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BBA Economic Digest

Panama Rising Slow growth and economic instability has characterized much if not most of Latin America. "Latin America is sinking. In the grand scheme of things, it’s become irrelevant," writes Steve Hanke, a professor of applied economics at The Johns Hopkins University and senior fellow at the Cato Institute for Forbes Magazine. "When it comes to listing culprits that account for the zombie growth rates in Latin America, the laundry list usually includes: high levels of corruption, a weak application of the rule of law, poor public services, a lack of public safety, and so on." Said El Salvadorian President Nayib Bukele in a recent interview with CBS 60 Minutes: "Our whole economy is in sh

BBA Economic Digest

Dare to Be Bold Helping communities become "better" places for business and companies find "better" places for business is central to our BBA consultancy. But better is always tethered to the competition, which is limiting. The idea of offering a better product or service is ingrained in us, but it is difficult to convey that in a community brand. Most economic development organizations will list features and benefits as proof that their community is indeed a better place. But a brand is not features. Rather, it's a promise, a point of view, a forward leaning vision. Therefore, a more effective strategy to being "better" for economic development marketing purposes is to be bold and different

BBA Economic Digest

A Story to Remember The best stories are the ones we remember. And we remember stories because it helps us make sense of the world. Here's a story that I heard last week while attending Consultant Connect's ECONOMIX 2019 in Charleston, S.C. In 1995, the federal government decided to shutter the Charleston Naval Base. About 22,000 jobs were eliminated in one fell swoop. Fear has always been a great motivator to bring people together to get things done. And that is exactly what happened in Charleston. In a region wracked by war, hurricanes, and believe it or not earthquakes (South Carolina averages 10-15 earthquakes a year below magnitude 3.), the three-county Charleston region came together t

BBA Economic Digest

The Low Wage Workers On the face of it, the economy seems to be doing pretty well, with unemployment rates near or at record lows. But that's far from the full story. The truth is there exists a huge segment of workers today who are earning low wages that leaves them and their families at risk. When I speak with economic developers, which I do almost daily, we seldom talk about the working poor. But a new report from Brookings shows that 53 million Americans -- 44 percent of all workers aged 18-64 -- have low-wage jobs. This significant portion of the nation’s labor force is earning median hourly wages of $10.22 and median annual earnings of $17,950. Brookings found that they are not only st

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