Reality Check: Trucks Are The Most Popular "Cash for Clunker" Vehicle and Some Only Get 14 mpg!
MP: The Ford F-150 (pictured above) gets only about 14 mpg. and the Chevy Silverado gets the same 14 mpg.
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
The chart above shows the acceptance rates for whites, Asians and blacks to U.S. medical schools from 2005-2007, based on different combinations of undergraduate grade point averages (GPA) and scores on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), using data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (full data available here).
Bellow are some excerpts from the excellent article: "Health Care Reform: A Free Market Perspective," co-authored fifteen years ago (1994) by Harvard's Dean of the Medical School, Dr. Jeffrey Flier (MD), and featured yesterday on Greg Mankiw's blog:
As a follow-up to my recent post on The Shriners Hospital for Children, which provides free medical care for children, and is an example of a privately-funded, non-government, charitable solution to rising health care costs, there was an excellent commentary in Tuesday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution "Charity Clinics Can Be Reform Model," by Ross Mason, president of the board of directors of Georgia Free Clinic Network. Excerpts below:
San Antonio Express News -- Need to deposit a check into your USAA Federal Savings Bank account? USAA has an app for that. The San Antonio-based company is testing the feature for its iPhone application among its employees and plans to release it to the public soon.
WSJ -- The consequences of misunderstanding the texting lingo can be mortifying. Cassandra McSparin, 23, of Jim Thorpe, Pa., knew a woman whose friend’s mother had died. The woman texted her friend: “I’m so sorry to hear about your mother passing away. LOL. Let me know if there’s anything I can do.” It turns out she thought LOL meant “Lots of love.”
MANHEIM CONSULTING -- Wholesale used vehicle prices (seasonally-adjusted basis) rose for the seventh consecutive month in July. The Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index for July was 115.4, an increase of 5.0% from a year ago.
Wikipedia: Conflation occurs when the identities of two or more individuals, concepts, or places, sharing some characteristics of one another, become confused until there seems to be only a single identity — the differences appear to become lost.
A few days ago, the New York Fed released its latest "Probability of U.S. Recession Predicted by Treasury Spread," with data through July 2009, and the Fed's recession probability forecast through July 2010 (see chart above, click to enlarge). The NY Fed's model uses the spread between 10-year and 3-month Treasury rates (3.38% spread in June, the second highest since May 2004) to calculate the probability of a recession in the United States twelve months ahead.
UK Press Association -- Four out of 10 Britons going abroad for surgery do so to avoid NHS waiting lists at home, a survey has revealed. This was the top reason for seeking treatment, including dentistry and eye laser surgery, while 30% went overseas because it was cheaper.
A total of 5,519 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area (Clark County) last month, up 21.7% from May and up 44.1% from a year ago (see chart above). It was the highest sales total for any month since 5,780 homes sold in December 2006, and the highest for any June since 8,110 homes sold in June 2006.
June marked the 15th consecutive month in which sales of existing single-family detached houses rose on a year-over-year basis. The 4,042 single-family house resales last month were the highest for any June since 4,846 sold in June 2005. Resale condos have seen an annual sales gain for 12 straight months.
DQNews.com -- Sales of existing houses and condos in the Phoenix area rose in June to the highest level for that month in four years, with the non-foreclosure market continuing to account for a greater portion of sales. The modest shift away from lower-cost lender repossessions enabled the overall median sale price to edge higher than the prior month for the second month in a row.
A total of 10,731 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the combined Maricopa-Pinal counties metropolitan area in June, up 12.2% from May and up 40.4% from a year ago (see chart above). Total home sales have risen on a year-over-year basis for six consecutive months. However, sales of existing (not new) houses and condos combined have risen on a year-over-year basis for 12 consecutive months, and the June resale total of 9,720 was the highest for any month since March 2006.
The median price paid last month for all new and resale houses and condos combined was $130,000, up 0.4 percent from May but down 36.6 percent from a year ago. The tiny month-to-month gain was the second in a row. May’s 3.5 percent increase over April’s median marked the first such month-to-month rise since the overall median rose 1 percent, to $256,000, in March 2007.
Originally posted at Carpe Diem.
MUMBAI -- Institutional buying in heavyweights and select blue chips in the last hour of trade helped Indian shares reverse early losses and end slightly higher Wednesday. The Bombay Stock Exchange's benchmark Sensitive Index ended up 0.5% at 15,903.83. The 30-stock index traded between a low of 15,695.11 and a high of 15,973.10 in a volatile session.
Members of the Chicago City Council, take a look at the map above. What do you see? You see 44 dots. Every dot is a Wal-Mart in the Chicago area. Every dot is a place where people go to work and draw a paycheck. Every dot produces sales tax revenue. Every dot caters to people who want to buy shoes and socks and TVs and tires and whatever else draws them to Wal-Mart. If we widened this map to take in all of Illinois, there would be 148 dots. If we widened it again to take in all of the U.S., there would be 3,514 dots.
I'm not sure why the Bloomberg U.S. Financial Conditions Index doesn't receive more attention. It's updated daily by Bloomberg, and assesses the relative strength/weakness of the U.S. money market, bond market and equity market, and is considered a useful gauge of bank lending conditions and the overall availability of credit (see Bloomberg video below from September 25, 2008). The Financial Conditions Index went above -1.00 on Monday for the first time since October 31, 2007 and is now at a 21-month high (see chart above).
In the video above, the ASIMO robot is demonstrating an important aspect of robot intelligence: the ability to navigate around a dynamically changing environment. It’s not likely that ASIMO will find itself in a situation where it needs to avoid stepping on whirling pink blades of death, but at some point (soon, please) we’ll have ASIMOs walking around our homes, and they’ll need to be able to not accidentally crush our toes/children/pets/Roombas.
In New York, we have our own economic indicators, often based on the degree to which people are being thwarted by the lack of opportunity. An old standby is the Overeducated Cabbie Index. The Squeegee Man Apparition Index is another good one. There’s also the Speed at Which Contractors Return Calls Index: within 24 hours, you’re in a recession; if they call you without prompting, that’s a depression.
After falling more than 700 points from a level of 1058.79 last September to 345.82 points in early March (see graph above), the MSCI U.S. REIT Index (real estate investment trusts) has rebounded by almost 82% and closed today at 628.38, the highest close in more than 9 months (since early November).
Official statement from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers"
UK TELEGRAPH -- The Government's drug rationing watchdog says "therapeutic" injections of steroids, such as cortisone, which are used to reduce inflammation, should no longer be offered to patients suffering from persistent lower back pain when the cause is not known. Instead the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is ordering doctors to offer patients remedies like acupuncture and osteopathy.
Politicians are already one of the main reasons why medical insurance is so expensive. Insurance is designed to cover risks but politicians are in the business of distributing largesse, especially with somebody else's money. Nothing is easier for politicians than to mandate things that insurance companies must cover, without the slightest regard for how such additional coverage will raise the cost of insurance.
If there’s ever an illustration of how “progressive” elites and organized labor are keeping the very people they supposedly care about locked up on the plantation, it’s their consuming opposition to a new Wal-Mart store on the South Side (of Chicago).
From "Progressives Declare -No Jobs- are Good Enough For South-Side Residents" in the Chicago Daily Observer
Students frequently rent DVDs to watch in their dorm rooms, but soon they may start checking out something much heavier and pricier: textbooks.
WASHINGTON (AFP) – They don't offer degrees but then they don't charge tuition either. Colleges and universities across the United States are offering free courses online on virtually every subject imaginable, including videotaped lectures by some of their most distinguished professors.
Don Boudreaux argues below that if teachers don't respond positively to monetary incentives (merit pay), then they likewise shouldn't respond negatively to pay cuts, and we can therefore save millions and billions of dollars by cutting teachers' salaries?
Let’s call this what it is: A new bull market in stocks has emerged from the ashes of the financial meltdown and the deep recession that followed. And it’s signaling the onset of economic recovery. Free-market capitalism is more durable, resilient, and self-correcting than its detractors would have us believe.