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Budget

Summer 2011

Arun Raha ’91—The good, the bad, and the budget

When Arun Raha ’91 started work as the state of Washington’s chief economist three years ago, his new staffers welcomed him with a gift: an official Magic 8 Ball.

“I said ‘OK, great! Now I have a forecasting tool,’” he recalls.

If only it were that easy.

At 51, Raha is the E.F. Hutton of state government: When he talks, people listen. He speaks at more than 100 events a year, from universities to small-town chambers of commerce. His quarterly revenue forecasts are broadcast live on TV.

That’s because the forecast, once approved by a bipartisan council that Raha reports to, frames the state budget. … » More …

Summer 2003

Adjusting to life during college and after

By the time he graduated from Washington State University, Terry Arndt (’93 Horticulture) had accumulated $20,000 in student loans, $5,000 in credit card bills, and car payments.

Fortunately, he found a job right away, and a financial advisor. She suggested he pay off his high-interest credit cards first. Then he began making extra payments on his student loans, some with a 10-year payback period. There were other budget considerations. Health insurance premiums. Income tax. A vacation. A year after marrying Melissa Segars (’94 Music), he enrolled in the University of Florida’s M.B.A. program. More expenses.

Adjusting to life after college was not the smooth transition … » More …

Fall 2009

Interesting times, Part II

Having not been spared from Washington State University’s recent budget woes, we can think of no other way to absorb our share of the cuts than to drop one issue of the printed Washington State Magazine.

Now, before I go on, let me make a few quick points: 1) Don’t worry, I’m not asking for money; 2) I don’t see us dropping another issue anytime soon; and 3) Even though the budget cuts are permanent, we hope to restore that fourth print issue somehow.

There being no point in whining about the matter, we’re determined to approach that reduction as an opportunity. We will, in … » More …

Summer 2006

Can America compete in a 'Flat' World?

Many of you are familiar with Thomas Friedman’s argument, in The World is Flat, that technology has eliminated many barriers to competition and thus created today’s globally competitive economic environment. His dramatic examples of outsourcing show that key services, including high-level engineering and scientific tasks, can be effectively accomplished without regard to the workers’ physical location. This allows imaginative businesses to tap talent from around the globe, often at considerable savings.

Friedman, a foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times, uses this evidence to reach some alarming conclusions about how America will fare in the future. After establishing the central thesis that location is … » More …