WBEZ | GDP http://www.wbez.org/tags/gdp Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Rustbelt city wants immigrants, skilled or not http://www.wbez.org/content/rustbelt-city-wants-immigrants-skilled-or-not-0 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-30/2.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-30/3.JPG" style="width: 605px; height: 404px;" title="Deserted houses like this one mar Dayton’s East End. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)"></p><p style="text-align: left;">Lifelong Dayton resident Monica Schultz, 36, brings me to the East End block where she grew up. “This whole street was full of families,” she says. “Kids were running around playing, all within my age range.”</p><p style="text-align: left;">Now no kids are in sight.</p><p style="text-align: left;">Schultz points to a half dozen abandoned houses, including one right next door to her family’s place. She says the city has boarded it up a few times but stray cats keep finding their way in.</p><p style="text-align: left;">“We had a flea infestation problem,” she tells me. “People walking by could see the fleas or feel the fleas or get the fleas. All of the yards in the neighborhood here were becoming infested with fleas.”</p><p style="text-align: left;">Schultz says the city can’t keep up with houses like this. “It’s one of many that need to be bulldozed,” she says. “But it’s on a list.”</p><p> <style type="text/css"> div .inline { width: 290px; float: left; margin-right: 19px; margin-left: 3px; clear: left; font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-position: 0pt 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }div .inlineContent { border-top: 1px dotted rgb(170, 33, 29); margin-bottom: 5px; margin-top: 2px; }ul { margin-left: 15px; }li { font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-position: 0pt 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }</style> </p><div class="inline"><div class="inlineContent"><a href="/frontandcenter"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-06/FC-logo-sm_0.jpg" style="width: 280px; height: 38px;" title=""></a><ul><li><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-28/great-lakes-workers-faring-better-canadian-side-border-94389">Workers faring better in Canada</a></strong></li><li><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/using-sound-find-leaks-and-save-dollars-94303">Using sound to find leaks and save dollars</a></strong></li><li><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/gas-drilling-could-take-air-out-offshore-wind-93875">Gas drilling could take air out of offshore wind</a></strong></li></ul></div><div class="inlineContent">&nbsp;</div></div><p>Dayton’s population has been shrinking since the 1960s. Most of the area’s factory jobs are long gone. To save the city, Schultz has embraced a new idea: Help immigrants and refugees lay roots in Dayton.</p><p>Schultz, who owns a small marketing firm, helped lead community meetings that generated a 72-point plan called “Welcome Dayton.” City commissioners approved the plan this fall. The points range from better immigrant access to social services, to more translations of court materials, to grants for immigrants to open shops in a dilapidated commercial corridor, to a soccer event that supporters envision as a local World Cup tournament.</p><p>Schultz tells me the plan could revive a Dayton entrepreneurial spirit that sparked inventions ranging from the cash register to the airplane. “You would have small businesses,” she says. “You would have coffee shops and you would have bakeries and you would have specialty grocery stores.”</p><p>Dayton is among several rustbelt cities suffering from population loss and brain drain. To create businesses and jobs, some communities are trying to attract immigrants, especially highly educated ones. Dayton stands out for the attention its plan pays to immigrants without wealth or skills.</p><p>The plan even addresses people without permission to be in the country. One provision calls for police officers to quit asking suspects about their immigration status unless the crime was “serious.” Another point could lead to a city identification card that would help residents do everything from open a bank account to buy a cell phone.</p><p>City Manager Tim Riordan, Dayton’s chief executive, says welcoming all types of immigrants will make the area more cosmopolitan. “I think there would be a vibrancy,” he says. “We’d start to have some international investment of companies deciding they ought to locate here.”</p><p>Foreign-born residents so far amount to 3 percent of the city’s 142,000 residents. For a mid-sized U.S. city these days, that’s not many.</p><p>But Dayton’s immigrants and refugees are increasing their numbers and, Riordan says, they’re already making a difference. He points to a neighborhood north of downtown where some Ahiska Turks have settled. “They were refugees in Russia," he says. "Here they’ve bought houses. They’ve fixed them up. And, sometimes when I talk to hardware store owners, people will come in and they’ll buy a window at a time. ‘I’ve got enough money to put in another window.’ It’s slow-but-sure change.”</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-30/2.JPG" style="margin: 4px 18px 2px 1px; float: left; width: 275px; height: 280px;" title="A Dayton pizza parlor run by Ahiska Turks adds life to a decaying neighborhood. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)"></p><p>Not everyone in Dayton is on board with the plan.</p><p>In a corner tavern on the East End, a 62-year-old bartender serves the only customer what she calls his last can of beer for the night. It’s a Friday, just 11 p.m., but she’s closing. “The owner can’t pay me to stay any longer,” she tells me, speaking on condition I don’t name her or the bar.</p><p>The bartender says the tavern could be on its last legs and tells me what happened to three other East End bars where she worked. They all shut down. She says that’s because many of the neighborhood’s Appalachian families, who arrived for manufacturing jobs after World War II, have moved away.</p><p>“NCR closed down, Dayton Tire and Rubber closed down, GM and Delphi and Frigidaire,” she says, pausing only when her customer slams down the beer and bellows something about a “last paycheck.”</p><p>The bartender tells me she doesn’t like how Riordan and other Dayton officials are handling the exodus of families who’ve been paying local taxes for generations. “Why won’t he try to keep those kinds of people here?” she asks. “He wants to welcome the immigrants to come in here. What can&nbsp;they&nbsp;do? Where are they going to get the money to fix up anything? What jobs are they going to get to maintain what they fix up here? There are no jobs here. None.”</p><p>It’s not just locals like the bartender who have doubts about “Welcome Dayton.”</p><p>Steven Camarota, research director at the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington group that pushes for strict immigration controls, acknowledges that attracting immigrants would increase the size of Dayton’s economy. “But that’s different than arguing that there’s a benefit,” he says. “Growing an area’s gross domestic product, but not the <em>per capita</em> GDP, doesn’t mean anything. It wouldn’t be very helpful. In fact, there might be problems with that.”</p><p>Camarota says the low-skilled immigrants would put downward pressure on wages for workers on Dayton’s bottom rungs.</p><p>But Italian-born economist Giovanni Peri of the University of California, Davis, says low-skilled immigrants would bring what Dayton seeks—and more: “One, they will increase the variety of local restaurants, local shops. Second, they will provide a variety of local services, such as household services, care of the children, of the elderly. Third, they will also develop and bring an atmosphere of diversity and higher tolerance.” Peri says these low-skilled contributions would all help Dayton attract immigrants with more resources.</p><p>The willingness of many immigrants to perform manual labor for low pay, Peri adds, could create jobs for longtime residents. He points to landscaping companies: “They will need people who mow the lawn but also they will need accountants, salespersons, a manager and drivers.”</p><p>Dayton’s approach—welcoming immigrants with and without skills—is the “optimal strategy,” Peri says.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-01/4.JPG" style="margin: 4px 18px 2px 1px; float: left; width: 275px; height: 219px;" title="A Dayton church translates sermons to Spanish through headphones. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)">Whether a city’s immigrant-integration plan can actually attract many people is another question. About an hour east of Dayton, the city of Columbus launched an immigrant-friendly initiative in 2002 and saw its foreign-born population grow fast. But that city’s economy is much more robust than Dayton’s. It had already been attracting immigrants for years.</p><p>The results of “Welcome Dayton” could depend on how it works for city residents like a 25-year-old mother whom I’ll call Ana López. (She&nbsp;doesn’t have papers to be in the country so I agreed not to use her real name.) López says she came from the Mexican state of Puebla as a teenager at the urging of a friend who had arrived in Dayton earlier.</p><p>López says her first job was in a restaurant with a big buffet. “We didn’t come to take work away from anyone,” she tells me in Spanish. “Rather, there are jobs nobody else wants.”</p><p>Now López and her husband have three kids, all U.S. citizens. The family has managed to buy a house. And it’s found a congregation, College Hill Community Church, that provides simultaneous Spanish interpretation through headphones.</p><p>But Dayton hasn’t always been hospitable. López says police officers caught her brother-in-law driving without a license and turned him over to federal officials, who deported him.</p><p>Looking at the “Welcome Dayton” plan, López says providing the ID cards and removing the police from immigration enforcement could make a difference for families like hers. “These families would tell their friends and relatives to move to Dayton,” she says.</p><p>That’s exactly what city leaders want to hear.</p></p> Thu, 01 Dec 2011 11:27:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/rustbelt-city-wants-immigrants-skilled-or-not-0 Nussbaum proposes a new way of assessing national well-being http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-30/nussbaum-proposes-new-way-assessing-national-well-being-91239 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-August/2011-08-30/Nussbaum U of C.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483678-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/nussbaum.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>Deciding whether or not a country is advancing often comes down to a numbers game. Gross domestic product, or GDP, is the typical measure used to track&nbsp; a nation’s economic progress or failure. But many argue that measure falls short of the mark.</p><p>In her new book <a href="http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674050549" target="_blank"><em>Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach</em></a>, <a href="http://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/nussbaum/" target="_blank">Martha Nussbaum</a> thinks we need to get back to basics when evaluating the overall health and well-being of a society.<br> <br> Earlier this year, <em>Eight Forty-Eight's </em>Alison Cuddy talked to the University of Chicago professor about the benefits of this approach.</p></p> Tue, 30 Aug 2011 14:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-30/nussbaum-proposes-new-way-assessing-national-well-being-91239 Nussbaum proposes a new way of assessing national well-being http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-04/nussbaum-proposes-new-way-assessing-national-well-being-86053 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-04/Nussbaum U of C.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Deciding whether or not a country is advancing often comes down to a numbers game. Gross domestic product, or GDP, is the typical measure by which we track a nation’s economic progress or failure. But many argue that measure falls short of the mark.<br> <br> In her new book <a href="http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674050549" target="_blank"><em>Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach</em></a>, <a href="http://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/nussbaum/" target="_blank">Martha Nussbaum</a> thinks we need to get back to basics when evaluating the overall health and well-being of a society.<br> <br> Host Alison Cuddy recently talked to the University of Chicago professor about the benefits of this approach.</p></p> Wed, 04 May 2011 14:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-04/nussbaum-proposes-new-way-assessing-national-well-being-86053 Wages Up Or Down? http://www.wbez.org/ahill/2009/02/wages-up-or-down/7255 <p>Yesterday I <a href="http://wbezhardworking.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/wages-riseas-jobs-are-cut/">posted</a> a story from the New Yorker about rising wages during economic recessions--there have been a couple of really thoughtful comments I wanted to point out. <em>Are those of you with jobs making more or less than you were a year ago?</em> <strong>steve February 25, 2009 at 2:17 pm</strong> One thing to point out is that while average wages may be increasing, that doesn't necessarily mean that any one individual's salary is going up. If a company cuts 1000 of its entry level workers, the average wage will probably go up, because it will be dominated more by the higher paid, more senior workers that are left. When GM lays off all of it's manufacturing workers, and only has the CEO and executives left, you can bet that GM's average wage will be higher. It's certainly possible for layoffs to have the opposite effect as well: a company trying to cut costs by getting rid of highly paid, senior managers. I don't know which one would be more common. All I'm saying is, if I hear that the average wage is going up right now, I'm still not going to conclude that anyone is getting a raise, at least based on what I've seen. <strong>reidmccamish February 25, 2009 at 3:17 pm</strong> I'm with Steve on this one, I think a lot of what we're seeing is that the lower wage jobs are the ones being cut the most. Even if high and low wage jobs were being cut proportionally (say, 10% of low wage jobs lost, and 10% of high wage jobs lost as a simple example), there are a lot more low wage jobs to begin with, thus average wage would go up in this scenario. To really see what's going on, you'd need year-to-year data for the surviving jobs, which would be harder to obtain. My intuition is that you'd see slower wage growth within surviving jobs during a recession, despite the average wage stats going up for the above reason. <strong>Stephanie February 25, 2009 at 8:16 pm</strong> My company recently laid off a number of people to contain costs, and at the same time cut the wages of the remaining employees by 2%. If and when the time comes to hire people to replace those laid off, they will probably hire younger, cheaper laborers. The New Yorker article talks about rising productivity. But productivity has been rising for decades, with no comparable rise in worker wages for the the same period of time. If the minimum wage over the past 30 years had kept up with company profits, GDP and the other economic measures, the minimum wage would be about $19/hour.</p> Thu, 26 Feb 2009 17:39:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/ahill/2009/02/wages-up-or-down/7255 Wages Rise...As Jobs Are Cut http://www.wbez.org/ahill/2009/02/wages-riseas-jobs-are-cut/7253 <p>James Surowiecki at the New Yorker has an <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/talk/financial/2009/03/02/090302ta_talk_surowiecki?printable=true">article </a>‚ that explains why average wages are rising...even as people are losing work.‚  "This is the Age of the Incredible Shrinking Everything. Home prices, the stock market, G.D.P., corporate profits, employment: they're all a fraction of what they once were. Yet amid this carnage there is one thing that, surprisingly, has continued to grow: the paycheck of the average worker. Companies are slashing payrolls: 3.6 million people have lost their jobs since the recession started, with half of those getting laid off in just the past three months. Yet average hourly wages jumped almost four per cent in the past year. It's harder and harder to find and keep a job, but if you've got one you may well be making more than you did twelve months ago. This combination of rising unemployment and higher wages seems improbable. But, as it turns out, it's what history would lead us to expect. Even during the early years of the Great Depression, manufacturing workers actually saw their real wages rise, and wage cuts have been scarce in every recession since. Oil and wheat prices may rise and fall instantaneously to reflect supply and demand, but wages are "sticky": even when the economy goes bad, it takes a lot to make them fall."</p> Wed, 25 Feb 2009 13:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/ahill/2009/02/wages-riseas-jobs-are-cut/7253