When One Foot Is Better Than Two

During construction, a high rise building on the approach to an airport had to lose a floor. The reason was the length of a foot. Or…we should say the lengths of a foot. Why We Need To Lose a Foot…

Where to Find New Capital Cities

Whether looking at Indonesia today or the United States in 1791, moving a capital city can be somewhat similar.

Six Facts That Explain How China Plans to Dominate World Trade

China’s economic development and much more will be propelled if its Belt and Road Initiative sends trillions to countries in three continents.

What the Waffle House Index Says About a Storm

As a leading indicator for business activity during a natural disaster, the color coding for the Waffle House Index provides a handy forecast.

African Development: Is Poverty Diminishing?

How to assess African poverty? The Afrobarometer provides some answers that generated several perplexing questions. The African Development Bank tells us that growth rates for many African nations have been a robust 4.8%. However, the Afrobarometer has concluded that in…

Human Capital: Electricity Matters

After Hurricane Sandy struck my NJ area, a physician friend told me that, with no refrigeration, her vaccine supply spoiled. Imagine her temporary problem as a permanent condition in the developing world. Lack of dependable electricity affects vaccines and the ability…

An Emerging Market: Cambodia

Our story starts in Russia with McDonald’s French Fry problem. Planning to open the first Moscow McDonald’s in 1990, they realized Russian potatoes were too little. Yes, they tasted good. But the fries would be tiny–not like a McDonald’s French…

Election Economics: Too Much or Not Enough Stimulus Spending?

For the first quarter of 2009, GDP declined at a 5.5% rate and, at 7.6% during January, unemployment was rising. With the economy in a tailspin, policy makers wanted to act quickly. Primarily split along party lines, the Congress responded with…

Plane Train Competition

Should government subsidize a railroad? Our story starts during the 1970s when you could fly from New York to Washington, D.C. on the Eastern shuttle. Eastern left hourly (!) and guaranteed a seat to everyone who showed up for the…

What Can An N-Gram Tell Us?

For laughing and learning this TED talk is wonderful.  Having digitized 15 million books, Google enabled us to access a mammoth body of knowledge. However, just reading the entries from the year 2000, without eating or sleeping, absorbing 200 words…