Cheat Sheet Q&A:
Topic: Best restaurants in the US. This is in response to a story I covered last week identifying the top 100 restaurants in the US with San Francisco easily coming out as the top city in the country for foodies.
I loved your story on the restaurant ratings across the country. I’ve been lucky to have lived in your area as well as NYC and SF and while Florida has good restaurants, honestly they don’t hold a candle to what’s available in San Francisco especially. The thing is in San Francisco, everything is at least very good. The competition is extreme and if you count the surrounding cities that make up the bay area the options are unreal. Whether you’re in the south bay in San Jose or wine country or in the city proper there are thousands of great options at all points on the price spectrum. Some of the best Chinese food for example can be had for as little as $6 per plate and I’ve spent as much as $1000 for a meal.
There is a place called the French Laundry which actually Googles customers before they arrive to try to determine their likes and interests ahead of time. Believe it or not there’s a Taco Truck on Pacific Avenue that has a full star. The only food that you can’t get that’s any good in California is Pizza. There is no good pizza regardless of what anyone says on the west coast.
The underground scene is also amazing. You might have a guy with a grill set up shop with a card reader on his phone selling bbq that you have to find on twitter or seafood being sold out of one of the night clubs during the day or my favorite, Happy Donuts sold the best fried chicken if you new how to order it.
Really enjoyed the story brings back some great memories. The city is completely off its rocker but the food is absolutely the best.
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It’s time for Florida’s first Federal Election of 2014:
Bottom Line: The Special election in Florida’s 13th Congressional district is not only Florida’s first Federal election of the year; it’s also one of the most closely watched special House elections we’ve ever witnessed. It’s a high profile race for a few reasons. The district is pretty even in pledged political support and Alex Sink (who gained statewide notoriety as Florida’s CFO and Gubernatorial candidate in 2010) as the Democratic candidate who is looking to flip the seat to Democrats. Millions of dollars have poured in from around the country in this race. So where do we stand on Election Day?
There are seven accredited pollsters that have polled this race. Taking the most recent poll from each one of them and averaging them together here are the results:
· Democrat Alex Sink: 42.9%
· Republican David Jolly: 42.1%
As thought that wasn’t close enough… I calculated 3rd party participation and late breakers based on the previous election cycles (ten years) in this particular district. That showed the following:
- 3rd party vote would likely be about 4.5%
- GOP has a .6% edge in late breakers in this district
When I project all of those numbers out here is the result:
- Alex Sink: 47.85%
- David Jolly 47.65%
- Others: 4.5%
This is literally the closest race I’ve ever calculated on Election Day. It certainly is within the margin or error with Sink pulling out a super slim .2% win. That would certainly be a recount situation. Those are the numbers…
If I apply my opinion to my research here’s what I think may happen… The final piece of the projection, applying the late breakers, is based on an average of past elections. Because I believe that the GOP currently has more momentum that Democrats I think it’s possible that a slight additional advantage may be had by Jolly with late breakers and could bring him a victory of 1% or less. This will be very interesting.
Anything you can do I can do cheaper... T-Mobile doubles data for the same price:
Bottom Line: Just as quickly as AT&T dropped the price of its individual unlimited talk, text & up to 2GB of data from $80 to $65 per month for individual plans, T-Mobile has answered.
T-Mobile has announced that for their entry level unlimited plus data plan (the Simple Value plan); they are doubling the data for no additional cost. The plan offers unlimited talk and texting but only came with 500MB of data usage per month. 500MB is pretty low and even semi heavy smart device users can pass that threshold in a month. The new standard of 1GB as part of the $50 plan is enough for the average user each month. This in effect allows them to offer a comparable plan to AT&T’s for $15 less per month.
Love the mobile competition. It just keeps getting better and better for consumers.
So how many previously uninsured Americans now have health insurance under ACA?:
Bottom Line: The number of Americans signing up for health policies on the exchanges has been widely reported. It’s well known that we’re still millions short of the 7 million threshold at which we’re told the exchanges will be self-sustaining. What hasn’t been known until now is how many of the people who have signed up for a policy are newly insured. Research firm McKinsey now has an answer.
- 14% of the exchange based health policies are by people who were previously uninsured
- Based on the 3.3 million polices which have been paid for and truly initiated thus far that equals 462,000 people who are now insured that weren’t previously
So the very premise of ACA, that every American needed to have health insurance, has only extended to fewer than a half million people. What’s worse is that through companies who have dropped plans and sent employees to the exchange there is an additional estimated 2-3 million people who had insurance last year who don’t this year.
So in summation… Even if March turns out to be a strong month for signups for healthcare policies it’s all but certain that the first full year of ACA with the individual mandate will result in fewer people having health insurance than before it went into effect. To put it another way… that’s abject failure.
Evidence that hiring is better right now than it was last year:
Bottom Line: The biggest economic discussion is about what’s real and what’s weather related with regard to the weaker economic info in 2014 thus far. There is at least one important metric that suggests that the weather is covering up a better underlying economic situation.
The best overall index to project hiring is the Employment Trends Index. It studies eight different pieces of data (from new openings to the composition of those openings – part or full-time, etc.). When you compare this current information to the same time last year we find the following:
- 4.4% more hiring is implied goring forward over the same time last year
- That means per 100,000 jobs created per month last year we’d create 4,400 more jobs in this year
So with March being a fairly benign weather month we should see much better hiring numbers then what 2014 has produced thus far.
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WJNO Financial Analyst & Host for The Palm Beaches’ Morning Rush
I work every day to keep you ahead of the curve on the crazy state of the economy, business, investments and technology.
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My faith: I don’t use the mic to preach but… I firmly believe that without God in our lives happiness will never be found. I believe that many of our societal failures have resulted from a general willingness to distance ourselves from our founding values while embracing political correctness.
I'm in my 19th year with iHeartMedia and 11th in South Florida. With my father as inspiration, I started investing in the stock market when I was 11 and co-founded a smoothie company at 18. I've served as a fill-in for Sean Hannity, a contributor to Fox News and Newsmax
I've made my share of mistakes along the way as well. I shape my perspective from success and failure to provide you with a truly objective picture of business and money in your world. Business and investing are passions of mine. Some read Dean Koontz... I read financial reports.