If the subject of economics isn’t your strong suit, welcome to the majority! That’s why North Carolina is lucky to have Mike Walden, a professor at NC State and economist with the NC Cooperative Extension Service. Walden is especially good at talking about economics in terms the rest of us can understand. His new book is North Carolina in the Connected Age: Challenges and Opportunities in a Globalizing Economy.
Once driven by tobacco, textiles, and furniture, the North Carolina economy now thrives on technology, pharmaceuticals, finance, food processing, and the manufacture of vehicle parts. Walden identifies education as the key factor; a skilled, college-educated work force, he argues, is now a region’s most prized commodity. Walden traces how the forces of the late 20th and early 21st centuries have remade the North Carolina economy, impacted people and regions, and led to the most substantive public policy debates in decades.
Frank Stasio recently interviewed Walden on the State of Things.
Walden also does a daily podcast of his own, every Monday through Friday, covering economic topics of interest to North Carolinians. Recent topics have included the economics of offshore oil drilling, bank failures, and the impact of world trade on North Carolina jobs.
Walden also writes biweekly columns that are distributed through NC State’s Department of Communication Services. You can read his archived columns online.