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View related content: Economics
In response to Governor Chris Christie’s proposal to increase the Social Security retirement age, Paul Krugman and Vox’s Ezra Klein have weighed in, calling it, in Klein’s terms, “a disaster for the poor.” Their basic objection, apart from a general indisposition to cut benefits, is that the retirement age is posed as a remedy for longer life expectancies, which put financial pressure on Social Security. Yet research shows that life expectancies are increasing more rapidly for the rich than for the poor. For people born in the 1920s who reached age 65, the top half of the earnings distribution lived about 3 years longer than the bottom half. For those born in the early 1940s, the longevity gap increased to 5.3 years.
View related content: Society and Culture
It began as an ordinary piece of fan mail, thanking me for writing a book I published a few years ago (“Coming Apart”) and expressing the writer’s shared concern with the loss of seemliness in American life. And then the ordinary suddenly became extraordinary: “I write to give you my personal perspective on why CEOs make so much money as you describe in Coming Apart. I’m not writing about the really obscene hundreds of millions that clearly are the result of clubbiness and abandonment of a sense of seemliness, but about why the average is $12 million today and increasing every year.”
It’s now possible Chinese coal production has peaked. Consumption, too – the first quarter saw a 42-percent plunge in import volume to 49 million tons, contributing to a 4.7-percent decline in domestic coal sales. The explanation is a long-term economic slowdown and the ecologically-driven policy and popular shift from coal as lifeblood to coal as undesirable.
In a world increasingly characterized by a global savings glut, Germany stands out as the major industrialized country that has the largest external current account surplus. This should be a real concern to the United States since Germany’s external imbalance is now constituting an important headwind to the US economic recovery by dimming US export prospects. It is doing so in much the same way as China’s external imbalance did before. Of particular concern is the fact that policies in both Germany and Europe are pointing to a further increase in this imbalance in the immediate term.
Our guest this week is Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush and current co-host of The Five on Fox News. Dana gives us the scoop on her new book, “And the Good News Is…: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side,” which details the lessons-learned from her nontraditional route from a small town in Wyoming to the White House and beyond.
View related content: Pethokoukis
Wikipedia tells me that “Generation K” refers to “the collective nickname given to a trio of young starting pitchers in the New York Mets organization in 1995.” Of course, “K” is baseball shorthand for a strikeout. But the next time you hear about “Generation K,” it will almost assuredly be pop-culture shorthand for “Generation Katniss,” the catchy demographic title given to girls ages 13 to 20 — devised by British economist Noreena Hertz — assumed to be fans of “Hunger Games” heroine Katniss Everdeen. […]
View related content: Health Care
AEI visiting scholar Thomas Stossel, MD has a new book — available April 27 — on regulation on the medical industry titled “PHARMAPHOBIA: How the Conflict of Interest Myth Undermines American Medical Innovation.” Many bureaucrats, reporters, politicians, and predatory lawyers have built careers attacking the medical products industry. In this work, Dr. Stossel shows how attacks on doctors who work with industry limits medical innovation and inhibits the process of bringing new products into medical care. Here, he answers a few questions about his book.