I'm am finally back and happy to report that me Mum is doing well, thanks for the support. Turned out she had a double/simultaneous whammy of pulmonary embolisms and whooping cough. Not fun, but a full recovery is well underway.
Lots to comment on, so I'll start with the big state news: another horrendous budget report which mimics what we are seeing nationally - a recovery which has stalled. This is exactly what I and many other economists had predicted: without a real driver of growth to pick up for the slack in consumer activity fueled by the homes-as-ATMs craze it was hard to see where robust growth would come from. It still seems like the only good news is in Asia, which helps us a lot, but not enough.
In Oregon it appears more and more people are on board with kicker reform (though the devil will be in the details), but the prospect of returning $40 million to corporations (mostly out of state) whole at the same time slashing schools and other state services sets the table for getting it done. Let's hope so.
I have a lot of things to catch up on - journal editors wondering where there referee reports are, an external review for a tenure case, preparing for the Fall term to start and even getting ready to coach for youth soccer this fall - but I will try and get the blog back up to speed post-haste. There will be a lot to talk about this fall.