Texas Turns Off Lights on Federal Lightbulb Ban
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
Renegade Minnesota doctor -- makes same-day house calls, spends 30 minutes with each patient, and accepts payment in cash, checks, eggs, wine, pork sausage, pickles, homegrown tomatoes, or homemade pies, but not insurance, Medicare or Medicare.
The Billion Prices Project @ MIT has just been updated with daily price data through June 1, and is reflecting moderating inflationary pressures that have fallen to a new 5-month low (see chart above of monthly inflation rates since 12/25/2010). From a high of about 0.85% for the monthly inflation rate through late February, inflation has fallen to about 0.32% for the month ending June 1, and has been trending steadily downward for the last three months to the lowest level since late January.
Last week I posted about the record number of companies leaving California (5.4 per week this year), and here's an AP news story "Wave of Lawsuits Over Seats Hit Retail Stores," about a recent development that might give companies in the Golden State even more incentive to leave (or not move there in the first place, or not expand operations there):
"Let's say that it takes you exactly one minute to read this post. In that time, over 6,600 photos will be uploaded to Flickr, about 70 new domains will be registered, over 1,200 new ads will be created on Craigslist, and more. Find out here what happens on the Internet every 60 seconds (see graphic above, click to enlarge)."
|Rank||GDP per Capita, 2010|
|District of Columbia||$168,327|
California currently ranks #49 among U.S. states for "business tax climate" (Tax Foundation) and #48 for for "economic freedom" (Mercatus). It shouldn't be any surprise then that companies are leaving the "Golden State" in record numbers this year (see chart above) for "golder pastures" and more business-friendly climates in other states.
The Conference Board reported today that its Leading Economic Index (LEI) increased 0.8% in May to 114.7 (see chart above), with the largest positive contributions to the index coming from the interest rate spread, consumer expectations and building permits. The LEI has now increased in 25 out of the last 26 months starting in April 2009, with the only monthly decrease occurring in April of this year.
|World Rank, 2010||Country||Prisoners per 100,000 Population|
In a Tuesday Washington Times editorial "Truth about Trade Deficits and Jobs," Cato Institute trade specialist Dan Griswold makes the following important point about U.S. trade deficits:
1. China will become the second largest consumer market in the world by 2015, behind only the U.S.
The chart above illustrates a very serious and escalating health care crisis in America: The number of kidney transplant operations has remained flat for the last six years, and there were actually fewer last year (16,968) than in 2006 (17,095). Meanwhile, the number of registered transplant candidates continues to grow, at an average rate of more than 4,500 new candidates in every year since 2005. In 2010, the chances of receiving a kidney for the almost 88,000 patients on the waiting list fell below 20% for the first time ever, and those odds probably won't improve any time soon.
In a comment on this CD post about the dramatic gains in U.S. manufacturing productivity, JoeMac asks an important question: "How have these gains in productivity improved the lives of Americans?"
While most countries have rushed to evacuate their citizens from Libya in recent months, one country decided to leave 200 of their nationals stranded in Libya. Guess the country, it should be easy.
The chart above shows annual real manufacturing output per worker from 1947-2010 using data from the BEA for manufacturing output by industry and data from the BLS on manufacturing employment.
The chart above shows the annual inflation rates for: a) crude foodstuffs and feedstuffs (e.g. wheat, corn, animals for slaughter, peanuts, cottonseed, and soybeans), and b) finished consumer foods (pasta products, processed meats, bakery products, fresh fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, and eggs), based on today's BLS report on Producer Price Indexes through May.
From an IBD editorial, "Will the Chicago Merc Flee Illinois Taxes?"
In another sign of a strong economic recovery in the manufacturing sector, the after-tax profits of U.S. manufacturing corporations reached a record-high $144.5 billion in the first quarter of 2011, according to data released today by the Census Bureau. Adjusted for inflation, first quarter profits this year were 6.6% ahead of the previous quarter, and 28.7% ahead of a year earlier. Compared to the pre-recession level of $124.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007, manufacturing profits have increased by 16.2% and $20.4 billion.