The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


September 12, 2013

Economist: America becoming a 'part-time nation'

LEWISBURG — Economist Anirban Basu said there are bright spots in the economic world for the United States, which is five years out of the recession and whose economy is expected to grow about 2 percent.

But Basu, chairman and chief executive officer of the Baltimore-based Sage Policy Group, said that’s still not a great performance, referring to the United States as simply one of “the least worst,” economies in the world.

“It’s like living in one of the nicest homes in a really bad neighborhood,” he said.

Basu returned Thursday as the keynote speaker at the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce’s annual economic forecast luncheon held at La Primavera in Lewisburg. He said the economy is in a fragile place right now, seeing good

developments, but some concerning issues.

The United States’ and world economy has grown and “things are getting better,” but “America has a debt and deficit problem,” he said.

“We’ve got an issue,” he said.

Another potential problem: America is becoming “a part-time nation,” Basu said, referring to the fact that while the United State has not added back the number of full-time jobs lost during the recession, the number of part-time positions

continues to grow. One of the major reasons is healthcare and the looming Affordable Care Act.

“All (employers) know ... is that the ultimate liability is based on the number of full-time employees,” he said.

And Pennsylvania is lagging behind the rest of the nation in job creation, ranking 48th in the nation in job creation this year, Basu said.

But the Valley has been doing well in terms of unemployment, with unemployment numbers for all four counties down from last year, Basu said. One reason is that the “health care and education” category is the fastest growing in the nation, and this region is packed with opportunities for those fields.

“It’s the preeminence of education and health care,” helping those numbers in the Valley, he said.

Overall, Basu predicts the coming couple of years could be great for the economy, but could be fraught with challenges, due to the growing national debt.

“The next few years are going to be treacherous and we need good leadership,” he said, referring to the fact that the term of Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, is almost up.

But there could be a bright future ahead.

America is once again “a fashionable place to produce things,” and companies are bringing production once outsourced overseas back into the country, Basu said.

The generation of young people currently in high school and college make up a large population group, which should be able to support some of the nation’s entitlement programs, and the group is the most educated in generation in the

nation’s history.

“We could be in a very fine place (in five to 10 years),” he said.

Text Only
  • xfire20b.jpg Firefighters battle blaze at BJ's in Danville

    DANVILLE — A fire Sunday damaged BJ’s Steak & Rib House, 291 Mill St., and endangered a neighboring shop and apartment building.

    April 20, 2014 6 Photos

  • Chase leads to jail

    MILTON — Charges were pending Sunday against a man allegedly tied to a rash of recent burglaries in Milton borough who ran from Milton Police on Saturday.

    April 20, 2014

  • Police: 3 steal debit cards, $10G in jewelry for drug trip to NY

    NEW BERLIN — Three Valley teenagers are under investigation for allegedly stealing debit cards and roughly $10,000 in jewelry from three parked vehicles in Union County earlier this month to fund a trip to New York to buy drugs.

    April 20, 2014

  • Valley farmers keep eye out for deadly pig virus

    CAMP HILL — Pork producers across the commonwealth — and in the Valley — are on the alert for a still existing virus that last year killed 12 piglets in Pennsylvania and a million piglets around the country.

    April 20, 2014

  • Loaded language

    Sometimes it’s the offhand remark that’s the most telling. Indeed, the way we Americans casually, often unthinkingly, incorporate gun metaphors into our everyday slang says a lot about how deeply embedded guns are in our culture and our politics, and how difficult it is to control or extract them. Consider this list, presented as bullet points — which are themselves so conventional, so central to the typography of mind-numbing PowerPoint presentations, that you can forget what their shape represents.

    April 20, 2014

  • Prize claim cost man $1,829

    WINFIELD — Western Union is doing what it can to educate people about the risks in wiring money. An entire section on its website ( is devoted to providing information that might reduce the risk of people falling victim to fraud schemes.

    April 19, 2014

  • Reel good time enjoyed by 200 young anglers

    TREVORTON — It only took about three minutes for J.C. Wallish to reel in his first fish at the Little Shamokin Creek Watershed Association’s annual Youth Trout Derby on Saturday.

    April 19, 2014

  • Elytte Barbour's 'bad trip' put him on the road to prison, friend says

    SUNBURY — A former roommate of slaying suspect Elytte Barbour drove 450 miles from North Carolina to spend 45 minutes in the Northumberland County Prison with his best friend last week, and was not surprised when he heard Barbour say: “I am afraid to spend the rest of my life in jail.”

    April 19, 2014

  • bonehunt20a.jpg 60 dogs battle for biscuits at annual bone hunt

    It was a scene similar to ones playing out all over the nation this weekend: nervous parents holding baskets and bags, watching their little ones search for goodies in the grass.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law

    PASCUA YAQUI INDIAN RESERVATION, Ariz. — Tribal police chief Michael Valenzuela drove through darkened desert streets, turned into a Circle K convenience store and pointed to the spot beyond the reservation line where his officers used to take the non-Indian men who battered Indian women.

    April 19, 2014

The Daily Marquee

How do you eat your chocolate Easter bunny?

Feet first
Tail first
Ears first
     View Results
Photo Galleries
The Valley


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.