Wednesday, June 18, 2014

CBO's Projections Of Per Capita GDP 2014 To 2024

From Congressional Budget Office, "CBO's Projections of GDP Per Capita" posted by Doug Elmendorf on June 18, 2014:
Many factors, including per capita GDP, affect Americans’ standard of living. Although CBO has not analyzed all of those factors or their effects, the agency projects that real GDP per capita will grow, on average, by about 2 percent per year between 2014 and 2017, when it is expected to return to its historical relationship with the economy’s potential output (see the table below). CBO projects that, after 2017, real GDP will grow at the same rate as potential GDP—by an average of about 2¼ percent per year during the 2018–2024 period—because the agency does not attempt to predict the timing or magnitude of business cycle fluctuations in the economy so far into the future. With the population expected to grow by about 1 percent per year, real GDP per capita is projected to grow, on average, by about 1¼ percent per year between 2018 and 2024—a slower rate than the annual average rate of about 2 percent since 1950. That difference reflects CBO’s projection that real GDP will grow more slowly over the latter part of the projection period than it has in the past several decades, primarily because of slower growth of the labor force stemming from the retirement of the baby boom generation.

CBO's Projections of Real GDP Per Capita, 2014 to 2024
(Thousands of 2009 dollars)
GDP Per CapitaPercentage Change From Prior Year
Note: Projections are for the fourth quarter of each calendar year.
Real GDP = gross domestic product adjusted to remove the effects of inflation.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Inane Licensing Laws Immigrants And Small Businesses Face: Is Anything Other Than A Bureaucrat's Job Protected?

From The New York Times, "Selling Baubles on the Street: License Required" by Emily S Rueb:
She showed the officer the city-issued license belonging to her husband. “Husband come,” she told the officer, using the few English words she knew. But her husband was not there. So Ms. Yin, 48, was arrested and charged with selling without a license for about the 30th time in over a decade.

Ms. Yin’s husband, Chee Fei Cheng, has one of New York City’s coveted general vending licenses, of which there are only 853 available to nonveterans. When her husband had a stroke in 2000, Ms. Yin had to support their family on her own, but city laws said vendors could not let someone else sell under their licenses, not even a family member.

The couple and local officials wrote letters to the Department of Consumer Affairs asking to transfer the license to Ms. Yin. But the legal mechanism for a transfer had not been clear or utilized, and the waiting list for a license, with more than 1,800 names, has been closed since 1993. So for more than a decade, Ms. Yin has been repeatedly arrested, and has had to pay fines and clean parks and restrooms as punishment for selling without a license.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

On Average, Private Industry Health Insurance Employer Costs Are 7.9 Percent Of Compensation

From US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic News Release, "Employer Costs for Employee Compensation - March 2014":
Health insurance costs in private industry

The average cost for health insurance benefits was $2.36 per hour worked in private industry (7.9
percent of total compensation) in March 2014. In March 2004, employer costs for health benefits
averaged $1.53, or 6.6 percent of total compensation.
Employer costs for health insurance benefits were significantly higher for union workers, averaging $5.54 per hour worked (12.6 percent of total compensation), than for nonunion workers, averaging $2.04 (7.1 percent).

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Households With Similar Incomes And Parental Education Levels, Across All Race And Ethnic Groups, Have Essentially The Same Higher Education Expenditure Levels

From US Dept of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Beyond the Number, "Do different groups invest differently in higher-education?" by Tian Luo and Richard J. Holden:
When we analyzed the households with a college student with a tuition expenditure, and accounted for the household income and education level of the parents, we found that the differences in tuition expenditures between races and ethnicities converge. For college students with tuition expenditures who have parent(s) with a bachelor’s degree and a median annual income of $70,000, Hispanics and African American households had tuition expenditures that were only 11 and 8 percent lower, respectively, than those made by White households, while Asians had 9 percent higher tuition expenditures than White households. (See chart 3.)
Household Tuition Expenditures
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

However, these much smaller differences in tuition expenditures are not actually statistically significant. In other words, when you compare families with similar household incomes and parental education levels, the higher education expenditure levels are essentially the same across all race and ethnic groups. As parents' education and income level increase, so do the expenditures for higher education. From another perspective, socioeconomic differences, not differences in race or ethnicity, have a greater influence on how families value higher-education investments.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Not Building Keystone XL Pipeline Could Result In About 3000 More Injuries And About 400 More Deaths Over A Decade: US State Department Report

From The New York Times, "Report Finds Higher Risks if Oil Line Is Not Built" by Coral Davenport:
If the Keystone XL pipeline is not built — and more oil from the Canadian oil sands is moved by rail — there could be hundreds more deaths and thousands more injuries than expected over the course of a decade, according to an updated State Department analysis of the contested project that was released Friday.

The report is the latest twist in the long fight over the proposed 1,700-mile pipeline, which would carry crude oil from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries. The findings are significant: The State Department has the authority to approve the pipeline because it would cross international borders, although President Obama is expected to make the ultimate call.

The initial study noted that without the pipeline, companies would simply move the oil by rail, and an addendum concluded that the alternative could contribute to 700 injuries and 92 deaths over 10 years. Friday’s updated report raised those numbers more than fourfold, concluding that rail transport could lead to 2,947 injuries and 434 deaths over a decade.

The State Department said the initial report was based on an erroneous database search.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Summary Of Research On Marijuana’s Negative Health Effects: Teens At Greatest Risk

From National Institute of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, News Release, June 4, 2014, "NIDA review summarizes research on marijuana’s negative health effects: Comprehensive review published in the New England Journal of Medicine also discusses why risks are greatest for teen users"
The review describes the science establishing that marijuana can be addictive and that this risk for addiction increases for daily or young users. It also offers insights into research on the gateway theory indicating that marijuana use, similar to nicotine and alcohol use, may be associated with an increased vulnerability to other drugs.

The authors review literature showing that marijuana impairs driving, increasing the risk of being involved in a car accident and that these risks are further enhanced when combining marijuana with alcohol. The authors also discuss the implications of rising marijuana potencies and note that, because older studies are based on the effects of lower-potency (less THC) marijuana, stronger adverse health effects may occur with today’s more potent marijuana. (THC is the psychoactive or mind-altering chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol found in marijuana.)
The scientists focus on marijuana’s harmful effects on teens, an age group in which the brain rapidly develops, which is one factor that could help explain increased risks from marijuana use in this population. Research suggests that marijuana impairs critical thinking and memory functions during use and that these deficits persist for days after using. In addition, a long-term study showed that regular marijuana use in the early teen years lowers IQ into adulthood, even if users stopped smoking marijuana as adults.

The NIDA-supported 2013 Monitoring the Future Survey says that 6.5 percent of 12th graders report daily or near-daily marijuana use, with 60 percent not perceiving that regular marijuana use can be harmful. “It is important to alert the public that using marijuana in the teen years brings health, social, and academic risk,” said lead author and NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow. "Physicians in particular can play a role in conveying to families that early marijuana use can interfere with crucial social and developmental milestones and can impair cognitive development."

Monday, June 2, 2014

NY Ranger Fans Pay Less Flying To LA To Watch Rangers At Staples Center Than Watching Game At Garden

From Bloomberg, "New York Fans Save Money by Watching Rangers Play in Los Angeles" by Mason Levinson:
It would cost New York fans less to fly to Los Angeles in two days, rent a hotel room and buy a resale ticket for Game 1 than it would to purchase an averaged-priced seat for Games 3, 4 or 6, which will be at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, according to secondary-market ticket aggregator SeatGeek.
The average price paid for a resale ticket to Game 3 in New York is $1,626, more than twice the $679 average for a ticket to Game 1 at the Staples Center. Round-trip flights to Los Angeles from Newark, New Jersey, on, leaving the morning of Game 1 and returning the next day, begin at $490. The website offers a night at the airport Crowne Plaza for $69, meaning the total price for a ticket, flight and hotel would be $1,238. That’s $388 cheaper than the average price paid for an MSG ticket, which could be used for cab fares and food.