Weekly FWSR: Fast Cars, Fun Games and Meat-related Typos

It’s time once again for my personal favorite feature at the Prosperity Blog: Fun With Search Referrers! It allows us to talk about the issues we care about in a concise, poignant and sometimes hilarious way. How is that different than every Prosperity Blog post you ask? Well thank you for the compliment! Did I mention that you look like you’ve lost some weight?

Anyway, here’s the latest Fun with Search Referrers, featuring fast cars, fun games and meat-related typos.

lamborghini university of washington
As we’ve said multiple times, this is one of our favorite economic development assets in the region: the UW Lamborghini Lab (or technically “Automobili Lamborghini Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory“). One of the great things about the lab is that it allows me to both make insightful points about our region’s potential as both a automotive hub and a composite manufacturing center…as well as brag about waking up early and going to the gym.

“jobs that require math charts” & “pie diagram of people who gets education
It’s likely that few jobs require math charts, but many jobs in Washington are going to require math and science. And there are going to be more people who “gets” education, thanks to the huge success in the state legislature on higher education last week. That is, the Legislature passed and the Governor agreed to sign HB 1795, which enacts a majority of the recommendations of the Governor’s Higher Education Funding Task Force. In the face of huge budget cuts to our public higher education system, this legislation grants our higher education institutions the flexibility to set tuition at rates that balance affordability with access, increase financial aid for low- and middle-income students, and tie state funding to clear, measurable outcomes. Like I said, these changes don’t come without their downsides, but it’s the best of the reasonably available options during the politically charged times we live in.

prosperity blog
We’ve been getting a lot of people searching their search engines (Bing-ing, as almost everyone says) these days for little old us. It’s very gratifying, and sorry we don’t have a more easily memorable URL. Actually, you can just enter “prosperitypartnership.org/blog” if you want. I am glad that no one is doing a Bing search for “prosperityblog.wordpress.com”, though. Those are the same people who print out their emails to read them.

do more jobs mean more prosperity
That’s a really important question, and clearly the answer is “no.” All of this talk of “underemployment” and fundamental shifts in the economy that are eroding the “middle class jobs” that drove economic growth in the 60’s and 70’s…it just goes to show you how little the unemployment rate matters in understanding the state of our economy. Our consultants on the Regional Economic Strategy development process made this point very starkly when they showed the growing disparity in the unemployment rate between college graduates and high school graduates. In January 1999, the unemployment rate was 1.8% and 3.3% respectively. In February 2011, it was 4.3% and 7.4% respectively…going from a differential of 1.5 to a differential of 4.1. The contrast is even starker between college degrees and less than high school: from 1.8% and 7.1% in January 1999 to 4.3% and 13.9% in February 2011…from 5.4 to 9.6! And you don’t even want to know the breakdown when you get into older men of color vs. the overall averages. It’s scary stuff, and has significant implications for our economy and for the Regional Economic Strategy. BTW, our RES consultants also made another great point when they pointed out that business isn’t in the business of job creation.

panetta panacea
So, when I first saw this, I could have sworn it said “Panetta Pancetta,” which would have been a humorous/tasty joke about our new SecDef. Not exactly sure why a Bing search for that phrase directed to our blog, but it made me laugh. That’s all I’ve got on this. Which, by the way, is grammatically incorrect. It should be “that’s all I have on this.” I know this because, growing up in Philly, our license plate motto – “You’ve got a friend in Pennsylvania” – was the source of much consternation from teachers.

gao duplication report
I wrote a lot about this report a couple months back, because it touched on two topics that I’ve been thinking about: 1) the potential to think more strategically about economic development coordination and 2) my proposal to reorganize the federal government. And so I was interested to see this Politico article about a Republican bill to combine the EPA with the Department of Energy. I don’t know enough about the bill itself to comment one way or another, but I also noted the quote in the article:

Expect to see more bills like this one. Burr said he thinks “the next step is going to be to merge the Department of Labor with the Department of Commerce.”

And I’m at least open to having the discussion…

games not fun
Some games aren’t fun because they’re poorly envisioned or executed (I’m looking at you, interactive DVD version of the game Clue!). But some games aren’t meant to be fun. Like educational games that the Gates Foundation is investing in. Or training games that help doctors and pilots learn their craft. Now, this region happens to be one of the biggest in the country for developing games of all types: casual, serious, hardcore, etc. And what better way to learn about that than to let us take you on a bus tour of the industry!

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