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Thursday
Mar012012

Most read Realitybase posts in February

The Citigroup Plutonomy Memos With key quotations from documents that are being disappeared. This post has been the #1 response to a Google search for "plutonomy memo."

"The American Dream died in February 1973 With graphs from multiple sources showing stagnation of inflation-adjusted middle class incomes since the 1970s after strong and steady post-WWII growth

The history of US per-capita petroleum consumption will surprise you.  A graph and other data show US per-capita consumption of petroleum is down substantially from the 1970s, has been very stable since 1983 because of CAFE standards, and has fluctuated only slightly with retail price changes.

Comparative Advantage—The Unicorn of Free Trade A collection of sources and analyses demonstrating that the assumptions of classic Ricardian theory rarely if ever align with real-world conditions.

Why We Can't Bring Manufacturing and Innovation Back to America A comprehensive piece on how changes since the 20th Century have been so profound that innovation is rapidly following manufacturing from the US to China, and on why that trend will continue without US government intervention—even in the unlikely event that China were to comply with international law on trade and currency.

U.S. aircraft carrier and 15 other Navy ships sunk in the Strait of Hormuz in 5-10 minutes Reporting on the results of US war games when attacked by large numbers of speed boats and missiles such as Iran has in the hands of Revolutionary Guards reputed to be "cowboys," and suggesting still other ways we might get into an all out war with Iran by accident.

The Dysfunction and Corruption of Our Healthcare System, Its Damage to the National Economy and other Basic Healthcare Matters (Guest Post) Describing a system that is destroying American business global competitiveness, that violates fundamental insurance risk principles, and that has inherent conflicts of interest preventing quality national health care delivery and cost efficiency, and proposing a solution.

US job creation has been declining since April 2000 and is now in freefall. Discussion around a dramatic graph showing the US employment-to-population ratio strongly increasing until 2000 followed by a devastating loss in 10 years of all the gains made in the previous 20 years.

US healthcare efficiency did not go off the rails until about 30 years ago. US life expectancy increased in lockstep with 19 other rich countries as healthcare expenses increased, but in 1982 the US life expectancy increases shifted onto a dramatically slower rate of increase than the other 19 countries even though US healthcare spending started rising even faster. The adverse change was most striking for females. It all seems very counterintuitive, but several data sets are compelling.

What happens when you get all your information about employment and job creation from employers?  Cluelessness. In a live video chat with citizens Obama seemed stunned that it may not be true that employers have to bring in foreign high-tech workers at low wages under H-1b and L-1 visas because "there is a shortage of qualified Americans."

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