August 4, 2017

Food for Thought

According to a recent report on U.S. economic development from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the U.S. is in its third longest expansion since 1850. With the severity of the 2007 financial crisis, it is easy to overlook the strength of the recovery and lose track of the ebb and flow of economic cycles.

The IMF analyzes the U.S. economy annually as part of its agreement with its members. The current report assesses the U.S. economic policies and provides a “diagnosis” of the U.S. conditions–recognizing strengths and pointing out potential weaknesses. The report summary states, “job growth has been persistently strong, inflation is subdued, and the economy is effectively at full employment.”

On the other hand, the U.S. is lagging behind its peers in the Organization of Economic and Cooperative Development when it comes to broad-based increases in living standards. As Bloomberg’s Justin Fox wrote in summarizing the report: “The clear message is that the U.S. — the richest nation on Earth, as is frequently proclaimed, although it’s actually not the richest per capita — is increasingly becoming the developed world’s poor relation as far as the actual living standards of most of its population go.”

All in all, the report is a good level-setting analysis that is best read with 15-20 minutes of quiet time.

Contextual Healing

The Pew Research Center released several interesting data sets this week.

The first, which has received a good bit of coverage, showed that Millennials and Generation X were a larger voting bloc than older generation in the 2016 elections. In addition, the Center released several data points describing characteristics of lawful immigrants.  Finally, Pew produced several graphics demonstrating that the growth of Hispanic population has leveled off over the last six years.

FT 17.08.01 MillennialVote 1 1Making News

Following the recent U.S. Senate debate on healthcare reform, the National Review has a useful post-mortem that recounts what happened with some insight into why.  Over at The Conversation, Harvard Medical School Professor Norman Daniels provides some post-debate perspective about what the goal of health care “choice” really means.


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