"Refashioning the Continent's Energy Arteries" Shale Gas is Fueling A Pipeline Construction Boom
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
Current Intrade odds for the 2012 election: Obama (48.6%) vs. any Republican candidate (48.7%), basically a "dead heat" (see chart).
It must be hard to be an environmentalist some days. You love green energy sources like wind power, but you also have strong feelings for bats, especially rare, endangered ones like the Indiana bat (pictured above). And if just one of those cuddly creatures is found dead near a wind turbine, there's only one solution: stop the windmills from operating at night until the middle of November when the bats will hibernate until spring.
The CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis released its monthly report this week on world trade and world industrial production for the month of August. Here are some of the highlights:
There's so much positive economic news coming out today that I'll summarize six of the reports below instead of writing a separate post for each one:
"U.S. sugar policy is rigged in favor of a handful of large sugar producers — at the expense of everyone else. This is costing consumers and sugar-using businesses $4 billion a year according to a study due to be released Wednesday [MP: That's close to my estimate of $4.5 billion for 2010]. The sugar program is outdated, unneeded and should go. Our bill, the Stop Unfair Giveaways and Restrictions Act, would end this system.
Created in 1934 and modified several times since, the sugar program is a complex system that often escapes public scrutiny. It includes price supports, which establish an artificial floor on sugar, and import restrictions, which prevent foreign sugar from bringing U.S. sugar prices in line with the rest of the world.
The end result is a U.S. sugar price that’s almost twice the world average (see chart above). That translates into a direct impact on U.S. consumers — who buy sugar directly and who buy products made with sugar every day. Americans can’t afford to be wasting that money in today’s difficult economy.
Most alarming, high sugar prices affect jobs. The sugar program benefits about 4,700 growers of sugar cane and sugar beets nationwide. But it hurts more than 600,000 people working in sugar-using industries nationwide — from candy makers to bakers.
High sugar prices were responsible for the loss of 112,000 jobs in those industries between 1997 and 2009, according to industry analysts. For every sugar-growing job saved through high U.S. sugar prices, according to a 2006 Commerce Department study, approximately three jobs in sugar-using industries are lost.
This policy puts U.S. businesses at a terrible disadvantage. Imported products that use sugar are relatively free of punitive tariffs. That means foreign competitors in the confectionery industry are using cheaper sugar so they can undersell American companies. The result is a loss of American jobs as U.S. factories shut down and international firms locate new facilities outside the United States.
This sugar program is antiquated. Supporters of sugar reform, include the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Foreign Trade Council, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Consumer Federation of America. All say the program is hurting consumers and businesses.
Democrats and Republicans have come together to push for an end to this program because it is not a partisan issue. It’s about entrenched interests versus sound policy. Sugar price supports are an unnecessary market intervention that have no place in our 21st-century economy."
Area GDP, 2010
|Millions||Equivalent Country by GDP, 2010|
|1||New York City||$1,280,517||Australia|
|2||Los Angeles-Long Beach||$735,743||Turkey|
The NY Times recently featured a Seattle-based company named "Taphandles" that has brought some of its manufacturing of custom beer taps and beer-marketing products (see photo above) back to the United States from China as many of the economic and cost advantages of manufacturing have started to shift back to the United States, including:
BISMARCK (AP) - "Airports in western North Dakota's booming oil patch are setting new passenger boarding records nearly every month and need tens of millions of dollars to invest in terminals, parking and runway upgrades, the state's aeronautics commissioner said.
Take the test here - the old left/right brain struggle.
The Federal Reserve released data today on U.S. industrial production for the month of September with the following highlights:
Jobs told a reporter that taking LSD was one of the two or three most important things he had done in his life. He said there were things about him that people who had not tried psychedelics — even people who knew him well, including his wife — could never understand.