Industry Market Trends

Worth a Look: The Big Business of Running for President

Nov 07, 2012

Plus: Inside Obama's Reelection, a Drop in Open Manufacturing Jobs, the Cause of the Northeast Fuel Shortage, Creativity Amid Disaster and the Mobile Device Boom Driving Out Desktops.

Sometimes the Internet seems like it's gotten too big. To help navigate this sea of information, Industry Market Trends' weekly Worth a Look feature spotlights some of the more interesting, informative and amusing resources that might have slipped under your radar - all in bite-sized chunks.

    • A Look Inside Obama's Reelection | President Barack Obama was elected to a second term last night, narrowly beating Republican challenger Mitt Romney despite victories in six of the seven key battleground states. A net gain of one seat helped Democrats maintain control of the Senate, while Republicans will continue to have a majority in the House of Representatives. Obama's win signals that landmark legislation from his first term, including the health care reform law and the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, will stay in effect, as the president confronts continued challenges in the economy.


    • Manufacturing Job Openings Decrease | Surveys show that U.S. employers posted fewer job openings in September, with the number of unfilled positions falling to by 3.56 million, a drop of 100,000 from August and the lowest level in five months. September's total was below the 4 million jobs a month posted before the recession began in December 2007. There are currently 3.4 unemployed people competing for each job, compared to a 2-to-1 ratio in a healthy economy. The manufacturing sector had one of the steepest drops in job openings for the month.


    • Why Is there a Fuel Shortage in the Northeast? | Although gas prices are dropping across the U.S. and there are ample fuel supplies nationwide, storm-ravaged areas in the Northeast, particularly New York and New Jersey, continue to face gasoline shortages. Experts attribute the shortfall to gas stations that have lost power, the difficulty of coordinating deliveries due to damaged roads, flooded storage tanks and a panic-induced run on supplies prior to Hurricane Sandy.


    • How Innovation Springs from Disaster | Having ample resources and time is a major advantage, but working under hardship or duress can also yield surprising innovations and creative solutions to seemingly intractable problems. Fast Company explores how tough environments produce outside-the-box thinking and dispel certain illusions, particularly when people are forced to work without power or amid poverty, health threats and conditions that overwhelm local infrastructure.


    • Are Companies Ditching Desktops? | As more and more businesses purchase smartphones and tablets and companies find ways to more thoroughly integrate mobile devices into their workflow, the days of the office desktop may be winding down. New research forecasts that 40 percent of employees will work on mobile devices by 2016, while businesses are expected to purchase 53 million tablets per year by 2016.


  • The (Big) Business of Running for President | Running a presidential campaign is much like running a big business. In fact, with the Obama campaign raising $556 million for the 2012 election and the Romney campaign raising $340 million, each candidate was almost an industry unto himself. A new infographic shows where all this money came from and how the candidates spent it, along with some figures to put that financing into context. For instance, in today's dollars, Abraham Lincoln spent just $2.8 million to get elected in 1860.