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Quote of the Week
"Homicide is the Leading Cause of Murders in America."
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Blog Topics 2016
January Should Insider Trading be Legalized: Part 2 February The Presidential Election & the Economy March Does Narcan Increase Heroin Use April Is NOAA destroying the American Fisherman June Will California Style Power Outages Happen in New England July Textbooks, Inflation & the FTC Sept Economic strangulation by Regulation Oct Is this the Best we have? Nov The High Cost of Prescription Drugs Dec Trump, the Economy & Animal Spirits
Blog Topics 2015
January Does Implementation of the Death Penalty lead to higher costs February Less Competition and Higher Hospital Costs March Millionaires Who Get Subsidies from the Affordable Care Act April The Unintended Obama Legacy May The NY Times and $15 Minimum Wage June Are Disability Payments Bankrupting Social Security August Seattle's $15 minimum wage and it's Surprising Consequence October The Great Stagnation: The Obama Legacy November Poverty in the United States December Should Insider Trading be Legalized: Part one by Olivia Marchioni
Blog Topics 2014 blog topics for 2013 are at page bottom
January Will Lake Meade become another Aral Sea February Does Taxing the rich hurt the economy March The Cause of the Great Depression April Temporary Agricultural Subsidies lead to wealthy Farmers and Higher Prices May The Presidents Stance on Gun Control leads to Increased Gun Ownership June Is there really a Gender Pay Gap July Did the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade lower the crime rate August Department of Education and wasted Money October The Financial Follies of the EPA November Social Security and Portfolio Diversification December The White House and Terrorism
January Jobs Report
The economy created 227,000 jobs in January when 175,000 were expected and the unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.8%. The real unemployment rate, which includes part-time workers as unemployed and marginally attached workers in the labor force, was also up slightly to 9.4%. The main reason that the unemployment rate increased was due to more people entering the labor force. The labor force participation rate increased to 62.9%, an increase of 584,000. In January, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 1.9 million and accounted for 24.4 percent of the unemployed. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Asians (3.7 percent) increased in January. The jobless rates for adult men (4.4 percent), adult women (4.4 percent), teenagers (15.0 percent), Whites (4.3 percent), Blacks (7.7 percent), and Hispanics (5.9 percent) showed little or no change over the month. In January, average hourly wages rose to $26.00. Average weekly wages were up to $894.40. The average work week was unchanged at 34.4 hours.
GOLD ONE YEAR CHART
After advancing another 35 points, the Dow set it's 10th record day in a row, and at 20,810, is within striking distance of 21,000. Today's impetus came from Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin who said he wants to see "very significant" tax reform passed before Congress' August recess. The prospect of tax reform has been one of the key catalysts in the U.S. stock market's post election rally, along with deregulation and government spending. However, both the 10 year bond saw gains which reduced it's yield to 2.387% and gold advanced $18 to $1251/oz. Both of these are considered defensive plays so it appears that there is some skepticism amongst investors with possibly some well placed concerns. The forward price to earnings ratio standards at 17.6 times projected future earnings for the stocks in the S&P 500 index. That’s above the average for the past 20 years of 17.2 times forward earnings per share. In addition, there is also concern over the amount of auto loans. Auto debt hit a record in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Cars loans hit $1.16 trillion. That’s about $6,100 in car payments for every licensed driver in the United States. But as with the mortgage crisis, it’s not the volume of loans that’s likely to cause the biggest trouble; it’s the number of loans being advanced to car buyers with less than sterling credit scores. In the past two years, U.S. drivers with credit scores of less than 620 borrowed $244 billion (Jim Jubak). Any credit score less than 620 is considered sub-prime. During the financial crisis, 23% of all mortgages were subprime. In corporate news, Tesla reported mixed quarterly results, topping revenue estimates but falling short of profit estimates. The dollar remained stable at $1.06/Euro and the cost of a gallon of regular gas nationwide is stable at $2.285
After advancing over 100 points yesterday, and setting it's 8th record in a row, the Dow is up another 35 points today (at 2 PM)at 20,779. Yesterday's increase was a function of good earnings from Wal Mart and Home Depot that beat on both the top and bottom lines. In addition, Wal Mart had it's nest quarter in almost 5 years and Home Depot increased it's dividend by almost 30%. It looked liked the Dow was going to take a breather today, but continued optimism about Trump's economic agenda prevailed, particularly when he had a conference slightly after noon where he affirmed and outlined some of his plan. The big gainer on the Dow today was DuPont due to EU regulators clearing their merger with Dow Chemical. As I'm writing this, the Dow just dropped 18 points as a result of the FED minutes being released that indicated a rate hike in their next meeting. Oil is down slightly to $53.59/barrel and is dragging the energy sector down with it. A noticeable exception is HCLP, HiCrush Limited Partnership, that also beat on the top and bottom lines and had very strong 1st quarter guidance (Chart). The dollar remains strong at $1.06/Euro, gold is steady at $1233/oz and the price of a gallon of gas nationwide is also constant at $2.285.
The energizer bunny has nothing on the Dow has it just attained it's 7th record high in a row. After a slow start, down 87, the Dow rallied though the day and finished at 20,624, up 4. Signs of a strengthening economy as well as anticipated tax cuts were behind the most recent optimism as investors shrugged off bearish news(an impending Greek crisis, a strong dollar and the possibility of a Border tax) and concentrated on the policies that would be good for the economy). However, there was data that pointed to a strengthening economy. In addition to increasing healthy inflation (caused by an increase in aggregate demand), the Phily FED's manufacturing index reached its highest level since 1984, the index of Leading Economic indicators rose .6% and weekly jobless claims remained around their lowest levels in decades. For the week, the Dow rose 1.7%. U.S. Treasury's rose, with the benchmark 10-year note yield falling to 2.42 percent which helps lower the 30 year fixed mortgage rate. Oil was down slightly to $53.37/barrel, the dollar remained strong at $1.06/Euro, gold was up slightly to $1236/oz and the price of a gallon of gas nationwide is stable at $2.283. It's tax season and avoid these red flags on your return: Report all your income and especially if you have a 1099 form(s). By law, your employer is sending copies to the IRS Detail your big deductions, especially charitable donations relative to your income. For example, you paint an audit target on your back if you fail to file a Form 8283 for non-cash donations of more than $500. Large business meal and entertainment deductions. Excessive business auto usage and you're required to keep a daily/weekly log. Losses from an activity that could be viewed as a hobby rather than a business. Generally speaking, if you have losses on a business more than 3 years in a row, the IRS may deem this a hobby and not a business and therefore disallow your losses as a deduction. However: On the plus side, the The number of IRS staff that enforces tax laws has declined 23 percent from more than 50,000 in 2010 to fewer than 39,000 in 2016. Keep in mind, the IRS is looking for deductions that don't make sense and don't be greedy.
After advancing 107 points yesterday, the Dow increased another 7 points today finishing at 20620 and establishing it's 6th record in a row. he three major indexes, along with the small-caps Russell 2000, closed at new all-time highs again on Wednesday, as President Donald Trump continued touting his economic agenda consisting of three key themes: deregulation, corporate tax cuts and fiscal stimulus. However, it seems that the border tax is back on the table, with much debate as to whether it will be good for the economy or not (I'm still researching and I'm ambivalent at the moment). What also helped the market was the fact that inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index, rose in January by a larger than forecast 0.6% which was twice that of December and the year over year rate is 2.5%. Ordinarily, an increase in inflation would bode poorly for the market, but times change. Now an increase in inflation translates to an increase in aggregate demand, which may lead to an increase in GDP which may reach 3% or more. Something we haven't seen in 10 years. As a result, a 1/4 % increase in interest rates from the FED is now a good event. Economic data continued to come in strong Thursday, with weekly jobless claims holding around their lowest levels in more than 40 years, while the Philadelphia Federal Reserve manufacturing index hit its highest level since January 1984. Oil is up slightly at $53.46/barrel,the dollar slipped to $1.07/euro, gold is up slightly to $1239/oz and the price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide is up slightly to $2 .284
After advancing 92 points today to finish at 20,504, the Dow set its 4th record in a row and the S&P 500 set its 15th record close since Trump was elected president. Today's impetus came from FED chairwoman, Janet Yellen. In a prepared statement, she announced that as a result of an increase in inflation and economic growth, the Fed may raise interest rates sooner rather than later, meaning during its FOMC meeting next March as opposed to June when most analysts were expecting the rate hike. Investors viewed this as good news (and shrugged off the rate hike) and all indexes continued to rise for the remainder of the day. US treasury yields were higher, meaning bond prices went down, with the benchmark 10-year note trading around 2.47%. This is an important benchmark since the interest rate on the 30 year fixed mortgage usually fluctuates between 1.75%-3% above this. Market expectations for a rate hike next month rose to 23 percent from 16 percent following Yellen's remarks, according to Jefferies. Economic data have broadly improved since Nov. 8, with sentiment and inflation metrics all ticking higher. The NFIB small business index, which measures small-business confidence, hit 105.9, the best read since December 2004 (CNBC). About five stocks advanced for every four decliners at the New York Stock Exchange with Apple hitting another all time high at $135.21 Warren Buffet Berkshire Hathaway has increased it's ownership to $7 billion worth of stock. In other news, another major insurance company is calling it quits on Obamacare. Humana (HUM) announced it is pulling out of Obamacare for 2018. But an initial analysis of its 2017 consumer base found that Obamacare remained riskier than Humana could tolerate and it is pulling out of the remaining 11 states where it offered the coverage. Oil was up slightly at $53.35/barrel, the dollar was constant at $1.06/Euro, gold was also up slightly at $1229/oz, and the price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide is relatively constant at $2.282.
Shortly after the noontime hour, the Dow is up 125 points at 20,392 and on its way to another record. The reason for this is the usual suspect, the Trump Trade with investors exuberant over his economic agenda. For the Dow, Goldman Sachs contributed the most to the gain, up, $3.75, and the S&P 500 is up .4%. The significance of this is that it reached $20 trillion in market cap for the first time ever. It needed to break above 2,324.22 to reach the milestone, according to data from Howard Silverblatt, senior Index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "There is a bullish bias remaining in the market after Trump said there will be a phenomenal tax plan coming," said Nick Raich, CEO of The Earnings Scout. "I think investors don't want to be on the wrong side of that if the plan is as phenomenal as he says it is.(CNBC)" Trump met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and announced discussions of a possible bilateral trade deal. The Trump-Abe meeting and Trump’s “One China” commitment “could allay some of the trade concerns in Asia and set free into the market more bullish bets,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a report. “While it remains to be hashed out, President Donald Trump’s mention of a ‘level playing field’ on currency valuation also appears to reflect an amicable turn after the U.S. president accused his visitors of currency manipulation. (USA Today)” There is no major economic data slated for the week, but FED chair, Janet Yellen, is slated to give testimony on Capitol Hill Tuesday. If you're an insomniac, this is a sure cure; not that I'm berating Janet Yellen ( I'm a big proponent of Monetary Policy), but just listening to some of the inane questions and soap box pontificating of Congressmen/women is enough to at the least, put you to sleep. However, investors will be watching Yellen to see if she gives any indication on future FED rate hikes. Oil is down slightly at $52.93/barrel, the dollar is stable at $1.06/Euro, gold is down slightly at $1225/oz and the price of a gallon of gas nationwide is up slightly to $2.28.
After advancing 118 points on Thursday a setting a new record, the Dow advanced another 97 points on Friday, setting another record, and finishing up the day and week at 20,269. Once again, everything came together for investors. There was some concern that Trump's tax plan was pushed to the back burner, but after he stated there would be an announcement within the month, it was time to celebrate. In addition, it appears that Trumps plan for a 20% border tax is close to DOA in the Senate, and quite possibly the House. lifting the energy sector, and also contributing to the markets rise is the price of oil. WTI crude increased to $53.86/barrel after the International Energy Agency reported that OPEC members' cuts in January equated to 90 percent of the agreed volumes. This is an amazing statistic for an OPEC quota since the member countries are notorious for cheating on their production quota's. "But who was in the market yesterday? Trading volume was low, and it was algorithms that were triggered immediately, lifting the market," said Krosby, noting that trading desks were not as active in the northeast Thursday because of a snowstorm that hit the region. Nevertheless, other asset classes also reacted to Trump's remarks. Treasury yields and the dollar gained ground. On Friday, the benchmark U.S. 10 yield rose to trade at 2.409 percent (CNBC). The dollar strengthened at $1.06/Euro, gold rose slightly to $1235/oz and the price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide rose to $2.279.
Everything is coming together and all 3 main indexes have set new intra-days highs. At the noontime hour, the Dow is up 128 points at 20,181. The impetus for this run is the usual suspects, Donald Trump and rising oil prices. President Trump stated earlier today that there would be a major tax announcement within the month. Trump has advocated for a lower marginal tax rate for individuals, a high of 33% down from 39.6%, and to simplify the 77,000 page tax code. In addition, he wants to lower the corporate tax rate to 15% from it's current 35% (if you include state corporate income taxes, it's 39%). The United States has the highest corporate taxes in the world which has prompted many corporations to have their offices beyond the borders of the US. Oil is up to $53.13/barrel, up 1.3%. In yesterdays weekly oil inventory report, there was an unexpected decline in gasoline inventories, which suggests that consumption was stronger than expected, which will cause an increase in oil demand; gasoline inventories declined 865,000 barrels opposed to an expected gain of 1.1 million barrels. Oil inventories rose almost 14 million barrels which was in line with expectations. Also contributing to the positive market is the fact that weekly jobless claims fell by 12,000 to its lowest level in 43 years. Other data on Thursday showed inventories at wholesalers surged in December for a second straight month and sales recorded their biggest increase since 2011, signs of confidence in the economy as domestic demand strengthens. Claims have now remained below 300,000, a threshold associated with a strong labor market, for 101 straight weeks. That is the longest stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller.. (CNBC). The dollar is stable at $1.07?euro as is gold at $1236/oz and the price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide is down slightly to $2.262.
January Barometer As goes January, so goes the year. First, the January barometer is different from the January effect. The January barometer is the theory that a market that is up in January, will be up for the year. This year, the market was up 146 points in January (chart). Looking at past data, this is correct about 75% of the time which is not as high as the last half of the 20th century when it was over 90% of the time. If it is down in January, there is only about a 55% chance of it being down for the year.
January Effect According to investopedia: the January effect is a seasonal increase in stock prices during the month of January. Analysts generally attribute this rally to an increase in buying, which follows the drop in price that typically happens in December when investors, engaging in tax-loss harvesting to offset realized capital gains, prompt a sell-off. It is also attributed to additional money entering the stock market from year end and christmas' bonuses. The January effect seems to affect small caps more than mid or large caps. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the data suggests that these asset classes have outperformed the overall market in January, especially toward the middle of the month. Investment banker Sidney Wachtel first noticed this effect in 1942. This historical trend, however, has been less pronounced in recent years because the markets seem to have adjusted for it. Another reason analysts consider the January effect less important as of 2016 is that more people are using tax-sheltered retirement plans and therefore have no reason to sell at the end of the year for a tax loss.
Like the man said in Indiana Jones, "hold on to your cookies lady, we're going for a ride." Obamacare, also misnamed the Affordable Care Act, is about to implode with premiums set to skyrocket 25% (this is on every news website from Mother Jones to Fox). The large premium increase is a national average, but it ranges from 116% in Arizona to 3% in Indiana. However, since 85% of Obamacare subscribers are subsidized, you and I, the taxpayer, will be shouldering the bulk of the cost. When Obamacare was first passed, the estimated cost to the taxpayer over 10 years was $859 billion. That cost is now closing in on $3 trillion according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and other analysts, myself included, feel that it will exceed $3 trillion (see my June and July blog 2013). The number of carriers will drop to 228 next year in the federal exchange and selected states, down from 298 in 2016. Some 21% of consumers returning to the exchanges will only have one carrier to chose from, though that insurer will likely offer multiple plan choices. Five states -- Alaska, Alabama, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming -- will only have one insurer providing plans on the federal exchange in 2017. In spite of this, the number of uninsured Americans is still 25 million (CNN).
In one of the presidential debates, Hillary Clinton stated that supply side economics of lower taxes and regulation doesn't work. She needs better economic advisers. If you look at the above chart, GDP soared after the Reagan stimulus and the average GDP post stimulus was 4.83 (a 40 year average is about 3.2); whereas post Obama stimulus, increased taxes and regulation, was a meager 2.23%. We have not been above 3% during his entire presidency and this has been the slowest recovery since the great depression.
UNH Study Results 5-31-2016
In other News: First, a little history. In 1800, 90% of the adult population were farmers (lots of factory child labor), by 1900, 25% of the population and currently, about 2% as a result of technology garnering greater yield/acre. As a result much farmland from the 19th century is no longer. In a recent study out of UNH, it was found that 75% of the farmland from the mid 19th century is now covered by trees and this is contributing to warmer winters. Trees causing higher temperatures you say; how is this possible? It is very simple physics. In the winter in NH (and most other states), farm pastures are covered with snow, and this reflects sunlight, and heat, into space. Now that 75% of these pastures are covered with trees, the dark trees absorb the heat and it permeates into the atmosphere causing a general warming and milder winters. If you've ever wondered what a stone wall was doing in the middle of the woods, those woods were once pastures and delineated borders that contained live stock.
Here's something you don't here everyday, a prominent democrat bashing a serving democratic president. While speaking in Spokane Washington on behalf of his wife, Bill Clinton said the following; "If you believe we can rise together, if you believe we've finally come to the point where we can put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us", obviously a slam at Obama and his failed presidency. The Web site is cnn and the following link will get you there. http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/21/politics/bill-clinton-hillary-obama-legacy/index.html.
A number of people have asked me about Bernie Sanders tax plan and he is in the same fantasy land as Obama. First, it would never pass a republican Congress and early indications are that the Republicans will definitely maintain control of the house. He wants to make all state university's free; let's just look at NH. At UNH there are 14,500 students of which 45% are out of state. Just tuition, not including room and board for out of state students is $30,000 and in-state $17,000. If you do the math that's a total of $331,325,000, and that doesn't even include Plymouth, Keene and Granite state which are also part of the state University system. Do that for every state and it is an astronomical cost that his proposal doesn't even begin to cover. I hesitate to do the cost for California that has 38 million people as opposed to NH's 1.6 million. What I find particularly disconcerting, is all the people who are buying this.
The platform hhad been adopted by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.
California Drought of 2015 California is in the middle of a drought; it must be global warming or now the more politically correct term, climate change. In case you haven't noticed, the climate is always changing. It is in a constant state of flux. If you notice the chart below right, California has had a number of mega-droughts during the medieval ages and this was considerably worse than it is now; and as far as climate change, it's obviously not an exact science(click on pictures below).
The Congressional Budget Office predicted this week that more than 2 million people will leave the labor force because of Obamacare. Specifically, more people will leave the labor force or reduce their hours, to stay under the cap for federal subsidies. If you are a family of 4, and household income is under, WAIT FOR IT, $94,000, you are eligible for a federal subsidy. The number of part time/temporary workers has already increased by 35% since Obamacare was passed in 2010.
For a good laugh on Obamacare, go to this web site and watch this video; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpa-5JdCnmo. It shows the president on 36 different occasions stating that if you like your healthcare plan you can keep it. Obviously there are 1 of two explanations for this misunderstanding. He was ill advised on the 2700 page, 4500 provision Affordable Care Act, or he knew about it and lied. According to a study by Forbes magazine, the ACA will increase premiums to men under 27 by 77%, 40 year olds, 37% and 64 year olds by 37%.
When Obamacare was 1st released, The Congressional Budget Office predicted that it would cost $900 billion over 10 years. At the time, I made a prediction to my students that I estimate the final cost would be closer to $3 trillion. Three years later, the CBO has raised it's estimate to $1.6 trillion. At this rate, we are on pace to reach the $3 trillion mark. www.healthcare.gov, the official website to sign up for Obamacare had an original cost of $100 million. That cost is now up to $2.6 Trillion and rising. If the government can't manage the costs on a web site, and these costs have trippled since it opened on October 1, how can it possible manage a 2700 page, 4500 provision bill. The words of Nancy Pelosi (see above) are acting as a harbinger of doom: "We have to pass the bill, so we can find out what's in it."
More on Obamacare In a recent survey by the New York FED on businesses, the median increase in healthcare premiums is expected to be 10%. More than a quarter of the manufacturing and service firms surveyed said they either have or will boost prices for goods and services "because of the effects that the ACA is having on your business." About 20 percent of respondents said they were reducing their number of workers and/or raising the share of part-time workers as a result of the ACA. His is in stark contrast to the presidents remarks earlier this year that healthcare costs are decreasing. Maybe CEO's were right when they said the president "Just doesn't get it".
Commentary on Minimum Wage
The main argument concerning minimum wage is that it will help to alleviate poverty. That is clearly not the case. As you can see from the chart at the left, the poverty rate dropped dramatically in the 1960's. This was a function of great society legislation; specifically, increase in Social Security benefits in addition to the inception and implementation of Medicare and Medicaid. Since then, the poverty rate has fluctuated between 9-15% and is highly correlated with the unemployment rate. The vertical grey area's in the graph represent periods of recessions in the US. As can be expected, unemployment rises during recessions and peaks at the end (unemployment is said to be a lagging indicator). As you can also see from the chart, so too does the poverty rate. There is no indication whatsoever that the poverty rate is affected by increases in the minimum wage. Generally, this is quite the contrary. As can be evidenced from the below left chart, increases in minimum wage can contribute to unemployment and as we can infer from the above chart, as unemployment increases so to does poverty. If you look at NH, they have the lowest state poverty rate in the nation and it generally parallels the national unemployment rate. By raising the minimum wage, you increase business costs. As a result; businesses either pass these costs onto the consumer (in which case inflation nullifies any wage increase), substitute capital for labor, or simply go out of business. If you look at the chart below right, UAW (United Auto Workers) membership has decreased in the late 1970's from 1.5 million to 350,000 in 2009. The reason for this is simple. Detroit isn't making fewer cars, they are making more, but they have made their assembly lines more robotic and have substituted capital for labor, which became cheaper in the long run. This can also happen to those fast food workers who want a $15 minimum wage. There is currently a machine on the market that can make 300 burgers/hour. In other words, capital can be substituted for labor. Someone please e-mail me and explain how someone is better off unemployed at $10-15/hour as opposed to being gainfully employed at $7.25/hour
You cannot legislate equality. If you want to decrease poverty, implement policies to insure that higher levels of education is available to all.
BLOG Topics 2013
January Do Protected Seals lead to Depleted Fish Stocks February Prohibition: Profits to Cartels & Increased Violence for Americans March Increased Minimum Wage & Extended benefits lead to Higher Unemployment April Ethanol from corn & Agflation May Cash for Clunkers lead to Higher Used Car Prices & Wasted Tax Dollars June The Affordable Care Act; Anything but Affordable Part 1 July The Affordable Care Act; The poster Child for False Advertising August Detroit: Higher Taxes + Liberal Benefits = Bankruptcy September No Keystone Pipeline leads to more pollution October Global Warming! Or is it Global Cooling! November Poverty & Benefits December Does Affirmative Action lead to Reverse Discrimination?
The United States has amongst the lowest savings rate for all technological nations. The iOMe challenge is a nationwide competition between Colleges where teams submit a 10,000 page essay on how Americans can improve their savings rates. In addition, teams must produce an approximate 60 second video which complements the essay. If you click on the iOMe logo above, it will take you to Bentley University's 2012 video submission. The faculty adviser for the challenge is John Tommasi and is offered during his Fall EC 351 course, Contemporary Issues in Economics. I'm pleased to announce that on February 15, Bentley was declared the winner of the iOMe video portion of the contest. Congrats to the team members and great job!
EC 3900 Energy Economics
EC 3900, Energy Economics and International Markets, is a 3 credit, Short Term Program, that is offered during Spring semester. After 7 weeks of lecture, the class takes a 10 day educational/cultural tour to France where 80% of their electricity is produced by nuclear power. During the 10 day trip, students travel to, and tour various nuclear facilities Last year's class visited; Marsailles, Aix en Provance, Lyons, Brest and 4 days in Paris.
If there were ever words that can strike fear into the hearts of any man women or child, it's: "I'm from the Government and I'm here to help". On a monthly basis my blog, from an economic standpoint, will explore government laws, decisions and actions, which while well intentioned, had inadvertent results that were either disastrous, or made a bad situation worse. It wouldn't surprise me if you reached the conclusion that congress does two things well, nothing and overreact; and you may ask yourself, do Congressional members vote for what is best for the economy, or what will get them re-elected.