Today’s Featured Story…
Illinois groups, politicians react with praise, worry to rauner's budget plan
From REBOOT Illinois: While Gov. Bruce Rauner and many others think the plans he outlined in his Feb. 18 budget address are the best ways to get Illinois' finances back on track, not everybody agrees. Politicians, business organizations and non-profits threw in their two cents following the speech.
Dollar drag: Surging buck hits U.S. corporate earnings
From the News Courier: The biggest obstacle for Coca-Cola and Pepsi these days isn't tied to taste tests, the declining popularity of sugary drinks or even their century-long rivalry. It's the surging U.S. dollar. The two soda giants rely on overseas customers for roughly half of their revenue. When they turned in their quarterly results last week, both reported a drop in sales. The strong dollar made all the difference: strip it out and shrinking sales suddenly rise.
Hiring more women could boost GDP by 9%, White House says
From Market Watch: If female employment increased enough to close the gap with men, that would raise U.S. gross domestic product by 9%, according to a new White House estimate.
The best paying jobs for college graduates
From MarketWatch: Not all college majors are created equally. The unemployment rate for recent college graduates varies wildly, depending on the bachelor’s degree. It’s lowest for biology and life sciences (2.6%), computers, statistics and mathematics (3.5%), education (2.4%), engineering (2.8%) and health (2.7%), while it’s the highest for architecture (10.3%), communication and journalism (8.2%), social sciences (10.1%), psychology and social work (9%), law and public policy (8.6%), and humanities and liberal arts (8.4%), according to a new report — “From Hard Times to Better Times” — by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.
White House Sees Workforce as Best Bet to Tackle Deficits
From the Wall Street Journal: The White House has a new tack for dealing with rising deficits: try to boost the workforce and its productivity in the hopes of muddling through the surge of retirees that will strain the social safety net for the next 20 years.
Illinois lawmakers push renewable energy proposal
From the Washington Times: A bill, announced on Thursday, creates new standards for Illinois utilities to use efficiency measures to reduce electricity demand 20 percent by 2025. It also sets a higher figure for renewable energy purchased by updating the state's regulation for the production of energy from renewable, such as wind, solar and biodiesel.
Jeb, the Introvert
From Politico: That in a nutshell could well be the single biggest challenge facing the embryonic Jeb Bush-for-president campaign. Not Common Core. Not immigration reform. Not his last name. But a grueling, 600-plus-day slog that requires shaking thousands of hands and chatting with countless voters all over the country, when the candidate in question would just as soon disappear into a book.
Outside the Box…
Why flying stinks, and you're still paying more
From CNN Money: Flying is rarely a pleasant experience anymore. There's very little legroom, and a meal is seldom included. There are bag fees, change fees, fees to watch a movie — not to mention the unpleasantness of going through security. Yet even as services seem to decline, it costs more money to fly. From 2005 to 2013, ticket prices rose nearly 15% faster the rate of inflation, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.