I use Wordle to generate the image, the ROME RSS reader to download the RSS feeds, and Java software from Inon to process the data.
You can also see the Java version in the Wordle gallery.
In 1927 Lindburgh flew a primitive airplane over the Atlantic. By 1968 we had the Boeing 747. (In 1969 the moon landing.) In the next 42 years commercial airplanes hardly advanced at all.And yet, in 1970 the airline industry sold 550 billion passenger-kilometres. In 1995, 2.5 trillion. In 2010, about 5 trillion. So in this 42 years of making no advances, the airline industry somehow managed to provide ten times as much air travel and, presumably, ten times as much positive impact on people's lives. Maybe inventing new kinds of plane isn't what drives growth after all.
...the city took a marked turn for the worse. We passed vacant lots surrounded by listing barbed-wire fences, the shells of abandoned mini-malls and the cement outlines of what might once have been petrol stations, now being reclaimed by bushes and grass. There were lots of these ‘urban fields’, where buildings had been torn down and nothing built in their place, and it was curiously unsettling to see how easily sizable chunks of a city could be erased and swallowed up once humans left.
...the neighbourhood reached its nadir – no small feat – with boarded-up houses, a couple of burned-out shops being used as squats, a low, forbidding bar called ‘Club Rolex’ and, saddest of all, the brick skeleton of what had been George Rogers Clark Junior High School. It stood like the shell of a dissolved monastery behind a high wire fence in an asphalt yard grown into a meadow of waist-high weeds, its roof gone, every window smashed and its walls slowly collapsing.This - on the face of it - sad-sounding story provokes a question: if demand for services and facilities changes over time, what should happen? In a flexible economy, presumably the old infrastructure may well shut down. Presumably the kids who would have gone to that school are now attending some other school instead. People are buying their groceries from another store in another neighbourhood.
Business investment for the first quarter of 2010 is estimated to be 6.0 per cent higher than the previous quarter.From the same source, some news on public borrowing:
...in December, the Treasury preducted public sector net borrowing for 2009-10 of £178 billion on the definition it uses. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show a downward revision to the outturn, taking it to £156 billion...At one time people were predicting figures as high as £220 billion.Recent growth estimates are decent (though not outstanding) too:
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased 0.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2010, compared with an increase of 0.4 per cent in the previous quarter.There was a concern prior to the release that growth might be negative, due to heavy snow in January and February. So growth of 0.2%, though hardly vibrant, was a relief. And growth figures for the previous two quarters have been revised upwards by 0.2-0.3% after the initial release - we can't be sure that will happen this time, but in any case I think we can expect strong figures in the second quarter.
CPI has risen from 1.1% in September to 3.7% now and the Bank will be hoping its reversal is just as dramatic. RPI inflation has gone from minus 1.4% to 5.3%. RPIX, the retail prices index excluding mortgage interest payments, is now at 5.4%, more than double its old target of 2.5%. CPI is a long way from its 2% target.So what is happening? Two things, it seems to me.
Clegg is opposed to forming a coalition because aides and senior MPs argue it would be highly dangerous for the Liberal Democrats to become minority partners in a coalition government on the grounds that the majority party could manipulate the timing of the next election to suit it. The Lib Dems have long campaigned for fixed terms at Westminster to deprive the prime minister of the initiative on election timing.And so we ought to look quite carefully at the 55% threshold for dissolution of Parliament, and instead of assuming it's a Conservative attempt to entrench power, think about the Lib Dems' motivations. In politics, as in economics - and murder mysteries - the key question is often: cui bono?
Cameron 35; Clegg 33; Brown 26But when you look at the voting intentions of the people who answered, what do you get?
Conservative 35; Lib Dem 36; Labour 24Spot anything? The numbers are almost identical.
It is written by Leigh Caldwell (email me at email@example.com).
My other blog is Pricing Revolution, specifically around innovative pricing models and advice on how businesses can set their prices.