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Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. is a nationally acclaimed economist and public speaker specializing in making the arcana and minutia of economics fun, relevant and educational. He holds a B.A. in economics with first class honors from McGill University, as well as a Masters and Ph.D. in public administration from Syracuse University. more

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The upcoming required legislative increase in the debt ceiling may be a nasty battle. Republicans will require Democratic support, which will be legislatively costly, all but guaranteeing a bill that won’t be “clean” or void of concessions. To that end, Trump’s budget proposal that cuts billions from discretionary non-defense spending will probably be in play,…
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 The Friday File: 43% of women say knowing a person’s credit score would have an impact on their willingness to date someone; only 32% of men said the same. By education, 47% of college graduates say knowing the FICO score of a possible date matters compared to 29% for those with a high school diploma…
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Opioid addiction (OA), including addiction to prescription painkillers and illicit narcotics (heroin), has surged 500% since 2010, while medications use to treat OA grew by just 65%. OA is up partly because 21% of Americans filled at least one opioid prescription last year and the amount of prescription opioids sold in the US has quadrupled…
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 For the first time, the US population under 10 is majority minority. Overall, 61.3% of the population is white, 17.8% are Hispanic, 12.4% are Black non-Hispanic, 5.7% are Asian, 2.1% are multiracial and 0.7% are Native American. In 2016, Nevada joined Hawaii, DC, CA, NM and TX as states that are majority minority. By 2020,…
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 Of the 170 deductions/exemptions/credits/exclusions, the six largest in FY2018 are: exclusion of employer contributions for medical insurance/care at $236 billion, preferential treatment of pension contributions at $200 billion, exclusion of owner-occupied rental income at $112.7 billion, corporate income held abroad at $112.6 billion, lower capital gains rates at $109 billion, and the mortgage interest deduction…
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 Last week, Nobel Peace laureate and strong democracy and freedom advocate, Liu Xiaobo died while in custody in a Beijing hospital, becoming the second Peace Prize winner out of 97 to die in custody. The first was Carl von Ossietzky, an early Hitler critic who died in a Nazi prison hospital in 1938. Xiaobo is…
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 The Friday File: This morning was the last of eight straight mornings of the running of bulls through Pamplona. Each morning 10 bulls run about 930 yards ending in the Plaza de Toros. 2,000 humans inexplicably run with the bulls. Dating back to 1922, there have been 15 deaths; your chances of being injured, 0.3%.…
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 In 1980, there were 4,500 public corporations in the US. That number steadily increased, peaking at 7,355 in 11/97. Since then it has steadily declined, and today there are slightly more than 3,500. Most of the decline can be traced to the precipitous fall in number of microcap firms as they have difficulty competing with…
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Despite a growing nuclear threat from North Korea, Korean stocks are up 18% YTD. Improved earnings, a better domestic economy, diminished political uncertainty, and the spectacular performance of Samsung (which accounts for 25% of the index and is now more profitable than Apple), are partly why. But, so is dismissal of political risk from Pyongyang…
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 Seattle raised its minimum wage from $9.47/hour to $11/hour in 2015 and $13/hour in 2016. While the first increase had minimal employment impact, the second damaged low-wage workers. At $13/hour, the number of low-wage hours worked declined by a whopping 9%, while wages rose just 3%. As a result, low-wage worker income fell on average…
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