Detroit News -- Burroughs moves call center back to Plymouth, Michigan from India.
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
Detroit News -- Burroughs moves call center back to Plymouth, Michigan from India.
Pictures from the Boston Globe.
"The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Board of Directors has revised its official policy on retail health clinics to reflect the Academy's opposition to a growing expansion of scope of services provided by many such clinics. In addition, the Academy has discontinued its practice of entering into formal agreements with retail health clinics that support the AAFP's desired attributes.
Russ Roberts writing in the Wall Street Journal:
NEW YORK TIMES -- "Just a year after laying off millions of factory workers, China is facing an increasingly acute labor shortage. As American workers struggle with near double-digit unemployment, unskilled factory workers here in China’s industrial heartland are being offered signing bonuses. Factory wages have risen as much as 20 percent in recent months (see chart).
From the NY Times -- "On Wall Street, a Romance With Curling":
Business Insider: "
ARLINGTON, VA — The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index jumped 3.1% in January, following a revised 1.3% increase in December 2009. The latest gain boosted the SA index from 107 (2000=100) in December to 110.4 in January, its highest level since September 2008.
WALL STREET JOURNAL — "A massive oil reserve buried two miles underground has put North Dakota at the center of a revolution in the U.S. oil industry, a shift that has radically altered the fortunes of this remote area. The Bakken Shale deposit has been known and even tapped on occasion for decades. But technological improvements in the past two years have taken what was once a small, marginally profitable field and turned it into one of the fastest-growing oil-producing areas in the U.S.
Number of bank failures during the 1930s
A feature-length documentary about our urgent national need for school choice, "The Cartel" shows us our failing educational system like we've never seen it before.
In this hard-hitting film by reporter and news anchor Bob Bowdon, "The Cartel" exposes the corruption, waste, and intimidation in our nation's public schools. Arguing that our public school system wastes billions of dollars each year, while our children learn less and less, "The Cartel" makes a compelling case for far-reaching and immediate reform centered on school choice.
Upcoming: "The Cartel" Premieres in 11 Major Cities in April 2010.
HT: Colin Grabow
"Canada is the only country other than Cuba and North Korea to ban private health insurance and private medical care. The prohibition is viewed as bizarre in other nations with universal health care. Sweden has long allowed private insurance for elective services. In Australia, private hospitals provide a third of the nation's capacity. In Germany and the Netherlands, anyone above a certain income threshold is allowed to leave the public system.
"The latest gambit to increase government control of your life comes under the guise that private health insurance companies have been making "excessive" profits, taking advantage of their privileged economic positions. Acting like a shill for the administration, "Health Care for America Now" writes, "Simply put, the private insurance companies have secured monopolies or tight oligopolies and exercised that power to put profits ahead of patients."
The table above shows the share of colleges degrees (Bachelor's, Master's and Doctor's) by gender for the 2006-2007 academic year (data here). Women earned a majority of both Bachelor's and Master's degree, and outnumbered men in nine out of 17 academic areas by a wide margin, the lowest share being 60.2% of all degrees in biology to a high of 86% of all degrees in health professions. Men outnumbered women in six fields (agriculture, architecture, business, math, physical sciences and social sciences) by a fairly narrow margin, with shares ranging between 50.8% of business degrees and 59.1% of degrees in the physical sciences. In two other subject areas (computer science and engineering), men earned more than 80% of the degrees.
For total doctoral degrees, the shares for women (49.1%) and men (50.9%) are almost equal, and women earn more than 50% of the degrees in 8 fields; men more than 50% of the degrees in 9 fields. Also, for the undergraduate subject areas that women dominate (biology, communication, education, English, foreign languages, health professions, psychology, and public administration) they also tend to dominate for Master's degrees, with just a slight drop in their share of degrees by only about a percent in some fields (biology, education, English). In some cases the female share of degrees actually increases at the Master's level (communication, foreign languages, and psychology). However, at the doctoral level, the female share of degrees tends to drop by between 5 and 10 percentage points compared to their share of Master's degrees for the same field.
Given the fact that men (mean = 534 points in 2009) continue to score higher on the SAT math test by about 35 points compared to women (mean = 499 points), the overrepresentation of men earning undergraduate degrees in computer science and engineering might not be too surprising. And the fact that women score about 13 points higher on the SAT writing test compared to men (499 vs. 486 for mean scores), the overrepresentation of women in fields like English, communication, and foreign languages might not be too surprising. And probably what would be most surprising would be perfect gender equity in each academic field, although that seems to be the desired outcome for some.
Take the quiz, and find out.
Thomas Sowell: "Tiger Woods doesn't owe me an apology. Nothing that he has ever done has cost me a dime nor an hour of sleep. Public apologies to people who are not owed any apology have become one of the many signs of the mushy thinking of our times.
"I did not sign away my right to get the best possible health care for myself when I entered politics."
"In December, the 10-City and 20-City S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices recorded annual declines of 2.4% and 3.1%, respectively. These two indices, which are reported at a monthly frequency, have seen improvements in their annual rates of return every month since the beginning of the year (see chart above)."
We hear a lot about how women are underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields and careers, and "Nationwide, there is a push for more women to choose STEM fields." There is a special National Science Foundation program called ADVANCE, whose goal is to:
"Take Wall Street "greed." Is there any evidence that people on Wall Street were any less interested in making money during all the decades and generations when investments in housing were among the safest investments around? If their greed did not bring on an economic disaster before, why would it bring it on now? As for lenders, how could they have expected to satisfy their greed by lending to people who were not likely to repay them?"
The Credit Card Act of 2009 provides a lot of protection for cardholders:
WASH POST -- "A law hailed as the most sweeping piece of consumer legislation in decades has helped make it more difficult for millions of Americans to get credit, and made that credit more expensive.
Exhibit A: "Annual fees, common until about 10 years ago, have made a comeback. During the final three months of last year, 43% of new offers for credit cards contained annual fees, versus 25% in the same period a year earlier, according to Mintel International, which tracks marketing data. Several banks also added these fees to existing accounts. One example: Many Citigroup customers will start paying a $60 annual fee on April 1."
MP: This story clearly illustrates the Law of Unintended Consequences ("Any intervention in a complex system may or may not have the intended result, but will inevitably create unanticipated and often undesirable outcomes.") and why regulations are distortionary - because companies can change their behavior to avoid or circumvent them.
"Led by improvements in production- and employment-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index in January was slightly positive for the second time in the past three months. From June 2007 through October 2009, the index had been consistently negative. The index increased to +0.02 in January from –0.58 in December, with all four categories of indicators having improved.
Nationally, inflation-adjusted public school spending per pupil has more than doubled since the late 1960s (see graph above, data here).
There's been a lively discussion about this CD post on D.C. public school spending. Whether the per pupil public spending in D.C. is $15,000 or $25,000, and whether certain capital expenditures should be included or not, probably aren't as important as some of the bigger issues that should get more attention than the minor details (although I also provide clarification of the details below):
Back to the details:
2. According to data from the Department of Education (data here, Table 186) for "Current expenditure per pupil in average daily attendance in public elementary and secondary schools," spending per pupil in the D.C. schools was $20,596 in 2006-2007 (measured in constant 2007-2008 dollars), and that was the highest amount in the country and almost twice the national average of $10,720. Whether spending was $20,000 or $25,000 isn't as important as the fact that D.C. public school spending leads the country, when everything is calculated on a consistent basis.
3. From the same table, real spending per D.C. pupil in 1959 was only 15% above the national average and by 2006-2007 D.C. spending was 92% above the national average. Over the last fifty years, real spending per student in D.C. has increased by 6.63 times (from $3,106 to $20,596) since 1959, and that increase is the highest in the country, and compares to an average real increase in spending of 4.37 times between 1959 and 2006.
4. Department of Education data (Table 178) for "Total Expenditures for public elementary and secondary education" shows that the D.C. public schools spent $1,389,995,000 (almost $1.4 billion) for the 2006-2007 school year, which is even higher than the $1.29 billion reported in my last post (based on Andrew Coulson's data).
5. Department of Education data also show that the D.C. schools have one of the lowest high school graduation rates of 65.4% for 2005-2006, a full eight percentage points below the national average of 73.4%.
Bottom Line: The important issues to me should be: a) the significant increase in real spending over time for public schools in general, b) the fact that D.C. public schools spend more than $1 billion per year and lead the country in per pupil spending, c) D.C. schools have had the greatest spending increases over the last 50 years, d) D.C. schools have one of the lowest graduation rates in the country, and e) the resistance by teachers' unions, Democrats (usually) and labor unions to school choice in D.C. and around the country, like the Opportunity Scholarship Program in D.C.
Paul Kedrosky re-visits the famous Simon-Erlich bet. Alex Tabarrok responds here. Paul wrote:
According to a report released Friday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the median Consumer Price Index was virtually unchanged at 0.0% (0.5% annualized rate) in January. The "median CPI" is a measure of core inflation calculated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland based on data in the monthly CPI report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS).