Obama Says U.S. Needs Progress for Men’s Equality
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
Here's some more good news from today's BEA international trade report for January: U.S. exports reached a new record-high level in January of $167.7 billion, surpassing the previous record of $165.7 billion in July 2008 (see chart above). January exports were also 16% above the year-ago level, and 35% above the cyclical low of $124.1 billion in April 2009.
The BEA released its report today on international trade for January, and what will likely get the most attention is the fact that the monthly trade deficit increased to $46.3 billion from $40.3 billion in December. There will be lots of commentary and hand-wringing today about the "bad news" that America's trade position, trade gap or trade deficit is: a) widening, b) worsening or c) deteriorating in January. What you probably won't hear much about is the good news that total U.S. trade (Exports + Imports) increased to $381 billion in January, reaching the highest level since August 2008, almost two-and-a-half years ago.
Slate.com has an article titled "Why hasn't the Internet helped the American economy grow as much as economists thought it would?" about Tyler Cowen's e-book "The Great Stagnation." Here's a really interesting point:
|Subject||Year||Males: Grade 12||Females: Grade 12||M-F Difference||Prob.|
In his latest article "The Social Snobbery of Free Trade" Ian Fletcher goes on yet another of his trademark anti-trade, protectionist tirades, claiming now that free trade advocates are snobs who look down on protectionists as "dummies, losers, incompetents, hippies, rednecks, dinosaurs, closet socialists, or crypto-fascists."
|G-8 Country||Highest Widely Circulated Coin||U.S. Value||Lowest Bill||U.S. Value|
|Canada||2 Dollar||$1.97||5 Dollar||$4.92|
|France||2 Euro||$2.77||5 Euro||$6.92|
|Germany||2 Euro||$2.77||5 Euro||$6.92|
|Italy||2 Euro||$2.77||5 Euro||$6.92|
|Japan||500 Yen||$6.01||1,000 Yen||$12.02|
|Russia||10 Ruble||$0.33||50 Ruble||$1.67|
|United Kingdom||2 Pound||$3.18||5 Pound||$7.95|
|United States||25 Cents||$0.25||1 Dollar||$1.00|
Here's an interesting article titled "Made in America: Small Businesses Buck the Offshoring Trend," about how some manufacturing is being brought back to the U.S. from China, especially for smaller American firms, because of: a) rising labor costs in China, b) inconsistent quality, c) shipping costs that have doubled in the last year (see chart above), and d) the lack of safeguards on intellectual property. Here are some key paragraphs from an article that suggests that America's manufacturing sector can look forward to a bright, dynamic and thriving future:
|World Rank, 2010||Country||Prisoners per 100,000 Population|
Here's an MSNBC News story about America's new, high-tech manufacturing, and how community colleges are training new high-skilled manufacturing workers for the 21st century. Here's an important point: 25-30 years ago, U.S. manufacturing was "80% brawn and 20% brains," and today it's "10% brawn and 90% brains." That's another way of saying that we're able to produce increasing amounts of factory output in the U.S. with fewer and fewer workers, as the productivity of American manufacturing workers has tripled since the 1970s.
Alaska governor Sean Parnell wrote this week in the WSJ that it's "Time To Get Serious About American Oil," and posed the question: "Why is Washington blocking oil exploration in states like Alaska and Louisiana when the Middle East is such a powder keg?" Here are some excerpts: