Economic Climate

October 25, 2015

f264be62c56fb5f5bbc3bea2ac7b5e18Wet outside this Sunday morning on California’s north coast with rain becoming drizzle, then back to actual rain again — heaviest rainfall earlier in the dark, and now this particular storm-front appears fading away.
And seemingly-maybe the season be upon us, more rain forecast for Tuesday night, or sooner.

Weather-related: Another climate-change study — this one a cooling effect on economic life, inequality of location.
Via MarketWatch this morning: ‘But not all countries will suffer. Russia, Canada and countries in Northern Europe should benefit from warmer temperatures, according to the scientists’ models, because they have yet to reach what the scientists called the optimal average temperature for an economy — 55 degrees Fahrenheit, roughly where the U.S. is now.’

Supposedly right-right now, found in the San Francisco Bay Area, and New York City.

(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘The Tragedy,’ found here).

Apparently, in anyplace south of those two locations the shit has already started to hit-the-fan as the research showed average income in the US could drop nearly 40 percent by 2100, and like a great-many environmental/physical science studies nowadays, this one, too, corrected the past, as climate change will also heavily-influence finances  ‘…more than other, earlier studies have suggested.’
My little spot here well-north of the Bay Area might benefit income-wise than others, then again, shit splatters off a fan blade really uneven, and nasty.

And this is just US economics hit badly per climate change. America ain’t been America for a long time, maybe never. Warming of the temperature just quickens the downward trek of the US — I spied this piece last July from Fortune, and saved it to draft. The article reviews a new academic paper on how the US fares amongst the world. And this morning seems to fit the economic narrative of a declining culture.
Highlights:

Americans may feel like global leaders, but Spain, Cyprus and Qatar all have higher median wealth (per capita) than America’s (about $39,000).
So does much of Europe and the industrialized world.
Per capita median income in the US ($18,700) is also relatively low–and unchanged since 2000.
A middle-class Canadian’s income is now higher.

When it comes to its citizens’ health, in countries that are home to at least one million people, the US ranks below many other wealthy countries.
More American women also are dying during pregnancy and childbirth, the authors note, quoting a Lancet study.
For every 100,000 births in the United States, 18.5 women die.
Saudi Arabia and Canada have half that maternal death rate.

Officially, 14.5 percent of Americans are impoverished — 45.3 million people–according to the latest US Census data.
That’s a larger fraction of the population in poverty than Morocco and Albania (though how nations define poverty varies considerably).
The elderly have Social Security, with its automatic cost-of-living adjustments, to thank, the authors say, for doing better: Few seniors (one in 10) are poor today versus 50 years ago (when it was one in three).

Poverty is also down among African Americans.
Now America’s poor are more often in their prime working years, or in households headed by single mothers.

And yet, too:

The authors note Americans’ happiness score is only middling, according to the OECD Better Life Index.
(The index measures how people evaluate their life as a whole rather than their current feelings.)
People in New Zealand, Finland, and Israel rate higher in life satisfaction.
A UN report had a similar finding.

And there’s really no way to make shit better — American politics are in the tumbler, makes it hard if not impossible to accomplish anything, especially off a spiraling disregard for the every-day-guy’s paycheck.
Via the WonkBlog at the Washington Post earlier this month, and another new study, this one from political scientists.
Key note:

It’s not just that these two trends of inequality and polarization are happening simultaneously.
The researchers use statistical methods to eliminate other factors and show that a state’s income inequality has a large, positive and causal effect on its political polarization.
Furthermore, these results have increased in magnitude in recent years and seem to be concentrated in the states that are “reddest” by the end of the sample.
In other words, growing inequality is a strong force pushing both parties farther from the center.

“These are deep, complicated problems, and people need to think big picture about what underlies them. They weren’t solved by electing Barack Obama, they’re probably not going to be solved by electing Donald Trump,” McCarty says.

In other words…

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