Patents: protecting inventors and the public good
Patent rights are becoming increasingly controversial in areas such as pharmaceuticals and genetics. Should the public good come before the private gain of new product inventors or developers? The May 2010 Newsletter tackles this issue.
The U.S. personal saving rate
This month?s newsletter focuses on the low and declining U.S. personal saving rate. As measured by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the U.S. personal saving rate fell into negative territory during the third quarter of 2005 and has remained close to zero since then.
Season’s greetings and seasonal adjustments
Have you every wondered what the term "seasonally adjusted" means in relation to economic data? What does the change of seasons have to do with economics? The January 2009 Newsletter explains the term and shows its effect on economic data.
U.S. health care insurance and the uninsured
With continuing increases in both health care spending and the number of Americans who are uninsured, everyone seems to have an opinion on how to rein in costs and provide better coverage. This month's Newsletter offers an overview of why costs are so high and what can be done to improve the situation.
Big-box retail and its impact on local communities
What is the local impact of big-box retail? Some states have begun to reconsider whether the benefits of such development are worth the costs to local communities.
Ethanol: is corn the golden fuel?
With oil prices well over $100 per barrel, policymakers are considering everything from new fuel efficiency standards to biomass in an effort to reduce U.S. gasoline consumption. High oil prices, global warming, and the vitality of the American farm have introduced words such as ?ethanol,? ?E85?, and ?flexible-fuel vehicle? to American households. However, the potential costs and benefits of ethanol production should be considered objectively. This month's newsletter explores the costs and benefits of America's golden fuel?ethanol.
School vouchers: the right choice or wrong policy for improving our schools?
August is back-to-school time, but for many families that means a return to poor-performing schools. The perennial question is how to improve performance. The use of school vouchers is one proposed but highly debated solution. This article examines the history of school vouchers and the major arguments for and against them.
Natural disasters: from destruction to recovery
Natural disasters often cause extensive loss and damage, yet post-disaster reconstruction may create opportunities that bring long-term economic benefits. Read the October 2011 Newsletter "Natural Disasters: From Destruction to Recovery" for details.
What do financial market indicators tell us?
To those unfamiliar with financial and economic lingo, the terms bandied about in the news can sometimes make no sense. The January 2012 Liber8 Newsletter, "What Do Financial Market Indicators Tell Us?" offers some help with explanations of common terms. The essay is accompanied by a table of terms, definitions, and the significance of each to the broader economy.
What is a recession?
The past year has seen much debate about whether the United States is officially in (or not in) a recession (it is). But just what is a recession? Who decides that fact and how? Or, in other words, what actually makes a recession a recession? Read the February 2009 Newsletter for all the details.