Global occurrences of interest


According to recently released data, the median real household income in the U.S. jumped 5.2% or $2,800 in 2015. During that time, the nation’s poverty rate dropped from 14.8% to 13.5%, the largest percentage point drop since 1999.ineq-4 Although gains were made, the incomes of low-wage and middle income earners remain lower than before the financial crisis. The troubling inequality trend remained unbroken as the incomes of the richest Americans continued to accelerate, pulling ahead of the rest of the wage earners.

According to recent estimates, the world economy grew by 2.7% in the second quarter of 2016. India was in the lead with a growth rate of over 7%. India and China together accounted for 63% of second quarter worldwide economic growth. When compared to a year earlier, the second quarter growth rate in the U.S. was an estimated 1.2%. The American economy is now expected to grow 1.5% for the year.

Drug-resistant infections are on the increase around the world. They are drug-resestimated to be killing over 700,000 people per year. Because the number of doses of antibiotics increased 50% between 2000 and 2014, medical personnel believe the growing resistance problem is due to the overuse of antibiotics by people and agricultural animals. If not checked, the number of deaths caused by drug-resistant infections could reach 10 million a year by 2050.

In China, rural villages have been emptying as people move to the cities to find work. The share of the population working in agriculture dropped from 65% to 48% in the ten years between 2000 and 2010. The Chinese views on sex arebeijing rapidly changing. A recent study found that nearly 60% of those born after 1985 moved in with their partner before marriage. The cohabitation rate of Chinese young people now equals the rate found in in America. The reasons for the change in social mores are much the same: growing individualism, the empowerment of women, deferral of marriage and a decline in the taboos on sex before marriage.

President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party won a victory in September. It won 75% of the 450 contested seats in Russia’s parliamentary election. The 48% voter turnout was, however, at an all-time low. It is another indication that the Russian Duma is ceasing to be a democratic forum, it is reverting to a sterilev-putin body that approves the Kremlin’s policies. Analysts note that Russia’s economically active urban middle class has almost no real representation in the Duma. Although the threat of HIV/AIDS is receding in most Western countries, it is growing in Russia. Through May of 2016, there were 51,000 new cases reported. The problem is caused by poor policies and neglect as Putin tightens his grip on Russian political life.

The World Bank estimates that 767 million of the planet’s people live in extreme poverty, earning less than $1.90 per day. Although high, the number of china-india-mapextremely poor people is trending downward. Between 1993 and 2013, the number of poor fell by over a billion. A big part of the reduction is credited to improving economic conditions in India and China. By the end of 2016, approximately 3.5 billion people, or 45% of the planet’s population will be using the internet. The two countries with the largest populations, India and China, are at the top of the online user rankings.

Mr. Trump’s strident election rhetoric is having a chilling effect on Mexico’s economy. The Mexican peso has lost 12% of its value against the dollar so far this year. Analysts see some connection between jittery Mexican investors, the value of the peso and Mr. Trump’s rabid anti-Mexican election campaign stance.

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.


  1. Recent minimum wage increases in caused the rise in average income in the US, and the slight drop in poverty.

    Von Mises folks clutch their pearls! Reaganomics proven to be a fairy tale, again, George Bush’s tagline about Voodoo economics proven true, yet again.

    And the increase in minimum wage comes along at the same time unemployment is hitting an what, 8 year low? And did not cause massive unemployment as the right predicted?

    Ouch! GOTeaP dogma takes one right on the kisser!

    • The economy is not that simple, Not Tom. If you read the footnotes in the jobs reports, they say that the drop in unemployment is mostly due to people dropping out of the workforce, not because they found jobs but because they are drawing disability or working for cash in the underground economy or doing odd jobs as they occur. It has been that way for several years now with people just giving up trying to find jobs and looking for alternatives.

      As to the increases on wages, there hasn’t been enough places that raised the minimum wage to have much of an effect on that. It is largely a genuine increase. A modest increase, to be sure, but one the reflect increases with very little effect from increases in the minimum wage.

      As to massive unemployment not occurring, you need to look closer at those places where the minimum wage was increased (and don’t just look for the cheerleaders of minimum wage increases for your answer – try to develop a complete answer). You will be surprised at the impact it is having. Customer service kiosks being installed, new businesses not being built, old businesses relocating at times, businesses not adding staff, prices for consumer goods rising, and – yes – even layoffs. It is still early in the game. The effects are yet to be seen fully.

      Short of massive events (such as hurricanes, earthquakes, wars, etc.) there is usually not a direct cause and effect relationship in economics. It is usually a cumulative effect over time that we see. The minimum wage doesn’t measure up to a massive event, but it will show itself more and more over time.

        • I’m going to save you the trouble and post an educational video for you Steve.

          I’m a recovering libertarian, I’ve started two businesses, worked in finance, and while I’m not on the money side now, I currently work for a place Too Big Too Fail.

          Everything you’ve posted is pure nonsense.

          Watch Nick explain why in the simplest of terms. Look him up if you want more and I would highly suggest you learn what the Velocity of Money is and why it’s important to an economy.

          • Thank you, Not Tom, for taking the time to find a citation for me. I couldn’t find the citation, but I thank you anyway.

            I don’t pretend to be an economist, Not Tom, but one thing I do remember is that economics is more art than science. I think that is one the reasons there are so many divergent views among the experts, such as Keynsian Economics and Smithian economics and so forth. So, for the sake of argument – or rather to avoid a drawn out and boring one – I will accept your postulation that the minimum wage is the driver of the latest economic reports. Sound good?

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