- In light of the release of medical records becoming an issue in recent an issues in the Presidential campaign, it’s worth considering what is specifically meant with the term “medical records.” Unbeknownst to most Americans, there is no central repository or aggregating functions of these records: they are widely fragmented among provider health care systems and insurance companies. The NYTimes exaimines this reality.
- A recent economic data release is huge news but is slipping under the radar. Median income in the United States grew by 5.2 percent in 2015, hitting $56,500. This makes 2015 the year of largest income growth in recorded US history. Moreover, poverty fell from 14.8 to 13.5, the biggest drop in 50 years. This is a shocking development that’s getting far too little coverage. The US economy is booming and those gains are being shared by the middle class, even in rural areas. See the charts below (Sources & Interactive Features: F.R.E.D., WSJ, WSJ, NYTimes, NYTimes) :
- Reason Magazine’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown is one of the most important writers covering sex work and human trafficking, topics often conflated, as she frequently points out. She has begun a deep-dive series on human trafficking and it’s a must read on an important topic.
- One of my favorite podcasts, Russ Robert’s EconTalk, interviews Chuck Klosterman on his much acclaimed new book, “So What If We’re Wrong: Thinking About the Present as if it Were the Past.” Epistemological questions of these sorts have been a major focus of Roberts work and thinking, so the hour long conversation is particularly interesting. Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon also had a great review of the book in the Washington Post.
- The Freakonmics podcast takes a look at the recent work of one of the book’s two authors, Steven Levit, which utilizes private, proprietary data from Uber in order to plot a demand curve. The podcast summarizes the paper, linked here, and also provides an interesting look at Uber generally. Also in Uber news, the company is now testing its autonomous fleet in Pittsburgh—an incredible development pointing out how quickly developments in autonomous technology are progressing. Despite this, Uber continues to face major policy obsticals; Jared Mayer examines and critiques.
- Elsewhere in technological development, AEI’s James Pethokoukis and The Economist have had recent looks at the progress and potential of private business in space. Great read if you haven’t been following developments in the industry.
- The Economist ran a recent global poll on the global desire for children, the success and failures of family planning (birth control is now abundant but assistance in conceiving is lacking), the gap between children desired and successfully conceived (demonstrating large shortfalls in childbearing), and the examining the causes of the polled shortfall. Additionally, the same issue of The Economist looks at the current state of inveitro fertilization (IVF) technology, public support, prospects for future development (consider the effectiveness and perhaps more importantly, costs), and problems in access. Both stories are great reads. See the related chart below, which so huge satisfaction among those having a “more than ideal” number of children, and dissatisfication among those having a “fewer than ideal” number of children: