Economy

Habits of the heart

Habits of the heart

In his remarkable Democracy in America, published in an English translation in 1840, Alexis de Tocqueville famously wrote about the importance of popular participation in private associations and local authorities in encouraging “habits of the heart” through performing civic tasks such as serving on school boards. These intermediary institutions between a central government and its citizens, he wrote, were essential to maintaining individual liberty.

A stepping stone

A stepping stone

What’s the ticket to upward mobility for America’s lowest-paid workers without much of an education? Economists have compiled a list of “opportunity occupations” that are attainable to persons without a college degree. Most of the upward moves are modest.

Journeyman blues

Journeyman blues

Even as their businesses are benefitting from a solid economy, Hudson Valley manufacturers have been having a hard time recruiting talent, especially young talent. Young people growing up in a gig economy don’t take easily to long training periods for what they perceive as repetitive and unchallenging work.

The painted village

The painted village

In case you didn’t know it, Tannersville on Greene County’s Mountaintop region now calls itself The Painted Village in the Sky. The transformation from an all-cash business locale which left Main Street a wreck every Sunday morning to a place where family businesses served the whole community was neither fast nor easy. It’s still not complete. But many locals, some of whom were once skeptical, are convinced the achievement is now within grasp.

Farming is an important part of our sense of place

Farming is an important part of our sense of place

Even as farming has disappeared from our wallets, it remains strong in our hearts. Very few residents would disagree with the nostalgic role of agriculture found on the Ulster County government’s website. “Abundant farmlands provide Ulster communities with access to fresh local food and economic diversity, preserve the county’s heritage, and offer a beautiful landscape for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike,” the website says. “Orchards, vineyards, cornfields and pastures of grazing livestock help define Ulster County’s unique sense of place.” Indeed.

Food for thought

Food for thought

Can we make American manufacturing great again? The conflicting experts in the field rarely have the food and beverage industries in mind when they conduct their endless debates on the question. Maybe they should.

Techie finds a new way of making bread Upstate

Techie finds a new way of making bread Upstate

If I were to assemble a list of creative technology-minded characters who have settled in Ulster County in recent years, Aaron Quint’s name would be one of the first to come to mind. His skills are multiple. Not only is he a bright guy, a dedicated web developer and manager, and a good writer and teacher, but he also bakes a mean loaf of bread.