Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan's Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.
1. Chart of the Day (above) via Max Roser showing the share of China’s population living in extreme poverty:
1981: Almost everybody (88%). 2013: Almost no one (2%).
That has to probably be the most significant reduction in poverty that has ever taken place in world history for such a large population in such a short period of time (32 years, or about one generation).
Recent protests across the country have reinforced the perception that public school teachers are dramatically underpaid. They’re not: the average teacher already enjoys market-level wages plus retirement benefits vastly exceeding those of private-sector workers.
The reason? Their fundamentally unreliable nature. Both solar and wind produce too much energy when societies don’t need it, and not enough when they do. Solar and wind thus require that natural gas plants, hydro-electric dams, batteries or some other form of reliable power be ready at a moment’s notice to start churning out electricity when the wind stops blowing and the sun stops shining.
4. Chart of the Day II (above) shows the historic drop in net petroleum imports, which fell below 17% as a share of total products supplied in the first three months of 2018. Net petroleum imports this year are the lowest since 1960, nearly 60 years ago. Carpe oleum.
5. Doctor Shortage. The U.S. could see a shortage of up to 120,000 physicians by 2030, according to a report published earlier this month by the Association of American Medical Colleges and summarized here.
6. One Easy Solution to the Doctor Shortage? Eliminate the bachelor’s-degree requirement to increase the supply of doctors suggest Chris Pope and Tim Rice writing in the Wall Street Journal this week. For example, Europeans can begin studying medicine immediately after high school—usually with a five- or six-year course, and that’s reflected in much higher rates of medical school graduates per 100,000 residents in Europe (11.3 in Germany, 12.8 in Britain, 9 in France, and 14.6 in the Netherlands) vs. the US (7.5 per 100,000 residents).
The greatest danger to the liberal vision are facts about the consequences of liberalism itself and the laws, policies, and ways of life that the left has spawned. That the black family, which survived centuries of slavery and generations of discrimination, has disintegrated in the wake of the liberal welfare state is only one example.
The vision of the left, full of envy and resentment, takes its worst toll on those at the bottom — whether black or white — who find in that paranoid vision an excuse for counterproductive and ultimately self-destructive attitudes and behavior.
We teach children that the moral of the Goose that Lays the Golden Egg is the danger of greed. But the real moral of the story is ingratitude. A farmer finds an animal, which promises to make him richer than he ever imagined. But rather than nurture and protect this miracle, he resents it for not doing more. In one version, the farmer demands two golden eggs per day. When the goose politely demurs, he kills it out of a sense of entitlement — the opposite of gratitude.
The Miracle is our goose. And rather than be grateful for it, our schools, our culture, and many of our politicians say we should resent it for not doing more. Conservatism is a form of gratitude, because we conserve only what we are grateful for. Our society is talking itself out of gratitude for the Miracle and teaching our children resentment. Our culture affirms our feelings as the most authentic sources of truth when they are merely the expressions of instincts, and considers the Miracle a code word for white privilege, greed, and oppression.
This is corruption. And it is a choice. Collectively, we are embracing entitlement over gratitude. That is suicidal.
9. Who’d a-Thunk It? Marriage and motherhood explain much of the lifetime gender earnings gap? Especially when women have their first child during a “10-year baby window”? As the New York Times reported recently, that’s what research shows:
When women have their first child between age 25 and 35, their pay never recovers, relative to that of their husbands. Yet women who have their first baby either before 25 or after 35 — before their careers get started or once they’re established — eventually close the pay gap with their husbands. The years between 25 to 35 happen to be both the prime career-building years and the years when most women have children.