#167. Time again for some good news..

Posted on | The Agurban
Time again for some good news..

We look forward to the semi-annual “Happy Talk”, a feature by Jeff Thredgold, President, of Thredgold Economic Associates. Jeff writes a weekly ezine called the Tea Leaf. Following are excerpts from his most recent Tea Leaf.

The “dismal science” of economics typically focuses on “bad” news. We do face major challenges..no question. Recessionary pressures are intense..no argument here. However, there are many favorable developments taking place within the U.S. economy. This Tea Leaf focuses ONLY on the “good” news..

  • U.S. exports to the world of goods and services are at record levels
  • A year-end 2007 Gallup Poll noted that “more than 8 in 10 Americans say they are satisfied with their personal lives at this time, including a solid majority who say they are ‘very satisfied.'”
  • During the early 1960s, the five-year survival rate from cancer for Americans was one in three. Today it is two in three..continuing to climb..and the highest in the world
  • For every dollar of U.S. economic output generated today, we burn less than half as much oil as 30 years ago
  • Today’s moms and dads, whether working or at home, are spending four to six hours more per week with their kids than did the previous generation
  • Alcohol-related traffic fatalities in the most recently reported year dropped by more than half versus 20 years ago
  • The nation’s jobless rate averaged 4.6% in both 2006 and 2007, the lowest average in six years, and lower than average rates in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s
  • The American economy added nearly seven million net additional jobs during 2004 to 2006, and added more than 1.1 million in 2007
  • U.S. corporations hold an estimated $611 billion in cash on their balance sheets, a “tool” to help lessen the chance of, or minimize the impact of, a recession
  • The Federal Reserve is expected to reduce its key short-term interest rate for a sixth time no later than March 18, with another cut possible in April. Debt costs for millions of Americans will decline as a result
  • Some 68.6% of the 2.7 million “Class of ’05” high school graduates enrolled in colleges & universities, the highest ever
  • Productivity of the average U.S. worker rose an average of 2.6% annually during the past 10 years, the largest gains in 40 years. Rising productivity is a long- term key to higher standards of living
  • The U.S. rate of home ownership reached 69.2% of households in recent quarters, the highest ever, before declining slightly
  • Global economic growth should exceed 4.0% in 2008 (after inflation) for the sixth consecutive year, a development not seen in generations. Strong growth allows millions to rise above poverty
  • Air pollution declined 25% over the past 30 years even as the population and the economy grew. Water quality also continues to improve. More progress will occur in coming years as companies see rising value in “going green”
  • Median (half more, half less) family income now exceeds $54,000 annually
  • The U.S. still accounts for roughly 40% of global research and development (R&D) spending
  • Flexible work schedules are now the norm for 43% of workers, up from 29% in 1992 and 13% in 1985. This allows greater flexibility for more people, especially those with children
  • The Consumer Price Index has risen an average of 2.7% annually since 1992
  • Roughly 30% of trash was recycled or composted in the latest year, versus 16% in 1990
To see Jeff’s complete list, visit TeaLeaf080305.