic, cadmium, copper, mercury and selenium – normally contained under the lake is exposed with every inch of fall, threatening to blow into the communities.

It’s also a concern for the lake’s ecosystem, which attracts 10 million migrating birds each year. The lake’s brine shrimp are also important for feeding fish and shrimp sold around the world, according to the Utah Division of Forests, Fires and State Lands.

Laura Vernon, Great Salt Lake Division Coordinator, pointed out earlier this year that dropping the lake an additional 10 feet could also cost Utah’s economy more than $2 billion in lost mineral extraction, oil and gas industry. brined shrimp and recreational sources.

I think we forget all the good that the lake offers. … (The collection offers) a chance to reflect on our own relationship with the lake and to appreciate the lake for what it gives us and the ecosystem it provides so that we can live here.

–Angela Brown, Executive Director of Craft Lake City

At the same time that the lake began to attract attention, a new organization linked to the Great Salt Lake emerged. Brown’s organization had worked in the past with craftswoman Denise Cartwright, founder of skincare company CRUDE, at another of its events. Cartwright launched Save Our Great Salt Lake last year, a nonprofit organization dedicated to highlighting the issues plaguing the Great Salt Lake.

It seemed logical to present the large body of water.

“I think we’re overlooking all the good the lake offers,” Brown said. “(The collection offers) a chance to reflect on our own relationship with the lake and to appreciate the lake for what it gives us and the ecosystem it provides so that we can live here.”

Craft Lake City, Save Our Great Salt Lake and CRUDE have teamed up, calling on Utah artists to help out earlier this year.

The call attracted people like Brooks. The Provo artist explained that the Great Salt Lake means a lot to him and his family, who often recreate there. That’s why he jumped at the chance to participate in the project.

“It’s just something I love,” he said. “I love animals, I love their beauty. It’s idyllic, it’s something that obviously affects our health by exercising on it. It’s really part of our lives.”

Visualization of the work

All recently installed artwork can be found on 300 South. Craft Lake City coordinates its public art program with the Temporary Museum of Permanent Change, which has set up the large metal booths on the street where the art is displayed. While these range from 200 West to 200 East, most of them are in and around the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W. 300 South.

A hand painting of the Celebration: Save Our Great Salt Lake on 300 South in Salt Lake City Tuesday afternoon.  It's one of more than a dozen that highlights problems with the drying up of the Great Salt Lake, which hit an all-time high this week.
A hand painting of the Celebration: Save Our Great Salt Lake on 300 South in Salt Lake City Tuesday afternoon. It’s one of more than a dozen that highlights problems with the drying up of the Great Salt Lake, which hit an all-time high this week. (Photo: Carter Williams,

These pieces showcase the different components of the lake, such as the wildlife that Brooks alludes to with his painting. “Safe Passage” by Courtney Leigh Johnson introduces the other birds that depend on the lake’s ecosystem, such as pelicans, shorebirds and raptors.

Other designs show humans and wildlife experiencing the impacts of the dry lake, or what the lake is turning to from what it has been historically.

Analia Evans’ piece, for example, captures the bison that inhabit Antelope Island, though it’s really not an island anymore because of the shrinking lake. Lake level changes pose problems for the animals that live on Antelope Island – and the other islands in the lake.

“The bison herd that resides on the island are now free to roam and could very easily roam your front yard. They rely on the safety of Antelope Island, and without that they risk further damage. by humans,” Evans wrote, when the project was first announced in May.

A painting by Utah artist Analia Evans of bison at Antelope Island.  It is one of 14 works of art featured in Craft Lake City's Celebration of the Hand series focusing on the Great Salt Lake.
A painting by Utah artist Analia Evans of bison at Antelope Island. It is one of 14 works of art featured in Craft Lake City’s Celebration of the Hand series focusing on the Great Salt Lake. (Photo: Carter Williams,

The artwork will remain on public display until September 1, when the theme will change again. Craft Lake City and Save Our Great Salt Lake are also hosting a free online event on July 13, where sponsors and artists will discuss their works.

Those involved hope the temporary art project can provide an open discussion about the Great Salt Lake, especially for those who cross it on the street. Brooks believes his works convey sadness, but the other pieces evoke a “full spectrum” of emotions, which address the subject in a way that only art can.

“There’s…a beauty that you can’t really convey unless it’s through art,” he said. “You can talk to our lawmakers about it and figure that out, but we’re really visual learners, I guess. Art is a good teacher for that.”

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great salt lake collaborative logo


The most recent stories on the Great Salt Lake

Carter Williams is an award-winning journalist who covers general news, the outdoors, history and sports for He previously worked for the Deseret News. He is a transplant from Utah via Rochester, New York.

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Utah economy

Strategists on how to weather the market storm

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), June 27, 2022.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

The first half of 2022 has been historically bleak for global equity markets, and strategists believe there are dark clouds on the horizon and there is still some way to go before the storm rolls in. ended.

The S&P 500 closed its biggest first-half decline since 1970 last week, down 20.6% year-to-date. The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the half down 16.6% and the MSCI World fell 18%.

A range of other asset classes also posted significant losses, including bonds. The traditional “safe haven” US dollar and some commodities, such as oil, were among the few exceptions to an otherwise dire six months.

Jim Reid, head of global fundamental credit strategy at Deutsche Bank, said in a daily research note on Friday that for investors, “the good news is that the first half of the year is now over, the bad news is that the outlook for the second half are not looking good”.

CNBC Pro Stock Picks and Investing Trends:

That said, US stocks managed a rally early in the second half on Friday, and European markets had a positive day on Monday (a US holiday).

However, the macroeconomic outlook remains particularly uncertain as the war in Ukraine and inflationary pressures persist, prompting central banks to embark on aggressive monetary policy tightening and heightening fears of a global economic slowdown.

The “economic regime is changing”

In a mid-year outlook report seen by CNBC, HSBC Asset Management informed investors that the “economic regime appears to be changing” as adverse supply shocks persist, globalization slows and commodity prices remain. “secularly high”. And all this as governments try to manage the “transition risks” of changes in climate policy.

HSBC’s chief global strategist Joe Little has called the end of an era of what economists have dubbed “secular stagnation”, characterized by historically low inflation and interest rates. Going forward, he predicted more persistent high inflation, higher interest rates and more volatile business cycles.

“A lot of tailwinds for investment markets are now becoming headwinds. This points to a phase of continued turbulence in the markets. Investors will need to be realistic about return expectations, and they will need to think more about diversification and portfolio resilience,” Little said.

Emerging structural themes of de-globalization, climate policy and a commodity super cycle will lead to more persistent inflation in major economies. Although HSBC expects inflation to gradually ease from its current multi-decade highs in many economies, Little said the “new normal” should be stronger price increases over the medium term, leading to a phase of higher interest rates.

To navigate this new era, Little suggested that investors seek greater geographic diversification, highlighting Asian asset classes and credit markets as “attractive income enablers”.

“Real assets and other ‘new diversifiers’ can help us build resilience into portfolios. There is also a place for conviction investing and thematic strategies, where we can identify credible megatrends at price points. reasonable,” he added.

“Went in the wrong direction”

Dave Pierce, director of Utah-based Strategic Initiatives, told CNBC on Friday that the macroeconomic forces at play meant markets were still “headed in the wrong direction.” He pointed out that inflation had yet to peak and there was no apparent catalyst for oil prices to come back to ground.

He added that unless there is a resolution to the war in Ukraine or the oil companies are able to increase production – which he said would take at least six months and run the risk that the bottom will fall from the oil market if Russian supply returns. – the price pressures that prompted central banks to act drastically show no signs of easing.

Stock market valuations have fallen sharply from their late 2021 highs, and Pierce acknowledged they are “more attractive” than they were a few months ago, but he is still reluctant to re-enter positions on the stock markets.

“I’m not putting all of my eggs back in the markets right now, because I think we still have a ways to go. I think there will be additional retracements that we have in the market, and I think that’s is probably needed,” he said.

“When interest rates are doing what they are, it’s really hard to keep things steady and working and going in one direction.”

Pierce added that the correction seen in recent months was not surprising given the “periods of plenty” markets enjoyed during the rebound from the initial Covid-19 crash to hit record highs at the end of the month. last year.

In terms of sector allocation, Pierce said he had focused his attention on commodities and “necessities”, such as health care, food and essential clothing.

Recession risks, but room for improvement

Although the investment landscape looks somewhat perilous, HSBC’s Little suggested there is room for better performance later in 2022 if inflation cools and central banks are able to adopt a more “balanced” position.

The bank’s asset management strategists believe we are now close to the “pain peak” of inflation, but the data won’t come down significantly until the end of the year. Little said his team is watching payroll data closely for signs of entrenched inflation.

A hawkish monetary policy shift triggering a recession remains the biggest threat to that outlook, Little suggested, but the precise scenario varies by geography.

“With the global economy now at a fairly late stage in the cycle, we are seeing greater divergence across regions. For now, the outlook looks most precarious for Europe and parts of emerging markets (EM)” , did he declare.

In light of recent market movements, Little identified bond valuations as more attractive and said selective income opportunities were emerging in global fixed income securities, particularly credits.

“We favor short-duration credit allocations, selectively in Europe and Asia. Within equities, we also want to be more selective. We continue to focus on value and defensives but we remain attentive to the possibility of ‘another style rotation, if bonds stabilize,’ Little said.

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Utah economy

Utah-based Beans & Brews has ambitious plans to go regional

When Beans & Brews opened in 1993, Utahns were so unfamiliar with coffee drinks, “we rarely got to turn on the espresso machine,” said Jeff Laramie, the company’s co-founder and CEO. “If someone ordered a latte, we would all fight over who would do it.”

When national chain Starbucks opened its first stores in Utah in the late 1990s, they were in competition — but they also boosted Beans & Brews’ business, Laramie said.

“It brought a lot of legitimacy to the industry,” Laramie said. “That’s when Beans & Brews really took off, because people started to understand what specialty coffee was, and Starbucks was in the market in a way that we couldn’t afford. .”

Today, nearly 30 years after the Utah-based company was founded, Beans & Brews has ambitious plans for its own national expansion.

The company began rolling out franchises in 2004, and now, according to the company’s website, it has 62 locations in Utah, plus two in Idaho, one in Nevada and one in Arizona.

The company now plans to expand its footprint with stores in Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, along with additional locations in Nevada and Arizona. Laramie said the company is ready to expand beyond those states when it makes sense to take that step.

“You’ve got everyone in place”

“We’ve never invested any money in marketing or development,” Laramie said, adding that their growth so far has been almost entirely organic. But at the end of 2021, he said, Beans & Brews made the decision to work with Charger Investment Partners, a private equity firm, and focus on growth and expansion.

Kevin Laramie, co-founder and COO (and Jeff’s brother), said one of Charger’s board members told them, “You have all the systems in place. You have everyone in place. Just turn on the lights. »

That, Kevin Laramie said, was what motivated Charger “to partner with us, grow this, and turn it into something a little bit bigger.”

According to the Laramie brothers, there is one important aspect of the business that cannot be exported from Utah: the altitude of Salt Lake City.

Altitude proved to be a key factor when the business started, and the Laramies purchased their first roasting machine from a retired engineer who had moved from San Francisco to the small town of Fallon, Nevada.

“We trained in Fallon for about three days and came home to Salt Lake. He shipped the roaster to us, and we put everything together, and had him on the phone while we roasted coffee,” recalls Kevin Laramie. “But nothing was working as it should. We were burning lots left and right, and nothing was drinkable. We couldn’t figure out what was going on. …

“Finally he said, ‘The only thing I can think of is the altitude.’ That’s when we had the ‘A-ha’ moment,” Kevin Laramie said.

Water boils at a lower temperature at higher altitudes, the brothers recall. So they threw away their burnt beans and started over with a modified temperature chart.

High altitude roasting provides a better flavor profile, Laramie said, because you can roast at a lower temperature for a shorter period of time. The longer the coffee sits in the roaster, the more bland and flat the flavor becomes – so the shorter roasting time gives the coffee a brighter taste and lower acidity.

High altitude roasting has become part of Beans & Brews’ brand image, Jeff Laramie said. So the company purchased new roasters and a larger facility to roast beans in Utah.

The other important part of the expansion, the Laramies said, was case-by-case verification of franchisees, which is handled by Kim Falk, vice president of franchise development.

Falk said she starts the process with a phone call. “I take time to get to know them,” she says. She said she wanted to know their motivations, personalities and past experiences – to see if they fit the brand well.

“We can train anyone on all aspects of business,” she said, “but we can’t train anyone on how to build relationships and be in the community. …That’s what I’m looking for, someone who has that, and is trainable on the business model itself.

A flexible franchise model

Beans & Brews’ business plan is hugely ambitious, said Rick Haskell, associate professor of finance at Westminster College’s Gore School of Business.

For any business looking to grow through franchises, Haskell said, it’s important that the parent company has the resources to match its ambition, including the ability to support any new franchisees.

“And then, finally, there must be reasonable consumer demand to meet the presence of the new suppliers of the product in a given market,” Haskell said.

Haskell added that he understands Beans & Brews financially controls the franchisees, asking them to commit $250,000 to $300,000 in capital. “I have to believe they are watching them closely for operational awareness and ability to execute because otherwise it destroys the brand,” he added.

Beans & Brews gives franchisees the leeway to customize their stores and change prices, Haskell said, something larger, more rigid corporate chains often don’t.

“If we’re talking about McDonald’s or wherever, good luck,” he said. “They’re just small enough that franchises aren’t just nameless or faceless. They tend to work with their franchisees. You go to the one on 106th South and 1300 East in Sandy, very often you will find that the person behind the counter waiting for you is one of the franchise owners. It’s not uncommon.

This fluid approach has been part of the Beans & Brews business model from the start, said Jeff Laramie. In their early days, he said, many people in Utah weren’t interested in drinking coffee, so they got creative with the menu, adding caffeine-free items like Frappes and Ghiradelli drinks.

“We appeal to many different types of people, young, old, at all levels, which has been critical to our success over the years,” said Jeff Laramie.

The economy is a wildcard – including what people are willing to pay for a fancy coffee drink – but Haskell said “having local ownership that’s locally invested, which I think is part of the shtick Beans & Brews, if you will, is very big here.

In his experience, Haskell said, having an edge with food is fundamental, but people return to places mostly because they like the atmosphere — or the people.

“You go to any food establishment other than a grocery store, and if you enjoyed the food and enjoyed the environment, you might consider going back. But how many places within three miles of where you might live can you enjoy the food and enjoy the environment? There are a lot of them,” he said. “You’re going to go back to those places that gave you something memorable, something out of the ordinary.”

Haskell said that when he and his wife go out to dinner, they “go to the restaurants we go to because we enjoy the food and it’s not food that we can easily duplicate at home, and we’ve come to know the owners. When we walk in they come over and say ‘hi’, and maybe sit down and have a little chat. That’s the remarkable part, right? »

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Utah economy

Holly Energy Partners Second Quarter 2022 Results Release and Conference Call Webcast

DALLAS, July 01, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Holly Energy Partners, LP (NYSE: HEP) (“HEP”) and HF Sinclair Corporation (NYSE: DINO) (“HF Sinclair”) expect to announce their results for the quarter ending June 30, 2022 on August 8, 2022, before the opening of trading on the NYSE. HEP and HF Sinclair have scheduled a joint webcast on August 8, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. EST to discuss financial results.

This webcast can be viewed at:

An audio archive of this webcast will be available using the link given above until August 22, 2022.

About Holly Energy Partners, LP:

Holly Energy Partners, LP, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, provides transportation, terminal, storage and throughput services of petroleum products and crude oil to the petroleum industry, including subsidiaries of HF Sinclair Corporation. HEP, through its subsidiaries and joint ventures, owns and/or operates petroleum products and crude oil pipelines, tanks and terminals in Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming, as well as refinery processing units in Kansas and Utah.

About HF Sinclair Corporation:

HF Sinclair Corporation, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is an independent energy company that produces and markets high-value light products such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, renewable diesel and other specialty products. HF Sinclair owns and operates refineries located in Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wyoming, Washington and Utah and markets its refined products primarily in the Southwestern United States, with the Rocky Mountains extending into the Pacific Northwest and other neighboring Plains states. HF Sinclair supplies high-quality fuels to over 1,300 Sinclair-branded stations and licenses the use of the Sinclair brand at over 300 additional locations nationwide. In addition, subsidiaries of HF Sinclair produce and market base oils and other specialty lubricants in the United States, Canada and the Netherlands, and export products to more than 80 countries. Through its subsidiaries, HF Sinclair produces renewable diesel at two of its Wyoming facilities. HF Sinclair also owns a 47% limited partnership interest and a non-economic general partner interest in Holly Energy Partners, LP, a master limited partnership that provides transportation, terminal, storage and throughput services for petroleum products and crude oil to the petroleum industry, including HF Sinclair Subsidiaries.

See the source version on


Holly Energy Partners, LP
Craig Biery, 214-954-6511
Vice President, Investor Relations
Trey Schonter, 214-954-6511
Manager, Investor Relations

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Utah economy

Utah voters head to the polls, divided over which Republican to choose for Senate

SPANISH FORK, Utah—Primary voters in Utah County headed to the polls on June 28 to choose between incumbents or chart a new direction with candidates for change in the U.S. House and Senate.

At Spanish Fork Senior Centern, in the heavily Republican county, voting was smooth and consistent for most of the morning.

Chris Merrill of Mapleton, a registered Republican, said he voted for incumbent U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) because “I like what he did.”

Chris Merrill, a Republican, voted for incumbent U.S. Senator Mike Lee in the June 28 primary in Utah. (Allan Stein/The Epoch Times)

“I wish he would continue to do that,” Merrill told The Epoch Times in an exit poll. “I didn’t feel much sincerity in [Republican opponent] Becky Edwards. I think if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I feel like he is doing a good job.

Merrill said he votes in every election, but in this election the main issue is “the economy.”

“I believe the economy is important. I think voting is important. I’m not a big fan of the red flag [gun control] laws.”

A red flag law allows someone to petition a state court to order the confiscation of firearms if a person is deemed dangerous to themselves or others.

Merrill said he was also pro-life, which factored into his decision to vote in this election.

A woman who did not want her name used voted by mail for Lee as a Trump Republican.

“My daughter and I did it together. I went Republican all the way,” the woman told The Epoch Times.

The voter said there was no reason to vote for Edwards, a former Utah state representative, or business executive Ally Isom.

“[Lee] did a good job,” she said. “I am satisfied with everything.”

“You want to know the truth [why I voted]? My daughter said so.

“The way I see it, the way it’s going to be, that’s how it’s going to be,” the voter said of Roe v. Wade, an issue she considers crucial in this election. Yet the violence of abortion advocates is “ridiculous.”

“They should just be big enough to accept what is. They’re not going to change it,” the woman said.

A Utah County voter, who wished to remain anonymous, said he switched from an unaffiliated voter to a Republican so he could vote for Edwards in the primary.

“I’m not a Lee fan at all,” he told The Epoch Times. “The party is in a big mess. I think Becky Edwards is fantastic.

“I think a lot of good things are happening and a lot of changes need to be made. I trust Becky. I know her personally and I trust her completely.

The voter sees this election as critical in this “time of polarization”.

Epoch Times Photo
Craig, formerly unaffiliated with the party, said he switched to Republican in Utah’s June 28 primary. (Allan Stein/The Epoch Times)

Utah County voter Justin Craig said he voted for Becky Edwards.

“Just getting some change and a little more moderation in the Republican Party is kind of the big thing there,” he told The Epoch Times.

Craig said he switched to the Utah Republican Party to vote in the statewide primary.

“Before that, I was unaffiliated, but with Utah rules, most things are Republican to get your voice heard,” Craig said.

Craig said he also voted for Republican Jake Hunsaker in the US House of Representatives rather than incumbent Burgess Owens (R).

“I think with the recent bipartisan gun bill that has recently passed there may be changes and work across the aisle. It’s the hope of finding a good representative for Utah,” Craig said.

He sees voting as a civic duty.

“I teach at school. I tell my fourth graders [to] promise me when they turn 18 they will vote. It is their right, and [their] responsibility. So [it’s] in a way give this example and make my voice heard.

Epoch Times Photo
Stanley Glazner (L) and his wife Valerie Glazner are both hoping for a change in political leadership at the federal, state and local levels. (Allan Stein/The Epoch Times)

Utah County voters Stanley Glazner, a constitutional conservative, and his wife Valerie Glazner, also a Republican, said they voted for Lee to serve another term in the U.S. Senate to represent Utah.

“Oh my God, not Edwards,” Valerie Glazner said. “She pushes to vote by telephone.”

Regarding the direct Republican vote, she expressed concern about the number of RINO politicians (Republicans in name only) in Congress. Although Utah election officials “made it look safe,” mail-in voting was a problem.

Stanley Glazner said he hoped positive change would come out of the midterm elections at the local, state and federal levels.

“[But] if you have corrupt politicians in power, they won’t do anything,” Glazner said.

No Democratic Party candidate was running in Utah County.

Allan Stein


Allan Stein is an Epoch Times reporter who covers the state of Arizona.

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Utah economy

Mormon Women Use Relief Society to Help the Poor and Start a Business

Mormon crickets and grasshoppers nearly decimated the crop soon after the Latter-day Saint pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley. After those difficult years, many Latter-day Saints began to store grain to avoid their previous trials, to practice the principles of self-reliance, and to feed the poor.

As part of grain storage efforts, the Saints built the Ephraim Relief Society Granary between 1872 and 1875. Initial efforts to store grain were unsuccessful, so in 1876 Brigham Young asked Emmeline B. Wells to direct the grain storage program.

Wells and the Relief Society quickly took over the program and began to organize the harvesting and storage of the grain. When the Relief Society of Nauvoo was formed, the minutes recorded: “Mov’d by Pres. Smith, that Mrs. Smith proceed to choose her counsellors, that they may be ordained to preside over this society, ministering to the poor – ministering to their needs, and tending to the various affairs of this institution.

Caring for the poor and needy was central to Relief Society. On June 9, 1842, Joseph Smith declared that Relief Society “is not only for the purpose of relieving the poor, but of saving souls.” This ministry to the poor and afflicted characterized the Relief Society and its efforts in Ephraim’s garner.

The granary operated from 1872 to 1914. The Relief Society used it to store grain, but they also used the second floor as a hall. He held community and cultural events there, making it a gathering place.

The building itself had a chute where workers slid grain to storage bins. Sometimes carrying infants on their backs, the pioneer women slid the grain down the chute to the basement. The grain stored there was used as food storage as well as for charitable purposes.

The Ephraim Relief Society would send branch representatives to Salt Lake City for annual meetings. There they coordinated their distribution and management of grain. The name of Sarah Peterson, president of the Relief Society of Ephraim, appeared on the records in the attic.

Florence Peterson Faux wrote, “When he was finally beaten, Sarah had harvested 60 bushels of wheat. This she shared with the colonists—it was their salvation, for by frugal and prudent management she provided bread for the little colony all winter long. They called it “Salvation Wheat” and when it was low, Sarah put some in a little bottle to show her husband when he got home from his mission.

Peterson kept the little wheat bottle all her life and when her husband was buried she placed the bottle with him in the casket.

Due to the lack of a monetary economy in Utah, the granary would collect in-kind donations instead of cash. The Relief Society again mobilized the attic to help the poor. The group collected donations and stored grain for local distribution to the poor and to support the needs of the church. The Ephraim Relief Society would work with tithing offices to help the poor.

In addition to cereal, the Ephraim Relief Society also sold handmade items, Sunday eggs, wool quilts, and dairy products.

As one of nine Relief Society granaries belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this granary was important. It provided space for women in the public sphere to manage public affairs.

In a report on the success of the Sanpete County Relief Societies, edited by Wells, they noted: “The county has been very energetic in storing wheat, and much of it has been gleaned by women and children. … There are a number of female-owned buildings in the county, one or two of them quite large and spacious, and in some places there are shops and millineries wholly run by the Society of Relief.

In addition to the granary’s success, the Ephraim Relief Society used the building for other business purposes. “The History of the Relief Society in Ephraim” recorded that women acted as undertakers, midwives, nurses, and provided food and shelter to the poor. Women also helped construct buildings.

The Ephraim Relief Society eventually ceased operations. One of the last charitable endeavors the members became involved in was during World War I. The Relief Society collected grain to give to the needy and afflicted during this time. The grain program was the oldest and most successful program in Relief Society history.

While the building was owned in the name of the women of the Relief Society, they eventually sold it to Ephraim Milling and Elevator Co. in 1915. The granary remained operational for several years until economic hardship hit Ephraim. In 1969, the Ephraim Company newspaper published an article about how the attic would be destroyed, but that decision was reversed within two months.

The community came together to preserve the pioneer building and it was saved in 1990 when funds were secured to preserve the building.

Today, Ephraim’s barn is the only Relief Society barn open to the public.

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Utah economy

Minnesota has the second lowest unemployment rate in the country. Is it good?

About a dozen states now have record unemployment rates — and Minnesota’s is nearly the lowest of them all.

At 2%, the state’s unemployment rate is the second-lowest in the nation, tied with Utah, and is about a percentage point lower than it has been for most of the two last decades. This is also well below that of the rest of the country — 3.6%.

Only Nebraska, a state about a third the size of Minnesota, comes in lower at 1.9%.

The state is also grappling with one of the tightest job markets ever, and Minnesota has recovered only about 80% of the jobs lost during the pandemic. So, is the low unemployment rate a good thing?

“It’s one of those classic economic questions where you have to say, ‘On the one hand, and on the other hand,'” said Louis Johnston, professor of economics at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s. University in St. Joseph, Minnesota.

For workers, a historically low unemployment rate is a very good thing.

“That means if you’re out there looking for a job, your chances are probably as good as they’ll ever be right now,” Johnston said.

And because there’s a smaller pool of people looking for jobs, they’re likely to see larger pay increases as employers offer more incentives to attract them. Wages have increased over the past year, especially for the lowest paying jobs.

But for consumers and businesses, that’s not necessarily such a good thing, said Alan Benson, a professor of applied economics at the University of Minnesota.

“You don’t get to 2% unemployment without some other warning signs,” he said. “One of the big challenges is that when you get to this low unemployment rate, it can be very difficult for some employers to recruit people with the skills they need.”

In addition to having to pay higher wages, productivity can drop if companies cannot find candidates to fill these positions. And costs to consumers may increase.

“When you see rising costs and falling productivity, that’s really a recipe for inflation,” he said. “So the unemployment rate, inflation and growth really go hand in hand.”

Wages have risen an average of 3.4% in Minnesota and 5.5% in the United States over the past year. But given that inflation in the United States is at 8.6% right now, that “really isn’t an increase at all,” Benson said.

“What we’ve traditionally thought is that we’ll start to see that unemployment has gotten too low when wages start to rise excessively,” said Mark Wright, director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. “I have to point out that wages overall are not rising very quickly relative to the rate of inflation, although they are rising rapidly for some workers and not for others.”

He added that you wouldn’t necessarily want unemployment to drop to zero because there’s a natural turnover in the market, with some people quitting their jobs and taking a bit of time to find new ones.

“It’s healthy to some degree,” he said.

The Federal Reserve has a dual mandate to use its tools to achieve a balance between stable prices and “maximum employment”. Until a few years ago, many economists believed that the latter could be achieved with a US unemployment rate of between 4 and 5%. But as it fell to 3.5% in 2018 and 2019, and inflation remained low, some economists began to revise their expectations.

But those particular targets for the unemployment rate aren’t as meaningful at the state level, Wright said.

“It obviously varies from state to state,” he said. “And Minnesota has traditionally had a slightly lower unemployment rate than many other states.”

This is due to the state’s diverse economy and relatively high proportion of residents with a college education.

Over the next few months, the Fed will continue to raise interest rates to bring inflation down. As the economy slows, some people are likely to be laid off, which will cause the unemployment rate to rise.

“But we’re trying to avoid a situation where it increases a lot,” Wright said.

Just two years ago, Minnesota’s unemployment rate hit its highest level since it began being tracked in 1976. It reached an all-time high of 10.8% in May 2020 during the first painful month of the pandemic.

It has continued to decline since then.

At one point, it was shrinking but “for the wrong reasons,” said Steve Grove, commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Jobs and Economic Development. People were dropping out of the labor force, resulting in a smaller labor pool and lower unemployment rate.

But the more recent declines are due to people returning to the workforce, which is a good sign, he said.

Still, there are about 78,000 fewer workers in Minnesota’s labor force than before the pandemic. And employers are eager to hire, with vacancies at record highs, outpacing the number of unemployed by more than two to one.

DEED calculates that Minnesota now has the fifth tightest job market in the nation.

Growing the state’s workforce is a top priority for the agency, Grove said. One challenge: Minnesota’s overall population in this decade will grow at the slowest rate in state history.

It encourages companies to raise wages further to help attract more workers to the sidelines. He noted that the state’s black unemployment rate actually rose last month to 6.9%.

“You have a lot of labor available that is not being exploited,” he said. “If we can’t find a way to reduce these vacancies, we’re going to underperform as an economy because we don’t have the people to do the job.”

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Utah economy

David Zook to announce county housing task force findings – Cache Valley Daily

Logan City has given the green light to a huge apartment complex next to Nibley City Parks, which has left residents upset.

LOGAN — Cache County Executive David Zook will present the findings of his housing crisis task force at noon Thursday, June 23.

Zook’s presentation is scheduled for the Cache Summit at the Riverwoods Conference Center.

“Cache County is a special community,” said Cache County Councilman Gordon Zilles, who served on the task force with stakeholders representing a wide range of housing market perspectives.

Planning for growth is an important investment in the futureZilles added.

Zook formed the Housing Task Force in March to address serious barriers to affordable housing in Cache County.

“Housing availability and affordability impacts many aspects of our economy and our community,” says Zook. “One of our goals is to ensure that our children and grandchildren can stay here to support this economy and this community.”

At the task force’s kick-off meeting on April 20, its members were tasked with developing a report with recommendations to improve the current housing crisis. They were also tasked with identifying aspects of the housing crisis that local governments and home building professionals could directly influence.

The working group met on June 21 to deliver its recommendations to Zook.

“I look forward to sharing their findings and then working to implement them,” says Zook. “We will need community support to implement these recommendations.”

Over the past decade, Cache County has added about 20,500 residents, an increase of 18.5%, according to the 2020 census.

Of these new residents, approximately 17,500 or 86% were natural growths – the children of current residents. By 2060, the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah predicts that 85% of Cache County’s growth will be internal.

Cache County has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, a factor that is exacerbating demand for housing.

The Milken Institute recently ranked the Logan, Utah-Idaho area as one of the top performing small towns in the nation. But they also ranked it 178th for housing affordability.

Given these factors, Zook says community leaders realize that economic planning and population growth need to align better in the future.

“The Housing Task Force has made recommendations that will help us address these complex issues affecting housing in our county,” Zook promises.

The Riverwoods Conference Center is located at 615 Riverwoods Parkway in Logan.

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Utah economy

Why is there a shortage of lifeguards? Staff to blame for pool closures

As labor shortages continue to plague virtually every sector of the U.S. economy, your local pool might be the last to feel the pain.

That’s because swimming pools and recreation centers across the country are facing a severe shortage of lifeguards and swim instructors – the worst shortage in at least a decade, by some accounts. Nationally, nearly 8 in 10 park departments do not have enough staff, according to the National Recreation and Park Association.

Things are no different in Utah, where pools are barely keeping operations afloat, and some have had to cut hours dramatically or even delay their seasonal openings due to a lack of staff.

Why is there a shortage of lifeguards?

In many ways, the shortage of lifeguards is no different from labor shortages in restaurants and grocery stores, and they are apparently caused by the same set of factors. After work disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic, young workers are increasingly looking for better paying, more flexible and less stressful jobs.

For David Gray, who heads up human resources at the Lagoon theme park, lifeguards are just a small part of the seasonal talent he constantly seeks to recruit.

“This year it has been even more difficult to attract lifeguard candidates, more so than we have seen in the past,” he said. “But, we are struggling in all of our seasonal positions. … I wouldn’t say it’s a much bigger fight than any of our others, for food, games and merchandise, those have been a fight as well.

“There have been a lot of articles about the shortage of lifeguards, and I find that interesting, because for me there is no shortage of lifeguards. There is a labor shortage for summer jobs,” he continued.

A lifeguard from Kearns Oquirrh Park Fitness Center watches swimmers at Kearns Pool on Friday, June 10, 2022.

Mengshin Lin, Deseret News

Although lifeguards are required to undergo training in order to work, Gray points out that it is not a job like that of a nurse or a doctor, which requires years of specialized education and training. Most pools offer on-the-job training for prospective guards, which — in the past — has made them an ideal alternative to fast-food work for many teenagers and college students, Gray said.

Among other trends, Gray said he’s noticed that an increase in summer programs — camps, music, school, athletics — has reduced the number of students wanting summer jobs and limited the availability of many job seekers. ‘use.

It’s increasingly common to interview potential recruits who can only work one or two days a week, making it harder to fill every shift in the schedule.

Why the Lifeguard Shortage Matters

Even with shortages across the board, Gray notes that lifeguards present a problem that cannot easily be solved with creative planning or organization. Running out of a few lifeguards doesn’t mean longer lines at the ticket office or at the concession stand, it would put customers at risk.

“We have an obligation that we take extremely seriously,” Gray said. “If we have guests in our pools or on our slides, there must be a lifeguard present. If we didn’t have a lifeguard to operate the slide or watch the water to keep our guests safe, we wouldn’t be operating these areas.

How the Shortage Affects Utah Pools

Lagoon hasn’t had to cut back yet, though other pools haven’t been so lucky. The Liberty Park pool in Salt Lake City typically opens on Memorial Day weekend, but due to staffing shortages, Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation — which operates Liberty Park — had to push the opening day back to at least a few weeks in several pools.

The Liberty Park pool will open June 18 but is expected to operate only for limited hours on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays — June 19, Independence Day and Labor Day — for the rest of the summer.

The Redwood Pool in West Valley City is not expected to open until July 1 unless things change to allow it to open earlier.

County spokeswoman Liz Sollis said she’s heard customers frustrated with the closures and understands the downsides of limited availability — especially as Utah is blanketed in heatwaves — but said that safety is always their primary concern.

Given the high temperatures, outdoor pools like the one at Liberty Park need to have enough lifeguards to rotate them inside so no one is exposed to the summer heat for the duration of their shift. Without adequate staff, pool staff are forced to shorten opening hours – as they are doing on June 16, when the pool will only open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sollis said she knows some have complained that while hotels or other pools sometimes operate without lifeguards, county-operated pools should too. But, she points out that sunlight and shade make it harder to see through the water in outdoor pools, requiring more skilled spotters than needed in small, little-used spaces.

“I think a lot of times when people think of lifeguards they think they’re there for the kids, but a lifeguard is there for everyone,” Sollis said. “We’ve had adults who have had issues when they were swimming, and that required a life-saving response.”


Lifeguard Mark Black watches swimmers in the pool at Kearns Oquirrh Park Fitness Center in Kearns on Friday, June 10, 2022.

Mengshin Lin, Deseret News

According to City of Sandy spokeswoman Evelyn Everton, the pool at the Alta Canyon Sports Center is experiencing a shortage of about 50 percent from previous years. The pool didn’t have to cut hours, but it did cut amenities like swimming lessons due to a similar shortage of swim instructors.

Everton told the Deseret News in an email that the shortage was the worst they had seen in at least 12 years. She cited similar concerns to what Gray mentioned, saying many employees have limited availability and only a few hours they are free to work each week.

And after?

Like many other companies, pools have tried a variety of incentives to get more people to work, starting with a pay rise.

Lagoon has offered bonuses to employees who stay through the summer, and Alta Canyon is giving lifeguards free gym memberships and discounts on other city amenities.

Liberty Park Pool offers increased wages of up to $19 per hour depending on certification level and previous experience.

But did the increased benefits really help? Gray said business and hiring are always “cyclical,” and while he sees things changing at some point in the future, he doesn’t expect a quick fix.

Others paint an even less rosy picture of their efforts to boost hiring.

“We don’t think it helped in our case or any other case in the Valley,” Everton said.

Gray, Sollis and Everton all stressed that they would continue to recruit lifeguards throughout the summer and encouraged those interested to apply on their websites.


Kearns Oquirrh Park Fitness Center lifeguards watch swimmers at Kearns Pool on Friday, June 10, 2022.

Mengshin Lin, Deseret News

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Utah economy

Could canceling student loans have an impact on inflation?

(NEXSTAR) – Inflation is now at its highest level in four decades, and the Federal Reserve’s efforts to rein it in have so far failed to bring it under control. Some worry that an impending decision by the Biden administration to cancel student loans could only make matters worse. But will he?

President Biden is expected to make a decision on canceling federal student loans within the next two months, according to reports. In April, multiple sources confirmed to The Hill that Biden was considering cutting at least $10,000 per borrower.

An analysis by the Federal Reserve found that this type of discount would eliminate their entire balance for about 11.8 million borrowers, or just over 31%. This would result in an estimated $321 billion in federal student loan forgiveness.

Some have argued that canceling student debt could provide an economic boost, giving borrowers currently in debt the chance to spend money on items they could have kept, such as a car or house. This increase in spending may not be ideal in the eyes of the Fed, which is trying to stabilize costs by making borrowing more expensive.

Still, some experts believe canceling student loans won’t have a big impact on inflation, including senior White House adviser Brian Deese. Speaking to reporters in May, Deese said the economic impact of any proposed student loan forgiveness “would be over several years or a few decades.”

He added that the impact on inflation “in the short term is likely to be…quite small”.

Canceling student loans would not put money directly into the pockets of borrowers like stimulus checks, which were intended to be used to spend and stimulate the economy. Instead, the forgiveness would end or reduce the payments borrowers must make on their federal student loans.

David Lazarus, business and consumer news contributor for Nexstar’s KTLA, agreed that the pardon would have a limited impact on inflation, but noted that “it could affect the Fed’s efforts to cool the economy, which would create more urgency for further rate hikes.”

“Loan forgiveness could provide people with more disposable cash,” he explained. “Although it’s not certain that people would splurge, it would allow for more shopping. This, in turn, would strengthen the economy, making it even more difficult to bring down exorbitant consumer prices.

In February, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonprofit public policy organization, estimated that canceling all $1.6 trillion in federal student debt held by Americans would raise the rate of inflation rate of 10 to 50 basis points, or 0.1 to 0.5 percentage points within 12 months of the scheduled start of repayment. The current US inflation rate is 8.6%.

The Committee has not released an estimate of the impact on inflation of a $10,000 forgiveness per borrower, but the organization continues to qualify both the payment pause and debt forgiveness of “regressive and inflationary”.

Federal student loan payments remain suspended until August 31. Biden could approve another extension to the payment moratorium in light of rising interest rates and depending on the state of the economy in August, according to The Associated Press.

Since Biden took office, his administration has approved $25 billion in student loan forgiveness.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Utah economy

3rd Congressional District candidates debate topics of Roe v. Wade, inflation and more | News, Sports, Jobs

Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald

Candidate Chris Herrod, right, speaks during the 3rd Congressional District debate at Brigham Young University on Friday, May 27, 2022, as Rep. John Curtis listens.

Incumbent Rep. John Curtis and his challenger in the 3rd Congressional District, Chris Herrod, took part in a Friday afternoon debate on KSL News Radio.

The debate was moderated by Boyd Matheson and Maria Shilaos from KSL. Each candidate had two minutes for an opening speech and one minute for a question and answer. Shilaos said the purpose of the debate was to allow the candidates to talk more about the topics and solutions they are in favor of rather than against.

The main topics of debate were election security, drought, inflation, Roe v. Wade and improving background checks when buying firearms.

Election security is on the minds of many voters, with some wondering if their vote will count in this election or any other. Candidates were asked how the public should know their votes will count.

Herrod responded first and explained that he was old-fashioned, saying he believed election procedures should follow the constitution and disagreed with mail-in voting.

Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald

Representative John Curtis speaks during the 3rd Congressional District debate at Brigham Young University on Friday, May 27, 2022.

“I believe in the Constitution,” Herrod said. “I believe that the election, according to the Constitution, is supposed to take place on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and yet we have now gone to vote by mail. There are other things that extended the election by two months. I’m a same day, in person ballot, voter ID guy. If you understand statistics, you can take random samples and get a very good idea of ​​whether the election is secure. People don’t trust the system, and there’s a lot of mistrust on both sides right now, and we need to get back to basics.

Curtis talked about what he thinks shouldn’t be done, which is the federalization of elections. He said the federalization of elections has been the buzz in Washington, DC, all year.

“The Founders were very wise with what they put in the Constitution, that elections should be held at the state level, and there’s a lot of wisdom in that,” Curtis said.

According to, Utah has been experiencing a drought of varying severity for years. Many Utahans have raised concerns with both candidates about what needs to be done to protect Utah’s water.

Curtis called this situation “everything on deck” where individuals and cities can better conserve and plan and where government can get more involved in water lawsuits and funding for water projects.

Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald

Candidate Chris Herrod speaks during the 3rd Congressional District debate at Brigham Young University on Friday, May 27, 2022.

Herrod said he believes state officials are in the best position to decide how to protect Utah’s water.

“I don’t want the federal government to say how we should use our water,” he said. “I was in Blanding recently and had a conversation with a government official there. He showed me pictures of new technologies where their crops were getting the same amount of growth with 3% water usage. So there are these new technologies that we can use.

Shilaos said most Americans cite economic inflation as the biggest problem and cited statistics showing gasoline prices are up 8.6% from a year ago. She asked the candidates what they thought was the role of Congress in reducing inflation.

Curtis said he believed Republicans taking over the House was a crucial part of reducing inflation because they would stop wasteful spending. He said the trillions of dollars spent by the federal government more than a year ago were “pouring gasoline into the fire of inflation.”

“Since then, this administration has done everything it can to keep pumping money into the economy, including things like canceling student debt,” Curtis said. “That’s why it’s so important for Republicans to take back the House.”

Herrod also mentioned cutting wasteful spending and keeping the federal government limited.

“Republicans are almost as much to blame as Democrats,” he said. “You look recently and we spent $40 million on Ukraine, and we continue to fund the Ministry of Education and other ministries that I don’t think are necessary, so we have to go back to the Constitution.”

Another hot topic is the Supreme Court’s possible decision to overturn Roe v. Wade of 1973 which ensured the protection of women’s abortion rights. Candidates were asked how they plan to support women and families if Roe v. Wade was canceled.

Herrod said he would be extremely happy if Roe v. Wade was canceled. It supports each controlling state, not the federal government.

“I know there are a number of private organizations that are ready to step in and help women who find themselves in this situation, single and pregnant,” he said. “So I look forward to the community at large to meet that need.”

Curtis said he recognizes Utah doesn’t have enough recourse for women at risk of having an unwanted pregnancy. He also acknowledged a lack of mental health and healthcare resources for women.

“I think it’s really important that we take a deep look at ourselves and say, ‘Look, if that’s the law of the land, what comes with that is a huge responsibility to help people with these kids,’ Curtis said.

Elaborating on the subject, Shilaos said that many women think they are penalized by having to pay the price for birth control, unlike men.

Curtis said that as a 65-year-old man, he doesn’t know much about the cost of birth control, but he’ll have whatever conversation is needed to bring abortions down to zero.

Herrod reiterated his belief that this issue would always be best handled at the state level. He suggested that religious beliefs could affect how each state decides how to deal with the issue.

“My religious beliefs don’t have a problem with birth control, but there are other religions that do,” he said. “Until you’ve seen that happen, especially with the Catholic Church, and balancing those issues, I think it’s best done at the state level.”

Although the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which left 21 dead, happened almost a month ago, it is the most recent example of why many people believe that stricter restrictions on firearms are necessary. Each naysayer shared their thoughts on improving background investigations and/or waiting periods for people trying to buy a gun.

Herrod acknowledged that it was an 18-year-old responsible for the Uvalde shooting and pointed out that the United States also asks 18-year-olds to fight foreign wars.

“For me, the difficulty I have is that we allow an 18-year-old to go and fight a foreign war for us and then he can’t come back and buy a shotgun, I have a hard time with it,” he said. “I believe it’s best determined at the state level.”

Herrod went on to say that he wouldn’t want to punish those who own guns and handle them responsibly.

Curtis said he would not be able to make a decision on either restriction option as he would like to see the data, but claimed there was none.

“You don’t have the data to make those decisions, and that’s really unfortunate,” Curtis said. “Just a few years ago, the federal government actually banned federal funds from being spent on studying firearms, and in order for me to make a decision on what you’re talking about, I need to see some data.”


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Utah economy

Reactions: Fed raises rates by 0.75 percentage points, signals slowing economy

NEW YORK, June 15 (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised its target interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point on Wednesday to stem a disruptive surge in inflation, and forecast a slowing economy and a rise in unemployment in the coming months. .

The action lifted the short-term federal funds rate to a range of 1.50% to 1.75%, and Fed officials at the median expected the rate to rise to 3.4% by the end of the month. end of this year and to 3.8% in 2023 – a substantial change from projections in March which saw the rate climb to 1.9% this year.


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EQUITIES: US stocks rose sharply in the wake of the Fed hike.



“The Fed changed policy and the markets actually took that information and pretty much sold it. next meeting, that’s when the market rose is kind of a vote of confidence that the Fed is finally waking up to the inflation problem and is ready to take a more aggressive stance.”


“They’re doing what they can in a fast-moving economy. Things are moving fast, the Fed knows they’re behind the curve and trying to bring inflation down and the tools at their disposal are blunt instruments.”

“They reiterated that they are ready to do whatever it takes to bring inflation down. We have to give (Powell) some slack given how difficult things are.”

“In terms of the economy and our view of recession – the risk in 2022 is quite low, but certainly in 2023 and 2024 the risk of recession has increased over the past 3+ months due to the threat of a policy error by the Fed.”

“The most interesting data point today is Esther George’s dissent. She’s not shy about raising rates. And here she’s saying 50 basis points is enough for now. She’s looking at this notion that we were behind the inflation curve, we should have taken care of that a year ago and now we are heading aggressively towards a downturn.”


“They’re moving full speed ahead. At this point when you look at oil prices and gasoline futures, they have to tackle headline inflation. They’re still playing catch-up at this If you look at the dot chart for December, the fed funds rate was going to be slightly below 1% for the end of 22. We have now revised those expectations up to a terminal rate of 3.4% by the end of this year. When I look at the market price of future expectations for the December meeting, the implied rate is around 3.7%. The door is still open to do more, especially at the July meeting and maybe at the September meeting.”

“Look how quickly we’ve adjusted expectations from 50 bps to 75 bps in a matter of days. I think at this point all options are on the table.”


“People skim through the statement, skim through the Summary of Economic Projections (SEP) and take a look at it, but in general it’s not too surprising. The biggest takeaway from the SEP for me is the track so that they have a soft landing just got shorter and narrower meaning they’re expecting higher inflation, they’re expecting higher unemployment, they’re expecting lower GDP and Atlanta’s GDPNow forecast is gone to zero. So whether or not we can escape this without a recession is in question. Everyone knew but now the Fed is admitting it.”

“Most of the additional data points have been negative, even this morning the retail sales numbers were weak so over the last four business days you’ve had a number of negative economic numbers.”


“I don’t find that surprising if you’ve been paying attention. The Fed did the right thing – they indicated early on that they were going to be more aggressive in this meeting. When you look at the market reaction, nobody was really surprised.”

“I think it’s too much, too fast, too fast, too far. In my opinion, a lot of that inflation is due to energy prices and at some point oil stops going up.”


“The market had fully priced in that 75, but due to how aggressively the market recalibrated its expectations over the past three trading days, the market was basically giving them the green light. she had to be opportunistic and saw it as a window or to establish better credibility to fight inflation and I think that comes at the expense of the credibility of their forward orientation And if I had to guess Esther George would be probably dissenting because it’s going to be difficult to give a forward direction and it’s going to be interesting to see how Powell approaches that forward direction because it’s something they’ve hung their hats on.”


“The Fed is trying to address legitimate concerns about inflation… What it did today was the least it could have done to maintain any credibility.”

“It doesn’t solve the Fed’s lagging the curve argument. It just brings them one step closer to catching the curve.”

“At this point, the Fed is trying to catch up without disrupting the markets too much. When we get into the press conference, we’ll have more details on what’s going on.”


“The Fed is in a very difficult position that, frankly, it has put itself in by mismanaging monetary policy and letting inflation rise as much as it has. There’s just no sign that inflation is turning and this is happening at a time when some of the economic data is weakening – this morning’s retail sales data, for example.The so-called ‘soft landing’ seems increasingly more tenuous.

“I hope Powell is sounded out on the balance between the dual mandate of keeping inflation low and employment high. It’s a balance that seems to be getting harder and harder to strike.”


“The Fed took a pretty aggressive move and hiked 75 bps. We’re seeing some volatility in FX, which is no surprise given there’s usually a lot of action in both directions. before Powell spoke, but what you can see is that the lack of a positive dollar reaction – we had a instinctive rally and then now we’re pulling back – is a reflection of heightened market concerns about the recession. “

“That’s the biggest risk of the big move the Fed made today and in an environment where retail sales have been a big hit, I think there’s going to be a lot of talk about the recession and I think Powell The foundations for further tightening will likely lengthen and between what we are already seeing in terms of rising yields, as well as the trajectory of further ups and the data already falling, there will be much more focus on the shift from inflation to recession.”


“Today’s decision follows a report on US inflation for the month of May, which sparked increased speculation on Monday that the Fed would abandon its previous signal of back-to-back 50 basis point hikes in favor of the Fed. ‘A more aggressive decision whether the Fed chose to prime markets with or without disclosure to the Wall Street Journal is largely irrelevant at this point as the market has gone all-in on the prospect. a bigger rate hike.”

“Standing by its original forecast, the Fed should have effectively eased financial conditions in a 50 basis point hike at a time of mounting inflationary pressures. With the announcement largely priced in money market , both for the latest decision and the adjustment in the dot chart, the reaction of the financial markets has been limited.The focus is now completely shifted to President Powell’s comment during the press conference as the markets are trying to gauge the Fed’s sensitivity to new inflation impressions after their latest U-turn and what the FOMC’s appetite is for aggressively taking rates above neutral this year.”


“The market doesn’t know what it wants. It wants higher interest rates to stave off inflation, but it also realizes that higher interest rates make the cost of doing business more expensive. That’s so really a shit show, it’s not fun right now.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if they come away with 75 basis points in July and then they sit and wait.”


“We think the fed funds rate will approach 3.5% by the end of the year, so another 200 basis points of hikes from here. It’s still not the end of the world, c ‘s well below the average federal funds rate of the past 40 years. But what I’d also like to point out is that while this doesn’t necessarily have to end in a recession, it’s getting harder and harder to think that even the 350 basis points will stop the inflation we are seeing right now.”


“The Fed is ready to let the jobless rate rise and risk a recession as collateral damage to bring inflation down. This is not a Volker moment for Powell given the magnitude of the rise, but it is like a Mini-Me version of Volcker with that move.”

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Compiled by the US Finance & Markets Breaking News team

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Utah economy

Stocks tumble worldwide as bear market looms on Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — Fears of a possible recession hit markets on Monday, and Wall Street’s S&P 500 fell into the jaws of what is being called a bear market after falling more than 20% below from its record set earlier this year.

The S&P 500 fell 2.4% on the first opportunity for investors to trade after having the weekend to ponder the startling news that inflation is getting worse, not better. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 530 points, or 1.7%, at 30,876 as of 12:37 p.m. EST, and the Nasdaq composite was down 2.9%.

The center of attention on Wall Street was once again the Federal Reserve, which is struggling to control inflation. Its main method is to raise interest rates to slow the economy, a blunt tool that risks a recession if used too aggressively.

With the Fed seemingly compelled to get more aggressive, prices have fallen for everything from bonds to bitcoin, from New York to New Zealand, with the biggest winners of the first pandemic often taking the heaviest hits.

Some traders are even speculating that the Fed could raise its main short-term interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point on Wednesday. That’s triple the usual amount and something the Fed hasn’t done since 1994. Traders now see a nearly 33% chance of such a mega-rise, up from just 3% a week ago. , according to CME Group.

No one thinks the Fed will stop there, with markets bracing for a continued streak of bigger-than-usual increases. That would come on top of some already discouraging signals about the economy and corporate earnings, including a record early reading on consumer sentiment that has been soured by high gasoline prices.

It’s a sharp turnaround from the start of the pandemic, when central banks around the world cut rates to record lows and took other measures that supported stock prices and other investments in the world. hope of reviving the economy.

These expectations are also driving US bond yields to their highest levels in years. The two-year Treasury yield climbed to 3.19% from 3.06% on Friday night, its second consecutive major move higher. It has more than quadrupled this year and reached its highest level since 2008.

The 10-year yield has risen from 3.15% to 3.32%, and the higher level will make mortgages and many other types of loans for households and businesses more expensive. It has more than doubled this year.

The spread between two-year and 10-year yields also narrowed, a sign of waning optimism about the economy in the bond market. If the two-year yield exceeds the 10-year yield, some investors see this as a sign of an impending recession.

The market pain was global as investors braced for more aggressive moves from a coterie of central banks.

In Asia, the indices fell by at least 3% in Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Shares there were also hurt by concerns over COVID-19 infections in China, which could prompt authorities to resume tight restrictions that are slowing business.

In Europe, the German DAX lost 2.4% and the French CAC 40 fell 2.7%. %.

Some of the biggest hits have come from cryptocurrencies, which soared at the start of the pandemic when record high interest rates encouraged some investors to pile into riskier investments. Bitcoin fell more than 14% from the previous day and fell below $23,973, according to Coindesk. It is back to where it was at the end of 2020 and down from a high of $68,990 at the end of last year.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 was 20.6% below its record set at the start of the year. If it ends the day more than 20% below that high, it would enter what investors call a bear market.

Bears are hibernating, so bears represent a pullback market, said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA. By contrast, Wall Street’s nickname for a booming stock market is a bull market, as the bulls charge, Stovall said.

The last bear market was not that long ago, in 2020, but it was exceptionally short and only lasted about a month. The S&P 500 approached a bear market last month, briefly dipping more than 20% below its all-time high, but it did not end a day below it.

It would also be the first bear market for many novice investors who got into stock trading for the first time after the onset of the pandemic, a time when stocks largely appeared to be going up. That is, they did so until inflation showed that it was worse than just a “transient” problem as originally portrayed.

Michael Wilson, a strategist at Morgan Stanley who is among the more pessimistic voices on Wall Street, sticks to his view that the S&P 500 could fall to 3,400 even if the U.S. economy avoids a recession during the next year.

That would mark another drop of around 10% from the current level, and Wilson said it reflects his view that Wall Street’s earnings forecast is still too optimistic, among other things.

Soaring price tags in stores are worsening sentiment among shoppers, even those with high incomes, Wilson said in a report that ‘the next shoe to drop is a discount cycle’ as companies try to eliminate inventory accumulated.

Such moves would reduce their profitability, and the price of a stock goes up and down largely on two things: how much cash the company generates and how much an investor is willing to pay for it.

Fed moves play an important role in this second part, as higher rates make investors less willing to pay high prices for risky investments.

Deutsche Bank economists said they expect the Fed to raise rates more than usual on Wednesday, again in July, then again in September and a fourth time in November. Just a week ago, before Friday’s wake-up call for an inflation report, Wall Street was debating whether the Fed might pause rate hikes in September.

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Utah economy

Letter: Watching my hometown Ogden from afar | News, Sports, Jobs

Recent Standard-Examiner articles on “elimination of free parking” in downtown Ogden have me wondering where Mayor Caldwell’s negative ideas came from!

My hometown is a wonderful place. Over the years, Ogden has had to reinvent itself. Since my youth (born in 1938), a railroad switching center, with a strong, vibrant, friendly industrial base and an economic powerhouse of Utah with its stockyards, meatpacking plants, canneries, mills in cereals, a dynamic business district in the city center and its military bases; Ogden was a wonderful place to live.

When the business strategies of all businesses changed and closed in the 70’s, retail businesses left town, clothing manufacturers, Utah Knitting closed, Ogden had to reinvent itself! The global supply chain of manufactured items needed by consumers has shifted to Asia and elsewhere.

The city father’s economic plan at the time gutted the downtown area, and so the “Ogden City Mall” emerged and lasted for about 20+ years. A nice place!

Mall stalwarts Weinstock’s, ZCMI, JC Penney’s and The Bon Marche all disappeared due to crime in the mall and again a change in economic business decisions at the time, which was also affected by severe economic downturns in the US economy.

Today, the junction has replaced the mall but never in the dynamism of the mall. Other downtown competitors emerged – the Newgate Mall and presently Davis County Station Park limited the junction’s true economic strength and success.

Now the mayor and council have ideas to further limit the success of businesses in “all areas” of the city center with the return of parking meters! This idea, if it comes to fruition, will again erode the downtown area. The Mayor and Council need to consider the negative impact this idea will have on the continued revitalization of Ogden’s central core. Competitors outside the city center all have “free parking”. I challenge the Mayor and City Council to think ‘outside the bun’ and find other ways to create needed revenue and not penalize small businesses downtown and prevent potential customers from do business in the central business hub of Ogden! Ogden has reinvented itself too often.

William Lythgoe



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Utah economy

Here’s how the US is ‘redefining the whole state of bilateral relations’ with China

Astrid Tuminez, president of the University of the Valley of Utah, speaks to attendees ahead of the China Challenge Summit at the University of the Valley of Utah in Orem on Thursday. Business leaders, foreign affairs experts and national security policy professionals gathered at UVU on Thursday to discuss strategic insights and tactical advice on how the United States can operate in symphony. with China in the current global environment. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

Estimated reading time: 7-8 minutes

OREM – China’s economy is poised to become the most powerful in the world with a coordinated goal of overtaking the United States in its rise to the top.

In addition to being the United States’ third-largest trading partner, China also has an eye on the Beehive State and its booming economy.

Utah’s merchandise exports to China grew 31% in 2021, to $1 billion, the U.S. China Business Council said Thursday.

While the Chinese economy is booming, the relationship between China and the United States is barely on the spot, thanks in large part to President Xi Jinping’s personal assumption of all major levers of power in China. China.

His heavy hand may not be leaving anytime soon either.

“He’s a leader who deeply believes in the ideology he was raised with,” said Matt Pottinger, a former deputy national security adviser for the United States.

Business leaders, foreign affairs experts and national security policy professionals — to the tune of 1,200 in-person and virtual attendees — gathered Thursday at Utah Valley University to discuss this challenge, as well as strategic insights and tactical advice on how the United States can work in symphony with China in today’s global environment.

State of US-China Relations

Jon Hunstman Jr., former US ambassador to China during the Obama administration and former governor of Utah, said the United States was currently “redefining the whole state of bilateral relations” with China. China.

This relationship is also “by far” the most important the United States has with any country in the world, said Nicholas Burns, current US ambassador to China.

This is largely due to what he described as the level of competition and interaction between the two powers when it comes to respective economies and societies.

“I’m sorry to say, I think the relationship is in really tough shape,” Burns said. “This is a very difficult time… We Americans do not believe that China plays by the rules of economy and trade and that this is unfair to our businesses and our workers, as well as to the American public and our economy. .”

Burns described China as breaking the rules and “pushing” for power over the United States – and its allies like Japan, Australia, South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines – both military as well as economic and technological.

World Trade Center Utah President and CEO Miles Hansen and Utah Valley University President Astrid Tuminez speak to reporters ahead of the China Challenge Summit at Utah Valley University in Orem on Thursday .
World Trade Center Utah President and CEO Miles Hansen and Utah Valley University President Astrid Tuminez speak to reporters ahead of the China Challenge Summit at Utah Valley University in Orem on Thursday . (Photo: Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

“I think you and I would assume we’re going to have trade competition, that’s fair,” Burns told Huntsman. “But the Chinese are looking to weaponize many of these technologies and that presents a real challenge for us.”

China, Burns said, has ambitions to become the most powerful power in the Indo-Pacific region and it will make great, sometimes illegal, efforts to expand its military presence.

“Taking land, taking islands and militarizing them against international law – they are doing it,” Burns said.

Other fundamental differences between the two countries also exist, Burns said.

Namely, the United States has an unwavering faith in democracy and the freedom of the people.

“The government here (in China) doesn’t do that,” Burns said. “It’s a deep divide and I think we feel it quite strongly in our mission that our job is to defend the United States and our people.”

American priorities in the Chinese relationship

As competitive as China has been in trying to flex its metaphorical muscles on the United States, Burns said it was imperative that the United States address that competitiveness “head on.”

“We’re in a largely competitive mode here with the Chinese,” Burns said.

For a country that seems to side with the United States, how could America, as a divided country, hope to respond?

When it comes to China, Burns said, the United States isn’t as divided as it is in other policy areas.

“There is no identical fuse between the two political parties or between, say, conservatives and liberals,” Burns said. “There is, I think, a consensus that we are in a different mode now. That the Chinese government is much more assertive than it was 10, 15 or 20 years ago against the interests of the United States.”

“Republicans, Democrats (they) don’t agree on much these days on Capitol Hill, but they agree on China,” Burns said.

Ruth Todd, senior vice president and chief reputation officer at Nu Skin, Matt Pottinger, former deputy national security adviser, Glenn Tiffert, researcher at the Hoover Institution, and Lingling Wei, chief China correspondent for the Wall Street Journal , discuss the rise of China and its broad implications for the world order at the China Challenge Summit at Utah Valley University in Orem on Thursday.
Ruth Todd, senior vice president and chief reputation officer at Nu Skin, Matt Pottinger, former deputy national security adviser, Glenn Tiffert, researcher at the Hoover Institution, and Lingling Wei, chief China correspondent for the Wall Street Journal , discuss the rise of China and its broad implications for the world order at the China Challenge Summit at Utah Valley University in Orem on Thursday. (Photo: Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

It is a strength, he said, because the Chinese will “try to divide us”.

Moreover, Burns and Huntsman agreed that the United States must invest in itself if it is to compete effectively with China.

Burns pointed to the bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill signed last year by President Joe Biden — the biggest infrastructure bill in a generation — as a positive step in making states United more competitive in the international field and compete with China in the long term.

Because of China’s ambition to become the strongest and most influential power in the Indo-Pacific region, the United States must also invest in and align with its allies, Burns said.

“I think that’s probably the most effective way in terms of foreign policy and defense to deal with the Chinese,” Burns said. “We don’t want to go to war with China, … we don’t want conflict – but we have to stand up and protect our security and our economic interests in this region and our allies are helping us do that,” against what he called an “increasingly aggressive China”.

Decoupling and moving into the future

Huntsman pointed to the trillion-dollar trade relationship between the United States and China, as well as the global supply chain that runs through it, referring to American manufacturing operations in China to introduce the idea of ​​decoupling into Thursday’s discussion with Burns.

“How far does this really go before it starts to negatively impact consumers in the United States and maybe even some of our allies and friends…who are all part of this business matrix which has been built over the last decades?” asked the hunter.

Burns said there is a $650 billion bilateral trade relationship between the United States and China.

Think about it. Many of the goods Americans consume and depend on every day come directly from China.

“Last year, American farmers and ranchers sold $38 billion worth of American agricultural (and) ranch products to China,” Burns said. “That’s one-fifth of all U.S. agricultural exports to the world, so there’s a degree of integration here that you can’t easily disentangle.”

Burns said while many try to accuse the United States of decoupling from China, in reality it is China leading the way.

He said China is trying to “look within” and develop its economy so that it no longer depends on the United States or other countries for its imports and trade.

On Thursday, people attend the China Challenge Summit at Utah Valley University in Orem.
On Thursday, people attend the China Challenge Summit at Utah Valley University in Orem. (Photo: Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

Huntsman and Burns also agreed that China sees Russia as a case study of why it is important to reduce reliance on supply chains and ensure they are not the “fall prey” to Western sanctions in the future, in the same way global sanctions that Huntsman says worked “brilliantly” impacted Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.

“China doesn’t want that to happen in a future scenario,” Burns said.

Additionally, Burns said the trend that has occurred over the past five to ten years in China toward increased authoritarianism and control demonstrated by the Communist Party of China will likely lead to Xi Jinping serving a third five-year term without previous as president.

“It’s very likely that he will rule this country (China) for the next five years and maybe even beyond,” Burns said.

That said, it is up to the United States to continue to invest in its allies and itself in the fight to maintain a bilateral relationship with China.

“You can see the impact this country has on the rest of the world just because of how powerful it is,” Burns said. “Another reason why we need to be complete here in the American mission, to represent our own interests and our own values.”


Logan Stefanich is a reporter for, covering Southern Utah communities, education, business, and military news.

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Utah economy

Goldman Sachs predicts $140 oil as gas prices climb near $5 a gallon

The Bank of Wall Street now expects Brent crude oil prices to average $140 a barrel between July and September, up from its previous call of $125 a barrel. Brent is currently trading at around $120 a barrel.

Worse still, Goldman Sachs said summer retail gasoline prices are expected to climb to levels normally associated with $160 oil to reduce demand.

“A sharp price spike remains entirely possible this summer,” Goldman Sachs strategists wrote in a statement to clients.

Forecasts suggest the worst is far from over for consumers already struggling with high gas prices.

The national average price for regular gasoline jumped another five cents on Tuesday to a new record high of $4.92 a gallon, according to AAA. That’s up 30 cents over the past week and 62 cents over the past month.

“It’s driving me crazy. I’m watching this stuff right now – $5.99? Are you serious?” asked Cleavie Jordan, an MTA bandleader filling up her tank in Manhattan.

Thirteen states and Washington, DC already have an average gas price of $5 or more, with New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maine reaching that threshold on Tuesday. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Idaho are only pennies away from $5.

Goldman Sachs is now asking for Brent oil to average $135 a barrel in the second half of this year and the first half of next year. That’s $10 more than the bank’s previous forecast.

“We believe oil prices need to rise further to normalize unsustainable levels of global oil inventories, as well as spare OPEC and refining capacity,” Goldman Sachs strategists wrote.

In March, Brent briefly hit a nearly 14-year high at $139.13 a barrel. But that turned out to be temporary as oil prices quickly retreated from there. Goldman Sachs is calling for a more sustained spike, where Brent would average $140 for the entire quarter.

That’s just below the $150 level that Moody’s Analytics economist Mark Zandi said would spell major trouble for the US economy.

“If oil prices hit $150, we’re going into a recession,” Zandi told CNN. “There is no way out.”

The bank did not say how high it expected gasoline prices to rise, saying only that oil prices needed to get so high they would cause demand to fall by 500,000 barrels a day to rebalance the market.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration also raised its forecast for oil, gasoline and natural gas prices on Tuesday, saying it no longer expects gasoline prices to come back down. below $4 a gallon by September.

“While we expect the current upward pressure on energy prices to ease, high energy prices will likely remain widespread in the United States this year and next,” the administrator said. of the EIA, Joe DeCarolis, in a statement.

For its part, the EIA now expects Brent crude to average $111.28 a barrel in the third quarter and $104.97 a barrel in the fourth quarter. That’s up from the EIA’s forecast a month ago for Brent at $103.98 and $101.66, respectively.

“We continue to see historically high energy prices due to the economic recovery and the fallout from Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine,” DeCarolis said.

The good news is that the EIA does not expect $4 gasoline to be the norm until 2023. The agency predicts that gasoline will average $3.87 per gallon for the last three months of the year, although this is an increase from the previous $3.59.

For 2023, the EIA raised its forecast for gasoline to $3.66 on average, from $3.51 previously. But that would still be a big improvement over the expected $4.07 per gallon price this year.

The problem, according to the EIA, is that oil and gasoline inventories are low. The agency also noted that refinery output is relatively low compared to pre-Covid levels.

The EIA said its forecast incorporates the assumption that the European Union will follow through on its plan to ban imports of crude oil and petroleum products by sea from Russia. However, the forecast does not include potential restrictions on shipping insurance as details are not known.

And while the United States and OPEC+ are expected to increase production slightly, the EIA expects Russian production to fall by 1.1 million barrels per day between May 2022 and the end of 2023. That’s a steeper decline than the EIA had previously predicted.

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Utah economy

The Return of Stupid Sunday, Sellers Take Advantage of Face-to-Face Interactions

The first Silly Sunday this summer attracted dozens of local artists, shopkeepers and food and drink vendors. Thanks to a new liquor license, adult drinks like Bloody Marys were on the menu on lower Main Street.

In a tent near the Heber Avenue intersection, Mecia Emery displayed colorful dog collars she made by hand at her home in Park City. She hoped to sell 50 to 60 of them.

Her business is called Luni & Roo, named after her two dogs. Most of her sales are done online, but she said settling in person at Silly Market is a great opportunity.

“It’s honestly the best marketing for us,” Emery said. “We have a lot of exposure, and it’s great fun to get out there and meet all these new faces and everyone’s dogs, and commercially we tend to do well, every Sunday.”

Last year, Luni & Roo only had a stall at the market a few times, but Emery said she signed up for a tent every Sunday this summer.

It was the very first Silly Market appearance for Heber City photographer Johnny Adolphson, but he was also at Art Around the Square in Midway a week prior.

He wasn’t sure exactly how many prints he wanted to sell, but said he also plans to return every Sunday this summer.

“For me, selling out of the tent is huge,” Adolphson said. “It’s one thing that people see my art on their phone or on the internet. But it’s another thing to go out and see the real prints and the big acrylics and the big metal prints and the art speaks for itself when you see the big pieces in person.

Adolphson said he will be at Art Around the Square on July 4 and 24 and Midway Swiss Days in late summer.

Murray’s Alex and Amanda Boyd said they’ve been looking for a toymaker whose tent they’ve been visiting for years, since the entertainer was 10. After attending a wedding the night before, they wanted to spend a relaxing day in the old town and support the local economy.

“We’ll probably spend two or three hours hanging out, having coffee and walking around,” Alex Boyd said. “I think we like to make sure the local economy is really strong. It’s a cool part of Utah and the outdoor community here.

Silly Sunday, on lower Main Street, runs on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except August 7, 14, and 21. The last day is September 25.

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Utah economy

Proposed meatpacking plant in Railport | Local


ELKO – A rancher from Elko County has proposed to set up a meatpacking plant at the Railport east of town.

Ken Bowler, owner of Devils Gate Ranch, approached the county about buying or leasing six acres of water rights for a $1.2 million meatpacking plant. The first phase of the plant would start in a 7,500 square foot building and process 100 cattle per week, storing and freezing the meat on site.

Bowler said the goal is for the plant to become a USDA-approved facility. Currently, cattle are sent to USDA processing plants in Utah, Idaho and the Carson Valley.

A plant would save money in freight costs for ranchers in Nevada, he said.

“We think that would be the perfect place, and it will hopefully help breeders increase their profit margin,” Bowler said. He acknowledged that it might be difficult to obtain USDA certification, but he is ready to pursue the company “no matter what.”

“We anticipate there will be a process,” he said. “We’ll probably be bald by the time we’re done pulling our hair out, but we’ll do our best.”

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Bowler predicted that with ranchers transporting cattle closer to home, around 5-7% of the value of cattle could be saved, along with gas expenses.

Nevada Cattleman’s Association President Jon Griggs said the proposed meatpacking plant “would be a great way to sell our product locally. We don’t have that option now. All the cattle we raise have to go somewhere else to be processed.

Currently, calves or yearlings are sold and shipped to livestock operators and feedlots closer to packing facilities, Griggs explained.

He added that if the plant opened in Elko County, it would create a “cohesive market” for breeders and consumers, removing “crazy highs” for consumers and showing long-term profits.

“The market for producers and consumers is cyclical. Right now, consumers are seeing market highs due to market dynamics, and producers are seeing market lows,” Griggs said. “But with a local source like this, we won’t have some of the economies of scale that larger producers have, but it will bring consistency.”

Griggs said keeping the production local “would probably be a better product. Keeping cattle in Nevada could be a win for all of us.

The plant could encounter a few hurdles, such as federal meat inspection, Griggs added.

“Traditionally, it’s been difficult to get a USDA inspector in a fairly small operation or in a market like Elko,” he said. “But the good news is that the Nevada Department of Agriculture is moving in where state inspectors are doing the same job as federal inspectors.”

“The other challenge is that we growers in this region tend to be spring ordeals. Our cattle are all about the same age,” he said. “We will have to work for him, but sometimes we will have an overabundance of cattle and sometimes not enough cattle because they are all around the same age. “

Andrew Church of the Glaser Land & Livestock Co., told commissioners that Bowler and the Devils Gate Ranch have been neighbors and collaborators for years. “We always knew Ken and the team at Devils Gate were progressive and forward-thinking.”

He observed some benefits for the factory, including reduced expense and stress on animals and the environment, as well as local economic diversification with dairies, creameries and bakeries.

“I’m thinking of any way to diversify the economy, but agricultural production in the county is in our best interest,” Church said.

Plus, the plant could be a “good way to show the public that you can produce beef well.”

“I think what happens a lot is the black eyes caused by the big four packers, in terms of these public relations nightmares and the way they treat animals, affects everyone, from breeders, producers, etc,” Church explained. “I think by bringing this down to the local level, we have the opportunity to show people how it can be done properly.”

County Commissioner Wilde Brough said ranchers in surrounding counties could cut costs by transporting their cattle to Elko County and contribute to the local economy at the same time. Ancillary businesses, such as feedlots, could also “take off because of it.”

“I think it’s going to be a big boom. I think it’s going to save a lot of farmers a lot of money on transportation,” he added.

“I really like this idea of ​​a meatpacking plant,” said commissioner Delmo Andreozzi. “I like the idea because cattle are just as much a part of Elko County as mining has been for a long, long time. I think it’s a great idea.”

Commissioners unanimously approved a motion Wednesday for staff to consider options to sell or lease water rights for the plant, with a clause to return ownership to the county if the plant is sold or discontinued. its operations. Currently, Elko County has approximately 200 acre feet of groundwater that has been set aside for Railport development and is being used for its intended purpose, according to County Supervisor and Senior Planner Corey Rice.

Rice told commissioners that staff believed the meatpacking plant was “an appropriate use for these groundwater rights”, explaining that the water should “be used”.

He also added that he was concerned that continued extensions would soon end for primary groundwater rights.

Some water rights have already been sold to a shooting range and motocross track, Rice added. He and Deputy County Manager Curtis Moore also suggested selling the water rights because “it would definitely be easier for all parties involved.”

Due to Nevada’s “use-it-or-lose-it” stipulations, Rice supported the sale of the groundwater rights with a clause to return the rights to Elko County within five years of the sale.

“If we sell the water rights to Devils Gate Ranch, we think we can put a clawback clause in there, say the meatpacking plant closes and something else doesn’t move in five years. “, Rice said. “Then those water rights can revert back to the county.”

However, commissioners Jon Karr and Rex Steninger said they were more in favor of leasing the water rights, while offering full support for the project.

“I don’t like getting rid of [the water rights]”, Karr said. “I think water is king. But I’m 100% for the project.

“I’m also in favor of a lease,” Steninger added. “We can’t let this pass.”

“I speak for the rest of the council: we’ll get you the water, one way or another. We just want to look at the options,” Steninger told Bowler.

Before approaching the county, Devils Gate Ranch purchased water rights in the Osino Basin, but later realized it was in the wrong basin and could not be transferred, explained Rice.

Bowler suggested swapping his purchase of water rights in the Osino Basin with Elko County, “if that could work out.”

Brough supported the rights sale, due to Bowler’s commitment to the project, which will be funded by the Ranch.

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Utah economy

Biden’s inflation plan filled with inaccuracies, distorted analysis and flawed solutions

[This article has been published in Restoring America to highlight how the Biden administration’s policies have worsened the inflation crisis.]

President Joe Biden’s “plan” to fight inflation inaccurately portrayed current economic conditions, misattributed blame for the current turmoil, and misdiagnosed the solution.

Here’s the first problem with his plan: The president obscured economic conditions early in his term – saying “the recovery has stalled and COVID is out of control.” In reality, the recovery was well underway in states fleeing demands for continued societal shutdowns.

The historic summer 2020 economic rebound proved that people who are knowledgeable about the real risks of the virus and the appropriate mitigation measures are enthusiastically participating in this reopening.

The Federal Reserve’s coincident state indexes — a proxy for states’ gross domestic product — vividly illustrate how the economic recovery varies from state to state. This index suggests that economic output at the end of 2020 was actually higher than before the pandemic in Utah, Missouri, Idaho, Nebraska, Alaska, South Dakota, Mississippi and Georgia – especially states without crushing and long-lasting shutdowns.

The economies of Hawaii, Michigan, Rhode Island and Massachusetts were all smaller by more than 10% and states like New York, Hawaii and Illinois remain mired in deep recessions.

At the end of 2020, El Centro, California had 18% unemployment and Los Angeles had 10.2% unemployment. Across New York City, draconian restrictions and an army of compliance officers have driven tens of thousands of businesses out of business, resulting in 8.8% unemployment at the end of 2020.

Meanwhile, unemployment in many communities in Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Utah saw unemployment at the end of 2020 at 3% or less. The statewide unemployment rate below 4% in Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah and Vermont contrasted sharply with rates at least twice as high in California, Hawaii, Nevada and in New York.

Overall, as of December 2020, the 10 states with the fewest restrictions in place averaged 4.7% unemployment, while the 10 states with the most restrictions averaged 7.1% unemployment.

After obscuring the progress of the ongoing recovery at the start of his presidency, the president grossly misrepresented current economic conditions – claiming a “position of strength”.

Biden boasts that “millions of Americans are getting better-paying jobs” and that “families have increased their savings and have less debt” since January 2021. But in the real world, prices are rising at the fastest rate since. over 40 years ago, gasoline just hit an all-time high and housing costs hit all-time highs adjusted for inflation.

For most Americans, the cost of living is rising faster than wages, leading to a very real decline in the standard of living for tens of millions of families. Consumers are spending their savings and increasingly relying on credit card debt to buy basic necessities. Actual average weekly earnings have fallen by $47 per week or $2,444 per year since Biden took office. For the average family with two working adults, this amounts to $4,888 per year per family in real lost income.

According to Biden, this labor market is the “strongest since post-World War II”. Millions of people are even refusing to look for a job, resulting in workforce participation significantly below already low pre-COVID-19 levels and forcing understaffed businesses to hobble while facing skyrocketing costs. The drop in participation compared to the pre-pandemic period represents more than 3 million people absent from the workforce.

Biden said a move to 150,000 new jobs per month rather than “current levels of 500,000 … will be a sign that we are successfully entering the next phase of recovery.” With population growth often exceeding 2 million people a year, Biden’s “slower but better” theme could mean a full recovery is forever elusive.

Then the president predicted a “transition” in which “growth will be different.” By different, he apparently means slower. Maybe someone should remind the president that the economy actually contracted in the first three months of this year. Economic growth hasn’t just slowed — it’s disappeared — a fact he even refused to acknowledge.

Just as flawed as Biden’s assessment of his own economy is his assessment of the economic legacy of his predecessors – saying that for decades before his presidency, the economy was one of “low growth, low wage gains.” and an economy that worked best for the wealthiest Americans.

In fact, real income (adjusted for inflation) over the past 40 years has increased for those at the bottom, middle and top of the income spectrum. Because of this overall increase in income, a middle class income in 1980 could be considered a lower middle income today. An upper middle class income in 1980 could only be called middle class today.

The Urban Institute has analyzed income data while holding real income and family size parameters constant since 1980. The proportion of those in the upper and upper middle class has doubled from less than 14% of the population in 1980 to more than 31% today.

Biden vowed to “take all practical steps to make things more affordable for families” – specifically addressing energy costs. He continues to attribute soaring fuel prices largely to the war in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia. But oil prices were skyrocketing long before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

Killing the Keystone XL pipeline, opposing other gas pipeline projects, blocking much exploration and drilling on federal lands, and targeting the extinction of fossil fuel companies threatens to cut off supply and energy security for decades to come.

Liberating our energy sector by ending the war on fossil fuels is the solution to the energy crisis. But rather than pausing his administration’s war on affordable fossil fuels, Biden called on Congress to pass “tax credits and clean energy investments.” This would divert limited resources to crony ventures, further increase energy costs, and necessitate even more loss-making spending.

Surprisingly, Biden bragged about the release of oil from the National Strategic Reserves – while ignoring that this six-month release represents just eight days of domestic oil consumption.

Although Biden acknowledged the “broken supply chains,” he ignored what caused them while proposing price controls on ocean freighters – a policy that could actually reduce the supply of ships and further worsen the problem. His Democratic allies in Congress, meanwhile, are seeking to change the definition of employee so companies can’t hire independent truckers to haul their goods through the PRO law.

To be clear: the main factor driving supply chain issues is the ill-advised COVID-19 restrictions globally. The erratic, unpredictable and arbitrary decisions of government bureaucrats have made even short-term planning nearly impossible.

National government policies are compounding global shipping problems, including California’s phase-out of older diesel trucks. Organized labor in California – with some of the least efficient ports in the world – is resisting modernization and has refused for months to fully extend its hours of operation to reduce the shipping backlog.

Long-standing government policies that limit how goods can be transported have exacerbated port delays. In particular, the Jones Act states that all goods shipped by sea between two points in the United States must be transported on a vessel built in the United States and flying the United States flag with a crew of at least 75% Americans, which could drive up shipping costs on average by 270%.

The president only touched briefly on the Fed, saying that “the Federal Reserve has the primary responsibility for controlling inflation.” Yet he did not acknowledge how the central bank fed him. As governments hampered the supply of goods and services in 2020 and 2021, a tsunami of Federal Reserve-funded government spending boosted future demand as households accumulated income from both wages and salaries. government COVID-19 relief checks.

The Feds continue to use the Fed’s printing presses, “selling” trillions of debt for newly “printed” money which then floods the economy, driving inflation while bribing resources and workers businesses that desperately need it. The Fed has more than doubled its balance sheet from just $4.2 trillion in March 2020 to nearly $9 trillion today, with M1 money supply nearly quintupling from $4.3 trillion to nearly $9 trillion. of $21 trillion. Politicians approved the spending trillions and bailouts while the Fed financed them.

And Biden demands even more.

Misguided COVID-19 restrictions combined with Fed-funded government borrowing and spending have sparked the economic turmoil, soaring inflation, and supply chain havoc that Americans are experiencing. The same politicians who accepted misguided COVID-19 shutdowns and irresponsible spending point to the Fed as the culprit, refusing to take responsibility for their role in the economic disaster.

This “plan” to fight inflation is in fact a plan for more misery: more public spending, more labor regulations, more attacks on energy production and massive increases in taxes on businesses. A full recovery – including functioning supply chains – requires a full reopening across the world, freeing up our fossil energy resources here at home, and ending the use of the central bank to fund deficit spending.

This piece originally appeared in the

Daily signal
and is reproduced by kind permission of the Heritage Foundation.

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Utah economy

California needs a recession |

Nowhere is better suited for highs than California, a place of miraculous growth and remarkable innovation. A backwater just a century ago, with a population of just over 3 million compared to nearly 40 million today, the Golden State has established pre-eminence in everything from agriculture and film to world travel. space and the Internet.

Yet in recent years, California’s lead has increasingly focused on one sector: technology. That has left the state deeply exposed to the recent decline in the stock market, which has a heavy focus on tech stocks, and the inhospitable near-term climate for start-ups, which once reliably filled state coffers. Easy Street is about to be much less so.

Even as state offices and their media megaphones brag about its nearly $100 billion surplus, California’s Office of the Legislative Analyst predicts the likely reappearance of budget deficits in the near future. Instead of crisis periods, we will likely see a repeat of the last recession, which ended in 2009. At the time, it took California five years to return incomes to pre-recession levels, period during which the government was forced to cut state programs by about $45 billion to make up for the deficit.

In many ways, California is even more vulnerable today. Governor Newsom and his public relations team may brag about the state’s economy “reviving strongly,” but California is entering a recessionary environment with the fourth-highest unemployment rate in the nation and the one of the slowest job recoveries in the country. Los Angeles and San Francisco, its two largest cities, are near the bottom of all metros in terms of job recovery.

This decline has its roots in the pre-pandemic era. For years, California has significantly underperformed its major rivals — Texas, Washington, Arizona and Utah — in construction, manufacturing, and professional and business services. Over the past decade, about 80% of all jobs created in California have paid below median income, creating an ever-expanding working class in low-end service industries.

During the boom of the rich, the state decided not to re-diversify its basic economy but to expand its welfare state. It may have been applauded by progressive publications, but the state is not a bottomless pit. California still suffers from the highest long-term debt of any state – $507 billion – and that will only increase with interest rates.

And yet, he seems unwilling to change course. Following his recall triumph, Newsom, along with the legislature, is determined to redouble their efforts to make California the model of a progressive future. Others, like University of California’s Laura Tyson and former Newsom adviser Lenny Mendonca, see the Golden State as the “way forward” for more enlightened “market capitalism.” But this reality is difficult to see on the ground.

Read the rest of this article on UnHerd.

Joël Kotkin is the author of The rise of neo-feudalism: a warning to the global middle class. He is Roger Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and Executive Director of the Urban Reform Institute. Learn more at and follow him on Twitter @joelkotkin.

Photo: Jay Galvin via Flickr from CC 2.0 license.

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Utah economy

In Colombia, a populist on the left and a populist on the right advance to the second round of June

Credit…Chelo Camacho/Reuters

Two anti-establishment candidates, Gustavo Petro, a leftist, and Rodolfo Hernández, a right-wing populist, won the top two spots in Colombia’s presidential election on Sunday, dealing a blow to the country’s dominant conservative political class.

The two men will face each other in a runoff election on June 19 that promises to be one of the biggest in the country’s history. At stake is the country’s economic model, its democratic integrity and the livelihoods of millions of people pushed into poverty during the pandemic.

The Petro-Hernández confrontation, said Daniel García-Peña, a Colombian political scientist, pits “change against change.”

Fifty-four percent of eligible voters turned out in the election, the same rate as in 2018, when Mr. Petro faced current president Iván Duque and a slate of other candidates.

The day was largely peaceful as millions of Colombians cast their ballots, despite growing unrest in parts of the country that have seen a resurgence of armed groups.

If Mr Petro wins the second round of elections next month, he will become Colombia’s first leftist president, a watershed moment for a nation that has long been ruled by a conservative establishment.

In his post-election speech at a hotel near central Bogotá, Mr. Petro stood next to his choice of vice-president and said Sunday’s results showed that the political project of the current president and his allies “was defeated”.

He then quickly issued warnings about Mr Hernández, portraying a vote for him as a dangerous step backwards and daring the electorate to take a chance on what he called a progressive project, “real change”.

His rise not only reflects a leftist shift across Latin America, but also an anti-incumbent fervor that has deepened as the pandemic has deepened poverty and inequality, intensifying the sense that the region’s economies are built primarily to serve the elite.

Petro has pledged to transform Colombia’s economic system, which he says fuels inequality, by expanding social programs, stopping oil exploration and shifting the country’s focus to agriculture and tourism. national industry.

Colombia has long been the United States’ strongest ally in the region, and Mr. Petro is calling for a reset of the relationship, including changes in the approach to the war on drugs and a reconsideration of a bilateral trade deal that could lead to a clash with Washington.

Mr Hernández, who was relatively unknown before starting to rise in the polls in the final days of the campaign, is pushing a populist anti-corruption platform but has sounded the alarm with his plan to declare a state of urgency to achieve its goals.

“Today the land of politics and corruption has lost,” Mr. Hernández wrote in a Facebook message to supporters after Sunday’s results. “Today the gangs that thought they could rule forever have lost.”

Many voters are fed up with rising prices, high unemployment, low wages, rising education costs and rising violence, and polls show that a clear majority of Colombians have a unfavorable opinion of Mr. Iván Duque, who is widely considered to be part of the conservative party. establishment.

The election comes as polls show growing distrust of the country’s institutions, including the country’s national registrar, an electoral body. The Registrar missed the initial tally in a March Congressional vote, raising concerns that losing candidates in the presidential vote could claim fraud.

The country is also experiencing a rise in violence, undermining the democratic process. The Election Observation Mission described this pre-election period as the most violent in 12 years.

Mr. Petro and his running mate, Francia Márquez, have both received death threats, leading to increased security, including bodyguards holding riot shields.

Despite these dangers, the election reinvigorated many Colombians who had long felt their voice was not represented at the highest levels of power, instilling a sense of hope in the election. That sense of optimism is partly inspired by Ms. Márquez, a former housekeeper and environmental activist who would be the country’s first black vice president if her ticket won.

His campaign has focused on fighting systemic injustice, and his most popular slogan, “vivir sabroso”, means, roughly, “to live richly and with dignity”.

The report was provided by Sofia Villamil, Megan Janetsky and Genevieve Glatsky in Bogotá.

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Utah economy

New Bedford announces $3.3 million for local businesses

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell today announced $3.3 million in funding that will support local businesses and entrepreneurs, as part of the city’s commitment to use a portion of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to help businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The funding will be split under two separate initiatives,” according to a press release. “NBForward!, which will provide funding to businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic, and NB100!, which will focus on helping start-up entrepreneurs impacted because of their industry or location.”

The funds will be administered by the New Bedford Economic Development Council.

“Entrepreneurs drive opportunity and growth in our economy. Positioning them for success will accelerate New Bedford’s exit from the pandemic,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “The New Bedford Economic Development Council has a proven track record of supporting small businesses, and these two new programs will leverage their experience and expertise.

“Connectivity is key to helping small businesses succeed throughout the business lifecycle,” said Anthony Sapienza, president of the New Bedford Economic Development Council. “From start to finish, the two NB100s! and NBForward! are designed to provide not only New Bedford businesses with much-needed financial support to emerge from the pandemic, but also the technical know-how needed to remain viable and vibrant for years to come. »

“No matter where someone is in their entrepreneurial journey – whether they’re a beginner or an established company – at New Bedford, we have a pathway available to them,” he said. declared.

NBForward! will offer at least 100 grants of up to $20,000, as well as assistance with things like business planning, resource tips and best practices, the statement said. Funds can be used for things like construction, renovation, rental or mortgage payments, utility payments, payroll, or insurance, among other options.

NB100! is designed to “promote entrepreneurship, build local wealth and strengthen community ties by helping 100 new businesses get started”, in collaboration with organizations such as EforAll, Groundwork, Co-Creative Center, New Bedford Ocean Cluster, UMass Dartmouth , Bristol Community College and Junior Achievement. Eligible small businesses that complete this technical support program could receive grants of $10,000 from the NBEDC.

This is now the seventh initiative to distribute the first half of the $64.7 million in federal COVID-19 relief that New Bedford City Council voted in March. More recently, Mayor Mitchell announced that $1.2 million would be given to New Bedford artists and organizations that support the arts.

Other announcements benefited from a program to upgrade business facades, housing, daycares, small businesses and $5 million to help renovate the Zeiteron Performing Arts Center.

WATCH: States with the most new small businesses per capita

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Utah economy

Concern about stagflation, a throwback to the 70s, begins to grow – ABC4 Utah

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stagflation. It was the dreaded “S-word” of the 1970s.

For Americans of a certain age, it conjures up memories of painfully long lines at gas stations, shuttered factories and President Gerald Ford’s much-derided “Whip Inflation Now” buttons.

Stagflation is the bitterest of economic pills: high inflation mixes with a weak labor market to produce a poisonous brew that punishes consumers and confuses economists.

For decades, most economists didn’t think such a nasty concoction was even possible. They had long assumed that inflation would only be high when the economy was strong and unemployment low.

But an unfortunate confluence of events has taken economists back to the disco days and the gloomy, high-inflation, high-unemployment economy of nearly half a century ago. Few people think stagflation is in sight. But as a longer-term threat, it can no longer be ruled out.

Last week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen invoked the word in remarks to reporters:

“The global economic outlook,” Yellen said, “is challenging and uncertain, and rising food and energy prices are having stagflationary effects, namely lower production and spending and higher l ‘inflation all over the world’.

On Thursday, the government estimated that the economy had contracted at an annual rate of 1.5% from January to March. But the decline was primarily due to two factors that do not reflect the underlying strength of the economy: a growing trade gap caused by Americans’ appetite for foreign goods and a slowdown in business inventory replenishment after a sharp accumulation during the holiday season.

For now, economists agree that the US economy has enough momentum to avoid a recession. But the problems are piling up. Supply chain bottlenecks and disruptions from Russia’s war on Ukraine have pushed consumer prices up at their fastest pace in decades.

The Federal Reserve and other central banks, blinded by runaway inflation, are scrambling to catch up by aggressively raising interest rates. They hope to cool growth enough to bring inflation under control without triggering a recession.

This is a notoriously difficult task. The widespread fear, reflected in falling stock prices, is that the Fed will eventually botch it and crush the economy without delivering a fatal blow to inflation.

This month, former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told the New York Times that “inflation is still too high but falling. So there should be a period over the next couple of years when growth is weak, unemployment is at least a little up, and inflation is still high.

And then Bernanke summed up his thoughts: “You could call it stagflation.”



There is no formal definition or specific statistical threshold.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, has his own rough guide: Stagflation arrives in the United States, he says, when the unemployment rate reaches at least 5% and consumer prices have jumped 5% or more compared to the previous year. The US unemployment rate is only 3.6%.

In the European Union, where unemployment is generally higher, Zandi’s threshold is different: 9% unemployment and 4% year-on-year inflation, he says, would combine to cause stagflation.

Until about 50 years ago, economists considered stagflation a near impossibility. They carved out something called the Phillips Curve, named after its creator, New Zealand economist AWH “Bill” Phillips (1914-1975). This theory held that inflation and unemployment move in different directions opposites.

It sounds like common sense: when the economy is weak and many people are out of work, companies find it hard to raise prices. Inflation should therefore remain low. Likewise, when the economy is warm enough for businesses to pass on large price increases to their customers, unemployment should stay quite low.

Somehow, the reality didn’t turn out that simple. What can turn things around is a supply shock – for example, a spike in the cost of raw materials that triggers inflation and leaves consumers with less money to spend on fueling the economy.

This is exactly what happened in the 1970s.

Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing countries imposed an oil embargo on the United States and other countries that supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Oil prices soared and remained high. The cost of living has become more unaffordable for many. The economy faltered.

Enter stagflation. Every year from 1974 to 1982, inflation and unemployment in the United States both exceeded 5%. The combination of the two figures, which has been called the “Misery Index”, peaked at 20.6 in 1980.

Stagflation, and particularly chronically high inflation, became a defining feature of the 1970s. Political figures struggled unsuccessfully to tackle the problem. President Richard Nixon resorted, unsuccessfully, to wage and price controls. The Ford administration has issued “Whip Inflation Now” buttons. The reaction was mostly contempt.


No. For now, the stagflation glass is only half full.

There is “flation” for sure: consumer prices rose 8.3% in April from a year earlier, just below the 41-year high reached the previous month.

Consumer prices are rising largely because the economy rebounded with unexpected strength from the brief but devastating pandemic recession. Factories, ports and freight stations have been overwhelmed trying to cope with an unexpected increase in customer orders. This resulted in delays, shortages and higher prices.

Critics also blame President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion March 2021 stimulus package for overheating an already hot economy. The war in Ukraine has made matters worse by disrupting energy and food trade and driving up prices.

But the “deer” has not yet arrived: even though the government announced on Thursday that economic output had fallen from January to March, the country’s job market continued to roar.

Every month over the past year, employers have added more than 400,000 jobs. At 3.6%, the unemployment rate is just a notch above 50-year lows. This week, the Fed reported that Americans are in good financial health: nearly eight in 10 adults said last fall that they were “doing well or living comfortably” – the highest proportion since the Fed began to ask the question in 2013.

However, the risks are piling up. The same goes for concerns about potential stagflation. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged this month that the central bank may not be able to achieve a soft landing and avoid a recession. He told US state media’s “Marketplace” he was worried about “factors beyond our control” – the war in Ukraine, a slowdown in China, the lingering pandemic.

At the same time, inflation has eroded Americans’ purchasing power: prices have risen faster than hourly wages for 13 consecutive months. And the country’s savings rate, which soared in 2020 and 2021 as Americans cashed government relief checks, has fallen below pre-pandemic levels.

Europe is even more vulnerable to stagflation. Energy prices there have skyrocketed since Russia invaded Ukraine. Unemployment in the 27 EU countries is already at 6.2%.


For four decades, the United States virtually banned inflation. In the early 1980s, Fed Chairman Paul Volcker had raised interest rates so high to fight inflation – 30-year mortgage rates were approaching the dizzying 19% in 1981 – that he caused consecutive recessions in 1980 and 1981-82. Yet Volcker achieved his goal: he succeeded in ridding the economy of high inflation. And he stayed away.

“The Fed has worked hard since the stagflation of the late 1970s and early 1980s,” Zandi said, “to keep inflation and inflation expectations closer to its target,” which is now d about 2%.

Other factors, including the rise of low-cost manufacturing in China and other developing countries, have limited the prices consumers and businesses pay.

The United States has seen periods of high unemployment – ​​it reached 10% after the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and 14.7% after the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020. Yet until last year , inflation had remained at bay. In fact, since 1990, the nation has not faced a year of Zandi’s standard 5% inflation and 5% unemployment.


AP Writer Fatima Hussein in Washington contributed to this report.

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Utah economy

Student sends bomb threat email to high school in Bayonne, NJ, cops say

BAYONNE — A 15-year-old has been charged after using another student’s account to issue an email bomb threat against Bayonne high school, the second threat to the school in a week.

Several staff members received the email late Sunday afternoon threatening to use the bomb on Tuesday and reported the threat to police. An investigation determined the true identity of the student who sent the threat within hours.

Bayonne Police Captain Eric Amato said the student had no intention of carrying out the threat.

The student was charged with terrorism threats and obstructing arrest. Amato did not reveal the identity of the student.

“The safety and security of all of our students, faculty, staff and our community remains our number one priority. Our policy of zero tolerance for unsafe behavior continues,” said the school superintendent of Bayonne, John Niesz, in a press release addressed to the school community.

A student was arrested at the gate by security on May 19 as he tried to enter the school with a water gun that looked like a real gun. Niesz said many toy guns look real, which can be confusing and shouldn’t be brought to school.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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Voting for the New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2022

These are the nominees for the New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2022. They come from all walks of life, spanning generations dating back to colonial times. The nominees span the categories of arts and humanities, business, performing arts and entertainment, public service and sports.

WATCH: States with the most new small businesses per capita

Municipal tax bill for every town and city in NJ, filed

Just under 30 cents of every $1 of property taxes collected in New Jersey supports municipal services provided by cities, townships, boroughs, and villages. Statewide, the average municipal tax bill alone in 2021 was $2,725, but that varied widely from over $13,000 in Tavistock to nothing in three townships. In addition to the $9.22 billion in taxes for municipal purposes, special tax districts that in some locations provide municipal services such as fire protection, garbage collection or economic development collected 323, $8 million in 2021.

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Utah economy

‘She’s Assignment’ Still Impacting NJ Women in Workforce: Report

Unlike other recessions, the downturn caused by COVID-19 has hit women harder than men economically.

And a new report from Rutgers suggests that women are struggling to regain their status in the workforce, and could continue to do so for some time.

Female unemployment, which peaked at 18.4% in April 2020, has exceeded that of men through the end of 2021, according to the Rutgers Center for Women and Work report.

Most of these women are back at work, but not necessarily back to normal – making significant sacrifices related to the way they work, usually due to childcare issues.

“It’s the part of the ‘She-cession’ that nobody talks about,” said Debra Lancaster, the Center’s executive director. “Thousands of women are sacrificing full-time jobs, higher wages, health insurance and other benefits for the ability to care for young children and aging parents.”

In the last six months of 2021, despite the return to in-person school instruction, 23.1% of families experienced childcare disruptions, according to the report. Women of color and those with low incomes have shouldered the greatest burdens.

At the end of 2021, 5.2% of women held multiple jobs, compared to 4.1% of men, the report notes. In 2018, 4.4% of men held more than one job, compared to 4.3% of women.

“We’re also seeing people cut back on their working hours or having to watch their kids while they work,” said Sarah Small, the report’s co-author and an economist at the Center. “The child care crisis has never gone away for many low-income families.”

The report also highlighted the gender pay gap among those in front-line positions and showed how policies such as federal stimulus payments and the child tax credit have helped families low income – those who received the payments – to afford the essentials in times of uncertainty.

The report makes a number of recommendations to improve conditions for women and their families in New Jersey, such as ensuring the longevity of the child tax credit, strengthening housing protections, improving access and affordability of child care and improving access to mental health services.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

Click here to contact an editor about a comment or correction for this story.

A glimpse of Alicia Keys’ mansion

WATCH: States with the most new small businesses per capita

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Utah economy

Aging infrastructure, drought bad recipe for water supply in the West

Communities across the West and across the country are harnessing more than 660 million reasons to bolster the integrity of water supply and distribution systems, especially in this time of relentless drought.

It is not enough to get Mother Nature to cooperate in an era of low snowfall, diminishing stream flow and shrinking reservoirs, but dams, aqueducts, water treatment plants and the canals must all be able to do their job to supply the available water, and many of them are getting so old that they are compromised.

“The funding is really helping us expand our capacity in different ways and they’re all helping us to directly address drought, for example,” said the Interior Ministry’s deputy secretary for water and science, Tanya Trujillo. , to the Deseret News in an exclusive. interview this week.

“We have funds to repair and modernize some of our aging infrastructure,” she said. “We also have funds for ecosystem restoration and making sure we take care of these issues.”

Alongside the six-month anniversary of President Joe Biden signing the bipartisan infrastructure bill, Trujillo updated the Deseret News on the funding progress made so far with the department and efforts to the agency to help deal with the severe drought in the West.

Trujillo offered the funding information and her perspective two days before the Desert News Elevate discussion she convened on growth and water in the West and what those pressure points might be.

The Department of the Interior recently announced $420 million in funding for rural water projects across the country through federal legislation and $240 million for aging infrastructure.

This is in addition to the 660 million reasons to correlate resilience in engineering systems that are approaching end of life, or quite frankly, are well beyond that point, or to pursue new projects that need to be put in place.

‘Dam’ important hydraulic infrastructure

These systems in Utah, operating at peak efficiency, can help get more water into Nevada’s Lake Powell and Lake Mead, providing more assurance than water delivery obligations under the Colorado River. Compact to downstream states are complied with.

Weber Basin Water Conservancy District Assistant General Manager Jon Parry speaks Friday, May 20, 2022 about a project to replace the Arthur V. Watkins Dam siphon pipes with a direct outflow pipe to provide fresh water from Willard Bay at a canal in Box Elder County.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

“We really need to think creatively and proactively about the response actions that we have available and we do that in collaboration and in partnership with the states in the Colorado River Basin and we coordinate closely with the tribes in the Colorado River Basin,” said said Trujillo. “We really try to encourage our partners to have the same spirit of creative and proactive thinking.”

She stressed that conservation, creative thinking and enhanced technology are integral to tackling water scarcity.

“We have to keep emphasizing that the water is not going to magically appear,” she said. “We have to be very careful how we use the existing resources we have.”

The money will also help wetlands and wildlife

The funding will also help other aquatic systems, including the Great Salt Lake, which hit a new all-time low last fall and is expected to drop even lower this year. Due to a combination of drought and diversions, the lake has shrunk to less than half its size and faces an incredibly perilous fate unless credible solutions are implemented.

This new Department of the Interior opportunity — more than $70 million for Utah’s aging infrastructure — includes financial assistance for the Arthur V. Watkins Earth Dam in northern Utah’s Willard Bay.

The $8.1 million awarded to the Weber Basin Water Conservation District will pay for siphon replacement to ensure more water reaches users who rely on the Willard Bay Freshwater Reservoir, such as industry, agriculture and the major wetlands along the Great Salt Lake which include the Harold Crane Waterfowl Management Area west of Ogden.

Jon Parry, the district’s assistant general manager, said replacing the siphon installed in the 1980s will help it meet its contracts to deliver inflows to key waterfowl areas that are an integral part of the annual contribution of 1 .32 billion from the Great Salt Lake to Utah. economy.

These other Utah projects are also being funded:

  • The Weber Basin Water Conservation District operates and maintains the Davis Aqueduct, part of Reclamation’s Weber Basin Project, which provides essential water supplies to towns and farms along the northern Wasatch Front . The $23 million Davis Aqueduct Parallel Pipeline installation will ensure the reliability and resilience of these water supplies in the event of natural disasters or other events.
  • The Uintah Water Conservation District operates the Vernal Unit of the Central Utah Project and will pipe the 12-mile Steinaker Service Canal to conserve water, reduce maintenance costs and protect against hazard channel failure. Federal funding is $14 million.
  • The Provo River Water Users Association operates the Deer Creek Dam in Wasatch County, which stores critical water supplies used by irrigators and municipalities in Utah and Salt Lake counties. The installation of a new water intake structure, aided by $25 million in federal funding, will ensure reliable water delivery through the Salt Lake Aqueduct.

It’s this little-known and seldom-seen water infrastructure that keeps water flowing to taps across the country — and one that’s especially critical for the rapidly drying West.

Trujillo noted that at the time of the conversation with the Desert News, the nation’s largest wildfire in his home state of New Mexico had charred hundreds of thousands of acres due to extremely hot conditions. and dry.

“I think this situation will continue in other western communities,” she said. “I really encourage Western state leaders and water system managers to educate the public and develop more efficient water systems because it is a vital resource that we must continue to protect. “

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Utah economy

It’s time to turn the corner on Nevada’s mental health crisis

May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States, and our state is certainly more aware than ever of the needs surrounding this public health issue. As Nevada emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and our political, business and community leaders launch efforts to strengthen our economy and train Nevadans for new jobs to secure a better future for themselves and their families. , our state’s recovery will not be complete until our neighbors, colleagues, friends and children fully recover from the mental health effects of the pandemic.

The American Academy of Pediatrics noted that “the worsening mental health crisis for children and adolescents is inextricably linked to the stress caused by COVID-19”, and “[…] the pandemic has undermined the security and stability of families. More than 140,000 children in the United States have lost a primary and/or secondary caregiver, with young people of color being disproportionately affected. With students now back in school, an unprecedented increase in violence against teachers, staff and among students in the Clark County School District is another reminder of the importance of mental health care for our young people. .

It is important to note that COVID-19 has not created a mental health crisis in Nevada. This made a dire situation even worse. Nevada has consistently ranked at the bottom of national mental health measures since at least 2015.

A recent publication of Brookings Mountain West and The Lincy Institute reported that Nevada ranked last (51st) between states and the District of Columbia to provide mental health professionals and services to adults and children, according to data from Mental Health America’s 2022 report, “The State of Mental Health in America.”

Identifying and treating mental health issues is difficult at the best of times. The chronic shortage of mental health and social work professionals in Nevada makes this challenge even more daunting. Nevada currently has only one mental health professional available for every 460 Nevada residents. For comparison, the neighboring Mountain West states of Colorado and Utah have a mental health professional to population ratio of 1 in 270 and 1 in 290, respectively.

In 2021, April Corbin Girnus of the Nevada Current reported that “Nevada should double the number of psychologists and psychiatrists to be considered average by national standards”. Further, she noted, “Other specialties are even scarcer: Nevada would need to quadruple the number of clinical professional counselors to reach the national average. The national average is 45.4 professional clinical advisers per 100,000 population. Nevada has 10.3 per 100,000.”

The data reveals an even more troubling story for the youth mental health landscape. A second report of Brookings Mountain West and The Lincy Institute found that Nevada had only one school psychologist available for every 1,866 students, with a recommended ratio of 500 to 1. The availability of school social workers is still lacking, with only one social worker available for 8,730 students. students; the recommended ratio of students to school social workers is 250 to 1. This means that Nevada’s school mental health staff currently operates with 26.8% of the recommended number of school psychologists and only 2.9% of the recommended number of school social workers.

While hospitals and health centers are still reeling from the impact of COVID-19, the importance of addressing mental health issues in our communities, businesses and schools falls on all of us. Failure to address mental health issues threatens the lives of our most vulnerable residents and places an increased burden on overcrowded hospitals, schools, prisons and mental health facilities.

Going forward, the influx of federal resources and state actions in response to the coronavirus pandemic can begin to address our mental health deficiencies.

In 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, CCDS spent $761,000 in relief dollars on a “platform to monitor data such as absences, behavior, and academic changes that may be a flag red…” for student mental health issues. During the 2021 legislative session, Nevada funded the Children’s Mobile Crisis Response Team ($600,000). Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is a co-sponsor of the Behavioral Health Crisis Services Expansion Act which proposes to expand mental health services in Nevada and nationwide.

In February, Sen. Jacky Rosen introduced the Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Act to provide direct financial assistance for mental health in K-12 school districts to stem the increase in suicides among young people. The bill is approved by the superintendents of Lyon County and the Clark County School District (CCSD). And in March, Nevada’s higher education system received $2.6 million in federal funds to support a system-wide mental health needs assessment.

Certainly, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) foresees a critical influx of dollars to begin this long road to recovery. As ARPA funds continue to be available and as state, county, and local governments determine allocations of these funds, the governor and state legislature should require full and transparent reporting of spending decisions.

The launch of a “Nevada Data Dashboard that transparently tracks how the state is spending U.S. federal bailout funds,” available at, is a big step in that direction. Another way for the public to monitor the government’s use of these funds is to recently launch Tracking Local Government ARPA Investmentsan “online resource that compiles information from local governments to offer a detailed picture of how major cities and counties (with populations of at least 250,000) are deploying ARPA funds. Another publication from Brookings Mountain West and The Lincy Institute explores ARPA Investment Tracker data for the Mountain West states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah. The report details spending in Henderson, Clark County and Washoe County totaling $37,400,000.

State regional economic development agencies should include mental health professionals among their priorities in workforce development plans.

Funding and transparency are key to solving Nevada’s mental health crisis. But allocating money to programs and services without considering workforce deficits can still challenge the state’s ability to turn the mental health corner. No amount of programmatic funding can solve this problem if there are not enough highly trained mental health professionals ready and able to implement services and interventions. As municipalities commit to allocating funds to mental health, policymakers cannot ignore that the mental health workforce pipeline is a critical aspect of this policy ecosystem, and strategic investments should seek to fill the pipeline appropriately.

Building a mental health workforce in Nevada will take time and money. With a shortage of 1,300 licensed educators in Clark County alone, not to mention thousands of displaced gaming and hospitality workers, the lack of mental health professionals can be relegated to a long list of local needs, county and state. Public health officials and advocates should identify critical needs across the state and propose pilot programs with targeted goals, backed by legislative mandates, for state and local governments, school districts and public agencies. appropriate. Equally important, we must ensure that mental health funding includes targeted strategic investments to help fill the mental health workforce pool with qualified professionals. State regional economic development agencies should include mental health professionals among their priorities in workforce development plans and report on efforts in this critical sector. They should also work with public and private sector partners to recruit and train employees and facilitate the certification of people moving to Nevada to work in mental health.

Cooperation among federal, state, county, and local governments is essential to maximizing the benefits of resources coming from Nevada. To maximize improvements, we need to include our existing mental health professionals in the conversation to ensure policy decisions are made in collaboration with those who know the issues most intimately. Whether through state and local offices, nonprofit organizations, hospitals and health care facilities, schools and universities, or other community outlets, leaders of Nevada must ensure that resources to improve mental health infrastructure and services reach those who need them most without delay.

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Utah economy

Cities where incomes have struggled to keep pace with inflation

Photo credit: Sebra / Shutterstock

The US economy is now a full year into a historic inflation run. Year-over-year price increases in the Consumer Price Index have exceeded 5% every month since May 2021, peaking at 8.5% in March. As the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates to cool the economy, supply chain challenges and strong consumer demand throughout the pandemic drove inflation to an all-time high level in four decades.

While countless headlines over the past year have evoked widespread worries about inflation, not all households experience rising prices in the same way. For example, homeowners who bought before the pandemic were spared the surge in housing prices, while remote workers were less sensitive to rising vehicle and gasoline costs. And amid a tight labor market and the Great Resignation, many workers saw their wage gains outpace the rate of inflation, but for those who didn’t, rising prices effectively gave them a pay cut.

Even before the current wave of inflation, many workers were already in a difficult position due to the relatively slow growth of wages relative to prices over the past decade. Average hourly earnings posted year-over-year growth of between 2% and 3% for most of the decade before the pandemic, lagging the rate of CPI growth at several points. And during this period, high earners – who may already be better equipped to withstand rising prices – have seen their wages rise much faster than low earners.

The pandemic and rising prices over the past year have changed that picture. At the start of the pandemic, year-over-year wage growth reached more than 7.5% and has remained around 5% for most of the past two years, almost double the growth rate of the previous decade. This was good news for workers initially, as wage growth far exceeded the rate of inflation. But with prices rising rapidly, the March 2022 data for year-over-year changes in the CPI exceed the year-over-year changes in hourly gains by 3 percentage points.

Changes in the cost of living have also affected workers differently by geography. More than two-thirds of states saw the cost of living decline relative to the national average in the decade before the pandemic. In contrast, coastal states like Washington, Oregon, and Massachusetts led the nation in cost of living increases over the same period.

But with wage growth in mind, the rising cost of living has not necessarily reduced the real income of the typical worker in more expensive states. Many states that have experienced faster growth in the cost of living, such as California and Colorado, have also experienced economic prosperity that has increased wages faster than in other parts of the country. The state whose workers may be the best off in recent years is Utah, which grew the nation’s fastest in real income per capita from 2010 to 2020 at 43.1% and recorded the seventh lowest change in the cost of living over this period. At the state and metro level, other places have struggled with the opposite problem: slower increases in income alongside faster increases in the cost of living. The states where incomes have grown the slowest over the past decade are Alaska, Connecticut, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

The data used in this analysis comes from the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis. Real personal income the tables. To determine where incomes have struggled to keep pace with inflation, researchers calculated the percentage change in real per capita income between 2010 and 2020, with lower values ​​ranked higher. high. All values ​​shown are adjusted for inflation in 2020 dollars. To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with a population of at least 100,000 have been included. Additionally, metros were grouped into cohorts based on population size.

Here are the US metro areas where incomes have struggled to keep pace with inflation.

Large metros where revenue has struggled to keep pace with inflation

Photo credit: f11photo / Shutterstock

15. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

  • Percentage change in per capita income (2010-2020): +22.7%
  • Total change in per capita income (2010-2020): +$10,888
  • Income per capita 2020: $58,828
  • Income per capita 2010: $47,940

Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

14. Memphis, TN-MS-AR

  • Percentage change in per capita income (2010-2020): +22.5%
  • Total change in per capita income (2010-2020): +$10,161
  • Income per capita 2020: $55,398
  • Income per capita 2010: $45,237

Photo credit: Travellaggio / Shutterstock

13. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

  • Percentage change in per capita income (2010-2020): +22.4%
  • Total change in per capita income (2010-2020): +$14,273
  • Income per capita 2020: $78,095
  • Income per capita 2010: $63,822

Photo credit: f11photo / Shutterstock

12. Kansas City, MO-KS

  • Percentage change in per capita income (2010-2020): +22.4%
  • Total change in per capita income (2010-2020): +$11,249
  • Income per capita 2020: $61,555
  • Income per capita 2010: $50,306

Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

11. Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI

  • Percentage change in per capita income (2010-2020): +21.6%
  • Total change in per capita income (2010-2020): +$11,232
  • Income per capita 2020: $63,321
  • Income per capita 2010: $52,089

Photo credit: Valiik30 / Shutterstock

10. Tulsa, okay

  • Percentage change in per capita income (2010-2020): +20.4%
  • Total change in per capita income (2010-2020): +$10,630
  • Income per capita 2020: $62,762
  • Income per capita 2010: $52,132

Photo credit: Alexandr Junek Imaging / Shutterstock

9. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC

  • Percentage change in per capita income (2010-2020): +19.8%
  • Total change in per capita income (2010-2020): +$9,210
  • Income per capita 2020: $55,652
  • Income per capita 2010: $46,442

Photo credit: f11photo / Shutterstock

8. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

  • Percentage change in per capita income (2010-2020): +19.7%
  • Total change in per capita income (2010-2020): +$10,464
  • Income per capita 2020: $63,531
  • Income per capita 2010: $53,067

Photo credit: Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock

7. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida

  • Percentage change in per capita income (2010-2020): +19.3%
  • Total change in per capita income (2010-2020): +$8,574
  • Income per capita 2020: $52,981
  • Income per capita 2010: $44,407

Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

6. New Orleans-Metairie, LA

  • Percentage change in per capita income (2010-2020): +17.9%
  • Total change in per capita income (2010-2020): +$9,105
  • Income per capita 2020: $60,012
  • Income per capita 2010: $50,908

Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

5. Oklahoma City, OK

  • Percentage change in per capita income (2010-2020): +16.6%
  • Total change in per capita income (2010-2020): +$8,014
  • Income per capita 2020: $56,419
  • Income per capita 2010: $48,405

Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

4. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

  • Percentage change in per capita income (2010-2020): +16.6%
  • Total change in per capita income (2010-2020): +$7,286
  • Income per capita 2020: $51,295
  • Income per capita 2010: $44,009

Photo credit: ESB Professional / Shutterstock

3. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

  • Percentage change in per capita income (2010-2020): +15.6%
  • Total change in per capita income (2010-2020): +$9,348
  • Income per capita 2020: $69,115
  • Income per capita 2010: $59,766

Photo credit: Sean_Pavone / Shutterstock

2. Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown, CT

  • Percentage change in per capita income (2010-2020): +14.9%
  • Total change in per capita income (2010-2020): +$8,523
  • Income per capita 2020: $65,724
  • Income per capita 2010: $57,201

Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

1. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

  • Percentage change in per capita income (2010-2020): +14.1%
  • Total change in per capita income (2010-2020): +$7,417
  • Income per capita 2020: $60,092
  • Income per capita 2010: $52,675

Detailed results and methodology

The data used in this analysis comes from the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis. Real personal income the tables. To determine where incomes have struggled to keep pace with inflation, the researchers calculated the percentage change in per capita income between 2010 and 2020, with lower values ​​ranked higher. In case of a tie, the place where the total change in per capita income over the same period was the lowest was ranked first. Note that all values ​​shown are adjusted for inflation in 2020 dollars. To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with a population of at least 100,000 have been included. Additionally, metros were grouped into cohorts based on population size: small (100,000 to 349,999), medium (350,000 to 999,999), and large (1,000,000 or more).

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Utah economy

200 years of Monroe Doctrine leave traces of American atrocities in Latin America

Cuban activists and supporters gather outside the Cuban Embassy during a rally for Cuban freedom on July 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. [Photo/Agencies]

MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and his Bolivian counterpart Luis Arce this week affirmed their refusal to attend the June 6-10 Summit of the Americas in the United States if the host insists on excluding Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Their position reflects regional opposition to the exclusion of these countries from the summit, but this is not the first time that the United States has tried to impose its will on the entire American continent, and it will not be the last.

In the nearly 200 years since the United States adopted the so-called Monroe Doctrine in 1823, American atrocities in Latin America have overshadowed bilateral relations.


The history of the development of the United States is also a history of Latin American resistance marked by blood and tears.

After its founding, which involved dispossessing North American Indians of their own land, the United States embarked on a policy of expansion against Mexico, its southern neighbor.

Through the war, the United States appropriated half of Mexico’s territory, including all or part of the current states of California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, of Colorado and Wyoming.

Mexico has lost significant mineral resources, which has had an impact on its economic development.

At the end of the 19th century, the United States launched another offensive, taking possession of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Sea through the Spanish-American War and occupying Cuba.

At the turn of the 20th century, frequent US military aggression in Latin America gradually brought the countries of the region into its sphere of influence.

In 1903, the United States forcibly rented Guantanamo, Cuba’s natural port in the Caribbean, turning it into the first American military base abroad. To date, Washington refuses to return it to Cuba.

In 1915, the United States sent troops to occupy Haiti under the guise of “protecting the diaspora” from local unrest. He will not retire until 1934.

The United States occupied the Dominican Republic from 1916 to 1924 to collect debts incurred by Dominican governments.

American troops invaded the island again in 1965, when the Dominican Republic’s civil war toppled the pro-American government and Washington sent some 40,000 troops to “restore order”.

In 1989, the United States sent elite troops to invade Panama under the guise of “protecting the lives and property of American citizens”, overthrowing the military government and attempting to gain permanent control of the Panama Canal.


In 1904, American writer O. Henry used his experience in Honduras to write his novel “Cabbages and Kings”, in which he exposed the ruthless plunder of American monopolies in Central America and the Caribbean, and coined the term “banana republic”, referring to countries under the control of American capital and whose economies depended invariably on a single crop, such as bananas.

In 1930, the United Fruit Company of the United States controlled approximately 1.4 million hectares of land in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama and more than 2,400 kilometers of railroads, as well as customs, telecommunications and other essential services of the countries.

In 1947 alone, American companies accounted for as much as 38% of gross domestic product (GDP) in Honduras, 22.7% in Guatemala, 16.5% in Costa Rica and 12.3% in Panama.

Exploited and plundered by the United States, these countries became its economic vassals as suppliers of raw materials and dumping grounds for American-made commodities, with economies far behind.

In addition, Washington has imposed and continues to impose indiscriminate sanctions and tariffs on several Latin American countries, further restricting the region’s economic development.

In 1962, the United States launched a trade embargo against Cuba that turned into an all-out blockade of the island nation, resulting in over US$150 billion in economic losses by mid-2021.

“The blockade is suffocating our economy, causing shortages, hampering development and is the greatest violation of Cubans’ rights,” said the island’s foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez.

Venezuela has also suffered the impact of more than 430 sanctions imposed since 2015 by the United States and its allies, with losses to its economy of more than US$130 billion.

The sanctions have caused a 99% drop in Venezuela’s revenue and have had a negative impact on all social and economic spheres, according to Venezuelan Foreign Minister Felix Plasencia.


At the beginning of the 21st century, as Latin American countries recovered from recurrent political and economic crises, their relations with Washington began to be characterized by contradictions and conflicts.

In 2011, the 33 countries of the region created the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the first regional organization in the Americas to drop the participation of the United States and Canada.

Faced with the continuous decline of its influence, the United States is forced to adjust its policy towards Latin America.

“The era of the Monroe Doctrine is over,” then Secretary of State John Kerry declared in 2013 at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS), announcing the dawn of a new era “of interests and common values” between the United States and the region.

But that doesn’t paint an accurate picture. The shadow of Uncle Sam still lurks behind many political developments in Latin America, said Adalberto Santana of the Center for Latin America and Caribbean Research at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Washington’s fingerprints are everywhere in the 2009 military coup in Honduras, the ousting of Fernando Lugo in Paraguay in 2012 and Dilma Rousseff in Brazil in 2016, the forced resignation of Evo Morales in Bolivia in 2019 and the ongoing political crisis in Venezuela.

In a speech to the US Senate in February, Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders acknowledged that the United States had undermined or overthrown governments in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“For the past 200 years, our country has operated under the Monroe Doctrine, based on the principle that as the dominant power in the Western Hemisphere, the United States has the right to intervene in any country that might threaten our so-called interests. Under this doctrine, we have undermined and overthrown at least a dozen governments,” Sanders said.

As recently as 2020, the United States named American hawk Mauricio Claver-Carone president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), ignoring the practice of always appointing a Latin American to the post because he wants exert more diplomatic pressure on countries. like Venezuela.

At the start of the COVID-19 epidemic in Latin America, the United States, then the global epicenter of the pandemic, summarily deported undocumented Central American migrants without the usual safeguards, increasing the risk of the disease spreading in countries with weak health systems.

Moreover, in response to reasonable requests for assistance from Latin American countries to fight the pandemic, the United States has chosen to ignore them, even to block its cooperation with countries outside the region, falsely alleging “debt traps” or “neocolonialism”, politicizing a health issue and forcing them to take sides to the detriment of their own development.

The United States, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said, fails to see that Latin America and the Caribbean has changed and that the Monroe Doctrine can no longer be reinstated.

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Utah economy

Cliff of Hunger: Pantries worry about continued inflation and recession

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Utah Food Bank President and CEO Ginette Bott said she knew many families faced at least 12 to 18 months of struggle to put food on the table.

As expected, demand in food pantries has increased during the pandemic, but now it shows no signs of slowing down thanks to steadily rising prices for food, housing and gasoline.

“The pandemic has really leveled the playing field, which means everyone has had challenges throughout,” Bott said. “Then, all of a sudden, inflation appeared. And so the same families that were struggling with COVID are still struggling now, hampered by inflation. It affects us all…but if you’re a family that’s been impacted by all of this because of COVID and you’re still trying to catch up, inflation has been horrible.

Bott said the Utah food bank saw nearly three times the usual demand at the busiest time of the pandemic, and even now it’s more than twice as busy as normal. At the same time, demand for food in pantries is on the rise, with frequent supply chain issues making some items – such as infant formula – harder for consumers to find.

“If the stores don’t have these kinds of items, it’s not something I can go out and find either. Just because we’re a food bank doesn’t mean we can get the things the store doesn’t have,” Bott said, adding that the Utah Food Bank is carefully monitoring shortages to prepare for what’s to come. could happen next. “Baby food and infant formula are things that we are very careful and very careful with because of expiry dates.”

Bill Tibbitts, deputy executive director of Crossroads Urban Center, a food pantry in Salt Lake City, said the organization tries to keep as much stock as possible because there’s nowhere else people can turn. .

“Usually we’re on the line,” he said. “When people come to see us, they have already used other options. … If we don’t have something, there’s no great place to refer people for things like formula.

The Utah Food Bank — which supplies more than 200 food pantries across the state — gets the majority of its food from large commercial donors or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. According to Bott, they’ve been spared the worst of the supply crisis — especially when it comes to necessities — thanks to Utah’s relatively strong supply chain.

Lately, the food bank has faced greater hurdles when it comes to finding the labor to sort and deliver food to pantries, as well as dealing with transportation costs.

“If this does not happen on time, and soon, it will be very difficult for us to maintain the level of service. We can have the product, but I won’t have the staff and I won’t have the fuel to keep these trucks on the road,” Bott said.

An unprecedented dilemma

Tibbitts, who has worked for Crossroads for two decades, said he had never seen such a request. Previous surges, he said, were usually driven by high unemployment rates, such as in the years following the 2008 recession. Now, despite the low unemployment rate, more and more Utahns are turn to food pantries because their wages cannot keep up with the price of goods.

“For the families we serve, the price of food is bad, but part of the reason it’s so bad is that rent is going up twice as fast as food,” he said. “(People) just get stretched in ways they couldn’t have anticipated. …Normally when we have 2% unemployment, the pantry slows down as people can get better paying jobs, but the cost of living, especially for tenant families, is rising faster than wages . It’s scary.”

“We didn’t see such a large increase when the unemployment rate was so low. Never,” he continued.

Tibbitts is more concerned about what’s yet to come, given that some of the few remaining COVID-19 assistance programs — including an expanded food stamp program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — could cancel benefits later this year.

When that happens, he said, “pantries across the country are expecting a big boost.”

“We’re seeing an increase now, but when that happens people nationally refer to it as a hunger cliff,” Tibbitts said. “That’s what worries us. Right now we are seeing an increase, but we are generally able to keep up with it. If things get worse, it will be quite difficult to keep enough food on the shelves. »

The country could be in even worse shape in the event of a true recession, he said, because even more Utahns could face food insecurity.

“I’m not used to seeing the economy so impacted,” Tibbitts said. “First the pandemic, and now a war in Europe. Hard to know what to predict. I prefer not to speculate, I don’t want to give the universe bad ideas.

“It’s not going away anytime soon”

While they understand that many families who could normally afford an excess are now struggling to meet basic needs, Bott and Tibbitts encouraged Utahns to help in any way they can.

“The one thing I think people should always remember is that in addition to food and money, your neighborhood food pantries also need your time,” Bott said. “Sometimes volunteer help is just as important as food or money.”

“For the foreseeable future, it looks like it’s only going to get worse,” Tibbitts said. “We are just so grateful to everyone who is volunteering because we need all the help we can get at this time.”

“It’s really a juggling act,” added Bott. “We’ve been doing this for 118 years, it’s not going away anytime soon.”

The United States Postal Service is participating in the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on Saturday, May 14. Letter carriers will deliver non-perishable food that residents leave in a bag or box near their mailbox before 9 a.m., and donations can be made to Utah Food Bank Warehouses or Harmons Grocers.

People facing food insecurity can call 211 for help finding the nearest food pantry or for help with food stamps and other programs.

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Utah economy

Inflation rate: US inflation drops slightly but gas and groceries remain up

Inflation in the United States slowed slightly in April, reaching an annual rate of 8.3%, according to a report from the United States Department of Labor published on Wednesday, although many categories of consumers, including basic necessities, recorded double-digit increases more than a year ago.

April’s average rate was lower than the 8.5% year-over-year rise in March, which was the highest rate since 1981.

While a drop in gasoline prices in April helped lower the headline inflation rate, prices at the pumps rose in May and, according to an AAA report on Wednesday, the average price per gallon of fuel ordinary in the United States was at an all-time high. high time of $4.40.

The Mountain West states, which include Utah, continued to have the highest regional inflation in the country, with average prices for goods and services rising 9.8% in April from 10.4% in March.

The Labor Department report noted that increases in the indexes for housing, food, airfare and new vehicles were the main contributors to the seasonally adjusted increase in all items. The food index rose 0.9% during the month, while the home food index rose 1%. The energy index fell in April after rising in recent months. The gasoline index fell 6.1% during the month, offsetting the increases in the natural gas and electricity indexes.

Grocery prices rose 10.8% from a year ago, gasoline prices rose an average of 43.6% from April 2021, and housing costs rose 5 .1% over the past year.

Prices for new and used vehicles also continue to climb, up 13.2% and 22.2%, respectively.

Beyond the financial strain on households, inflation poses a serious political problem for President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats in the midterm election season, with Republicans saying the 1 $.9 trillion from Biden last March overheated the economy, flooding it with stimulus checks, increased unemployment aid payments and child tax credits.

On Tuesday, Biden sought to seize the initiative and declared inflation “the No. 1 problem facing families today” and “my top national priority.”

Biden blamed chronic supply chain groans related to the rapid economic rebound from the pandemic, as well as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, for triggering inflation. He said his administration will help mitigate price hikes by reducing the government’s budget deficit and promoting competition in industries, like meatpacking, that are dominated by a few industry giants.

Yet further disruptions overseas or other unforeseen issues could still push US inflation to new highs. If the European Union decides, for example, to cut off Russian oil, gas prices in the United States will probably accelerate. COVID lockdowns in China are compounding supply issues and hurting growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

The unexpected persistence of high inflation prompted the Federal Reserve to embark on what could become its fastest series of interest rate hikes in 33 years. Last week, the Fed raised its benchmark short-term rate by half a point, its largest increase in two decades. And Powell signaled that more rate hikes just as steep are to come.

The Fed Powell is looking to accomplish the notoriously difficult – and risky – task of cooling the economy enough to slow inflation without causing a recession. Economists say such an outcome is possible but unlikely with such high inflation.

Since last summer, Utahns have registered growing concerns about sweeping price hikes on goods and services, sentiment tracked by a monthly poll conducted by Deseret News in partnership with the Hinckley Institute of Politics.

In a statewide poll conducted by Dan Jones & Associates March 9-21 of 804 registered Utah voters, an overwhelming majority of respondents, 93%, said they were very or somewhat worried about inflation, a number that matches what pollsters heard from Utahns in a February survey.

Survey participants also raised concerns that household incomes simply aren’t keeping up with rising costs, and most said they haven’t seen any significant increases in their paychecks in course of the past year.

While 38% of respondents said they had seen an increase in the past 12 months, 62% said their income had stayed the same, and 75% of respondents said their salary just wasn’t keeping up with inflation. .

The same March survey also asked Utah residents who they believe were responsible for the rise in inflation. While respondents were almost united in expressing their concerns about large-scale price increases, they gave more varied responses to the question of who is to blame.

It’s perhaps unsurprising that partisanship played a role in the March 9-21 poll of 804 registered voters. A plurality of respondents, 33%, pointed the finger at the Democratic Party when asked “who or what is to blame for inflation”.

Republicans fared much better, winning just 6% in the blame game, while the Federal Reserve was seen as slightly more responsible at 8%. U.S. corporate pricing and policies were the source of inflation for 17% of survey participants, and 23% believed rising costs could be attributed to the economic fallout from COVID-19.

The poll results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.45 percentage points.

Contributor: Associated press

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Utah economy

Gas Prices Have Soared in New Jersey: What’s Next?

The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in New Jersey is now $4.54, up more than 20 cents a gallon from a week ago and more than 40 cents a week ago. one month old.

According to industry analysts, gasoline prices continue to climb for several reasons.

When the pandemic started in March 2020, demand for oil plummeted and production was curtailed.

Demand has returned, but Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis for the Oil Price Information Service, said gas prices have risen because increasing oil production takes time.

Not enough refining capacity

The latest jumps are really on a lack of refining capacity, on top of some of the shutdowns you’ve had in the United States over the last few years,” he said.

Some companies are also hesitant to step up their oil production efforts as there is growing support for expanding green, solar and wind energy efforts, in particular, in the future.

He said refining output in Europe has also been cut and many countries are now promising not to use Russian oil anymore, so prices have risen.

Kloza said demand continues to be lower than it has been for years, but another reason prices have risen is an automated market system.

“The markets are broken, the people who are normally the market breakers, who keep prices from going higher are not there,” he said.

As a result, “you have a lot of artificial intelligence and black box trading and momentum and so on, it becomes disconnected.”

So what happens next?

Kloza expects prices to stabilize, at least for the next few weeks.

“Most of the increases you’ve seen recently have to do with the fact that it’s now summer gasoline that’s being traded everywhere,” he said.

“I expect the U.S. government to provide a federal tax holiday, so that will be an 18-cent drop when that happens.”

Wholesale gasoline prices traditionally peak in early to mid-May and can then drop a little.

David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ

David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ

“I think you’ll see prices flatten out, so summer is anyone’s guess. If we get Gulf Coast hurricanes, we might see $100 a barrel crude but $200 a barrel gasoline, and that’s one of the things that worries us,” Kloza said.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

Click here to contact an editor about a comment or correction for this story.

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Take a peek inside the late Betty White’s beautiful, peaceful home in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

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Utah economy

Who has the cheapest electricity rates in Texas?

The Russian invasion of Ukraine had a profound effect on energy prices around the world, but there were other factors at play when it came to electricity demand in the United States.

Take Texas, for example, where this weekend was pushing for record highs, about 15-20 degrees warmer than average for this time of year. “A warming trend will push temperatures well above normal with highs around 100 degrees possible,” the National Weather Service reported. What this does, clearly, is increase the demand for air conditioning which can potentially overload power lines, with the risk of causing a power outage when the safety circuit breakers trip.

That concern aside, the bigger picture for the summer months sees families looking for the cheapest prices.

At the time of writing, the average retail price for residential electricity in Texas is $0.12 per kilowatt hour (kWh). Comparison sites, however, can give you an edge and ensure you have some extra cash in your pocket after shopping. As Compare Power points out, “Choosing the wrong energy plan without knowing your home’s energy usage can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars.” Compare energy plans and electricity rates with your home’s electricity usage profile to find your best rate in Texas.

The website has a a regularly updated price list to meet your specific usage needs, along with an explanation of the different terms and plans that might work best for you. Just enter your postal code and see how to register.

Need electricity, the United States takes measures to cover electricity

U.S. officials on Tuesday announced unprecedented measures to raise water levels in Lake Powell, a man-made reservoir on the Colorado River that is so low it is endangering hydroelectric power generation in seven western states. Amid a prolonged drought exacerbated by climate change, the Bureau of Reclamation will release an additional 500,000 acre-feet (616.7 million cubic meters) of water this year from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir upstream at the Wyoming-Utah border which will flow into Lake Powell. An additional 480,000 acre-feet that would otherwise have been released downstream will be held back in the man-made lake on the Utah-Arizona border, officials said.

“We’ve never taken this step before in the Colorado River Basin, but the conditions we see today and the potential risk we see on the horizon demand that we take quick action,” Tanya Trujillo, Secretary Interior Ministry deputy for water and science, told reporters. One acre-foot, or 326,000 gallons (1.48 million liters), is enough water to supply one or two households for a year.

Lake Powell’s additional 980,000 acre-feet, formed when the Colorado River was dammed in northern Arizona in the 1960s, will help keep Glen Canyon Dam’s hydroelectric output in line, increasing the record low area of the 16-foot (4.88-meter) tank, the office said.

If Lake Powell, America’s second-largest reservoir, were to drop an additional 32 feet, the 1,320-megawatt plant would be unable to generate power for millions of people in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Nebraska. The western United States experienced the driest period on record in the past two decades. Some experts say the term drought is inappropriate because it suggests conditions will return to normal.

“We will never see these reservoirs fill again in our lifetimes,” said Denielle Perry, a professor in the School of Earth and Sustainability at Northern Arizona University.

The new measures will put more pressure on Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir, which is downstream of Lake Powell and also at an all-time high. Lake Mead, formed by the Hoover Dam in the 1930s and crucial to the water supply of 25 million people, has fell so low that a barrel containing human remains, believed to date from the 1980s, was found on the receding shore on Sunday.

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Utah economy

Guest Comment: Affordable Housing — We Need to Do More | News, Sports, Jobs

Utah’s housing market is currently suffering from a severe imbalance of record price spikes and an unprecedented shortage of housing units. The housing crisis is particularly acute for renters, where available apartments are hard to come by. For tenants who are lucky enough to find rental accommodation, they can anticipate regular and substantial rent increases.

Tenants in general, and particularly the lowest income tenants, have borne the brunt of the economic impact resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the biggest challenges for low-income individuals and families is the shortage of affordable housing. Nationally, 24% of renters spend more than half their income on rent, leaving very little money for necessary expenses like transportation, food and medical care.

There is a massive shortage of affordable housing in Utah. According to the State’s Affordable Housing Report, released in 2020, there is currently a shortage of 40,725 affordable housing units in Utah. In March 2020, the National Low Income Housing Coalition estimated that Utah had only 31 affordable housing units for every 100 very low-income renter households.

The term “affordable housing” can be a misnomer for many people. At first glance, some think the dilapidated, downtown, concrete, bunker-like “projects” are affordable housing. These same people might be surprised to learn that the American Institute of Architects annually awards design prizes for cutting-edge affordable housing projects. Likewise, the data supports the fact that affordable housing does not negatively impact the value of surrounding homes.

The term “affordable housing” covers a wide range of household and individual incomes. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a “very low income” is a four-person household whose income is less than 50% of the area’s median family income. In Weber County, for example, this would equal $35,637 in annual gross income for an individual. To put that number into perspective, starting salaries for teachers in Weber County aren’t much higher.

The LIHTC (Low-Income Housing Tax Credit) program is the most important resource for creating affordable housing in the United States today. Created by the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the LIHTC program provides state and local LIHTC awarding agencies the equivalent of approximately $8 billion in annual budget authority to issue tax credits for the acquisition, rehabilitation or construction of rental housing for low-income people. households.

Besides the altruistic benefits of LIHTC, the economic and fiscal benefits of this affordable housing program are enormous. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the LIHTC program has generated $310 billion in local revenue and $122 billion in tax revenue and supported approximately 3.25 million jobs over the past 30 years. In Utah, the economic impact generated by affordable housing is equally impressive.

Our development team has just completed a 105-unit affordable housing project in Ogden, dedicated to people aged 62 and over. The development of this project has supported 187 jobs, created an economic impact of $34,168,631 on the state and local economy, and is expected to have an annual impact of $1,400,000 on local tax revenue. More importantly, the demand from potential tenants has been amazing. Most Weber County affordable housing projects have a two to three year waiting list for potential tenants, and very few affordable housing projects are seniors only.

The private sector, community leaders, elected officials and city staff must do more to meet the unprecedented demand for affordable housing in Utah. Zoning restrictions, expensive permits and fees, and general attitudes about affordable housing need to be reviewed. If we want our teachers, police, firefighters, college graduates, and seniors to have safe, clean, and affordable housing, we all need to prioritize how best to achieve that goal.

Bill Knowlton is a fourth generation real estate professional in Utah. He is a real estate lawyer and developer, with a focus on affordable housing.


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Utah economy

2nd Utah Starbucks employees announce plans to unionize

Employees at a second Starbucks store in Utah announced plans to unionize on Monday morning, adding the store to a list of stores in the giant coffee chain trying to do so. (Associated Press)

Estimated reading time: 6-7 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — As Kat Howard watched several Starbucks stores in Buffalo, New York, unionize and become the first workers at the giant coffeehouse chain to do so, it seemed like a remote possibility for any Starbucks store in the city. ‘Utah.

But what seemed like a distant move came suddenly on March 31 when workers at the Starbucks store in Cottonwood Heights announced their intention to unionize. The announcement was one of many labor movements sweeping the United States — but for Utah service workers, it signaled a change.

“We were a little shy to try in Utah, just because of the conservative environment, but once the Cottonwood Heights store unionized, we decided it was time to organize our store,” said said Luke Laro, barista at Starbucks on 400 East and 400 South in Salt Lake City.

“I really think that was just a catalyst for us,” Howard added.

A large majority of employees signed union permission cards in support of the effort, in a 25-to-1 vote. The store’s intention to unionize was announced Monday with a letter to Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, signed by employees.

“We were on the front lines every day of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the employee letter read. “We put our health and maybe even our lives on the line for a company that, quite frankly, didn’t care. We weren’t properly briefed on exhibits and were rushed to work in order to maximize profits instead of aiming to keep everyone safe Starbucks used this stressful time to its advantage and played the role of a socially conscious company, while exploiting its employees and sending mixed signals about what they really cared about.

Among complaints of operation during the COVID-19 pandemic, baristas cited the need for better wages, more stable hours, and access to better health care.

“We believe that the current system of corporate executives changing our policies and benefits lacks partner representation. We believe we have valuable input and we want our voices heard and we believe we must,” Laro said.

Howard and Laro both pointed to an increase in profits, but said only the company’s senior executives see the benefits. An executive-level employee received a 60% increase in his base salary from $500,000 to $800,000 in 2021 after a promotion, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission financial filing.

“I need a salary that can help me fund my college education and keep me afloat in this economy with all this inflation. I think the fact that they didn’t give us a raise – our salary is $12 an hour in downtown Salt Lake City – is incredibly unfair. It’s basically poverty wages,” Laro said. “Personally, I want a higher wage so I can pay rent , grocery shopping and funding my education.”

As Starbucks stores across the United States have begun to attempt to unionize, the company said it is “listening and learning from partners in these stores.”

The history of unionization – and what’s to come

Views on the legality and membership of unions have changed along with labor practices over the centuries. Unions date back to the early 1800s and around the 1870s, particularly in Utah.

“Originally, unions were considered a criminal conspiracy and it was illegal to join a union,” said Peter Philips, professor of labor economics at the University of Utah.

Times began to change during the Great Depression, with unemployment reaching 25%.

“It caused considerable labor unrest because the employers at the time, because they felt pressured by falling prices, lowered wages, and when they lowered wages, that meant that for the 3 out of 4 workers who still had a job, their jobs were paying them less and less,” Philips said.

The unrest led to the passage of the National Labor Relations Act, which encouraged employers and employees to engage in collective bargaining. This law became the fundamental law that governs unions and employers and the negotiations between them that we still see today.

Unions and strikes have had their ups and downs, and so has the economy over the years. Recent economic events have created a catalyst for the current rise in unionization.

“After the downturn of the Great Recession, workers, especially in the service sector, began to feel that they could not do their jobs and live off them and so what we are seeing now, especially in a period of very low unemployment, is an upsurge in unionization,” Philips said.

Union membership is steadily declining. Union membership was once common with 1 in 3 workers belonging to a union – now that number is 1 in 12.

But membership could see an uptick as labor unrest amid increased inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic boiled over. While social unrest didn’t start with the coronavirus, the pandemic has shed light on growing worker frustration.

“Membership numbers are not only low, but have been declining for decades,” Philips said. “Now that might change. And one of the reasons that might change is because you can only push people so far.”

Employees at the Salt Lake City store remain optimistic.

“I feel like working class struggle, organizing is something that even people on both sides of the political spectrum can sometimes agree on,” Howard said. “It’s important to let people know that it’s okay to realize that you deserve more. You deserve to be treated better than you are. And it’s okay to express that.”

What challenges do employees and the company face?

The road to unionization is not easy. Philips highlighted some challenges that employees might face in their attempt:

1. Representative election organized by the National Labor Relations Council

The election may be difficult to win for several reasons, Philips said. These reasons include access to workers when employers may not allow election campaigning in the workplace or may punish those who promote unionization. Although it is illegal to punish those who promote unionization, it still happens.

“Even if in the long run that person appeals to the National Labor Relations Board (who) say they were fired for a pretext and they are actually fired for encouraging a union campaign – that often happens though too late when the union campaign has run out of steam or become discouraged,” said Philips.

2. High turnover in the service sector

“There is high turnover in service sector jobs and if you have a union campaign that, say, lasts six months, the people you talk to at the start of that campaign may not yet be employed by the employer. at the end of this campaign,” Philips said. “The voting population is that which is employed at the time the National Labor Relations Board holds an election.”

Even if the election is successful on behalf of the union, it can be difficult to get a contract.

All things considered, the nature of Starbucks as a company can help workers when they try to unionize.

“These are national companies and they have to worry about their reputation, not just in Salt Lake City, but in New York. Not just in Utah, but in Washington State and, therefore, they are not going to not ride the anti-union movement quite as hard as perhaps a local business that strongly embraces local conservatism,” Philips said.

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Ashley Fredde is a reporter at covering arts, culture and entertainment news, as well as social services, minority communities and women’s issues. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism.

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Utah economy

Salt Lake County is the future of travel

Sponsored: National Travel & Tourism Week 2022 (May 1-7) shines a light on the collective strength of the travel industry in the United States.

(Austen Diamond Photography) | Summer in Cottonwood Canyon.

Visit Salt Lake is responsible for promoting Salt Lake as a convention and travel destination. We are passionate about our county and our work to tell travelers why they should come. One of our main missions is to stimulate demand for overnight stays with our accommodation partners by inviting visitors to become part of our community. It’s an easy task when we’re excited about the endless amenities Salt Lake County has to offer.

Celebrated each year during the first week of May, this year’s National Travel & Tourism Week (NTTW) gives us more reason than ever to celebrate the collective strength and bright future of the travel industry and of Utah Tourism. For the 39th annual NTTW, we are encouraging the future of travel, just as we do for all athletes and Olympians who come to stay and play in Salt Lake County.

(Austen Diamond Photography) | Mountain biking at Cottonwood Canyon.

Before the pandemic in 2019, Salt Lake County’s travel industry was a powerful economic engine, supporting jobs and boosting local economies in every neighborhood. The trips generated $4.62 billion in economic output and supported 48,000 jobs in the county.

“Despite the upheaval and unpredictability of the past two years, Visit Salt Lake is planning for a future that will strengthen Salt Lake County’s tourism industry and economy,” said Kaitlin Eskelson, President and CEO of Visit. Salt Lake. 2021, we launched a new ‘West of Conventional’ brand initiative, invested in helping our hospitality businesses rebuild their workforces with the launch of the Hospitality Career Portal on our website and supported our local economies with increased demand for groups overnight for sporting events, meetings and conferences – including the return of outdoor retailers to Salt Lake County in 2023.”

As part of our new “West of Conventional” brand, we are working diligently to build a stronger, more resilient and more relevant visitor economy…for everyone. Here, where traditional perspectives mingle with progressive ideas, the Salt Lake County hospitality industry is exploring opportunities to strengthen the hospitality workforce to serve our residents and visitors. Hospitality professionals also work to ensure the prosperity of our communities and our outdoor recreation facilities, introducing new innovations to support our “bit wild, bit sedentary” way of life, while reconnecting with visitors from around the world for years to come.

While the industry has been hit hard by the challenges of the past two years, we are recovering and positioning our industry for growth and resilience. There is great optimism among travelers to get back on the road and we want Salt Lake County’s urban core and spacious mountains to be a retreat for all.

(Austen Diamond Photography) | Photography in action at the Great Salt Lake.

Natural resources and landscaping bring visitors to our beautiful state. As proud as we are of our state and national monuments down south, here in Salt Lake County, we’d be remiss not to recognize our beautiful outdoor playground that the Wasatch Front affords us. From our snowy winters rivaled by sunny, trail-lined summers, Salt Lake County’s travel and tourism industry contributes so much to our local economy and community spirit.

“Visitors who contribute to Salt Lake County’s overnight economy contribute to Transient Room Tax revenue, which, in part, supports the Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant. The Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant was established in 2017, hosted by the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation established in 2013, the first such office in the nation. The grant program is dedicated to funding projects aimed at improving outdoor recreation related to the visitor economy,” said Natalie Randall, Utah Tourism Industry Association. “In 2021, Visitors helped fund projects worth more than $950,000 in Salt Lake County for the enjoyment of residents and visitors. Projects include Jordan River Parkway – Millcreek Extension, Parleys Trail – 900 West to Jordan River Parkway Trail, Juniper Canyon Recreation Area Phase One, Wasatch Boulevard Shared Trail and nature park, non-motorized regional trails in Yellow Fork and Butterfield Canyons, California Avenue Rowing Center, the Rose Park Pump Track, and more.

Proud of the positive impact our visitor economy has had on Salt Lake County, Visit Salt Lake and our active tourism partners use NTTW to recognize the contributions of Salt Lake County’s travel industry and how we will evolve into a more dynamic, innovative, sustainable environment, and an inclusive future.

We have before us a historic opportunity to redesign the industry to be bigger than ever. From all of us at Visit Salt Lake, we are excited for all the exciting things to come for Salt Lake County and Utah’s travel industry.

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Utah economy

Teachers Need Extra Thanks This Teacher Appreciation Week | Opinion

Since 1984, the first full week of May has been known as Teacher Appreciation Week. Recently, and rightly so, the staff who support our teachers and students have been included. I propose that appreciation doesn’t just happen for a week in the spring, but all year round, and that it extends to everyone who works in Utah’s public schools.

One of the great blessings of serving as State Superintendent of Public Instruction is the ability to visit schools across the state and observe the hard work and dedication of adults serving our children. . From Navajo Mountain in the San Juan District to Flaming Gorge in Daggett and Snowville Elementary in Box Elder, I have observed educators and staff in every corner of this state caring about student well-being and education.

My visits are an opportunity to meet teachers and staff who are passionate about their work and eager to see their students succeed. The best data on the impact of caring adults comes from conversations with students themselves. Without fail, students share real-life examples of how the adults in their school have had a positive impact on their education and well-being.

When schools closed in-person learning at the end of the 2020 school year, we saw our entire system pivot to online and remote learning. All adults in the system have worked together to bring materials, technology, meals and mental health support to homes to help families learn from home.

No preparedness or professional development programs have prepared our schools for a pandemic. Yet, as usual, our educators and staff have found creative ways to support students academically, socially and emotionally. Due to the impact of home learning on most students and families, our state has committed to reopening schools for the 2021-22 school year. Once again, our educators and staff have stepped up to take on additional roles to ensure students can learn in person. Although the year has been stressful and less than ideal, the fact that most of our students are learning in person has helped give families and students a greater sense of normalcy and has helped our economy stay strong.

Despite these heroic actions, this school year has been even more difficult for many of our teachers. In an attempt to be more involved and aware, some parents, experts and politicians have challenged the intentions of our great teachers. This negative message, along with our teachers spending many overtime hours ensuring their students are prepared to succeed and lead, has contributed to a system of educators and staff who feel burnt out and underappreciated. . Many teachers told me that they felt like they had gone from “hero to zero” in the eyes of the public, while remaining unwavering in their dedication.

Teachers are called upon to do a lot. They must be masters of the subject. They must be pedagogical experts to impart this knowledge to their students in a way that students – and every child – can understand. They need to unzip the student data to see where to start each year with a new group of students and where problems arise with that year’s class. They must keep abreast of the latest technological innovations and prepare their students for the digital world we live in. They must master an increasingly complex legal context that surrounds the world of education.

These tasks are important. They are the cogs in the education system. But the heart and soul of education comes from the care teachers and staff give to their students. Teachers understand that parents are the first and principal teachers of their children. They also understand that as educators they play a supportive role in helping students become their best selves.

They fulfill this role not only by mastering the subject matter they teach, but also by remaining aware of the societal issues so often reflected in today’s classrooms. Teachers see these problems reflected in the faces of their students: a kindergarten whose mother is terminally ill; a sixth-grader who has just been prejudiced for the first time; a ninth grader who comes to school in tattered clothes and has no idea where he will sleep tonight.

Teachers and staff strive to mitigate these tragedies while focusing on the triumphs of what students know and are able to do. They can see the light come on in a child’s eyes when they fluently read their first sentence, overcome a difficult math problem, weld a perfect bead, perform a piece of music perfectly, or understand a difficult passage from a work of poetry. Teachers and staff savor these moments of success and show up every day hoping and working for the success of every student.

So for the first week of May, at the very least, I invite you to join me in celebrating Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week. Let your child’s teacher know that you appreciate them. Thank those who work in support roles in our schools. Even if it’s been a while since you’ve been a student, let one of your childhood teachers know that you still appreciate them.

Better yet, let’s show our appreciation to our teachers and those who work alongside them by striving to be true partners in public education on behalf of every student. Although we can improve, working together from an appreciation perspective is essential. Our economic success, our civic engagement and our societal well-being depend on it.

Sydnee Dickson is the state Superintendent of Public Instruction and has held the position since June 2016.

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Utah economy

WSU students will gain hands-on work experience at Hill Air Force Base

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (ABC4) – Hill Air Force Base and Weber State University (WSU) are one step closer to increasing education and employment opportunities in Northern Utah. On Thursday, the two organizations signed a formal agreement that will give WSU more access to the base. The agreement aims to ensure that the base always has properly trained employees. It also aims to help graduates get high-tech jobs close to home.

“We need to have the manpower to do this work, to scale and to take it to the next level,” WSU President Dr. Brad Mortensen told ABC4. “That’s why these types of partnerships will really open up these opportunities for our students.”

Alphonso Thomas is the Director of Engineering and Technical Management for the US Air Force Support Center. He and Dr. Mortensen signed the agreement cementing the working relationship between the two organizations.

During the signing ceremony, Thomas said the nation’s security depends on air power, and air power is what Hill Air Force Base delivers.

To continue to deliver airpower to the United States, the technology and base must keep pace and evolve to become even more advanced.

Mr. Thomas said that to do this, the base needs well-trained personnel. It also needs a sufficient number of these employees to meet its needs. He said that was part of the reason this deal was important.

Essentially, the deal opens up the base at the university. Dr. Mortensen explained that it gives students “access to solve real, pressing and interesting problems that help create the security and freedom we all enjoy”.

The partnership also aims to improve the local economy. Not only by creating additional jobs as technology evolves on base, but by keeping graduates close to home. “We really hope that we can ensure that more students from our Weber State get high-tech, high-paying jobs here in northern Utah and in the aerospace defense industry,” said Dr. Mortensen.

The partnership will also allow military men and women to continue their education while stationed at the base.

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Utah economy

Biden’s broken climate promise? – High Country News – Know the West

The administration takes over oil and gas leasing – and fixes a dysfunctional system in the process.

In mid-April, the Biden administration complied with a 2021 court order and restarted the federal oil and gas leasing program, ending a nearly 15-month moratorium. But don’t expect a return to the rental program of yesteryear; instead, as Interior Secretary Deb Haaland pointed out in a statement, it is being redesigned to be better, stronger and less industry-friendly. When considering land to be auctioned, Haaland said, the department plans to consult with tribes and “the best science available.” And royalty rates will be increased by 50%.

Pumpjacks in the Uintah Basin, Utah. The Biden administration recently restarted the federal oil and gas leasing program. During the 15-month moratorium, the Home Office completed its review of the scheme.

RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Yet the response from climate advocates and environmentalists holding ground has been swift and harsh: President Joe Biden, they said, had reneged on his campaign promise to fight climate change and ban all new development. oil and gas on public markets. lands. WildEarth Guardians climate and energy program director Jeremy Nichols put it bluntly, saying the administration was guilty of “climate denial” and “in bed with the oil and gas industry.”

It’s one way of looking at the Biden movement. But it’s not the only one. Simply put, the administration reversed a largely ineffective moratorium that was never intended to be permanent. In doing so, however, he quietly carried out much-needed repairs to a faulty system in a way that, if acted upon, could bring about significant change on the ground.

In January 2021, just days into his first term, Biden announced he would end quarterly oil and gas lease sales “pending the completion of a comprehensive review and re-examination of federal practices in oil and gas permits and leases”. In other words, he promised to delay issuing new leases while the Home Office figures out how to reform a clearly dysfunctional system.

Environmentalists applauded the move, with some going so far as to say it would keep hundreds of billions of tons of greenhouse gases in the ground. Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry, many oil-state Republicans and a few Democrats, were outraged. Ryan Flynn, President of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association called the moratorium “a blockade around New Mexicoof the economy”, and predicted that “unemployment will rise, state revenues will fall and our economy will come to a standstill”. Both reactions were exaggerated. Biden never intended to completely ban oil and gas drilling, and the industry did not collapse.

Here’s what really happened during the moratorium: The Biden administration continued to issue drilling permits — 3,557 of them, including 1,941 in New Mexico, which produced record levels of oil, making it the nation’s second largest producer after Texas; and oil and gas producers generated more than $5 billion in tax revenue, an all-time high, giving state lawmakers a huge budget surplus. (They even gave teachers raises.) There are now 30 more active rigs than at the start of the break, as well as about 1,500 additional jobs. And methane emissions continued to rise, while the burning of all these petroleum products released billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere.

In other words, the rental break had virtually no effect on the pitch. It’s not because the location doesn’t matter; It does. A company must lease the land before it can apply for a drilling permit to develop it. But the companies already have about 26 million acres of public land under lease, about half of which is not in production. This means they could have continued to develop land at a rapid pace for years without acquiring new leases.

The rental break had virtually no effect on the pitch.

Either way, the industry and a handful of oil and gas states have taken legal action. And last June, a federal judge appointed by Trump ordered the administration to lift the moratorium. In August he agreed to comply, although he is also appealing, and in November he published a list of plots for rent. But before the sales could go ahead, a pair of conflicting court rulings over the social cost of measuring carbon took the leasing away. disabled the table, then set it go back on again. (It is complicated.)

An RV park housing many oilfield workers in Carlsbad, New Mexico. During the moratorium, the administration issued 3,557 drilling permits, including 1,941 in New Mexico. There are now 30 more active rigs than at the start of the break, along with around 1,500 additional jobs.

Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images

While all of this was unfolding, the Home Office completed its review of the program and, last November, published his findings: The century-old system of oil and gas leases favors industry profit at the expense of conservation and multiple use, and it has failed to provide a fair return to US taxpayers. The report recommended increasing fees, royalty rates and minimum rental offers to modernize and rebalance the program. Even though the environmental community had been saying similar things for years, the report was widely castigated for failing to tackle climate change and for not having a plan to implement the reforms.

But the administration has a plan, as was made clear when the lease resumed, and that plan somehow addresses climate change. Originally, 733,000 acres were nominated for the June sale, but the Bureau of Land Management will only put 144,000 on the auction block – an 80% reduction, and something Interior is proud of. In Montana, half a dozen plots were grubbed up because they overlapped pronghorn migratory corridors, while 97% of Colorado plots considered were postponed to protect sage-grouse habitat. More than 360,000 nominated acres have been held up in Wyoming, and even more western parcels could be taken off the table after the protest period.

This marks a sharp break from the past, when the BLM auctioned off nearly every designated parcel at rock bottom prices, regardless of protests or tribal consultation. Jade Begay (Diné and Tesuque Pueblo of New Mexico), the Climate Justice Director of the NDN Collective, tweeted that the acreage reduction and Haaland’s promise to better integrate tribal contributions marked a “huge victory for the peoples indigenous and western communities who have been affected”. by climate change.

The minimum bid for plots remains at $2 an acre, in defiance of the administration’s own recommendations. Yet if and when sold leases are drilled, companies will have to pay 18.75% on the value of the oil and gas, far more than the 12.5% ​​that has been in place since 1920, when Congress passed the Omnibus Act. mining leases.

“I’m glad we finally have an administration that recognizes that the status quo for our oil and gas leasing program is a rip off for the American people,” Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona, said in a statement. “If we’re going to let the fossil fuel industry pocket more of our public land for drilling, we should at least make sure they pay a decent price to do it.” The Center for Western Priorities reiterated that sentiment, calling the reforms “good news”, although the WildEarth Guardians’ Nichols responded by castigating: “ASHAMED”.

A recent study found that around a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions in the country come from fossil fuels mined from public lands – a good reason to “keep it in the ground”. Still, it’s unclear whether Biden has the legal authority to ban development outright; so far, even the ineffectual pause has failed to stand up in court. The authors of the study recommend adding a “carbon levy” to new leases and putting in place other restrictions at the drilling stage to reduce emissions.

Meanwhile, there’s the administration’s new strategy in Utah. In November 2021, the BLM offered to put over 6,600 acres across the state on the auction block. But in response to public outcry, he now plans to take offers on a single 159-acre parcel. And there is even a catch: the successful bidder will have to clean an existing building, well disconnected on the site. At least it marks a clear change in the status quo.

Jonathan Thompson is a contributing editor to High Country News. He is the author of Sagebrush Empire: How a remote Utah county became America’s public land battlefront. Email him at [email protected] or send a letter to the editor. See our Letters to the Editor Policy.

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Utah economy

Debt and deficit task force recommendations released – Cache Valley Daily

U.S. Rep. Blake Moore (R-Dist. 1) released recommendations from a debt and deficit task force to curb runaway federal spending.

OGDEN – A debt and deficit task force has released its 2022 recommendations on how to deal with the country’s growing financial crisis.

“I am deeply concerned about our country’s debt and deficit crisis,” said U.S. Rep. Blake Moore (R-Dist. 1), who organized the task force. “I want to use my role in Congress to improve our national fiscal outlook for the next generation.”

The task force is made up of industry leaders from Utah’s first congressional district.

“They offer a wide range of experiences to bring Utah values ​​and principles to the conversation about how we can reverse our national debt crisis,” according to Moore.

Members of the Debt and Deficit Task Force include John Boyer, President of the JE Boyer Society; Gordon Larsen, senior adviser for federal affairs in the office of Governor Spencer J. Cox; Utah economist Natalie Gochnour; Kerry Wahlen, president of the Goldenwest Credit Union; Chip Nelson, former president of Woodside Homes; Pat Condon, former commander of Ogden Air Logistics Center; physician Dr. J. David Schmitz; Greg Poulsen, Chief Strategy Officer, Intermountain Healthcare; attorney Blake Wade; and Richard Hendrickson, president of Lifetime Products.

At the start of 2022, Moore said, the gross national debt of the United States exceeded $30 trillion. Ten years ago, that figure was $15.2 trillion.

Our debt has doubled in the past 10 years, while gross domestic product has grown only 50% to $23 trillion.

“Without correction,” he added, “our nation will be ill-equipped to meet the next domestic challenge or foreign conflict.

“It will be less likely to repay its debt and its risk of default is significantly higher, jeopardizing the US dollar’s global reserve status…Inflation last year rose more in a single year than over any 12 month period since 1982.

At the gas pump and the grocery store, hardworking American families grapple with unprecedented prices“, concluded Moore.

The task force’s recommendations for 2022 focus on growing the economy; save and strengthen vital programs, including health care and social security; concentrate America’s spending; and, setting the Congressional budget process.

The American economy is far from a picture of health. Task force members say we should have higher labor force participation and get our inflation under control.

We must defend ourselves against proposals from Democrats that would only cripple our economy, they say. If President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” program and his fiscal year 2023 budget proposal were signed into law, our country would have the highest corporate and personal tax rates in the developed world.

The task force believes that we need to ensure that we incentivize individuals to join or rejoin the labor market by avoiding misguided unemployment benefits and unnecessary subsidies. By working to reverse these trends, the task force says we can increase gross domestic product, increase federal revenues, and improve our debt-to-GDP ratio.

The D&D Task Force also supports tax cuts for individuals, families and small businesses; legislation that prevents the executive branch from banning power generation on federal lands; and Moore’s efforts to ensure the Home Office doesn’t drag its feet on approving drilling permits so household power can be unleashed.

In 1970, according to the task force, mandatory spending constituted 31% of the entire federal budget. In 2022, it should cover a frightening 65%.

Medicare spending rose 3.5% in 2020 to $829.5 billion and Medicaid spending rose 9.2% to $671.2 billion. As things stand, doctors and nurses spend much of their days billing for paperwork rather than caring for those who need it.

The task force said we need to take steps to streamline this billing process.

Social Security administrators report that funding reserves will be exhausted by 2033.

Task force members say raising already high social security taxes will only increase uncertainty and the intergenerational redistribution of wealth without increasing growth.

Instead, they say, we could strengthen the program by adjusting the age of eligibility and linking cost-of-living adjustments to inflation indices.

Congress is addicted to spending. After authorizing about $4.5 trillion in response to the pandemic, Democrats still proposed spending up to $3.5 trillion more on the aborted “Build Back Better” program.

Task force members endorse the findings of the Republican Review Committee identifying a slew of potential federal programs to be capped or eliminated and other improvements to limit discretionary spending.

Congress has clearly never had to reevaluate its budget process. Instead of promoting success, our system promotes disorder.

Rather than creating an arbitrary debt ceiling, the task force recommends, we should tie our ability to spend to the economic health of our country.

This would encourage us to prioritize our economic health when we budget and help reduce our dependence on spending.

The full text of the Debt and Deficit Task Force recommendations is available at -task-forces-2022 .

“I look forward to sharing these recommendations with my colleagues in Washington,” Moore said, “as we push for reforms in our federal spending processes to we can balance America’s checkbook and get back on a fiscally sustainable path.”

The task force recommendations were released April 22, a day before the GOP nominating convention where state delegates appeared to give Moore a vote of no confidence.

After three ballots, former civilian intelligence officer Andrew Badger narrowly missed the nomination with 59.2% of the vote cast to Moore’s 40.7%.

Moore will now face Badger and former Morgan County Commissioner Tina Cannon in the June 28 Republican primary ballot.

Cannon had already secured a spot on the primary ballot by collecting voter signatures.

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Utah economy

Industry digest: Tektro electronic shifting, battery recycling, stem lawsuits, and more.

What’s happening in the cycling industry this month? Industry Summary is a behind-the-curtain look and features articles from our sister site, Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. In each installment, you might find patents, mergers, financial reports, and industry gossip.

Industry Patent Watch: Tektro Pursues Electronic Shifting

By: Alan Coté // Bike Retailer and Industry News

Recently published US patent applications show that Tektro – a brand known primarily for its brakes – worked on derailleurs and electronic shifters. The Taiwan-based company has filed more than 65 U.S. patent applications over the past 10 years, and at least two dozen of the most recent filings relate to derailleurs and shifters.

The legal documents describe what appears to be a full range of electronic shifting technologies, including front and rear derailleurs with integrated batteries, shift levers with wireless transmitters, and related electronic control systems. Tektro’s first patent application for electronic shifting was filed in March 2015, meaning the company has been working on the technology for some time now.

(Read more.)

Trek joins e-bike battery recycling program

By: Bike Retailer & Industry News

Trek Bicycle announced today that it has joined the industry’s U.S. e-bike battery recycling program which officially began last month.

The industry has partnered with non-profit battery collection and recycling company Call2Recycle. Approved by PeopleForBikes, Call2Recycle administers training, recycling kits, battery transportation, safety gear and rider training to retailers. Trek is among several industry manufacturers and suppliers that support and fund the collection and safe recycling of lithium-ion e-bike batteries to reduce overall recycling costs. All directly owned Trek stores are collection sites, and other Trek retailers are registering and training to become collection sites, a Trek spokesperson told BRAIN.

(Read more.)

Utah cyclist sues Rad Power Bikes over loose stem

By: Bike Retailer & Industry News

A Utah woman is suing Rad Power Bikes because she says her bike arrived with a loose stem that caused an accident that injured her hands and wrist.

Paulina Greaves said she read assembly instructions and watched an instructional video before riding her new RadMini electric fat bike. She said the instructions didn’t tell her to check the stem for tightness. But she said on her first ride, on April 25, 2020, she tried to turn right when the stem slipped on the steerer tube, causing the accident.

About a month later she received an email from Rad Power advising her that she may have purchased a bike with a loose stem and telling her to take the bike to a shop to have it re-tightened at expense. from Rad Power. Greaves said the accident cost him about $30,000 in medical expenses and $100,000 in lost wages, with future medical expenses expected to be nearly $40,000.

(Read more.)

The Outdoor Retailer Show Returns to Salt Lake City for 2023

By: Bike Retailer & Industry News

After a controversial move from its longtime Utah home to Denver five years ago, Emerald Expositions announces that its Outdoor Retailer show will return to Utah next winter.

“Our community has become a family, and for the past five years we have held our semi-annual meetings in Denver. As our contract comes to a natural end after 2022, we have explored our options and discussed with the industry to plan our next steps,” the show’s organizers said.

“After much deliberation and input from all sides, we have decided that the best decision for Outdoor Retailer is to return to our base camp. We are returning to Salt Lake City and County, where we grew up and where our industry has matured into the vibrant and powerful community it is today.”


(Read more.)

European cycling industry associations launch campaign to reduce plastic in the industry

By: Bike Retailer & Industry News

Two European cycling industry associations have launched a campaign to reduce plastic and eliminate unnecessary packaging.

The Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI) and Cycling Industries Europe (CIE) have created a joint industry pledge, which they claim is also endorsed by PeopleForBikes. The goal is to create a circular economy for packaging to eliminate waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems.

The Cycling Industry Sustainable Packaging Pledge currently has 56 companies committed.

(Read more.)

Pirelli starts production of bicycle tires in a renovated Italian factory

By: Bike Retailer & Industry News

Pirelli began manufacturing its premium P Zero Race road and MTB tires at its factory in Bollate, Italy. The factory, inaugurated in 1962, was recently modernized to accommodate the production of the top-of-the-range models of the brand.

Production began this month; the factory tires have a “Made in Italy” label.

The plant will have the capacity to manufacture approximately 1.5 million tires per year when fully operational. Currently, it employs about 200 workers. P Zero tires were previously made in France.

(Read more.)

Rad Power refocuses on its physical stores and lays off 100 people in the mobile sector

By: Bike Retailer & Industry News

Rad Power Bikes has laid off around 100 workers as it shuts most of its mobile service business and looks to expanding its stationary retail stores.

“Our goal is to keep as many employees as possible on our Rad team, including transferring people to the five new outlets we are opening this year,” a company spokesperson told BRAIN in a statement. communicated. “Where that’s not possible, we offer support to help them make the transition.”

Rad Power said it will continue to work with Velofix and Beeline for US mobile support

(Read more.)

Outerbike postpones summer events due to shortage of demo bikes

By: Bike Retailer & Industry News

Western Spirit Cycling, the producer of Outerbike, is postponing three summer events due to a shortage of demo bikes. The company also announced an expanded exhibit format at its other two events scheduled for 2022, in Bentonville, Arkansas and Moab.

Outerbike will not be holding scheduled events in Killington, Vermont; Duluth, Minnesota; and Crested Butte, Colorado, this year. Western Spirit’s Mark Sevenoff said: “We love riding Killington, Duluth and Crested Butte and can’t wait to share these great places with Outerbike riders. We’ve heard from riders in these areas and they are already looking forward to these events. in 2023.”

(Read more.)

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Utah economy

‘Yellowstone’ show created 500 jobs and $15 million in spending in Montana, report says

Filming in Montana of the hit TV show ‘Yellowstone’ added significantly to the state’s economy, including more than 500 jobs, according to a study by the University of Montana.

Patrick Barkey, director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, presented the findings to state lawmakers on Monday.

“There’s a lot of detail to that, but, really, the numbers are pretty amazing,” Barkey said.

The study found that the state collected more than $10 million in tax revenue, added 527 jobs, and spent more than $15 million on Montana-based products and services during filming.

This data was collected between October 2020 and February 2021 when “Yellowstone” season four was filmed. Previous seasons were filmed in Utah, but production moved to Montana after the state legislature expanded a media company tax credit in 2019.

The study was conducted using data provided by Paramount, which produces the ranching family drama starring Kevin Costner. Barkey noted that the study does not include data on its impact on tourism in Montana or the businesses that provide support services.

Barkey said the tax revenue collected was not enough to offset the tax credit given to the project, but that its economic contribution was “far greater” than its economic footprint.

Lawmakers will consider at their next meeting in June whether they propose to extend the tax credit.

A Paramount representative told lawmakers that Yellowstone will begin filming for season five in Montana next month.

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Utah economy

No-Credit-Check Loans: Alternatives

No-Credit-Check Loans: Alternatives

Are there any safe, no-credit-check loans?

A lender with no credit check who examines at least some of your financial data is a better choice as opposed to one that loans money without any questions asked.

There are lenders online such as those that examine an applicant’s bank accounts to determine how they use their money, deposits and withdrawals. A bank account with several overdrafts could disqualify the applicant.

Other lenders review reports from different credit bureaus, which collect data on people with poor credit scores. These reports may reveal things such as whether you’ve received an installment loan or a title loan. Back to top

How do you shop for no-credit-check loans

If a no-credit-check credit card is the best choice Here are some ways to stay away from an untrustworthy lender.

  • Find your APR. Lenders are required by law to provide the APR of their loans. This figure helps you assess the loan’s financial viability and can be compared to other loans. You should verify the number prior to signing a loan agreement.
  • Choose a lending institution who evaluates your capacity to repay. Reviewing your bank account details, contacting other credit bureaus, and asking for documents or proof of earnings are indications that a lender is looking for you to pay back the loan. If a lender doesn’t verify the ability of you to pay back could be relying on you needing to borrow more money to pay off the initial loan, which is the way the cycle of debt begins.
  • Know the terms of repayment. Whether you agree to repay the money within two weeks or months, you need to know your payment date and the way the lender will get the funds. If the lender takes money from your account at the bank, you should review your budget to ensure that the funds are in your account and that you don’t exceed your limit.
  • Find out if the loan fully amortizing. If the loan has multiple payments, you should examine the amortization schedule, which will show how much of each installment is devoted to principal, and how much goes to interest. If the loan isn’t amortizing, some payments could only be used to interest and not affect the amount you have to pay.
  • Search for the license of the lender. The Federal Trade Commission requires lenders to be registered in every state where they conduct business. A lot of lenders list the licenses they have on their sites.
  • Beware of fraudsters. A reputable lender will not require you to pay prior to granting the loan. If the lender requests cash or gift cards before lending money, it’s probably to be a scammer.

Alternatives to loans with no credit check

If you require cash fast then you could be able to locate alternatives to credit-check loans with no credit check like local help, lending circles or relatives.

But a poor credit score shouldn’t be a hindrance when you’re looking to take out a loan with a lender that has reasonable rate and ethical underwriting policies. Below are some alternative loan options for those who have bad credit (FICO score of 629 or less).

Credit union lends

Certain credit unions provide small personal loans that range from $500 to more. If you are unable to get loans, they could look at other information beyond you credit score, such as the history of your membership. There are many credit unions also offer basic credit card or loan that aid in building an credit history. The interest rates that the federal credit unions is limited to 18 percent.

Alternative loans for payday

Also known as PALs, these credit union-issued loans are designed to help customers avoid the debt trap that is created through the traditional payday loans. The APR on these loans is limited to 28 percent.

Buy now, pay later companies

“Buy now, pay later” businesses offer the option of splitting the cost of a purchase into smaller installments in a few months or weeks. BNPL firms don’t generally conduct a strict credit check, which means they may approve faster than a conventional loan. BNPL could be beneficial in the event of an emergency however, you should use it only to purchase a single item at a given time to avoid spending too much.

Apps for cash advance

Cash advance apps, such as Earnin and Dave can let you get a loan of up to hundred dollars of your anticipated earnings. They typically will require you to repay them on your next payday. Although cash advance apps do not charge interest, they might require an annual subscription or a fast-funding fee or may request a gratuity.

Online lender

Some lenders on the internet are willing to consider loans for borrowers with bad credit even with FICO scores that are less than 600. To make sure you are eligible they will consider other information such as employment status and outstanding debts. However, loans with bad credit have higher interest rates.

A lender who claims it doesn’t require minimum credit score could still look at the credit report. The majority of lenders below rely on your credit background to help determine if they should lend you money.

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Utah economy

Repositioning of Russian troops continues

(Bloomberg) —

Bloomberg’s Most Read

Troops continue to move from positions in Russia and Belarus to eastern Ukraine ahead of what is likely to be a protracted conflict. Ukraine has warned of a possible Russian naval landing operation in Mariupol. Air raid sirens were ringing in kyiv early on Sunday.

Billionaire Roman Abramovich is trying to relaunch talks between Ukraine and Russia, which both sides say have stalled. Ukrainian central bank and finance officials will travel to Washington for next week’s meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Shelling resumed near kyiv and the Lviv region near Poland saw its first known missile attack in weeks. Russia has warned the United States against its arms deliveries.

The UK has said destroyed roads are hampering the delivery of humanitarian aid. Ukraine’s economy could halve, said Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko.

(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian sanctions dashboard.)

Key developments

  • Putin’s ruble standoff with Europe risks de facto gas embargo

  • Sunken Russian warship was a symbol of Ukrainian defiance

  • Putin and Saudi crown prince bullish on OPEC+ and Kremlin announce call

  • Russia is waging a social media campaign to call the Bucha massacre a hoax

  • Russia’s War in Ukraine: Key Events and Unfolding

  • What is Genocide? Does the war in Ukraine matter? :QuickTake

Every hour CET:

Eastward movement of Russian units continues (8:10 a.m.)

Combat and support equipment for Russian forces is being transferred from Belarus, including to sites near Kharkiv and Severdonetsk, the UK Ministry of Defense said. Russian artillery continues to strike positions across eastern Ukraine, where Moscow is expected to step up its offensive activity in the coming days.

Moscow has not changed its “ultimate goal” in Ukraine, the UK said, and remains determined to “assert its own regional dominance”.

The Ukrainian General Staff said in a morning update that Russian units continued to move into eastern Ukraine from neighboring Kursk, Bryansk and Voronezh regions.

Ukraine says Russia continues to hammer Mariupol (8:01 a.m.)

Russia continues to hammer the port city of Mariupol, according to the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, amid the window opened by Moscow for troops from the besieged city to surrender.

Airstrikes and preparations for a naval landing by Russian forces appear to be underway, Ukraine said. Russia said it would spare the lives of soldiers who surrendered from 6 a.m. Moscow time, with the window expected to last for several hours.

Taking control of Mariupol remains a key objective for Russia as it tries to create a land bridge to the Crimean peninsula.

Russia Demands Surrender of Mariupol Defenders (11:30 p.m.)

Russia called on Ukrainian forces in the beleaguered industrial port city of Mariupol to lay down their arms on Sunday to avoid being killed. Ukraine has rejected similar Russian demands in the past.

Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, head of Russia’s National Defense Control Center, spoke of a “catastrophic situation” in Azovstal, a sprawling steelworks that has become a last bulwark in the city’s defence.

“All who lay down their arms are assured of the preservation of life,” Tass said quoting Mizintsev.

Austria needs Russian gas; Putin’s “logic of war” (9:30 p.m.)

Austria could end imports of Russian natural gas “maybe in a few years,” Chancellor Karl Nehammer told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Austria is 80% dependent on Russian gas, so “it’s not possible today, tomorrow”, he said.

Nehammer was received by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday, the first European leader to do so since Russia invaded Ukraine.

He told NBC that Putin “is in his own war logic” and that the Russian leader believes he is winning the war.

Zelenskiy says Russia is negotiating deadlock (7:53 p.m.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said talks with Russia were at an “impasse because we will not swap our territory and our people”.

If Russian forces followed through on a threat to destroy remaining Ukrainian troops fighting in Mariupol, it would “end” the talks, he said in an interview with Ukrainian media online.

Abramovich seeks to restart talks (6:52 p.m.)

Billionaire Roman Abramovich has traveled to Kyiv in a bid to revive peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, which stalled after evidence emerged of Russian atrocities against civilians.

Abramovich met with Ukrainian negotiators to discuss ways to restart negotiations, according to people familiar with the matter.

In Russia, Abramovich “represents the side that supports a diplomatic resolution and an end to the war,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told online media. “Nobody can guarantee that it’s not a game.”

Putin’s Ukrainian ally Medvedchuk detained in police custody (6:41 p.m.)

A Ukrainian court has ordered the continued detention of Kremlin-friendly politician Viktor Medvedchuk after he attempted to flee the country, according to a statement posted on the court’s Facebook page.

Prosecutors suspect Medvedchuk, a US-sanctioned tycoon since 2014, of high treason and terrorist financing. His assets were frozen in 2021. He denies any wrongdoing.

Medvedchuk had been under house arrest since last year, but fled during the initial invasion of Russia. He was apprehended by Ukrainian security forces this week at an undisclosed location.

Zelenskiy has a follow-up call with Johnson (6:22 p.m.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy spoke with Boris Johnson on Saturday, a week after the British Prime Minister’s visit to kyiv. They discussed “the need for a long-term security solution for Ukraine”, according to a reading from Downing Street.

Russian ships barred from Italian ports after sanctions (6:14 p.m.)

Russian ships will not be able to anchor in Italian ports from Sunday, the Ansa news agency reported. The move is part of the European Union’s recent sanctions package against Moscow for invading Ukraine, Ansa said.

The change also applies to ships that changed their flag to another Russian nationality after Feb. 24, Ansa said. Ships moored in Italy should leave as soon as possible.

Ukrainian central bankers visit Washington (5:17 p.m.)

Central bank governor Kyrylo Shevchenko and his deputy Serhiy Nikolaychuk will travel to Washington for the spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, bank spokeswoman Halyna Kalachiva said. They will be accompanied by Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko. Meetings start Monday.

The IMF has created a new account intended to give donor countries a safe way to support the Ukrainian economy. Canada, in its recent budget, offered up to C$1 billion ($795 million) to be disbursed through the account, and it will be available to other IMF members or intergovernmental entities who wish to use it as vehicle to provide assistance, the IMF said. .

Minister promises Kyiv will service foreign debt (2:12 p.m.)

More than 80% of the debt Ukraine has to repay this year is domestic, “which we can easily cover” or refinance, Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko said in a TV interview.

He said the foreign debt repayment schedule is “fairly moderate and straightforward”, peaking in September when Kyiv has to pay interest on $500 million in Eurobonds. The minister said Ukraine had cut spending by 180 billion hryvnia ($6 billion) and needed $5-7 billion a month to fund its budget while the war continued.

Ukraine’s economy could contract by 30-50%, Marchenko said.

Ukraine’s economy will fall by 45% in 2022, says World Bank

Putin, Saudi Crown Prince bullish on OPEC+, Kremlin says (12:40 CET)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman have drawn up a “positive assessment” of their cooperation within the OPEC+ producer group to stabilize the world oil market, the Kremlin said in a statement on Saturday.

The phone conversation came at the initiative of Saudi Arabia, the Kremlin said, and the leaders also discussed the situation in Ukraine and Yemen. The crown prince spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday and also discussed Ukraine, according to state television.

Saudi Arabia and other major Persian Gulf oil producers have so far resisted calls from the United States to increase production as prices surged amid the Ukraine crisis and concerns over possible sanctions on Russian exports.

Russia captured more than 1,000 civilians, official says (12:43 p.m.)

More than half of civilians captured by Moscow forces are women, said Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk, who demanded in a televised briefing that they be released immediately. “We will not exchange soldiers for civilians. It would violate the Geneva Conventions,” she said.

Ukraine has captured more than 700 Russian soldiers, and Russia has captured about 700 Ukrainian soldiers, with further prisoner swaps possible, she said.

Ukraine and Russia agreed on Saturday on nine humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians. Russian troops shelled the center of Lysychansk in the Luhansk region as people gathered to be evacuated, she said.

Lithuanian leader dismisses Russian threat to Baltic countries (11:38 a.m.)

President Gitanas Nauseda has urged Finland and Sweden to apply for NATO membership as soon as possible, the Financial Times reported.

He brushed off threats from Moscow to increase its military presence in the Baltics, saying Russia had had such weapons in Kaliningrad, a Russian position wedged between Poland and Lithuania, for years.

“The Kaliningrad region is probably the most militarized region in Europe, and tactical nuclear weapons are already there,” Neuseda said. “I don’t think we should react to that rhetoric.”

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Most Read

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Utah economy

Rising mortgage rates make buying a home ‘the most expensive in a generation’

A report from US mortgage giant Freddie Mac on Thursday shows the average lending rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit 5% this week, up nearly 2 percentage points from a year ago. barely a year and a number probably even higher in the coming year.

“As Americans face historically high inflation, the combination of rising mortgage rates, high home prices and tight inventories makes the pursuit of homeownership the most expensive in a generation,” wrote Freddie Mac in a note accompanying the new mortgage data.

While average U.S. mortgage rates have risen at the fastest pace in more than 30 years over the past three months, the 5% benchmark comes just a month after a 0.25% increase by the Reserve federal lending rate. The increase is the first in a series of upward adjustments planned by the Fed as the monetary policy body attempts to rein in rising inflation.

Higher Fed rates will increase borrowing costs for mortgages, auto loans, credit cards and business loans. By doing so, the Fed hopes to slow economic growth and rising wages enough to contain high inflation, which has hurt millions of households and poses a serious political threat to President Joe Biden.

Many economists said they worried the Fed waited too long to start raising rates and that policymakers might end up reacting so aggressively that they would trigger a recession.

Earlier this week, the Department of Labor announced that the annual inflation rate in the United States hit 8.5% in March, the highest since 1981. And Utah was among a group of states of Mountain West under even greater inflationary pressure with an annual inflation rate of 10.4 leading the country. % in March.

So what does this mean for a current buyer?

According to Thursday’s Wall Street Journal report, buying the median U.S. home at rates a year ago meant a monthly mortgage bill of about $1,223 after a 20% down payment, according to calculations by economist George Ratiu. at At recent rates, such a purchase would require a monthly payment of almost $1,700, an increase of 38%, he estimated.

And out West, especially for buyers in high-demand states like Utah, the impacts of ongoing rate increases could be even worse.

Last month, as the nation’s average 30-year fixed mortgage rate neared 4%, 67% of Utah households were already “off-price” from the state’s median-priced home, according to Dejan Eskic, senior researcher at the University. from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute in Utah, specializing in housing research.

“It’s bad,” Eskic said.

The median priced single-family home in Utah was $512,000 statewide in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“A full two-thirds of Utah cannot afford the median-priced home anywhere because of how quickly rates have risen over the past two months,” Eskic said in the article. March.

“If you had to wait to buy in the spring, you’re probably out of luck,” Eskic said, as rising interest rates push even more homes out of reach with higher monthly loan payments.

Utah’s housing problem continues to be a supply and demand issue. Shouldn’t the rise in interest rates therefore help to curb demand?

Not in today’s market, Eskic said.

Rising interest rates will slow demand, he said, but not “enough to completely slow the market because there is nothing to buy.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended housing markets across the country as thousands of Americans reassessed their lives and left big cities in search of more space at lower prices. Many looked west, especially to states like Utah, where jobs were booming, and Idaho, where housing was relatively affordable.

As a result, states like Utah and Idaho had record years for home sales and price increases. In Utah, experts have warned of a “severely unbalanced” housing market as demand continues to dramatically outpace supply.

But it’s not just the pandemic’s fault. This has only worsened and accelerated the housing problem in Utah. The housing shortage in the West began years ago in the midst of the Great Recession, after the subprime mortgage crisis sent the national and global economy into a death spiral. After the crash, homebuilding contracted and the market has struggled to keep up with demand ever since.

Contributor: Associated Press

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Utah economy

Iowa rejected Biden, but president returns to sell rural plan – ABC4 Utah

WASHINGTON (AP) — Iowa has never been fertile ground for Joe Biden.

His 1988 presidential bid imploded in a plagiarism scandal sparked by comments he made during a debate there. He dropped out of his run for the White House in 2008 after a fifth-place finish in the Iowa caucus. And his 2020 campaign limped to a fourth-place finish in the state’s technologically glitchy caucus.

After bouncing back to win the Democratic nomination, Biden returned for a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds four days before Election Day 2020, only to see Donald Trump win the state by 8 points. percentage.

Biden returns to Iowa for the first time as president on Tuesday at a time when he faces even more political peril. He is grappling with falling approval ratings and inflation at its highest level in 40 years, while his party faces the prospect of big midterm election losses that could cost him control of Congress.

The president is set to promote his economic plans to help rural families struggling with higher costs at the gas pump and elsewhere, while highlighting the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law signed into law last fall. . It includes funds to improve internet access, as well as to upgrade sanitation systems, reduce flood threats, and improve roads and bridges, drinking water and electricity grids in sparsely populated areas.

Supporters of an emergency waiver that would allow year-round sales of gasoline blended with 15% ethanol hope Biden will use his trip to announce the move, which they say would help mitigate the rise gasoline prices.

Biden will visit a biofuel company in Menlo, a farming community west of Iowa’s capital Des Moines. It’s in Guthrie County, which has backed Trump over Biden by 35 percentage points in 2020.

“Some of this is showing up in communities of all sizes, regardless of the results of the last election,” said Jesse Harris, who was a senior adviser to Biden’s 2020 campaign in Iowa and led the vote and polling. anticipated. efforts for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Harris said most presidents who come to Iowa usually visit the biggest cities in the state. Hitting an area like Menlo “shows the importance the administration places on infrastructure in general, but also on infrastructure in rural and smaller communities.”

The Biden administration plans to spend the next few weeks pushing billions of dollars in funding for rural areas. Cabinet members and other senior officials will travel the country to help communities access funds available under the infrastructure program.

“The president is not making this trip through a political prism,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. “He’s making this trip because Iowa is a rural state in the country that would benefit greatly from the president’s policies.”

Steffen Schmidt, professor of political science at Iowa State University, said part of Biden’s problems are that the major social issues driving the national Democratic agenda — including gay rights and the fight against institutional racism – can discourage moderate voters in the heart of the country.

“Iowa is a traditional, rural state, and even the Democrats are middlemen,” he said.

To win over voters more focused on wallet issues, administration officials have long suggested that Biden travel more to promote an economy that rebounds from the setbacks of the coronavirus pandemic. The number of Americans receiving unemployment has fallen to the lowest levels since 1970, for example.

But much of the positive national jobs news was overshadowed by soaring gas, food and housing prices that pushed consumer inflation to 7.9% during the year ending in February. It’s the biggest rise since 1982. Inflation numbers for March, due out on Tuesday, are likely to bring more bad news for the Biden administration.

“Maybe a trip back to Iowa will be just what Joe Biden needs to figure out what his reckless spending and big government policies are doing to our country,” the Republican Party chairman said. Iowa, Jeff Kaufmann, in a statement.

After Iowa, Biden will travel Thursday to Greensboro, North Carolina.

PSAKI blamed Russia’s war in Ukraine for helping to push up gasoline prices, and said the administration expects the consumer price index for March to be “extremely high”, in large part because of this.

Members of Congress from both parties have urged Biden to issue the ethanol waiver.

“Local Iowa biofuels offer a quick, clean solution to lower prices at the pump and boost production would help us become energy independent again,” said Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley. He and eight Republican senators and seven Democrats from Midwestern states sent Biden a letter last month urging him to allow E15 sales year-round.

Most gasoline sold in the United States is blended with 10% ethanol. Farmers in corn-rich Iowa have been pushing for the mass sale of a 15% ethanol blend. This product is banned in the summer due to fears it adds to smog at high temperatures.

The Environmental Protection Agency has lifted seasonal restrictions on E15 in the past, including after Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The Trump administration allowed the sale of E15 during the two summer months. years later, but saw the rule overturned by a federal appeals court.

The price of ethanol peaked in December, but has fallen more recently. Wholesale ethanol traded about $1.20 a gallon cheaper than gasoline, although not all of the savings were passed on to drivers.


Associated Press writer Matthew Daly contributed to this report.

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Utah economy

Green Plate Special: If you live in Maine, skipping Russian vodka is no small feat

In late February, when bars, restaurants, supermarkets and liquor stores pulled Russian-made vodkas from their shelves, they did so to pressure Vladimir Putin to pull out of Ukraine.

In a rare show of bipartisan support for any idea, the governors of Alabama, Iowa, Maine, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and West Virginia have called on their states’ liquor control agencies to delist Russian-made vodka. Governor Janet Mills asked that “retailers join us in this symbolic but clear sign that Maine stands with Ukraine.”

In the aftermath of those announcements, social media posts showed vodka drinkers pouring bottles of Stoli and Smirnoff down the drain. Since none of the brands are made in Russia (the first is produced in Latvia by a Putin critic in exile, and the second may have been made in Moscow in 1864 but is now made in Britain by a British conglomerate), I doubted that Putin resented any taxation. the pain of the boycott. While emblematic of how consumers can show contempt for terms they find hard to swallow, these measures, according to liquor industry watchers, were largely, as Mills described : symbolic.

Russian vodka imports to America in 2021 accounted for just 1.3% of all vodka imports, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. Their combined value was $18.5 million, just down from the $1.4 billion bracket of total vodka imports from France, the Netherlands, Sweden and Latvia. And that’s insignificant when you consider that Americans are expected to spend $22 billion on vodka in 2022.

If you’re a vodka drinker in Maine, passing down Beluga Russian Vodka, Hammer & Sickle Russian Vodka, Moskovskaya, or Russian Standard is no sacrifice. Consider your many local options: At least a dozen Maine companies make from scratch, distill and/or bottle plain and flavored vodkas.

Batson River Brewing & Distilling makes Clock Farm vodka in small batches in Kennebunk. The Chadwick Distillery in Pittston recently expanded its line of maple-based spirits to include vodka. The Blue Barren Distillery in Hope offers a plain 80-degree vodka and another flavored with Maine kelp. Cold River Vodka is made from Maine potatoes in Freeport.

Liquid Riot Distilling Co. launches its Well… vodka with a neutral grain alcohol base produced in another more efficient facility, then runs the alcohol through its own tiny, less efficient still in Portland to clean it up and add character. Maine Craft Distilling’s Black Cap Vodka, made from Maine grains and filtered through Maine Black Tourmaline and Charcoal Maple, is named after our state bird, the Chickadee black (or is it?). Twenty 2 Vodka, bottled since 2009 by Northern Maine Distilling in Brewer, has won numerous national awards for its neutral taste.

Split Rock Vodka begins life as New England corn, which is crushed, fermented and triple distilled before being diluted with well water and bottled at the company’s facilities in Newcastle. . Eric and Jenn Bouchard, owners of Stone Fort Distillery, are also involved in every step of making their vodka from grain to glass in Biddeford. Stroudwater Vodka, made in Portland from a naturally gluten-free corn base, is distilled eight times to be 190 proof, then diluted 80 with Maine water before bottling. The Wiggly Bridge Distillery in York offers the southernmost vodka in Maine.

“In the American spirits market, vodka is king because it is consumed in so many different ways,” said Jeremy Howard, founder of Blue Barren Distillery.

There is no total figure for the amount of vodka distilled in Maine. But if the quantity is unknown, the quality is crystal clear as vodka. “I’m biased, of course,” Howard said, “but I think Maine craft distillers have a really strong vodka game.”

Maine vodka is a sustainable prospect on many fronts. First, the process requires local agricultural products, from the corn and grains used to make the base alcohol to the blueberries and seaweed used to flavor it.

Next, it is a spirit with a very short lead time. “As distillers, we have romantic ideas about spirits that we age in barrels for 18 months. But we also can’t generate revenue from those who are sitting down,” Howard said. The vodka, which takes just three weeks to make, gives craft distilleries a steady cash flow to sustain their bottom line.

Topher Mallory, co-owner of Split Rock Distillery, says vodka is one of the most labor-intensive spirits his company makes. “But that means more work hours, more jobs, so it’s also good for Maine’s economy.”

Mallory acknowledges that the distillation process can be energy-intensive, but says her company tries to offset some of its production footprint by donating alcohol-free spent grains from its distillation processes to local farms for livestock feed.

You can purchase all of Maine’s craft vodkas at their respective distillery tasting rooms. Most are also available at major liquor stores like Bootleggers, Damon’s, Bow Street Beverage, and RSVP, and many can also be found in Hannaford. The price is around $18 to $40.

Prices for locally made vodka are between $1 and $3 compared to the big commercial brands, according to Jake Bosma, tasting room manager at Stroudwater Distillery. “Plus, most have a more unique taste. So why not spend a little more to support local small businesses and funnel those extra dollars into the local economy? »

The top five brands of vodka sold in Maine are Tito’s (made in Texas), Pinnacle (formerly made in Lewiston but now made in Kentucky), Smirnoff Plastic Bottle (made in the UK), Crown Russe Vodka (made in Kentucky) and Absolut (made in Sweden), according to data from the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations.

As locavores, we can do better. Make your next vodka purchase a local one.

Local food advocate Christine Burns Rudalevige is editor of Edible Maine magazine and author of “Green Plate Special,” both a sustainable food column in the Portland Press Herald and the name of her cookbook from 2017. She can be contacted at: [email protected]

The Mifflin Martini, topped with spicy homemade vermouth brined olives. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Mifflin Martini

Jake Bosma, Tasting Room Manager at Stroudwater Distillery, developed this twist on a dirty martini. To make vermouth-infused olives, drain half the brine from a jar of Spanish olives. In its place, add 3-4 cloves of crushed garlic, a few sprigs of thyme and sage, a couple of lemon and orange zests, and either black peppercorns or a dried chili pepper. Fill the jar with Dolin Dry Vermouth and let the olives sit in the brine for 12-24 hours in the refrigerator.

Makes 1 cocktail

1 ½ ounces flavored vermouth/olive brine mix
2 ounces of Stroudwater vodka
Olives and sprigs of sage and thyme, for garnish

Mix the vermouth/brine mix and the vodka with plenty of ice in a shaker. Stir until the drink is a little diluted and very cold. Strain into a frosted shot or martini glass. Garnish with the vermouth-cured olives, sage and thyme.

Raspberry Sparkling Anniversary Vodka. Happy 21, Eliza! Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Raspberry Vodka Birthday Sparkling

I developed this cocktail for my daughter Eliza’s 21st birthday, which is April 8th. Like her, it’s soft, stylish and sophisticated.

Makes 1 cocktail

2 ounces vodka made in Maine
1 ounce Royal Rose raspberry simple syrup
1 ounce lemon juice
club soda or prosecco
Fresh raspberries and a twist of lemon, for garnish

Combine vodka, simple syrup and lemon juice in a shaker with ice. Shake well and pour into a glass with ice. Top with club soda or prosecco. Garnish with fresh raspberries and a twist of lemon.

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Utah economy

“We have come a long way”: future judge Ketanji Brown Jackson | Court News

Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first black woman ever confirmed to the US Supreme Court, said her appointment marked a ‘moment that all Americans can be very proud of’ – but one that holds special significance given history of slavery and segregation of the country.

During a White House ceremony alongside President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday, Jackson quoted American poet Maya Angelou’s famous poem, Still I Rise, saying, “I am the dream and the hope of the slave”.

“I firmly believe that this is a moment that all Americans can be very proud of. We have come a long way towards perfecting our union. In my family, it took only one generation to move from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States,” she said.

“And it is an honor – the honor of a lifetime – for me to have this chance to join the court, to promote the rule of law at the highest level and to do my part to carry out our project. common democracy and equal justice under the law into the future.

The ceremony came a day after the US Senate voted 53-47 in favor of Jackson’s nomination, making her not only the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, but also the third black American to join. the High Court.

Jackson’s confirmation process has exposed deep partisan divisions in the United States, with Republicans seeking to portray the longtime jurist and US appeals court judge as a “radical” on the left, while Democrats firmly supported her.

While most Republicans voted against his Supreme Court membership on Thursday, three GOP senators — Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah — backed Jackson, sealing his nomination in the process. the room equally divided.

Jackson, who was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals last year, had received support for her Supreme Court nomination from a wide range of stakeholders in the United States, including advocacy groups civil rights, law enforcement, and state attorneys general.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said his confirmation marked “a joyous day” for the country, while Vice President Kamala Harris also said it was a “historic” moment. .

Former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf also congratulated Jackson saying, “The world witnessed history yesterday with the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court of the States. -United “.

“Her confirmation is already inspiring a generation of young women to follow in her footsteps,” Sirleaf noted on Twitter.

US President Joe Biden hopes to use Jackson’s confirmation to build political momentum ahead of November’s midterm elections [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

At Friday’s ceremony, which was attended by Democratic lawmakers and others, US President Joe Biden said Jackson’s confirmation would be remembered as “a moment of true change in American history.”

“Yesterday we all witnessed a truly historic moment,” Biden said of Jackson’s US Senate confirmation vote.

“After more than 20 hours of interrogation during his hearing[s] and nearly 100 meetings… we have all seen the kind of justice she will be,” he added. “Fair and impartial, thoughtful, careful, precise, brilliant – a brilliant legal mind with a thorough knowledge of the law and a judicial temperament…that is calm and in control.”

Jackson’s nomination comes at a difficult time for the Biden administration, which is dealing with public discontent over rising prices and other issues ahead of the midterm elections in November, Kimberly Halkett reported. Al Jazeera from Washington.

“Not only is there a bad mood among the American public as they continue to emerge from COVID-19, but there is frustration with the ongoing price spikes that have occurred, the 40 high years when it comes to inflation…a sluggish economy, and war in Ukraine,” Halkett said, explaining that this has translated into lower approval ratings for Biden.

“He really needs a win, and he sees this as a win – and that’s why there’s also a bit of politics involved here. Of course, it’s a historic occasion, but the president [is] also hoping to capture some political momentum on this.

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Utah economy

War in Russia could further drive up auto prices and shortages – ABC4 Utah

DETROIT (AP) — BMW has halted production at two German plants. Mercedes is slowing down work at its assembly plants. Volkswagen, warning of production stoppages, is looking for alternative sources for parts.

For more than a year, the global auto industry has grappled with a disastrous shortage of computer chips and other vital parts that has cut production, slowed deliveries and driven up prices for new and used cars outside reach of millions of consumers.

Now a new factor – Russia’s war against Ukraine – has created another obstacle. Critically important electrical wiring, made in Ukraine, is suddenly out of reach. With strong buyer demand, scarcity of materials and war causing further disruption, vehicle prices are expected to rise further over the next year.

The damage of the war to the automotive industry first appeared in Europe. But U.S. production will likely also end up suffering if Russian exports of metals — from palladium for catalytic converters to nickel for batteries for electric vehicles — are halted.

“You only have to miss a part and you can’t make a car,” said Mark Wakefield, co-head of the global automotive unit at consultancy Alix Partners. “Any bump in the road becomes either a production disruption or a largely unforeseen cost increase.”

Supply issues have plagued automakers since the pandemic hit two years ago, sometimes closing factories and causing vehicle shortages. The robust post-recession recovery has caused demand for autos to far outstrip supply – a mismatch that has sent new and used vehicle prices skyrocketing well above high headline inflation. .

In the United States, the average price of a new vehicle has risen 13% over the past year, to $45,596, according to Average used prices rose much more: they rose 29% to $29,646 in February.

Before the war, S&P Global predicted that global automakers would build 84 million vehicles this year and 91 million next year. (By comparison, they built 94 million in 2018.) Now it projects less than 82 million in 2022 and 88 million next year.

Mark Fulthorpe, executive director of S&P, is among analysts who believe the availability of new vehicles in North America and Europe will remain extremely tight – and prices high – through 2023. To compound the problem, buyers who are overpriced new-vehicle market will intensify the demand for used cars and also keep these prices high, which will be prohibitively expensive for many households.

Eventually, high economy-wide inflation—for food, gas, rent, and other necessities—will likely leave many ordinary buyers unable to afford a new vehicle or occasion. Demand would then decrease. And therefore, possibly, the prices.

“Until inflationary pressures start to really erode the capabilities of consumers and businesses,” Fulthorpe said, “it’s likely to mean those who fancy buying a new vehicle will be willing to pay top dollar.”

One of the factors behind the lower production outlook is the closure of car factories in Russia. Last week, French automaker Renault, one of the last automakers to continue building in Russia, announced it would suspend production in Moscow.

The transformation of Ukraine into a besieged war zone has also hurt. Wells Fargo estimates that 10-15% of the crucial wiring harnesses that power vehicle production in the vast European Union were made in Ukraine. Over the past decade, automakers and parts companies have invested in Ukrainian factories to contain costs and be closer to European factories.

The wiring shortage has slowed factories in Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and elsewhere, leading S&P to cut its global auto production forecast by 2.6 million vehicles for this year and next. The shortages could reduce exports of German vehicles to the United States and elsewhere.

Wiring harnesses are wire harnesses and connectors unique to each model; they cannot be easily transferred to another parts manufacturer. Despite the war, harness makers like Aptiv and Leoni have managed to sporadically reopen factories in western Ukraine. Still, Joseph Massaro, Aptiv’s CFO, acknowledged that Ukraine “isn’t open to any type of normal business activity.”

Dublin-based Aptiv is trying to move production to Poland, Romania, Serbia and possibly Morocco. But the process will take up to six weeks, leaving some automakers short of parts during that time.

“In the long term,” Massaro told analysts, “we will have to assess if and when it makes sense to return to Ukraine.”

BMW is trying to coordinate with its Ukrainian suppliers and casting a wider net for parts. Just like Mercedes and Volkswagen.

Yet finding alternative supplies can be nearly impossible. Most parts factories are running near full capacity, so a new workspace would have to be built. Companies would need months to hire more people and add shifts.

“The training process for upgrading a new workforce – it’s not an overnight thing,” Fulthorpe said.

Fulthorpe said it expects a further tightening in the supply of materials from Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine is the world’s largest exporter of neon, a gas used in lasers that etch circuits onto computer chips. Most chipmakers have a six-month supply; later in the year, they might run out. This would aggravate the shortage of chips, which before the war was delaying production even more than automakers anticipated.

Similarly, Russia is a key supplier of raw materials such as platinum and palladium, used in emission catalytic converters. Russia also produces 10% of the world’s nickel, an essential ingredient in electric vehicle batteries.

Mineral supplies from Russia have not yet been interrupted. Recycling could help alleviate the shortage. Other countries can increase their production. And some manufacturers have stocked the metals.

But Russia is also a major producer of aluminum and a source of pig iron, used to make steel. According to Alix Partners, nearly 70% of US pig iron imports come from Russia and Ukraine. Steelmakers will therefore have to switch to Brazilian production or use alternative materials. Meanwhile, steel prices have soared from $900 a ton a few weeks ago to $1,500 today.

So far, negotiations for a ceasefire in Ukraine have come to nothing and fighting has raged. A new virus outbreak in China could also reduce parts supply. Industry analysts say they have no clear idea when parts, raw materials and auto production will flow normally.

Even if an agreement is negotiated to suspend the fighting, the sanctions against Russian exports will remain intact until a final agreement is reached. Even then, supplies would not begin to flow normally. Fulthorpe said there would be “further hangovers due to the disruptions that will take place in widespread supply chains”.

Wakefield also noted that due to the intense pent-up demand for vehicles across the world, even if automakers restore full production, it will take a long time to build enough vehicles.

When could the world produce enough cars and trucks to meet demand and keep prices low?

Wakefield does not pretend to know.

“We are in a rising price environment, a constrained (production) environment,” he said. “It’s a strange thing for the auto industry.”


Chan reported from London.

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Utah economy

Biden commands 49 mpg fuel economy by 2026 | News

The Biden administration has ordered automakers to increase their average fuel economy to around 49 miles per gallon by 2026, in an ambitious effort to make up for progress stalled when President Donald Trump canceled the efficiency program.

New fuel economy rules, released Friday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, require automakers to increase the fuel efficiency of their fleets by 8% per year for the 2024 and 2025 model years, and 10% for 2026, according to a senior administration. official. The agency faced a March 31 deadline to finalize the new rules for the 2024 model year.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has separately issued greenhouse gas emissions regulations that require automakers to achieve vehicle mileage of 52 miles per gallon by 2026 on all models that they make, up from 40 mpg this year.

The EPA number equates to about 41 mpg under so-called real-world driving conditions which typically represents about a 20 percent drop in fuel economy from EPA ratings.

The 49 mpg standard that the auto industry will have to meet by 2026 is actually a test figure. In actual driving, the number would be around 39 mpg.

The EPA said its proposal would result in a 10% reduction in vehicle emissions in the 2023 model year, then an improvement in emissions reductions of 5% each year through 2026. The agencies measure pollution differently, with the EPA focusing on tailpipe emissions and the NHTSA rules focusing on miles per gallon.

Steven Croley, Ford’s chief policy officer and general counsel, said in a statement late Thursday that “Ford applauds NHTSA’s efforts to strengthen fuel economy standards and create consistent benchmarks to accelerate our national transition to a future zero-emission transport”.

The EPA reported in November 2021 that automakers achieved an average of 25.4 miles per gallon for vehicles made in the 2020 model year. That was 0.5 mpg more than the model year 2019 and a record high, but a far cry from the 39 miles per gallon, in real terms, by 2026 that President Joe Biden’s administration is now proposing.

Under the administration’s proposal, automakers will retain the ability to purchase credits from electric vehicle makers, such as Tesla Inc., to ensure fleet-wide mileage requirements are met. Automakers say the credit system is helping the industry transition to fully electric vehicles.

A group of 15 states led by conservative Republican governors have sued the EPA’s rules, saying the agency overstepped its authority and violated the separation of powers principles of the US Constitution by making rules strict on greenhouse gas emissions. The case was filed in December by Texas, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah.

The two agencies’ regulations are part of a Biden plan that calls for half of all vehicles sold in the United States to be capable of emission-free driving by the end of the decade, an ambitious goal that automakers say , can only be achieved with a larger government. investment in charging stations and other infrastructure.

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Utah economy

Phoenix among nation’s best-performing cities, says new report

PHOENIX, AZ — The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed how and where people do their jobs, according to a new report released Monday that includes the Phoenix metro area among the nation’s top performing cities.

The Milken Institute’s 2022 Top Performing Cities Index includes data from 2020, which the Santa Monica, Calif.-based think tank says enabled the first analysis of its kind in the context of a global health crisis.

Again this year, the index noted a shift in high-tech jobs from larger coastal cities to more affordable inland cities with thriving local economies. And that change helped put Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale at No. 4 on the list of top 10 major cities, up from No. 7 in 2021.

The Phoenix metro area has performed well in terms of job growth and wage growth over the past year as local high-tech industries continue to expand and provide well-paying jobs.

Tech companies such as Nikola Motor Co., Microsoft, Uber, DoubleDutch, and Gainsight have all recently increased their presence in the Phoenix area. Phoenix’s booming economy helps attract more people every day, making it the fastest growing city in the United States for the fifth straight year in 2021. Phoenix also ranks 4th in major cities for the lowest median age, behind Salt Lake City, Austin and Denver.

One of Phoenix’s biggest liabilities, of course, is the strong housing demand that drove house prices up 30% last year.

Traditional high-tech hubs — including San Jose, California and Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina — have remained strong and vibrant, the index showed, but are no longer the only places to find well-paying tech jobs. This spreads economic success to a larger part of the country, according to the index.

Job creation, wage growth and output growth – particularly in the high-tech sector – are the main components of the index, released annually since 1999. Last year, the Milken Institute added data on housing affordability and broadband access to account for shift to remote work.

The data source for these measures changed due to pandemic-related delays in publishing the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the 2021 source. Instead, the Milken Institute used the index of National Association of Realtors Housing Affordability and Federal Communications Commission data on access to broadband providers.

To provide insight into which places performed best across the metrics, they’re grouped into five tiers for large and small SMAs — or statistical metropolitan areas — based on their index scores.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we live and work, and it has had a direct impact on our cities,” Kevin Klowden, executive director of the Center for Regional Economics at the Milken Institute, said in a statement. Press.

“When comparing urban areas, access to opportunity is a key consideration, especially in light of the growing inequalities made apparent by the pandemic,” he said.

The Provo-Orem region, whose tech employers include a suite of West Coast tech companies, was also the first major city on the 2021 list. Already an established hub for tech startups, it retained its top spot with the highest levels of job growth and wage growth over the past five years. Here’s how the Top 10 major cities stand out:

  1. Provo Orem, Utah
  2. Austin-Round Rock, Texas
  3. Salt Lake City, UT
  4. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona
  5. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida
  6. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Washington
  7. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
  8. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Arkansas-Missouri
  9. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  10. Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas

Among small towns, Logan, Utah — home to several high-tech medical manufacturing industries — entered the Top 10 in nearly every measure of job and wage growth. Here is the index for small towns:

  1. Logan, UT
  2. St. George, Utah
  3. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
  4. Redding, California
  5. Idaho Falls, Idaho
  6. Walla Walla, Washington
  7. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  8. Gainesville, Georgia
  9. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
  10. Bend-Redmond, Oregon, and Abilene, Texas (tie)

Among the other key findings of the report:

  • Asheville, North Carolina saw the largest ranking decline among major cities from 2021 to 2022. For the second year in a row, it ranked near the bottom of the Short-Term Jobs Growth Index. term, an indication of the volume of jobs lost at the start of the pandemic.
  • San Luis Obispo, Calif., saw a similar decline due to low housing affordability rankings.
  • Even with the “urban exodus” during the pandemic that has caused population declines in New York, Los Angeles and other major cities, cities like Austin, Texas and Seattle have seen notable growth rates.

“Our report shows how patterns of economic activity are developing and changing in cities across the country,” said report author Charlotte Kesteven, senior policy analyst at the Center for Regional Economics, in the press release. “Comparing their performance provides an essential starting point for policymakers and local leaders to better assess their economies and plan for future economic success.”

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Utah economy

Housing issues drop Reno to 20th in Milken Institute’s list of best cities

Two years after being named the fourth-best performing city in the United States by a key national ranking, Reno has slipped for the second year in a row thanks in large part to a familiar culprit: housing affordability.

Reno fell to 20th place in the Milken Institute’s list of the best performing cities in 2022, two places down from its 18th place last year when it was eliminated from the annual report’s first “Tier 1” category. .

Look back:Why is Reno on the Milken Institute’s list of top cities?

Being in the top 20 of 200 metropolitan areas is always a great achievement, said Kevin Klowden, executive director of the Milken Institute’s Center for Regional Economics. It’s also a testament to the diversity and resilience of The Biggest Little City compared to Las Vegas, ranked 149th, which was among the top five metropolises to see the highest concentration of business closures due to the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19, according to the report.

“Reno is generally doing well,” Klowden said. “He just doesn’t see the absolutely explosive job growth he’s had for a number of years.”

Housing affordability issues continue to plague Reno

Aerial view of neighborhood suburbs around the city of Reno, Nevada, USA

“Explosive job growth” is also at the heart of a challenge that has plagued Reno in recent years as its housing supply continues to struggle to keep up with demand.

The median price of an existing home in the city of Reno hit $600,000 for the first time in January, according to the Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors. The number is nearly double the median home price just five years ago, when it was $320,000.

Last year, the average rent in Reno also posted new highs for six straight quarters, hitting a record high of $1,632 in the third quarter of 2021, according to real estate appraisal and consulting firm Johnson Perkins Griffin.

The result is reflected in the ranking of the best performing cities of the Milken Institute. Housing has been a big factor in Reno, dropping from fourth to 18th place last year, when it ranked 139th for housing affordability. The city did even worse this year as Reno fell all the way to 181st place, “a pretty dramatic drop,” Klowden said.

Reno has essentially become a victim of its own success, according to Klowden.

ICYMI: Lake Tahoe Affordable Workforce Housing Project Gets a Boost with $19.6 Million Grant

Just over a decade ago, Reno was one of the cities hardest hit by the housing crisis, as home values ​​plummeted during the Great Recession. Fast forward to pre-pandemic 2019 and it was one of the most successful cities in the country, attracting businesses to the area and thousands of jobs in the process.

However, not all boats have been able to ride the rising tide of growth, at least not right away. Wages in Reno initially did not keep pace with growth, Klowden said. Housing construction, meanwhile, has seen a litany of challenges, which began even before the pandemic. In addition to some reluctance among local developers to fully return after the housing crash, there were national trends that affected Reno locally.

“Trump tariffs instituted against countries like China, Canada and Mexico on commodities like steel and lumber have made them more expensive and slowed housing construction,” Klowden said. “And then now you also have supply chain disruptions (due to the pandemic).”

Add in the competitive construction market and Reno’s struggles to meet housing demand are easier to understand.

Mike Kamzierski, president and CEO of the Western Nevada Economic Development Authority, acknowledged the community’s challenges with housing affordability. Housing will likely continue to be an issue in the short term, but needs to be addressed as soon as possible in order to maintain Reno’s economic momentum.

“No one is surprised by our housing numbers…and I don’t expect much improvement anytime soon,” Kazmierski said. “The kind of better paying jobs that we need as a community keep coming, but we as a community need to fix this housing issue so they keep coming.”

Housing affordability challenges ‘not unique to Reno’

A home is listed for sale in Wingfield Springs in August 2021.

Like the proverbial canary in the coal mine, Reno also serves as a cautionary tale for other cities currently ranked at the top of the Milken Institute’s Best Cities list.

“Reno is an area where job growth has been disproportionately high relative to population,” Klowden said. “When job growth is this high for several years relative to the size of a city’s population, a housing shortage may have a more immediate effect.”

Klowden says he has no doubt other highly rated metros will experience the same housing issues if they aren’t already.

Klowden pointed out that No. 1-ranked Utah is already experiencing “a wild ride” in real estate prices. Previously affordable markets such as No. 2 Austin are also no longer the bargain they used to be for businesses looking to leave the big metros, he added.

“It’s not unique to Reno and many major metros are now impacted by this (housing affordability issue),” Klowden said. “The spike just hit Reno earlier.”

At the same time, housing affordability issues aren’t stopping cities like San Jose from doing well on the list.

After dropping to 22nd place last year, San Jose has surged back to seventh place this year. This surge has been attributed to significant improvements in job growth, wages and technology.

“The real reason San Jose can hold (despite its high cost of housing) is because it’s one of those metros where people can work and commute from outside the area,” said Klowden. “You meet a lot of people who work there but don’t live there and that’s something that’s increased a lot more during the pandemic.”

Just as technology continues to elevate San Jose, Reno’s booming tech scene could also pay dividends for the city in the future, Klowden added.

Reno fell from 86th to 65th place on a metric that measures the role technology plays in the local economy. Reno fell slightly from 104th to 108th place for its overall high-tech concentration ranking, but it’s still a good place for a city that wasn’t really known for its tech sector before.

“Reno at one point wouldn’t have come close to 108th place and it was way, way below,” Klowden said. “It’s really remarkable progress.”

Recent developments support Klowden’s assessment. Last year, for example, the greater Reno-Sparks area generated record $1.4 billion in seed funding.

Reno-Sparks is also doing a great job of improving synergies between businesses and educational and research institutions such as the University of Nevada, Reno, according to Klowden. This helps create a sustainable foundation for recruiting an educated workforce and building local startups and tech spinoffs without having to spend huge sums recruiting outside companies.

At the same time, housing affordability continues to be an albatross around Reno-Sparks’ neck. Housing issues will hamper the region’s future progress if not resolved.

“Even though Reno has slowed down a bit, it’s still doing a great job of creating a good business climate and building infrastructure for businesses,” Klowden said.

“But when a company looks at Reno and says housing affordability has dropped dramatically, that’s a problem.”

The Milken Institute’s 2022 list of top performing cities

  1. Provo, UT
  2. Austin, TX
  3. Salt Lake City, UT
  4. Phoenix, Arizona
  5. Palm Bay, Florida
  6. Seattle, Washington
  7. San Jose, California
  8. Fayetteville, Arkansas
  9. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  10. Dallas, TX
  11. Durham, North Carolina
  12. Huntsville, Alabama
  13. Oden, UT
  14. Denver, Colorado
  15. Boise, Idaho

Jason Hidalgo covers business and technology for the Reno Gazette Journal, and also reviews the latest video games. Follow him on Twitter @jasonhidalgo. Do you like this content ? Support local journalism with an RGJ digital subscription.

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Utah economy

Rural Movie Incentives Bill Becomes Law Without Governor Cox’s Signature

SALT LAKE CITY — Senate Bill 49, sponsored by State Sen. Ron Winterton, who represents parts of Summit and Wasatch counties, would exempt rural Utah film productions from current program limits. state tax incentives.

To qualify as rural, projects must be state-approved and filmed primarily in third-, fourth-, fifth-, or sixth-class counties, which excludes Salt Lake, Utah, Davis, Weber, Washington, and Cache counties.

The state provides up to $8.3 million in tax refunds annually to state film productions. Projects can recoup 20-25% of the taxes they pay on direct production expenses, which include goods, services, wages, and income.

“The tax incentive we provide for productions to come to our state is significantly lower than other states,” Alecia Williams, executive director of nonprofit Cinema Slopes, told KSL.

“Utah, at 8.3 (million dollars), it is very difficult for us to compete”,

SB 49 passed the House 50-22 and the Senate 22-7 earlier this month.

In Utah, any bill passed by the Legislature that is not returned by the Governor within ten days, not counting Sundays and the day it was received, becomes law without a signature.

Some lawmakers had argued it was a giveaway to Hollywood, while reports highlighted the governor’s fundamental support for rural parts of the state. Cox ended up doing nothing on the bill, and it became law on Thursday.

About 75% of the first three seasons of Yellowstone were filmed in Utah, contributing nearly $80 million to the state’s economy, especially in filming locations like Oakley, Kamas and Heber City. One of the most frequently used locations for Yellowstone was Thousand Peaks Ranch in Oakley, where Park City Powder Cats operates. It is also the main location of the film Wind River.

The show moved to Montana for its fourth season, where the state legislature raised its tax refund cap to $12 million in 2021.

The series’ movie star and icon, Kevin Costner, has announced plans to shoot an approximately $50 million five-movie Western theatrical series titled Horizon in Utah. He expressed his support for SB 49 at the start of the legislative session.

“I had long dreamed of making my film in Utah and exploring this state was an incredible experience. My greatest hope is that the state will support SB49 and make this dream come true. I don’t really want to go anywhere else with these five movies,” Costner said in a statement earlier this year.

The project, which focuses on 15 years of Civil War-era expansion and settlement in the West, is set to begin filming in Utah on August 29.

“America’s westward expansion was fraught with peril and intrigue, from the natural elements, to the interactions with the indigenous peoples who lived on the land, to the determination and often the cruelty of those who sought to settle there.” Costner told Deadline. “Horizon tells the story of this journey in an honest and forthcoming way, highlighting the perspectives and consequences of the characters’ life and death decisions.

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Utah economy

Guest Opinion: In a world of stubborn never-Trumpers, Evan McMullin is always wrong for Utah

It must be very embarrassing indeed these days to be a “Never Trump” Republican. While many of us were uncertain about Donald Trump’s candidacy in 2015, his presidency should have erased any doubt, and the past 14 months should have erased any lingering doubt from our collective memories.

Before the senseless overreaction to the coronavirus crushed him, Trump had given America the best economy it had seen in 60 years. His Common Sense Energy Policy Made America So Rich We Exported Oil in the Middle-East. He was the first president since Jimmy Carter not to initiate new conflicts, and he negotiated four – FOUR! – peace agreements between Israel and its Arab neighbours.

With him out now, corrupt Democratic mayors and governors have continued to impose vicious and unnecessary corona lockdowns. Gasoline prices, inflation and real estate prices are skyrocketing. The withdrawal from Afghanistan was the greatest disaster of American foreign policy, and Russia began a new expansionist campaign. Indeed, 62% of Americans agree that if Trump were still president, Putin would not have invaded Ukraine.

This year is going to be the mother of all red waves, and the Republican candidates this wave brings to Washington are our best hope for getting Americans back on track.

But will this wave help things here in Utah?

For some reason, otherwise conservative Utahns are happy to vote for weak, spineless, sometimes openly liberal politicians because they have a smile and an R after their name. While other red states profit from leaders who have dug in their heels, we have to tolerate politicians who are all too happy to give in.

But the most vapid example of the Never Trump Utahns is Evan McMullin.

If you haven’t heard of him, McMullin ran for president in 2016 as part of Trump’s six-man campaign, and this year he’s trying to do the same with beloved Senator Mike Lee. – the man of principle and conservative so reliable that he is a walking argument. in favor of human cloning.

While McMullin has always run as an independent, he is clearly a globalist, big government, establishment Democrat. He supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, endorsed Joe Biden in 2020, and fought to keep Ben McAdams in Congress. McAdams had somehow managed to convince the Utahns that — despite his very liberal record — he was the second coming of Jim Matheson, and McMullin was only too happy to prolong the lie.

McMullin pretends to be a conservative, but attacks Republicans at every opportunity. Insisting smugly that we must restore “the vision that once guided us,” McMullin eagerly joins Democrats and their allied media in pounding American conservatives with the predictable accusations of racism (yawn) or sexism or any other armed “victimism” of the day. He ignores Trump’s indisputable successes in economics and foreign policy, and shrugs off the endless disasters of the Biden administration, both at home and abroad.

As a former CIA undercover agent, McMullin is probably just as disappointed as the rest of the Deep State that Trump didn’t start a war. Plus, as a former CIA agent, he’s trained in the art of deception and tries to fool Utahans that he’s an independent conservative enough for Republicans, but that he hates the Trump wing of the party for garnering votes. Democrats.

It might be easy to call McMullin’s betrayal “no really, I’m a conservative, you guys,” but his interest might be financial. You see, McMullin’s quixotic presidential campaign left him with about $600,000 in debt. Since then, he’s played a political game where he started a nonprofit — Stand Up Republican Foundation, Inc — and used donations to pay for himself.

According to its own tax documents, obtained by Influence Watch and Pro Publica, the Stand Up Republic Foundation (also known as Stand Up Ideas, Inc.) raised millions and much of it went to the partnership McMullin Finn, LLC, in 2017 and 2018. The appearance of personal transactions may not be illegal, but it stinks and seems like an example of a guy starting a nonprofit to become a millionaire at the expense of donors.

Although the United States has created the relative peace and stability of the past 80 or so years, in the post-Trump world we see chaos that could spiral completely out of control. That there are people who do not recognize this danger is frightening, that there are people who seek to take advantage of it is infuriating. Utah must cast off the fake conservatives who have invaded our state and help restore order to the world before it’s too late.

Jared Whitley has worked in the US Senate for Orrin Hatch, the Bush White House and the defense industry. He has won a myriad of journalism awards in Utah, including being the top columnist in the Best of the West competition in 2016. He holds an MBA from Hult International Business School in Dubai and currently lives in Taylorsville.

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Utah economy

Mike Noel’s harassment injunction against critic dismissed

Arguing his pro se appeal, Kanab resident Will James prevails in lengthy dispute with retired lawmaker

(Courtesy of Will James) A ​​vocal critic of retired Utah lawmaker MIke Noel, Kanab resident Will James of Kanab was the target of a harassment injunction which Noel obtained, alleging that James’ conduct at public meetings was threatening. This injunction was denied by the Utah Court of Appeals.

Editor’s Note • This story is available only to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers. Please support local journalism.

The Utah Court of Appeals has overturned a stalking injunction by retired Utah lawmaker Mike Noel, obtained against one of his critics, finding that a lower court judge had returned the order without basing it on the applicable legal standards.

The March 10 ruling was a welcome but costly victory for Kanab resident William James, who had argued the protection order served no legitimate purpose and was issued to punish his political activism in the southern community of Utah.

Sixth District Judge Marvin Bagley imposed the order in 2020 in response to a motion Noel filed following a heated argument between the two men at a public hearing before Kanab City Council regarding a sand quarry project in the dunes west of the city.

Noel alleged that James’ behavior was threatening, although video of the encounter did not support the claim. Noel also presented no evidence that James made real or veiled threats or even attempted to communicate with him outside of public meetings.

According to the decision written by Judge Diana Hagen, the relevant question should have been whether James’ behavior would have caused fear in “a reasonable person in [Noel’s] conditions.” Bagley’s injunction, issued following a day-long hearing, made no such determination.

“It is far from clear that a reasonable person in Noel’s position would have feared for his safety or suffered emotional distress, given the context in which James’ conduct unfolded,” Hagen wrote. “The encounter occurred in a public place – a city council meeting – and in full view of a room full of witnesses. Law enforcement officers were stationed at the meeting and ready to intervene. And Noel is an experienced public servant accustomed to dealing with members of the public.

While Noel’s legal fees were covered by the Kane County Water Conservancy District, James says he has to pay $17,000 in fees generated to fight the injunction. He lacked the money to retain an attorney for the appeal case, so he argued the appeal pro se, while Noel was represented by Frank Mylar, a former Utah assistant attorney general, during the call.

A guide business operator, James and many other Kanab residents opposed the sand mine project, which was ultimately rejected because it could have industrialized the scenic landscape that helps sustain the local, land-based economy. tourism and threatens the water supply.

At the July 2019 town council meeting, Noel and James were both kicked out after maneuvering to be the last to speak and trading insults. Because he refused to leave, James was arrested. Earlier in the day, James had been asked to leave a Chamber of Commerce luncheon where he “cackled” during a presentation Noel was giving.

James maintains that it was Noel who harassed and accused him of lying in his motion in court and on the witness stand.

“It is disgusting for a government to use civil laws intended to protect real victims of abuse as de facto gag orders to silence anyone who dares to exercise basic rights in a way the patriarchs do not approve of. “, wrote James in a GoFundMe post. “My hope is that it draws attention to the fact that if these people are the first to claim the constitution when it serves their interests, they are the first to trash it when it serves their interests or when it comes to respecting the rights of dissent, the freedoms and welfare of foreigners and their families.

For his part, Noel characterized James as “a loose canyon” who approached him in a “rugged way”. He also considered James’ social media posts criticizing the Noel family members’ ties to the mine project as amounting to threats.

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Utah economy

The SXSW NFT takeover and the future of the creator economy

If you were in Austin, Texas this year for the South by Southwest festival, you saw the massive display of different brands getting into the NFT game. Naturally, SXSW would become fertile ground for NFT Chat with the potential of blockchain technology to help artists and creators receive stronger monetization of their work. When SXSW announced its blockchain-related panels for 2022 and plans to create its first SXSW NFT, I had a feeling the festival giant could go big on the new technology.

And by did they go hard! SXSW has partnered with various blockchain companies for NFT-themed brand activations and events spread across the city of Austin. Many of these NFT programs were tailored to the general public while some were exclusive to brand NFT holders (Doodles) while others were for creators holding official SXSW badges.

Blockchain Creative Labs at SXSW

FOX Entertainment’s NFT studio, Blockchain Creative Labs, has arrived in Austin as the inaugural Blockchain Category Sponsor of South by Southwest, launching the SXSW x BCL NFT Marketplace. Open until March 20, the marketplace offers Original Song NFTs and Movie Poster NFTs from Official SXSW Artists and Movie Premieres. SXSW conference attendees can purchase and claim collectible, unique, rare, and other limited NFTs while at the conference in Austin.

Dolly Parton first showed up at SXSW last night to celebrate the launch of Dollyverse, a Dolly audience-centric Web3 experience in partnership with Fox Entertainment’s Blockchain Creative Labs. Dolly Parton will soon be releasing her original novel, “Run, Rose, Run,” co-written with bestselling author James Patterson.

Panels, workshops and meetings focused on blockchain and NFT SXSW

SXSW conference attendees had plenty of NFT-focused panels to check out. During Wednesday’s “Music NFTs: Finding Post-Gold Rush Sustainability” panel, music artists and creators learned how to demystify the mysterious technology and integrate it into your music business strategy going forward.

The best NFT experience goes to Doodles and Fluf World

It seemed like the two blockchain companies that really provided a remarkably immersive experience were Doodles and Fluf World. The FLUF Haus: SXSW Edition was the third installment of the NFT Project FLUF World live activations. Fluf has merged the metaverse and the physical world and has hosted dozens of events at the FLUF Dome village with its partners Altered State Machine, Beyond, and Sylo to name a few.

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Utah economy

Brammer briefs Highland City Council after legislative session | News, Sports, Jobs

Evan Cobb, Daily Herald file photo

Attorney Brady Brammer speaks during oral argument before the Utah Supreme Court at the Matheson Courthouse Thursday, April 18, 2019, in Salt Lake City.

Rep. Brady Brammer, R-Highland, spoke at the Highland City Council meeting on Tuesday, providing an update on changes made in the 2022 Utah Legislative General Session that could affect the city.

“There’s a saying, never blame a legislative body for doing nothing because when it does nothing it hurts no one, when it does something it becomes dangerous,” Brammer said. “Unfortunately, there’s been a lot that’s been done this session…most of it is pretty positive.”

Brammer began his presentation by commending the State of Utah for its fiscal management and fiscal responsibility. Brammer said education funding per student increased by 6% and $248 million was paid into a stabilization account in hopes of maintaining a strong education fund.

“Because the education system relies heavily on income tax revenue, it’s a more variable source of revenue, so in 2008 when our economy fell, our education revenue went up. dropped significantly,” he said. “So what we’ve been trying to do is build a fund while times have been good since 2008.”

Brammer said $1.2 billion was allocated for transportation in the general session, much of which he said could be used in Utah County.

“Because Utah County is a high-growth area, it’s starting to rank very well in the transportation criteria that roads are going to be built for,” Brammer said. “Highland does have a state road which is SR 92, so we don’t see a lot of that…but the need for infrastructure in the northwest part of Utah County is quite significant.”

Brammer mentioned his success in passing the Utah Lake Authority Bill HB 232, which he sponsored alongside Senator Michael K. McKell. He said the Utah Lake Authority will be able to wield more influence than the Utah Lake Commission and will raise money from the state level rather than local budgets, as planned in the Utah Lake Commission. ‘origin.

“It’s a tighter group that has a lot more local control than the commission had,” Brammer said. “And so really what we get with this authority is the ability to have more pressure on the lake from a local voice with more state funding. We did well on this one.

Brammer, who is also a lawyer, represents Highland, Pleasant Grove, Cedar Hills and Alpine in Home District 27, which will soon become District 54 under new boundaries.

“I’m still recovering and processing whatever happens during the session,” Brammer said. “It’s a fast 45 days, but it’s a busy 45 days.”


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Utah economy

Housing market 2022: how will rising interest rates affect prices?

The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates this week – likely by 0.25% – for the first time in three years, in hopes of containing soaring inflation.

As a result, mortgage rates will also rise. So what will this mean for the housing market?

In the West, especially for high-demand states like Utah, it’s not good.

“It’s bad,” said Dejan Eskic, senior fellow at the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, who specializes in housing research.

While the nation’s average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has edged closer to 4%, 67% of Utah households are “locked out” of the state’s median price home, according to Eskic’s calculations.

The median priced single-family home in Utah was $512,000 statewide in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“A full two-thirds of Utah can’t afford the median-priced home anywhere because of how quickly rates have gone up over the past two months,” Eskic said.

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate in the United States hit a record low of 2.65% in January 2021, but has jumped to 3.85% in the past three months.

If interest rates rise even further, approaching 4.5% or 5%, that percentage of Utahns who can’t afford the median-priced home could jump even closer to 70%, Eskic said.

“If you had to wait to buy in the spring, you’re probably out of luck,” Eskic said, as rising interest rates push even more homes out of reach with higher monthly loan payments.

Wait, shouldn’t higher interest rates help lower demand?

Utah’s housing problem continues to be a supply and demand issue. Shouldn’t the rise in interest rates therefore help to curb demand?

Not in today’s market, Eskic said.

Rising interest rates will slow demand, he said, but not “enough to completely slow the market because there is nothing to buy.”

Low inventory remains a big problem that is sending home prices skyrocketing.

“Typically when we see rates go up, we see a slowdown in demand. We are seeing a slowdown in prices. Sometimes the price actually goes down,” Eskic said, like when they did from mid-2018 to January 2019. Then rates hit nearly 5% and the state saw its median sale price go from $310,000 to $301,000.

But in today’s market? Don’t expect to see prices drop, he said.

“Over the past two months, rates have gone up dramatically, and we haven’t seen anything like it,” he said. “We don’t see any indication of (price) falling because stocks are so low.”

“In a normal environment,” or if the housing market was the same as it was in 2019, Eskic said interest rate hikes would cause prices to “decelerate.”

But Utah’s 2022 market is far from normal.

“The inventory is so low it’s non-existent,” he said, noting that at this time of year would typically have between 7,000 and 9,000 active homes for sale. “And right now, we probably have 2,000.”

“Because of that, we’re still expecting to see some pretty healthy price increases,” he said.

Even with so many Utahns sold out, Eskic said there are plenty of buyers still driving demand up, many of whom have migrated to Utah.

“It’s those two factors,” he said, “low inventory and immigration.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended housing markets across the country as thousands of Americans reassessed their lives and left big cities in search of more space at lower prices. Many looked west, especially to states like Utah, where jobs were booming, and Idaho, where housing was relatively affordable.

As a result, states like Utah and Idaho had record years for home sales and price increases. In Utah, experts have warned of a “severely unbalanced” housing market as demand continues to dramatically outpace supply.

But it’s not just the pandemic’s fault. This has only worsened and accelerated the housing problem in Utah. The housing shortage in the West began years ago in the midst of the Great Recession, after the subprime mortgage crisis sent the national and global economy into a death spiral. After the crash, homebuilding contracted and the market has struggled to keep up with demand ever since.

Will higher interest rates lower prices?

Higher interest rates may slow price increases, Eskic said, but it won’t stop them.

It will only lift what Eskic called a “mask” that has essentially hidden or softened the impact on homebuyers’ monthly payments.

In 2021, Utah home prices rose 27% statewide, breaking the 20.1% record set in 1978, set 43 years ago, according to the Salt Lake Lake Board of Realtors.

Unfortunately, in 2022 there isn’t a lot of good news for potential buyers. Prices are expected to rise further thanks to low inventories – but the good news is that they will only rise by perhaps 10%, Eskic said, instead of more than 20%.

This slice of good news rings hollow, however, when prices reach record highs.

“It will only slow the acceleration,” Eskic said. “That won’t stop him.”

So in 2022, “we’re still in a sore housing market,” he said, and he doesn’t see relief until “later in the decade, unfortunately,” when aging Utahns decide to trade in their large batches against “simplified”. », smaller batches.

For aspiring homebuyers who have been waiting, hoping prices might come down — hoping the bubble will burst like it did in 2008 — Eskic said there’s no indication the wait will lead to lower prices. price.

Even though prices are painful today, if it makes sense for you and your family, Eskic advised pulling the trigger now rather than waiting.

“It will be much cheaper to buy now,” he said, “than it will be two or three years from now.”

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Utah economy

Broadband internet service is coming to rural Box Elder communities – Cache Valley Daily

Governor Spencer Cox hailed the benefits of broadband internet service at a press conference in Mantua on March 10.

MANTUA – High-speed Internet service is coming to currently isolated communities in Box Elder County and the price for this improved connectivity will be nearly $9.5 million.

On March 10, Governor Spencer Cox announced the awarding of $5.86 million from the state’s $10 million Broadband Access Grant to connect rural households in Box Elder County via a high speed fiber optic cable.

“What broadband does is turn any home into a school,” Cox explained at the press conference at Sydney’s Restaurant in Mantua. “It can turn any house into a hospital. It can turn any home into a movie theater. It can turn any home into a workplace.

The number of Box Elder County households affected by the state grant will be about 2,400, according to Ryan Starks, director of the governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity.

Communities with faster internet access will include Bear River City, Elwood, Howell, Mantua, Penrose, South Willard, Thatcher and Willard.

Cox said funding for the state’s broadband access grant was secured through President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Bailout Act (ARPA) of 2021.

ARPA aims to facilitate the United States’ recovery from the devastating economic and health effects of the coronavirus pandemic by providing federal funds to state governments.

While many other states are using these funds to boost their economies, Cox said Utah is free to use ARPA funds for investments such as fiber optic expansion because its economy has been down. wisely managed during the pandemic.

Local funding of approximately $3.46 million will cover the remainder of the cost of broadband expansion in Box Elder County, according to County Commissioner Stan Summers.

While visiting Mantua, the governor also encouraged all Utahns to participate in the Internet Speed ​​Test, a campaign recently launched by the Utah Broadband Center.

This campaign is a statewide initiative for residents to self-report their internet speed at home, work, or wherever they connect to the internet. This data will help identify areas of the state that are most in need of internet upgrades.

Utahans can complete the speed test by going to

The Utah Governor‘s Office of Economic Opportunity provides resources and support for starting, growing, and recruiting businesses. It also leads to an increase in tourism, film production, outdoor recreation, and mixed martial arts in Utah.

The Utah Broadband Center advances economic opportunity, energy efficiency, telecommuting, education, and telehealth functions that rely on broadband infrastructure. It works with broadband providers; local, state, and federal policy makers; consumers; community institutions; and other stakeholders to support statewide broadband rollout

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Utah economy

Economic Impacts of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine: What Can Utah Expect?

Gas prices in Utah and across the country have soared in recent weeks, largely due to the economic fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and further compounded by President Joe Biden’s decision , announced Tuesday, to ban US imports of Russian oil and gas.

But alongside record high gasoline and diesel prices, which not only hit consumers on a daily basis, but can drive up the prices of a wide variety of goods and services, what other economic impacts will residents and businesses in Utah expect to see as Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine approaches the three-week mark?

On Tuesday, the Salt Lake House convened a panel of local economic and business experts, along with Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, to discuss how Utah is dealing with the unrest as they continue to unfold and disrupt global economic systems.

Romney, who is a member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he supports Biden’s actions in response to Russia’s invasion, but also noted that current and previous administrations have not done so. enough to help build a bulwark in Ukraine to deter Russian aggression.

“I think you have to give the president and his administration real credit for bringing together so many nations, within NATO and some outside of NATO, to come together to put in place the sanctions that have been established,” Romney said. “And they got tougher partly because public opinion around the world…has been so overwhelmingly opposed to Russia that nations have been willing to sign tougher sanctions than I think could have been expected. .

“The big mistake of this administration was not providing enough weapons to Ukraine to really scare Russia off and I think that was a mistake not only of this administration but of previous administrations, Republican and Democratic alike. We we simply did not take the threat of a Russian invasion seriously enough to ensure that Ukraine had the defensive armament necessary to repel an attack.

Romney noted that several commodity indices were at or near historic highs this week and said it was too early to predict what future volatility to expect in global markets. He shared his concerns that European nations, which are much more dependent on Russian exports of energy and raw materials, could be pushed into an economic recession that has a chance of dragging the United States down with it. And, he noted that the global impacts were almost certain to fuel further inflationary pressures on consumers in Utah and across the country.

While escalating gasoline prices may be the earliest and most visible evidence of global market disruptions – Utah’s average price per gallon rose nearly 70 cents last week and was at $4.19 Wednesday according to AAA, just three cents off the state’s all-time high. – the Beehive State, on average, uses less gas than most.

Natalie Gochnour, associate dean at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business and director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at U., attended Tuesday’s economic forum and said the great outdoors of Utah may lead to believe the state’s residents are, collectively, doing a lot of driving. But the data suggests otherwise.

“We are one of the lowest users per capita in the country,” Gochnour said. “It might surprise people because you would think we all drive long distances, but (our population) is very compact, very urban.”

Gochnour also noted that the high prices at the pump reflect that oil producers are getting the best price for the crude oil they extract and that Utah is one of the best states in the country when it comes to oil production, producing 87,000 barrels per day based on 2020 data.

And it’s a boon for local oil companies.

“When oil prices go up, if you’re not an energy-producing state, you’re only doing harm,” Gochnour said. “But when you’re an energy-producing state, you can benefit…and Utah is the 11th-largest oil-producing state in the nation.”

Gochnour said that in addition to oil and gas exports, other commodity markets in which Russian producers play an important role, such as wheat and some metals, are experiencing price escalation and that these factors come at a time when US inflation rose at its fastest. rate in decades. And this convergence of factors is likely to further fuel inflationary pressures.

But there is another factor that is likely to work in Utah’s favor when it comes to weathering the negative economic repercussions of sanctions aimed at isolating Russia from the rest of the world.

Gochnour cited pre-pandemic data indicating that of Utah’s $17 billion in exports in 2019, only about $20 million went to Russian markets. The state’s major international economic export markets are, in order, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Mexico. Russia ranked 43rd, by dollar value, in terms of export volumes that year.

Of these $20 million in Russian exports, about $6.3 million were food products, while machinery accounted for about $3.2 million and miscellaneous manufacturing generated about $3.2 million in value of goods. ‘export.

Miles Hansen, panel member and president/CEO of the World Trade Center Utah, who also spent years in the Middle East and Eastern Europe working for the US State Department, said a growing list of companies were restricting their activities in Russia and noted the impacts, due to the sanctions and the invasion itself, were also disrupting European markets in a way that required new calibrations for Utah companies there present.

“(Utah’s business community) needs to buckle up and focus on resilience,” Hansen said. “We cannot apply the practices of doing business in Europe as usual. This is going to have lasting impacts not only on raw materials, mining and energy, but also on other aspects of the economy.

But Hansen said he believes Utah is entering the current turmoil in a very strong economic position, and new opportunities will likely arise for Utah businesses that are nimble and looking for new markets.

Gochnour also sees Utah’s diverse and growing economy well positioned to meet the challenges ahead emanating from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“In Utah, we go into this global conflict in a very strong position,” Gochnour said. “We have the fastest growing economy in the country and we are one of only four states whose economy has grown in the last two years.”

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Utah economy

“Blindfolded, Balaclavas, and Handcuffs”: How Some Teens Access Utah’s Youth Treatment Programs

Katey Handel still remembers the fear she felt more than a decade ago when – at 17 – she woke up to a scruffy man towering over her.

“We can do it easily,” she recalled telling him. “Or we can do it the hard way. But you come with me.

It was 2008. Handel was living in Louisiana and had just found out she was pregnant. It had been a crisis for her family, she recalls. His older sister had come to visit and found them a hotel room to talk and spend time together.

Handel had no idea why there were now two strangers in this room, one of them grabbing her from her bed.

“I felt like I had no choice,” she said. “So I went with him. I knew then that I was pregnant. So, I didn’t want to go the hard way, whatever route that meant.

That man was Daniel Taylor, who at the time ran a youth treatment center in Cedar City, Utah called Integrity House. He had gone to Louisiana to bring Handel to his establishment with his parents’ permission. Surprising her in the middle of the night was part of the plan.

Outside the hotel room, Handel’s father was waiting in his SUV, she recalled. He was told to ride in the back with Taylor. Her father then drove them to the airport and Taylor flew with her to Cedar City, where she would stay for the next four months.

The way Handel was taken to Utah is a common tactic in the so-called “troubled teen” industry. With a parent’s consent, two people are sent to surprise their child while he is sleeping and forcibly take him to a wilderness program or residential treatment center.

These programs, many of which are based in Utah, sometimes send staff like Taylor to pick up the children. Parents can also hire a “safe transport” company whose sole purpose is to accompany teenagers to treatment centres.

This shadowy corner of the teen treatment industry is almost entirely unregulated. Carriers hired by parents can drag children from their beds, handcuff them, hold them or blindfold them. Oregon is the only state that has restricted how these companies can bring children across state lines.

In Utah, a lawmaker who recently sponsored a bill bringing regulatory reform to the state’s burgeoning teen treatment industry said he wanted to take a closer look at how children in people from all over the country travel to Utah for treatment.

Some former residents say the experience had traumatic effects that lingered into adulthood, long after leaving a treatment center.

Integrity House in Cedar City, Utah.

Integrity House in Cedar City, Utah.

Lea Hogsten | The Salt Lake Grandstand

A booming industry in Utah

There are over 100 accredited youth treatment programs in Utah. They are aimed at parents and outside agencies dealing with troubled adolescents.

Some are smaller group homes, tucked away in suburban neighborhoods like Integrity House, where Handel was sent. Others are vast horse ranches or large boarding schools. There are also wilderness therapy programs, which require teens to trek across Utah’s vast deserts and public lands.

Since 2015, some 20,000 children have been sent to adolescent treatment programs in Utah. The children come from wealthy families and foster families. Some are on juvenile probation. They may be struggling with drug abuse or eating disorders. Some are depressed or defiant. Some cut themselves or attempted suicide.

Teenagers contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to Utah’s economy each year, according to University of Utah estimates. And new data analysis from APM Reports, The Salt Lake Grandstand and KUER shows how outsized this industry is in Utah compared to other places.

For more than six years, from 2015 to 2020, 34% of teens who crossed state lines to enter a youth treatment center landed in Utah. This means that Utah receives many more children than any other state. On average, Utah receives nearly 3,000 children per year. Virginia and Texas — the next two most popular destinations where troubled teens are sent for treatment — receive between 1,200 and 1,300 children a year.

More children are placed in Utah than in any other state

Every year, thousands of children and adolescents cross state lines and are placed in treatment centers. Utah, which hosts nearly 3,000 placements a year, dominates the sector. The table below shows child placements in Utah and the 15 closest states. Unrepresented states conduct an average of less than 100 internships per year.

SOURCE: Interstate Child Care Compact (ICPC) data, 2015-2020, requested from each state. Not all states provided data for every year, and one state provided no data. The ICPC counts each time a child is placed in a treatment centre. A child could be placed in different treatment centers over the course of a year and would be counted each time they are placed in the care of a facility. To compare annual averages, APM reports normalized the number of placements using the number of years of data reported. DATA: Will make

Many of these children bound for Utah arrive through a “secure transportation” company, where parents pay thousands of dollars to have someone pick up their child and take them away.

At a St. George transportation company, parents pay nearly $2,500, plus airfare for two employees and their teenage boy, if needed.

Taylor, who helped run Integrity House for nearly a dozen years, often picked up residents. Whether or not the transport was a surprise, he said, often depended on the child’s parents. “Sometimes parents worry about not coming, or running away or whatever,” Taylor said in an interview with a reporter on the Sent Away podcast. “So they’ll keep it hidden until we show up.”

A vote for transport regulation

Stephanie Balderston will never forget when Taylor got her into the back seat of a car, taking her from her life in Colorado to Integrity House in 2008.

She still has nightmares, she said, waking up in the middle of the night crying after reliving that moment Taylor pulled her into a car as she screamed for help. Her parents were watching nearby, she recalls, crying but doing nothing to intervene.

“It really is like the most inhumane, craziest thing you’ve ever experienced in your life,” she said.

This memory also haunts Balderston during his waking hours. She sees men who look like Taylor in a store and she is seized with a wave of fear.

“Like at Costco or something, and you look up and you see a random person. And in my head, it’s him,” she said. “And I’m freezing. And I’m terrified. And I’m starting to have flashbacks of my transportation and being at Integrity House.

Last year, Utah State Senator Mike McKell sponsored legislation that marked the first reform of Utah’s troubled teen industry surveillance in 15 years.

The law placed limits on the use of restraints, drugs, and seclusion rooms in youth treatment programs. It required facilities to document any instances in which staff used physical restraints and seclusion, and it required them to submit reports to state licensors. It also increased the required number of inspections that state regulators must perform.

But that legislation placed no limits on what people who transport children to adolescent treatment programs can do — something McKell said he hopes to address in the future. “I don’t think the way we transport children is appropriate,” he said. “I’m convinced that if you start a treatment program with extreme trauma, common sense says it can’t be good for children. And I just think it should be completely banned.

Oregon’s limits on what carriers can do when bringing children into its state for treatment were only recently enacted, in 2021.

Utah <a class=State Senator Mike McKell” srcset=” 2000w, 1400w, 1000w, 600w, 400w” src=””/>

Utah State Senator Mike McKell

Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Grandstand
Oregon State Senator Sara Gelser Blouin

Oregon State Senator Sara Gelser Blouin

Kaylee Domzalski | Oregon Public Broadcasting

This legislation, introduced by Oregon State Senator Sara Gelser Blouin, requires people who transport children to Oregon facilities to be registered with the state Department of Social Services. It also prohibits carriers from using mechanical restraints, such as handcuffs, when taking children to facilities.

“No more balaclavas, blindfolds or handcuffs,” Gelser Blouin said during a floor debate last June. “It is not children who have committed crimes. These are just children that parents have a hard time with. And some are in dire need of care or support, but not blindfolds, hoods, and handcuffs. »

McKell said he sees this as a problem that can only be solved by federal regulations. Since children move from state to state, he said, it is difficult to regulate conduct that occurs outside of Utah before a young person arrives for treatment. .

There has recently been a push to bring federal oversight to adolescent treatment programs nationwide, but the Collective Care Accountability Act has yet to be formally introduced or debated.

In the meantime, McKell said he wants to start understanding the scope of the transportation services industry in Utah. He sponsored a bill this session that will now require transportation companies to carry insurance and be licensed by the state — but he is not enacting any regulatory or oversight measures.

“There have been serious allegations of abuse in the past,” McKell said. “I am concerned about children being picked up in the middle of the night and the trauma that creates.”

Sent Away is an investigative podcast from APM Reports, KUER and The Salt Lake Grandstand. The report is funded in part by Arnold Ventures, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Hollyhock Foundation. See more collaborative reports.

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Utah economy

Utah Governor Spencer Cox says he plans to veto trans sports ban bill

SALT LAKE CITY, AP — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said he plans to veto legislation passed Friday that would ban transgender female student-athletes from participating in women’s sports.

Without her support, Utah is unlikely to join the 11 states, all led by Republicans, that recently banned transgender girls from participating in school sports leagues that match their gender identity.

In vowing to veto the bill, Cox directly addressed transgender student-athletes, who he says have been the subject of political debate through no fault of their own.

“I just want them to know that everything will be fine. We’re going to work through that,” Cox said.

The governor had engaged for months in behind-the-scenes negotiations to broker a compromise between LGBTQ advocates and social conservatives.

After lending his support to a proposal to create a one-of-a-kind Utah commission of experts to make decisions about individual transgender student-athletes wishing to participate, Cox said he was stunned on Friday night so that lawmakers moved forward and eventually passed a modified proposal that included an outright ban on transgender female student-athletes competing in girls’ leagues.

Legislation sent to Cox after passing the state Senate and House on Friday bans “biological males” — which she defines as “the genetics and anatomy of an individual at birth” — from leagues some girls. Supporters said it would ensure fairness and safety for girls and prevent cultural shifts that they believe could lead to increasing numbers of transgender children wanting to participate in women’s sports in the future.

“Boys can run faster, they can jump higher, and they can throw farther than girls in the same age bracket,” Republican Senator Curt Bramble said.

“For male-born individuals to compete with naturally-born females, it’s an unfair playing field,” he added.

The originally proposed “School Activities Eligibility Commission” would have been made up of a mix of sports and transgender healthcare experts. It ultimately failed to gain buy-in from those who oppose and support a ban.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox speaks during a press conference at the Utah State Capitol, Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, in Salt Lake City.

Rick Bowmer via Associated Press

Although they preferred it to an outright ban, LGBTQ advocates worried that transgender children scheduled to appear before the panel would feel singled out. Social conservatives, backed by a much larger contingent of Republican lawmakers, said that didn’t go far enough to protect women’s sports.

There are no public accusations that a transgender player has competitive advantages in Utah. Last year, The Associated Press contacted two dozen lawmakers in more than 20 states considering similar youth sports measures and found that it was only a problem a few times among the hundreds of thousands of teenagers. who play sports in high school.

The legislation sent to the governor aims to refute what the commission’s advocates, including the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Kera Birkeland, thought were among their strongest arguments: that the courts would likely prevent Utah from enforcing a ban, much like they have in states like Idaho.

The ban that eventually passed retained sections of the original proposal and named the commission as a replacement, for a scenario in which the courts prohibited Utah from enforcing a ban.

Birkeland, who coaches high school basketball when she’s not in the Legislative Assembly, said her plans to introduce a sports bill for transgender youth for the second year in a row ties into the conversations she had had with transgender and cisgender students.

Although Utah lawmakers ultimately ended up in the same place, Birkeland’s comments were very different from those of lawmakers in states such as Iowa, where a senator framed a ban as a stance against “revival and part of an “ongoing culture war.”

Birkeland said she was frustrated with the many conversations she had about the politics of her commission proposal, rather than the children involved.

She expects she will face legal challenges, but ultimately backed the amended legislation because she says if the ban is imposed by the courts, the commission will eventually operate as intended.

Equality Utah, an LGBTQ rights group opposed to state intervention in youth sports, said it was blindsided by the passage of the legislation.

“We let down our state’s transgender children, who just want to be treated with kindness and respect,” the group said in a statement.

In most places, eligibility decisions for transgender children are made by athletic organizations like the Utah High School Athletic Association. Of the approximately 85,000 student-athletes who play high school sports in the state, four transgender players have gone through the association’s eligibility determination process.

Despite these established processes, youth sports have increasingly become a central political issue in Republican-majority state houses. Prior to 2020, no state had enacted legislation relating to transgender children participating in youth sports. Since then, 11 states have passed laws banning transgender girls from playing in leagues that match their gender identity – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

In Indiana, lawmakers passed a ban this week, sending it to Governor Eric Holcomb for final approval.

The nature of the prohibitions varies. Some explicitly target transgender girls, which have been the main topic of debate in most state houses. Others are broad enough to include college athletics.

With two-thirds majorities in both houses, lawmakers could override the governor’s veto, but with some Republicans opposed to the ban, such a scenario is unlikely.

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Utah economy

Many Utah consumers are confident in their finances, despite inflation

SALT LAKE CITY — Consumers in Utah say they have hope for the economy and their finances, even with rising inflation. And Utahns tend to feel this in greater numbers than Americans in other states.

The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute tracks consumer sentiment in Utah. They noted this surge in confidence in a survey they conducted between January and February 2022.

The Institute reported that consumer sentiment rose 1.9 points from January to February 2022 to land at 78.8%. Sentiment rose among college students and households earning less than $100,000 a year. It fell for those without a degree and those earning over $100,000 a year.

“We really see the benefits of Utah’s strong economy,” said the Institute’s senior economist Joshua Splosdoff, “and good politics in the lives of its citizens.”

That’s not to say Utah consumers are back to where they felt before the global pandemic hit in 2020.

“Overall, we feel even worse than before the pandemic, so we still have a long way to go,” he said.

And Utahans who earn more than $100,000 a year felt less optimistic than those who earned less. Spolsdoff thinks it’s because households with higher incomes have more assets and more to lose.

The result of the Institute’s latest consumer confidence survey comes as no surprise. Spolsdoff said Utah has always been above the national average.

“We’ve actually had ‘net positive’ job growth for the past two years, while most states have had ‘net negative’ growth. As the nation recovered, we were basically expanding and thriving.

And while the survey notes that Utahans are feeling positive, it was conducted before Russia invaded Ukraine and doesn’t take into account the effects the invasion could have on Ukraine’s economy. Utah or Utahans in general.

Another reading:

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Utah economy

Biden discusses Putin and inflation in the first State of the Union

(NewsNation Now) — Amid escalating conflict in Europe, President Joe Biden devoted much of his first State of the Union address to pledging to check Russian aggression, saying that it is important to fight the “dictators” before they “cause more chaos”. .”

“Throughout our history, we’ve learned this lesson: When dictators don’t pay the price for their aggression, they cause more chaos,” Biden said. “They keep moving. And the costs and threats to America and the world continue to mount.

As he began his speech, Biden asked lawmakers thronging the House chamber to stand up and salute Ukrainians who have been fighting in their home country against a Russian attack for nearly a week. Biden said he and all members of Congress, regardless of political differences, were united “with an unwavering determination that freedom will always triumph over tyranny.”

It was a remarkable show of unity after a long year of bitter acrimony between Biden’s Democratic coalition and the Republican opposition.

“Putin can surround Kiev with tanks, but he will never win the hearts and souls of the Ukrainian people,” Biden said. “He will never quench their love of freedom. He will never weaken the resolve of the free world.

Biden highlighted the bravery of Ukrainian defenders and the commitment of a newly reinvigorated Western alliance that has worked to rearm Ukraine’s military and cripple Russia’s economy through sanctions.

As Biden spoke, Russian forces were stepping up their attacks in Ukraine, after bombing the central square of the country’s second-largest city and Kiev’s main TV tower, killing at least five people. The Babi Yar Holocaust memorial in Kyiv was also damaged.

During his speech, Biden said the United States was following Canada and the European Union in banning Russian planes from its airspace in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine. He also said the Justice Department was launching a task force to prosecute the crimes of Russian oligarchs, whom he called “corrupt leaders who have cheated billions of dollars from this violent regime.”

“We come for your ill-gotten gains,” he said, saying US and European allies were looking for opportunities to seize their yachts, luxury apartments and private jets.

Pivoting on domestic concerns, Biden then addressed what has become a top concern for voters: inflation and the economy. Even before the Russian invasion sent energy costs skyrocketing, prices for American families had risen, and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hurt families and the nation’s economy.

Biden outlined plans to fight inflation by reinvesting in U.S. manufacturing capacity, speeding up supply chains and reducing the burden of childcare and elder care for workers.

“Too many families are struggling to keep up with the bills,” Biden said. “Inflation robs them of the gains they might otherwise feel. I understand. This is why my absolute priority is to control the prices.

Biden’s speech came amid public disapproval of his handling of the economy and the pandemic. Results from a recent NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll found that 57% of respondents disapproved of Biden’s handling of his presidency. Another 55% say he is not a clear communicator. And 88% said they were at least somewhat concerned about inflation, with 55% saying it was an even bigger concern than COVID-19 or unemployment.

As he denigrated the impact of the 2017 tax cuts, which primarily benefited the wealthiest Americans despite cutting taxes for a large majority of the country, Biden was booed by Republicans at bedroom.

In a rare jarring moment, Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado shouted that Biden was to blame for the 13 service members who were killed during the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last August.

“You put them in, 13 of them,” Boebert shouted as Biden mentioned his late son Beau, a veteran who died of brain cancer and served near widely used toxic military burns in Iraq. and in Afghanistan. Biden is pursuing legislation to help veterans suffering from exposure and other injuries.

Rising energy prices following Russia’s war in Ukraine are likely to exacerbate inflation in the United States, which is already at its highest level in 40 years, to eat into people’s incomes and threaten economic recovery after the pandemic. And while the geopolitical crisis in Eastern Europe may have helped calm partisan tensions in Washington, it has not erased the political and cultural discord that casts doubt on Biden’s ability to deliver on his promise to promote the national unity.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, chosen to give the Republican response, said Biden’s speech was a blast from the past with rising inflation, rising crime and a resurgent Russia, making it feel more like the 1980s than today.

“Before he was even sworn in, the president said he wanted to — I quote — get America respected around the world again and unite us here. It failed on both fronts,” she said.

Biden used his speech to return the country “to more normal routines” after two years of a pandemic that reshaped American life.

“It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again,” he said. He said people will be able to order another round of free tests from the government and that his administration is launching a “test to treat” initiative to provide free antiviral pills at pharmacies to those who test positive for the virus.

While his speech to Congress last year saw the rollout of a massive social spending package, Biden this year has largely repackaged past proposals in search of workable measures he hopes can win support. bipartisanship in a bitterly divided Congress ahead of the election.

The president also pointed to investments in everything from high-speed internet access to building bridges from November’s $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill as an example of government achieving a consensus and bringing change for the nation.

As part of his speech to voters, he also placed new emphasis on how proposals such as the extension of the child tax credit and the reduction of childcare costs could provide relief to families. as prices rise. It was said that his proposals on climate change would reduce costs for low- and middle-income families and create new jobs.

Biden has called for lower health care costs, outlining his plan to allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, as well as an extension of more generous health insurance subsidies now temporarily available through the Act’s marketplaces. affordable care where 14.5 million people are covered.

Biden also called for action on voting rights, which failed to garner GOP support. And as gun violence escalates, he returned to calls to ban assault weapons, a direct request he hadn’t made in months. He called for “funding the police with the resources and training they need to protect our communities.”

He led Congress in a bipartisan tribute to retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and highlighted the biography of Federal Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, his nominee being the first black woman to serve on the high court.

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