Monthly Archives: March 2009

Quote of the Day

“Never in American corporate history have we rewarded failure as we do now.”

Ed Wallace
Wagoner Didn’t Deserve It, Business Week Viewpoint, March 31, 2009

College Towns and Unemployment Rates

A Wall Street Journal article today pointed out that the unemployment rates in university towns tended to be lower than average.  I took a look at university towns in Mississippi and discovered the following:

Unemployment Rate
January 2009                       County                   University

5.9/7.0%                                Lamar/Forrest        University of Southern Mississippi

6.7%                                     Lafayette                University of Mississippi

7.5%                                     Hinds                       Jackson State University

8.2%                                     Oktibbeha                 Mississippi State University

8.5%                                     United States

9.2%                                     Mississippi

10.0%                                   Lowndes                      Mississippi University for Women

12.0%                                   Bolivar                        Delta State University

12.1%                                   Leflore                        Mississippi Valley State University

19.0%                                   Claiborne                   Alcorn State University

Source: Mississippi Department of Employment Security

Eminent Domain Veto

The bill (HB 803) cleared the (Mississippi) House (of Representatives)  119-3. The Senate, by a vote of 51-0, passed it unanimously.  Speaking to a handful of Mississippi business leaders, Barbour said he would veto the bill Monday (March 23). He urged those on the call to contact their legislators and tell them to sustain his veto. For that to happen, Barbour would need 41 votes in the House and 18 in the Senate.Gov. Haley Barbour said on a conference call Thursday afternoon that he will veto House Bill 803, which eliminates the use of eminent domain for major economic development projects in the state. Read the complete article …

“If eminent domain legislation passed by the Legislature and sent to Governor Haley Barbour becomes law, we can wave goodbye to major economic development projects in Mississippi,” said the President of the Mississippi Economic Development Council. Read the complete article…

Click here to read what Red and Fred had to say in an original article in the Mississippi Business Journal.

EU Economy vs. US Economy

Click here to check out the full details of this upcoming forum presented by the Stennis Institute of Government.  This is a rare opportunity for anyone interested in the European Union.
TOPIC:  Beyond The Financial Crisis: Economic Leadership In The 21st Century
–          The future of the American and EU economies.  Which will come out on top?

Sponsored by:
–                    Adams & Reese
–                    Mississippi World Trade Center

DATE:  Friday, March 27, 2009

TIME:  7:45 – 9:00 a.m.

PLACE:  University Club, downtown Jackson, Mississippi

COST:  $20 (breakfast included) Make check payable to Stennis Institute.  Payable at the door.

REGISTRATION: by e-mail to or phone 601-354-6011.  Advance registration required.

How much is a trillion?

In my upcoming column for the Mississippi Business Journal I had to understand a trillion, as in $1 trillion.  A trillion is a 1 followed by 12 zeros, ergo:


According to a recent CNN report, we learn the following:

– spending of one million per day since Jesus was born would amount to only about three-fourths of a trillion dollars;
– a billion seconds is about 32 years, a trillion seconds is about 32,000 years; and
– a trillion one dollars bills stacked on one another would be almost 68,000 miles high.

In the article I calculated the monthly payment on a $1 trillion no-interest mortgage.  It came out to just over $2.7 billion per month.

Mississippi and the Internet

Mississippi has the nation’s lowest percentage of households with Internet access at 46 percent, according to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. And it has the second-lowest percentage of households with high-speed access at 33 percent.

So it’s not surprising that Mississippians who use the Internet to find public records sometimes have a hard time.  According to an article in the Commercial Appeal by Emily Le Coza recent national survey found that while many states put basic public records on the Internet, Mississippi still requires people to request most documents by mail or in person, and sometimes the state requires people to pay for the records.

Internet access, like any other product, is subject to the law of supply and demand.  Mississippi is a not only a low income state, it is a rural state.  And that latter fact may have something to do with the availability of Internet access, according to Dr. Marty Wiseman, Director of the Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University.  In a recent column he said, “The startlingly negative reaction to the investment in the extension of high-speed Internet services into rural areas contained in the stimulus package clearly reflects a loss of reverence for the nobility of rural life.”  By the way, his column is on the Internet.  Just click here to read the entire column.

Rural Broadband – Percentage of Farmers with High Speed Internet

The percentage of U.S. farms with high speed Internet access varies wildly from state to state and county to county, according to the recently released federal Census of Agriculture. Nearly 6 out of 10 farms in Connecticut had a high speed Internet connection in 2007, when the Census was taken. In Mississippi, only 2 out of 10 farms had a quick connection to the World Wide Web, according to an article in the Daily Yonder.


2007 Ag Census/Tim Murphy

The counties in darkest blue have the highest percentage of farms with broadband connections; those in light yellow have the smallest percentage of high speed Internet users.

Read the complete article.

Income Tax: Who pays what share?

According to a study for the National Center for Policy Analysis:

–   From 1986 to 2004, the total share of the income tax burden paid by the top 1 percent of income earners grew by nearly half, from 25.8 percent to 36.9 percent.

–   Over that same time, the burden of the bottom 50 percent of earners was almost halved from 6.5 percent to 3.3 percent.

Source:  National Center for Policy Analysis

Archie and Eli Manning honored by Mississippi Senate

The Mississippi Senate on Tuesday, March 10, 2009, honored footarchie-dayball great Archie Manning his sons, Super Bowl 42 champion quarterback Eli Manning of the New York Giants, Super Bowl 41 winning quarterback Peyton Manning and their mother, Olivia. Standing inside the chambers of the Mississippi Senate, Archie and Eli Manning accepted Senate Concurrent Resolutions 593, 594 and 598 on behalf of Peyton and Olivia, who did not attend the ceremony. Governor Haley Barbour also issued a proclamation declaring March 10, 2009 as “Manning Day,” in Mississippi.

District 13 Senator Willie Simmons of Cleveland, primary sponsor of the resolutions honoring Archie, Eli and Peyton, said the Manning family’s Mississippi roots, their legacy within the state and their contributions to football made them worthy of the praise.

Now a New Orleans resident, Archie Manning was born and raised in Drew, Mississippi, Simmons’ district, and was a standout quarterback at the University of Mississippi before beginning his professional career with the New Orleans Saints. Eli followed his father’s footsteps and attended the University of Mississippi before beginning his professional career with the New York Giants. Eli recently made Oxford his home.

“I thought it was important that the Mississippi State Legislature and the Governor give recognition to the Manning family who has given so much to the country and to the state of Mississippi in the area of sports and as humanitarians,” Simmons said. “So today we wanted to bring the Manning family to our state Capitol and give them their flowers while they can smell them.”

The resolutions also cited Eli and Peyton Manning’s assistance to victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans where they assisted with delivery of more than 30,000 pounds of water, Gatorade, baby formula, diapers and pillows. The Mannings started out in the office of Lt. Governor Phil Bryant, signing footballs, photographs, jerseys and other memorabilia for senators, legislative staff and others. Following the presentation the Mannings went to the House of Representatives where they also were received with thunderous applause. The father and son pair then spent time signing autographs for a large and continuous line of visitors to the Capitol before leaving.

District 18 Senator Giles Ward was primary sponsor of Senate Concurrent Resolution 598 that honored Olivia Manning, a Philadelphia native. The Senate also commended the Manning’s son Cooper, a former All-State high school receiver who stopped playing football at the direction of doctors.

The Marines know how to assign responsibility and be accountable.

One of Peggy Noonan’s better columns, which is entitled A Tragedy of Errors and an Accounting, appeared in the March 7-8, 2009 edition of the Wall Street Journal.  In it, she tells about how the Marines came out with a damning, straightforward account that placed blame for the crash of a Marine F/A-18 Hornet fighter into a residential neighborhood on December 8, 2008, and then took strong action against the personnel who were deemed accountable.   She then discusses the economic crash, especially as it relates to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and asks why nobody has been blamed or held accountable.  Recommended reading.

Hats off to the Marines for accountablility and responsibility.