CIRAS DIGEST: Friday, December 11, 2015

  • Just in time for Christmas, Quartz has a story using exploding hoverboards to “expose the total lack of global manufacturing standards.” Apparently a slew of hoverboards (trendy, Chinese-made motorized scooters – think small Segways without the handle) have caught fire in the U.S. and U.K. in recent months. The British believe many more are unsafe. (Possibly, bad wiring in or around the lithium batteries.)
  • And speaking of overseas manufacturing, CBS News has a study that links Walmart’s importing of Chinese goods to the “estimated loss of at least 400,000 U.S. jobs from 2001 to 2013.” Walmart disagrees with the math.
  • ICYMI, The state Revenue Estimating Conference earlier this week said the group now thinks that Iowa’s tax revenue will grow by 3.3 percent for the year beginning July 1, 2016. According to an AP story in the Washington Times, that will amount to nearly $9 billion less than what the group previously had thought.
  • Meanwhile, members of the Iowa Chamber Alliance, an umbrella group of the state’s 16 largest chambers of commerce, are for a study of Iowa’s workforce policies and groups. The Quad City Times says they’re looking for a comprehensive plan, and they want the state to pay for it. A Des Moines Register story about the same news conference also mentions calls for flattening and streamlining various taxes.
  • Elsewhere, ICYMI, Hillary Clinton announced her plan to boost U.S. manufacturing with a package of tax credits and federal research funding. Time has a story.
  • A Fast Company story says the future of “local customization” may lie in a German shoe factory. (Think robots who are able to respond quickly and adapt products according to the local market.)

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading.

Follow us on Twitter @CIRAS_ISU for more information. Email eckhoffj@iastate.edu if you’d like to request certain content for CIRAS Digest.