Without new programs to assure that people get health care to manage their condition, 44.1 million people in the U.S. will have diabetes by 2034, from 23.7 million today, the report said. The number of diabetics on Medicare, the government plan for the elderly, will reach 14.1 million from 6.5 million today.
The analysis by O’Grady and his colleagues included the impact of aging and obesity rates
The broken health care system needs to be fixed. We continue to spend huge amounts of money and yet fail to take sensible steps to improve outcomes (see our recent post for another example of failing to focus on outcome measures).
Related: USA Heath Care System Needs Reform – Deficit Threat from Health Care Costs – articles on improving the medical care system – USA Spent $2.2 Trillion, 16.2% of GDP, on Health Care in 2007 – Study Finds Obesity as Teen as Deadly as Smoking
With the dollar declining sharply, many are focused on the issue now. And the most common culprit for blame seems to be the federal debt. While I agree the dollar is likely to fall, the deficit doesn’t seem like the main reason, to me. The federal debt is large and growing quickly, which is a problem. But still the USA federal debt to GDP is lower than the OECD average. Even with a few more years of crazy federal debt growth the USA will still be below that average.
Japan has by far the highest level of government debt in the OECD. The Yen is not collapsing. The debt is a factor but the lack of saving (USA consuming more than it produces) seems the biggest problem to me. China not only does not have large government debt it has large amounts of personal savings. People have been living far within their means in Japan and China (only by government intervention, due to desires to not have the currency appreciate has that appreciation been slowed).
Thankfully we have been increasing savings a bit recently but it is a drop in the bucket so far (Consumer Debt Down Over $100 Billion So Far in 2009). It will have to increase in size and continue for years to begin to address the problems in a significant way.
What is the aim of prison? To keep criminals locked up so they can’t commit crimes in society is another. Punishment, in order to deter people from committing crime is one reason they exist. And you would hope to mold prisoners so they do not commit crimes when they are freed. But the payment for services does not factor in the results of releasing productive members of society. It seems like doing so could result in improvements.
Better Jails by Andrew Leigh, economics professor, Australian National University
To encourage innovation, we should start publicly reporting the outcomes that matter most. Rather than merely telling the public how many people are held in each jail, governments should publish prison-level data on recidivism rates and employment rates.
As well as focusing on the important outcomes, Australian states should rethink the contracts they write with private providers. At present, about 16% of inmates are held in a private jail. Unfortunately, the contracts for private jails bear a remarkable similarity to sheep agistment contracts.
Providers are penalised if inmates harm themselves or others, and rewarded if they do the paperwork correctly. Yet the contracts say nothing about life after release. A private prison operator receives the same remuneration regardless of whether released inmates lead healthy and productive lives, or become serial killers.
A smarter way to run private jails would be to contract for the outcomes that matter most. For example, why not pay bonus payments for every prisoner who holds down a job after release, and does not reoffend? Given the right incentives, private prisons might be able to actually teach the public sector a few lessons on how to run a great rehabilitation program.
The idea of paying for outcomes is great. It makes sense for some pay to be based on keeping prisoners housed during their terms. But providing incentives for achievement in returning productive people back to free society is something we should try.
Related: Lean Management in Policing – Urban Planning – Rich Americans Sue to Keep Evidence of Their Tax Evasion From the Justice Department – Randomization in Sports – LA Jail Saves Time Processing Crime – Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations
Quality Improvement and Government: Ten Hard Lessons From the Madison Experience by David C. Couper, Chief of Police, City of Madison, Wisconsin
Hans Rosling uses his fascinating data-bubble software to burst myths about the developing world. Look for new analysis on China and the post-bailout world, mixed with classic data shows.
“The worldview students have corresponds to reality the year their teachers were born”
The software he uses, the very cool Gapminder world, developed by his son and bought by Google is available online.
He also correctly congratulates the USA for providing free data it has collected worldwide, for decades, on world health. And correctly criticizes the World Bank for selling the data they compile using taxpayer funds.
The delinquency rate for mortgage loans rose to 9.94% of all loans outstanding at the end of the third quarter, up 108 basis points from the second quarter of 2009, and up 265 basis points from one year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) National Delinquency Survey. The delinquency rate breaks the record set last quarter (since 1972).
The delinquency rate includes loans that are at least one payment past due but does not include loans somewhere in the process of foreclosure. The percentage of loans in the foreclosure process at the end of the third quarter was 4.47%, an increase of 17 basis points from the second quarter of 2009 and 150 basis points from one year ago. The combined percentage of loans in foreclosure or at least one payment past due was 14.4% on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the highest ever recorded in the MBA delinquency survey.
The percentages of loans 90 days or more past due, loans in foreclosure, and foreclosures started all set new record highs. The percentage of loans 30 days past due is still below the record set in the second quarter of 1985.
“Despite the recession ending in mid-summer, the decline in mortgage performance continues. Job losses continue to increase and drive up delinquencies… Over the last year, we have seen the ranks of the unemployed increase by about 5.5 million people, increasing the number of seriously delinquent loans by almost 2 million loans,” said Jay Brinkmann, MBA’s Chief Economist.
“The performance of prime adjustable rate loans, which include pay-option ARMs in the MBA survey, continue to deteriorate with the foreclosure rate on those loans for the first time exceeding the rate for subprime fixed-rate loans. In contrast, both subprime fixed-rate and subprime adjustable rate loans saw decreases in foreclosures.”
This continues the bad news on housing. Though home sales have been picking up, the underlying strength of the housing market remains questionable. Without jobs increasing it is very difficult for the real estate market to recover.
Related: Nearly 10% of Mortgages Delinquent or in Foreclosure (Dec 2008) – Loan Default Rates Increased Dramatically in the 2nd Quarter – Another Wave of Foreclosures Loom (July 2009) – Homes Entering Foreclosure at Record (Sep 2007)
The credit card delinquency rate (borrowers 90 days or more delinquent on one or more of their credit cards) dropped to 1.10% percent in the third quarter of 2009, down 6 basis points from the previous quarter. Year over year, credit card delinquencies remained essentially flat from 1.09% in the third quarter of 2008.
Credit card delinquency was highest in Nevada (1.98%), Florida (1.47%) and Arizona (1.35%). Credit card delinquency rates were lowest in North Dakota (0.66%), South Dakota (0.70%) and Alaska (0.73%).
Average credit card borrower debt decreased to $5,612 from the previous quarter’s $5,719, and $5,710 for the third quarter of 2008.
“At end of the 2001 recession, the national bankcard delinquency rate had increased to a high of 1.69% as that recession came to a close (in November of 2001),” said Ezra Becker, with Transunion.
The slight declines in credit card debt are an encouraging sign that more people are taking the right action to eliminate their credit card debt.
Related: USA Consumers Paying Down Debt – Consumer Debt Down Over $100 Billion So Far in 2009 – Families Should not Finance Everyday Purchases on Credit – Some Movement on Regulating Credit Cards Companies
Peter Schiff does a good job of explaining The Truth Behind China’s Currency Peg
In fact, for the U.S., de-pegging would cause the economic equivalent of cardiac arrest. Our economy is currently on life support provided by an endless flow of debt financing from China. These purchases are the means by which China maintains the relative value of its currency against the dollar. As the dollar comes under even more downward pressure, China’s purchases must increase to keep the renminbi from rising. By maintaining the peg, China enables our politicians and citizens to continue spending more than they have and avoiding the hard choices necessary to restore our long-term economic health.
As demand falls for both dollars and Treasuries, prices and interest rates in the United States will rise. Rising rates will restrict the flow of credit that is currently financing government and consumer spending. This change will finally force a long overdue decline in borrowing.
De-pegging will force the hand of U.S. politicians toward pursuing realistic policies. The Chinese will come to their senses eventually because it is in their interest to do so. Meanwhile, the longer the peg is maintained, the more indebted we become, the more out of balance our economy grows, and the more our industrial base shrivels. In short, the longer they wait, the steeper our fall.
I agree the largest impact of the currency peg on the USA is supporting our economy in the short run. If we didn’t go into huge debt it would actually be good for the USA for the long run too. Essentially China subsidies our purchases and borrowing. The problem is that we have taken a good thing too far and become used to living beyond our means. That is not sustainable – even with a subsidy from China.
I disagree that the USA manufacturing base is hollowed out. It is strong in comparison to the rest of the world, except China. China’s manufacturing growth has been phenomenal, compared to that everyone looks weak. Manufacturing jobs are disappearing everywhere, not just in the USA.
Over the last few years Elizabeth Warren has become one of my favorite leaders. She is a leader in economic thought, ethical society and the law (she is a law professor at Harvard Law School). Far too many on Wall Street, Washington and in C-suites are leading us down a very bad path. She is a voice we need to heed.
The 1966 high school debate champion of Oklahoma may get what she wants. The House of Representatives will vote in December on her idea. She suggested a Financial Product Safety Commission in a 2007 article in the magazine Democracy [Unsafe at Any Rate]. President Barack Obama proposed it to Congress in June as the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.
Warren won’t discuss whether she may be a candidate to lead the authority, which would have the power to regulate $13.7 trillion of debt products. A Warren nomination would tell banks that Obama is determined to force reduced checking-account fees and limit lender claims in mortgage advertising, among other measures the industry opposes, said Thomas Cooley, dean of New York University’s Stern School of Business.
In her role overseeing the TARP, Warren has been critical of the administration, accusing the Treasury Department of undervaluing the stock warrants that were supposed to compensate taxpayers when banks repay their bailouts. A lack of transparency about how TARP functions “erodes the very confidence” it was to restore, her committee said in a report.
I hope she can take her attempts to reduce political favors being granted huge financial institutions and those institution be forced to follow sensible rules to protect individuals and our economy. With a few more people like there we will have a much better chance of a positive economic future.
Related: Bogle on the Retirement Crisis – Bankruptcies Among Seniors Soaring – Don’t Let the Credit Card Companies Play You for a Fool – http://investing.curiouscatblog.net/2009/04/08/the-best-way-to-rob-a-bank-is-as-an-executive-at-one/
Dr. NOE: So what then did, is we got a second low-ranking female, trained her to open a second container with apples in it, and then we saw that the value of the first provider dropped, more or less, to the half of what she had before. So now we had a competition between two animals. Both of them could provide this good, these apples, and so the value of the first one dropped down again. And of the second one who was very low at the beginning of the experiment, she went up. And they ended up both in the middle, so to speak.
BLUMBERG: So when there was a monkey monopoly on the skill, the monkeys paid one price. But when it became a duopoly, the price fell to an equilibrium point, about half of what it had been. And this all happened despite the fact that we’re talking about monkeys here. Monkeys can’t do math…
While losing 200,000 jobs per month is better than the 700,000 jobs lost in January, current job losses still average more than the per month rate of 150,000 during the last recession.
Also, remember: The last recession ended in November 2001, but job losses continued for more than a year and half until June of 2003; ditto for the 1990-91 recession.
So we can expect that job losses will continue until the end of 2010 at the earliest.
There’s really just one hope for our leaders to turn things around: a bold prescription that increases the fiscal stimulus with another round of labor-intensive, shovel-ready infrastructure projects, helps fiscally strapped state and local governments and provides a temporary tax credit to the private sector to hire more workers.
Based on my best judgment, it is most likely that the unemployment rate will peak close to 11% and will remain at a very high level for two years or more.
Roubini has predicted negative economic results and been right for the last few years. I am uncertain about with the short term economic outlook. I can certainly imagine the slow job recovery he predicts will happen. I am hopeful we will see jobs increasing before that but the news in the last few months has not made that prospect seem more likely. And the long term outlook is getting worse with the huge government debt being added as a burden for the future economy.