Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New and Noteworthy: Items From the Hiatus (Rocketplane, Food Prices, College Enrollments)

For various and sundry reasons, I have posted very little on this blog since late February and not at all for the past four months (the date of the last post having been on April 2). I do expect to resume regular posting now, albeit with some changes (for one thing, "The Real Unemployment Rate" will no longer be a monthly feature, even though I plan to continue commenting on economic news), and I am starting off with a round-up of links to noteworthy items I saw during the hiatus. In today's edition:.

* Jeff Foust at the Space Review on the collapse of the NewSpace firm Rocketplane, and what it may mean for the sector.

* An article in Business Week on the likelihood of rising food prices--something to think about given the crisis these created in 2006-2008, and the possibility that we may be approaching peak oil.

* Zac Bissonette at Daily Finance on the record college enrollment seen last fall--and some of the less pleasant details, including the reality that at least some of this enrollment is "hidden unemployment" as frustrated job-seekers go back to school, the enrollment of a great many students unequipped to actually perform at the necessary level to get their degree, and of course the prospect of graduates coming out burdened with debt from student loans and unable to find jobs (which, it stands to reason, would be worsened with more graduates competing inside a context of high structural unemployment for years to come). Jacques Steinberg in the New York Times takes the examination of the issue a step further, discussing the case for skipping college, and perhaps reforming some quarters of American higher education in light of the hard facts of today's job market.

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