HE Newsletter July 2019
Economists do not swear to a Hippocratic type of oath the way doctors do. Some people think they swear to nothing at all, but I can vouch for the fact that they swear a lot. In fact, behind all that arm waving, we do have a strongly held credo: the relentless pursuit of efficiency and the optimization of all resource investment.
At the present time, there is a particular phenomenon which threatens to thwart the efficient investment of labor and capital and the allocation of resources. It is the unusually high level of uncertainty facing decision-makers in the public and private sectors as they consider almost any consequential future action.
HE Annual Letter 2019
As we wake up to a blue and cloudless Colorado sky this New Year, the folks at Harvey Economics (HE) see what many others do not: a bright future. Like you, we have noted the inescapable drumbeat of discord, fake this and that, and shrill righteousness from many quarters. While keeping track of current events, we perceive most of the noise as a distraction from more vital, hopeful developments. Despite some stumbling at the highest levels, the consensus around climate change is growing. As the essential prerequisite, the grass roots momentum to face this issue head-on is coalescing. Diverse stakeholders generally want to see economic progress that will not harm our natural resources, and they will support technologies and approaches that accomplish balance. Medicine, science and technology continue to advance, bringing efficiencies and improvements to quality of life that receive little notice in modern life.
HE Newsletter May 2018
Groundwater isn’t a problem until you run out. The West and even places in the East have relied on pumping water out of the ground to supplement river, lake and reservoir resources for decades. Surface water droughts over the past twenty years have resulted in less percolation or “feeding” of the groundwater aquifers in conjunction with more groundwater pumping. An unsustainable combination, for sure. Water users, water providers and policy makers are grappling with this problem and with each other over solutions. We hear a growing chorus around the country: “We are running out of groundwater”!
HE Newsletter October 2018
At Harvey Economics, we note a conundrum many of our public sector clients face: the customers they serve are increasingly impatient about paying for the services they receive. This impatience probably stems from many perceptions about government’s service to the public, including the quality or effectiveness of that service, or even whether the service should be offered at all. Capital expenditures for shiny new facilities are one thing, but the operation and maintenance costs to keep them functioning are something else. One growing source of skepticism we see relates to the public good phenomenon: we are paying for something that should be inherently free, i.e. the air we breathe.
HE Annual Letter 2018
An invigorating experience for me each year is the ramping up of ideas, energy and action that occurs as we all roll into a new year. From that vantage point, the previous year also becomes a little clearer, now in the rear-view mirror, but not far behind.
A striking contrast for us at Harvey Economics (HE) was our stability in the midst of a rather unstable, uncertain world. Whereas U.S. policy seemed to veer unpredictably on many fronts, our economic consulting business continued apace. Our existing markets sustained well while we expanded our services to new clients in new areas.
HE Annual Letter 2017
Reflecting on the year past and the year to come, there is one phenomenon that all of us can cheer about: people are spending money and investing worldwide at ever higher levels. Consumer spending and capital investment fuels jobs, incomes, innovations, and investments in our future, ultimately leading to a higher quality of life. As an economist, I love it when people spend money.
From that macro picture to the micro level of the world that Harvey Economics touches, I can confirm that our clients support investment and economic growth, both directly through infrastructure projects and indirectly through ensuring that money is spent efficiently. Our economic practice supports sustainable investment by recognizing long term effects. HE also considers all the benefits and costs (dollar and non-dollar), avoided costs and opportunity costs, as well as the multiplicative effects of a truly desirable investment. So raise a glass to money well invested; let’s keep it going.
HE Annual Letter 2016
It may come as a jolt to some of you that we are getting this letter out so early in 2017, but we need to speak up now. In such tumultuous times following the election, a small economic consulting firm should hew close to home. We should be reminding you of the role economic impact, feasibility and forecasting play in the respective initiatives that you will embark upon in the upcoming year. But a concept more important to us surfaced in 2016, and as your consultants and colleagues, we must address it.
HE Newsletter October 2015
We’ve all seen the pictures. The Animas River flowing with florescent yellow and orange water after more than 3 million gallons of water contaminated with heavy metals spilled from the abandoned Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado. The news cycle quickly moved on as the River returned to its pre-spill greenish blue, but the economic impacts of these environmental calamities can linger long after fading from the public eye. To an economist, proper restitution can only come from a full reckoning of what was lost. Other abandoned mines continue to leak toxins into Western watersheds and risks of other contamination goes unheeded. So Harvey Economics wondered who experiences economic damages when one of these inadvertent events or continuous leaks occurs: