Michael Farr: Presidential Debates and Middle-Class Economics

While a lack of middle-class income growth can create headwinds for any economy in the short term, the longer-term risks of political instability and civil unrest can become much greater.

Read more: Taxes, Trickle Down, Economy, Economic Crisis, Middle Class, Redistribution of Wealth, Government Spending, Mitt Romney, Credit Crisis, Presidential Debates, Consumer Spending, Barack Obama, Wealth, Earnings Gap, Great Recession, Income Disparity, Economic Growth, Business News

Obama touts jobs report as he seeks to lift campaign

FAIRFAX, Virginia (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Friday hailed a drop in the U.S. jobless rate to the lowest level since he took office, saying the country has “come too far to turn back now,” as he sought to recover from a lackluster debate performance against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

LG’s First Nexus-Branded Smartphone Reportedly Set For A Late October Unveiling

Mockup courtesy of AndroidAndMe

There’s been no shortage of LG Nexus phone rumors these past few days, but it seems the time for speculation may have come to an abrupt end. CNET has confirmed with sources close to the matter that Google’s next Nexus smartphone will indeed be based on LG’s new Optimus G handset, and is slated to be officially revealed at the end of this month.

Roger Cheng’s report follows another sizable LG leak from earlier this morning — MoDaCo’s Paul O’Brien reported that the yet-to-be-named LG Nexus device sports an IPS display running at 1280×768, a quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB of RAM, support for wireless charging, and an 8-megapixel camera (no 13MP sensor to be found, unfortunately).

The new Nexus’ spec sheet isn’t just a straight carry-over of the Optimus G’s, though. If O’Brien’s intel is to be believed, then users will be stuck with a downright scant 8GB or 16GB of internal memory to work with, and with nary an expandable memory card slot in sight. He notes that the storage situation may well change over time, but this will still come as a bummer to those looking to pocket a few seasons of The West Wing. To top it all off, the device will also reportedly sport a sealed battery — a first for the Nexus smartphone line.

Of course, assuming this information is all reliable, there’s still one big question in play here: will the LG Nexus phone be alone? After all, Google’s M.O. these past few years was to collaborate with a hardware partner on a single reference smartphone. The prevailing rumor at this point is that LG’s Nexus device will be only one of many that will soon find their way to the Google Play Store’s Devices section. There’s some evidence that Samsung (who has worked with Google on Nexus hardware twice now) is busy putting together a follow-up to its venerable Galaxy Nexus, and former hardware partner HTC may be working on a 5-inch Nexus-branded device of its own.

Regardless of what their rivals may do, the news could mean big things for LG. To put it mildly, the company hasn’t had the sort of runaway success in the smartphone market that Samsung or even HTC has had. While a Nexus-branded collaboration with Google isn’t guaranteed to be one, it stands a decent shot at being one of the company’s stronger competitors. Marketing tactics like an aggressive off-contract price point could help strengthen that possibility, and it wouldn’t be a shock to see details like that (plus a whole host of others) over the next few weeks.

Supreme Court to review Monsanto seed patents

(Reuters) – The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to consider an Indiana soybean farmer’s appeal of a decision finding that he infringed Monsanto Co patents over seeds containing the company’s genetically altered Roundup Ready technology.

Militants’ extradition could give Obama political headache

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The British government’s imminent move to extradite five prominent Islamic militants to the United States for trial could trigger security and political headaches for President Barack Obama and his administration.

Romney closes gap with Obama to 2 points after debate: Reuters/Ipsos poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s lead over challenger Mitt Romney has narrowed to just two percentage points since the Republican’s strong performance in their first debate, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday.

Ruckus Wireless files for IPO of up to $100 million

(Reuters) – WiFi products maker Ruckus Wireless Inc filed with U.S. regulators on Friday to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering of common stock.

Apple’s iPhone 5 gets thumbs-up from Consumer Reports

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Consumer Reports, the influential reviewers’ group that blasted the iPhone 4 for a faulty antenna, on Friday gave Apple Inc’s latest smartphone a thumbs-up despite echoing widespread complaints about its patchy mapping service.