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Mark Perry

Mark Perry

Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.

Articles by Mark Perry

Why are the progressive left so angry…. and so ungrateful? – Publications – AEI

1 day ago

AEI
Why are the progressive left so angry…. and so ungrateful?
That’s a question raised and discussed by Francis Menton in an article on his Manhattan Contrarian blog (“Why Are They All So Angry“), here’s an excerpt:

It’s the defining characteristic of today’s progressive left: Anger. And it’s not just the rioters like Antifa, or the unspeakably rude people who confront administration figures in restaurants and gratuitously yell at them. Take a look at any of the new icons of the Democratic Party when they are speaking — for example Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or Ilhan Omar — and you see them seething with barely controllable anger, if not outright fury. Same with essentially every left-wing commenter on CNN or MSNBC.
And I’m just getting to the Democratic presidential candidates. Bernie

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Quotation of the day on whether Rep. Ilhan Omar can overcome her prejudice….. – Publications – AEI

2 days ago

AEI
Quotation of the day on whether Rep. Ilhan Omar can overcome her prejudice…..
… is from Ayaan Hirsi Ali writing in today’s Wall Street Journal:
A freshman congresswoman from Minnesota has been infuriating the Jewish community and discomfiting the Democratic leadership with her expressions of anti-Semitism. Like me, Ilhan Omar was born in Somalia and exposed at an early age to Muslim anti-Semitism.
…..
I am living proof that one can be born a Somali, raised as an anti-Semite, indoctrinated as an anti-Zionist—and still overcome all this to appreciate the unique culture of Judaism and the extraordinary achievement of the state of Israel. If I can make that leap, so perhaps can Ms. Omar. Yet that is not really the issue at stake. For she and I are only two individuals. The real question is

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Chart of the day…. or century? – Publications – AEI

3 days ago

AEI
Chart of the day…. or century?

As I wrote last summer on CD, I’ve probably created and posted more than 3,000 graphics on CD, Twitter, and Facebook including charts/graphs, tables, figures, maps and Venn diagrams over the last 12 years. Of all of those graphics, I don’t think any single one has ever gotten more attention, links, re-Tweets, re-posts, and mentions than the one above (and previous versions), which has been referred to as “the Chart of the Century.” Here are some examples of those mentions from last year for the version of the chart with price data through December 2017.

Marketwatch has featured the chart twice here and here and made this comment “When this chart’s creator, econ professor Mark Perry and the man behind the Carpe Diem blog, first posted it on Twitter, it

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Tucker Carlson on how the left turn new arrivals like Ilhan Omar into grievance mongers – Publications – AEI

4 days ago

AEI
Tucker Carlson on how the left turn new arrivals like Ilhan Omar into grievance mongers

Here’s part of Tucker Carlon’s commentary last night on Fox News:
No country can survive being ruled by people who hate it. We deserve better. For all of our country’s flaws, this is still the best place in the world. Most immigrants know that and that is why they come here. It’s also why we’ve always been glad to have them here.
But now, there are signs that some people who move here from abroad don’t like this country at all. One of those people now serves in our Congress. Think about that for a minute. Our country rescued Ilhan Omar from the single poorest place on Earth. We didn’t do it for the money, we did it because we are kind people. How did she respond to the remarkable gift we gave

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What’s up with the obsession about low interest rates? – Publications – AEI

5 days ago

AEI
What’s up with the obsession about low interest rates?

Ceterius paribus of course…..
Sellers like high prices and buyers/consumers like low prices. If government policy raises prices sellers are happy and buyers are worse off. If government policy lowers prices buyers are happy and sellers are worse off.
Workers like high wages and employers prefer like low wages. If government policy raises wages (e.g., minimum wage hikes), workers are happy and employers are worse off. If government policy lowers wages, workers are worse off while employers are better off.
Borrowers like low interest rates and savers/lenders prefer high interest rates. If the Federal Reserve “manipulates” lower interest rates, borrowers are delighted but savers are harmed. If the Federal Reserve “manipulates” higher

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Animated chart of the day: US electricity generation by fuel source, 1949-2019 – Publications – AEI

6 days ago

AEI
Animated chart of the day: US electricity generation by fuel source, 1949-2019

Here’s a new animated “bar chart race” visualization using the online Flourish software, this one showing US electricity generation by energy source shares from 1949 to 2019 (through April) based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Here are few observations:
1. Coal has historically been the largest energy source for America’s electricity generation, and provided more than 40% of the nation’s electric power in every year between 1949 and 2011, and more than 50% in 43 of those 59 years.
2. Although natural gas provided more than 20% of US electric power from 1959 to 1972 it provided less than 20% from 1973 to 2008, less than 15% of US electricity from 1982 and 2005 and a record low of

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Q: How much turnover is there among the richest Americans? A: A lot according to IRS data – Publications – AEI

6 days ago

AEI
Q: How much turnover is there among the richest Americans? A: A lot according to IRS data

As I reported on CD back in 2016 in a post titled “New IRS data show that 71% of US taxpayers who make it into the ‘Top 400’ are there for only a single year“:
Of the 9,200 total tax returns filed in the 23 years from 1992 to 2014 for the 400 highest earners in each year, there were 4,584 unique, individual taxpayers in the Top 400 over those 23 years, since some taxpayers were in the Top 400 group in more than one year. The new IRS data show that:
1. Of the group of 4,584 unique top earners from 1992-2014, there were 3,262 individual taxpayers who made it into the “Fortunate 400” only one time during the 23-year period. Those 3,262 one-timers represent 71.2% of the total 4,584 taxpayers (see

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Video of the day: Life without petroleum-based products – Publications – AEI

8 days ago

AEI
Video of the day: Life without petroleum-based products

Click on the arrow above to start the featured video “Life without Petroleum Products” from Oil Sands Action. Here’s a partial list of just 144 of the 6,000 products we get from petroleum. I’m pretty sure that even if AOC and Bernie could unrealistically get enough windmills and solar panels to produce all of America’s electricity and get everybody to drive an electric car, they would still want these petroleum-based products to still be produced, including heart valves, eyeglasses, and dentures for voters in Sen. Sanders’ demographic, tires for everybody’s electric car, ink to print AOC’s and Bernie’s campaign literature and the New York Times, etc.

Video of the day: Life without petroleum-based products
Mark

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Quotation of the day on refusing to pander to rent-seekers and power-mongers….. – Publications – AEI

10 days ago

AEI
Quotation of the day on refusing to pander to rent-seekers and power-mongers…..
… (slightly revised) is from Don Boudreaux on the Cafe Hayek blog (“Sad that Sacred Principles are Treated with Scorn“) responding to Henry Olsen’s op-ed in today’s Washington Post (“Justin Amash is a man without a party. That’s because no party can win with his ideas.“):
Both major U.S. political parties embrace the philosophy that the state should be constrained by little more than the need to assemble majoritarian coalitions, however fleeting, in its efforts to bestow privileges on favored groups at the expense of demonized ones. Today’s Republicans and Democrats differ from each other only in their identification of which groups to favor and which to demonize.
Neither of these parties acts in accordance

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Animated chart of the day: World’s top ten manufacturing nations, 1970 to 2017 – Publications – AEI

10 days ago

AEI
Animated chart of the day: World’s top ten manufacturing nations, 1970 to 2017

Here’s another animated “bar chart race” visualization showing the world top ten manufacturing nations by share of global manufacturing output from 1970 to 2017 using data from the statistics division of the United Nations. A few observations:
1. The USSR was the world’s second largest manufacturing nation from 1970 until Japan surpassed the USSR in 1984 to rise to the No. 2 position.
2. After overtaking Russia in the mid 1980s, Japan quickly rose as a manufacturing powerhouse and almost overtook the USA by the mid-1990s including in 1993 when Japan produced 22.1% of world output vs. 22.9% for the USA and in 1995 when Japan produced 22.0% of the world’s manufacturing vs. USA’s 22.23% share.
3. China’s rise

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Happy Birthday, America 2019: Ray Charles sings ‘America the Beautiful’ – Publications – AEI

11 days ago

AEI
Happy Birthday, America 2019: Ray Charles sings ‘America the Beautiful’

It has become an annual tradition at CD to feature one of my all-time favorite singers, pianists and performers — Ray Charles. When it comes to singing America the Beautiful, it doesn’t get any better than this – Ray Charles above performing in 1999 at a live fundraising event for the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind. Except maybe the 1991 version below with some guests including Stevie Wonder, Michael McDonald and Michael Bolton, and the 1984 version below at the Republican National Convention. Happy Birthday America 2019!

In a tribute to Ray Charles following his death on June 10, 2004, Imus in the Morning played this clip below of Ray Charles singing his version of “America the Beautiful” at the 1984 Republic

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Quotation of the day on declaring freedom from an oppressive government that restricted trade, among other grievances…. – Publications – AEI

11 days ago

AEI
Quotation of the day on declaring freedom from an oppressive government that restricted trade, among other grievances….

…. is from Thomas Jefferson, primary author of the Declaration of Independence, when he was 33 years old:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; That whenever any Form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers

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Animated chart of the day: Top ten US states for natural gas production, 1967-2018 – Publications – AEI

13 days ago

AEI
Animated chart of the day: Top ten US states for natural gas production, 1967-2018

Here’s another animated “bar chart race” visualization showing the top ten natural gas producing US states in every year from 1967 to 2018. Note that Pennsylvania isn’t in the top ten states until 2010, and then quickly rises to No. 2 by 2014, thanks to the revolutionary drilling and extraction technologies of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling that accessed oceans of shale gas in the Marcellus Share Formation centered below Pennsylvania that were previously inaccessible using conventional technologies. Note also that quite a bit of the Marcellus Shale Formation extends into New York State (see map below), which is still inaccessible not due to technology constraints, but due to political

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Animated chart of the day: Female share of US college degrees, 1970 to 2029 (est.) – Publications – AEI

14 days ago

AEI
Animated chart of the day: Female share of US college degrees, 1970 to 2029 (est.)

My latest animated “bar chart race” visualization appears above and shows the female share of colleges (Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctor’s) annually from 1970 to 2029 based on historical data and forecasts from the National Center for Education Statistics. Note the following:
1. Women have earned a majority of Associate’s degrees in every year starting in 1977.
2. Women have earned a majority of Bachelor’s degrees in every year starting in 1982.
3. Women have earned a majority of Master’s degrees in every year starting in 1987.
4. Women have earned a majority of Doctor’s degrees in every year starting in 2006.
Begs the question — now that women are the majority gender for degrees at all

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Animated chart of the day: US energy consumption by fuel source, 1949-2050 – Publications – AEI

15 days ago

AEI
Animated chart of the day: US energy consumption by fuel source, 1949-2050

Here’s a new animated “bar chart race” visualization showing the annual shares of U.S. energy consumption by fuel source: Fossil fuels (coal, natural gas and petroleum), nuclear, and renewables (hydroelectric, solar, wind, and biomass) from 1949-2050 based on historical data and forecasts from the Energy Information Administration. Note that fossil fuels have in the past, are currently, and will in the future continue to be the primary fuel sources for America’s energy, while renewables will provide a relatively minor share of our energy needs.
In other words, the Department of Energy isn’t expecting a lot of progress for renewable energies as a fuel source for America, even after many decades of efforts from

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Happy 89th birthday (June 30) to Thomas Sowell, one of the greatest living economists – Publications – AEI

16 days ago

AEI
Happy 89th birthday (June 30) to Thomas Sowell, one of the greatest living economists

One of my all-time most favorite economists — Thomas Sowell — turns 89 tomorrow, he was born on June 30, 1930. Here is Thomas Sowell’s webpage and here is his Wikipedia entry. Milton Friedman once said, “The word ‘genius’ is thrown around so much that it’s becoming meaningless, but nevertheless I think Tom Sowell is close to being one.”
In my opinion, there is no economist alive today who has done more to eloquently, articulately, and persuasively advance the principles of economic freedom, limited government, individual liberty, and a free society than Thomas Sowell. In terms of both his quantity of work (at least 46 books and several thousand newspaper columns) and the consistently excellent and

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Animated chart of the day: Market shares of US auto sales, 1961 to 2016 – Publications – AEI

17 days ago

AEI
Animated chart of the day: Market shares of US auto sales, 1961 to 2016

Here’s another animated “bar chart race” visualization showing annual market shares for US vehicle sales from 1961 to 2016. Notice the following:
1. The dominance of the Big Three (GM, Ford and Chrysler) – they had a combined market share of above 85% through the 1960s and above 90% in one year (1965). Even through most of the 1990s, the Big Three’s market share was above 70% and they didn’t go below 50% market share until 2008. Ford and GM sales combined represented more than 50% of US car sales in every year until 2001, and subsequently fell below 33.33% for the first time in 2012. By 2016, the combined market share of the Big Three fell to an all-time low of 44.2%.
2. VW had the biggest market share of the

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Thomas Sowell quotes – Publications – AEI

17 days ago

AEI
Thomas Sowell quotes

It’s Thomas Sowell’s birthday on Sunday, and I’ll have a longer birthday post for Dr. Sowell tomorrow. For now, here are ten great quotes from the chapter “Random Thoughts” that appears in Sowell’s 2006 book “Ever Wonder Why? And Other Controversial Essays“:

One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain.
The old adage about giving a man a fish versus teaching him how to fish has been updated by a reader: Give a man a fish and he will ask for tartar sauce and French fries! Moreover,some politician who wants his vote will declare all these things to be among his “basic rights.”
Thanksgiving may be our most old-fashioned holiday. Gratitude itself seems out of

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Happy 218th birthday to French classical liberal economist Frederic Bastiat! – Publications – AEI

17 days ago

AEI
Happy 218th birthday to French classical liberal economist Frederic Bastiat!

Tomorrow, June 29, marks the 218th anniversary of the birth of the great French classical liberal economist Frédéric Bastiat (born June 29, 1801) whom economist Joseph Schumpeter called the “most brilliant economic journalist who ever lived.” According to the Library of Economics and Liberty Bastiat’s biggest contribution to economics was “his fresh and witty expressions of economic truths made them so understandable and compelling that the truths became hard to ignore.” Celebrating Bastiat’s birthday has become an annual tradition at CD, and below I present some of my favorite quotes from the great liberty-loving, influential French economist!
1. One of Bastiat’s most famous and important writings was “The

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Some new shortcomings of the AFL-CIO’s CEO-to-worker pay ratio – Publications – AEI

18 days ago

AEI
Some new shortcomings of the AFL-CIO’s CEO-to-worker pay ratio

The AFL-CIO released its annual Executive Paywatch Report this week, based on CEO and worker pay in 2018. Here’s the press release, here’s AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler remarks, and here’s more data. Like in the past, this year’s AFL-CIO’s report is based on some apples-to-oranges comparisons and additional statistical chicanery including:
1. The AFL-CIO reports an increase in the average U.S. rank-and-file worker’s pay over the past 10 years of slightly less than $8,000 or less than $800 per year. It also reports that the average CEO received a $500,000 raise last year compared to the average rank-and-file worker who received barely more than a $1,000 raise, bringing pay in 2018 to $39,888. 
Here’s the math

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My first quarterly rant of 2019 on the misuse of it’s for its – Publications – AEI

18 days ago

AEI
My first quarterly rant of 2019 on the misuse of it’s for its

It’s way past due for my first “quarterly” spelling/punctuation/grammar rant of 2019 on what has to be the most common spelling/punctuation/grammar/orthographic mistake in the English language — the misuse of it’s (or its’) for its (or vice-versa). Here are 10 new examples below (and a photo below from an English language school!) of that misuse collected from CD comments and other sources on the Internet this year, including one from Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and one from USA Today. You can review the rules for the correct usage of its here and here.
1. …..to the dude who told me to “educate myself” because “lot’s of really smart people with economics training think MMT and it’s historical antecedents have some

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Animated chart of the day: Recorded music sales by format share, 1973 to 2018 – Publications – AEI

19 days ago

AEI
Animated chart of the day: Recorded music sales by format share, 1973 to 2018

Here’s a revised animated “bar chart race” visualization above (and revised commentary below to correct for some data issues in the original chart) showing the format share of recorded music sales in each year from 1973 to 2018 based on data from the Recorded Industry Association of America. You can see the following:
a. the dominance of vinyl records from 1973 to the mid-1980s.
b. the fall of 8-track tape sales starting in the late 1970s as cassette tapes entered the market and overtook LP sales by the mid-1980s and remained the dominant format until 1993.
c. the gradual rise of CDs starting in 1983 when they were only 0.50% of recorded music sales, overtaking cassette sales in 1991 and reaching a peak

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Title IX update: OCR opens investigations against Michigan State, Grand Valley State and Saginaw Valley State – Publications – AEI

19 days ago

AEI
Title IX update: OCR opens investigations against Michigan State, Grand Valley State and Saginaw Valley State

In response to my requests for federal civil rights compliance reviews, the Cleveland Office for Civil Rights (OCR) opened investigations last week against three more universities for offering, promoting,  sponsoring, and hosting programs that potentially violate Title IX‘s prohibition of sex discrimination:
1. Michigan State University (MSU) is being investigated by the Cleveland OCR for the gender discriminatory programs listed below that are offered by the MSU Women in Engineering, Recruitment and K-12 Outreach Office, which has the objective “to help young women view engineering as a feasible career choice through camps, one day events, and resources.”
Elementary School

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Venn diagram of the day….. – Publications – AEI

21 days ago

AEI
Venn diagram of the day…..

…. was inspired by Jon Murphy’s post on Facebook:

Why is it that economic sanctions imposed by the US government preventing Iran from importing harms Iran but economic sanctions imposed by the US government preventing the US from importing is “making America great again”? Trump’s largest consistency is his inconsistency.

Q: If economic sanctions weaken Iran’s economy as intended by preventing Iranians from importing foreign goods, won’t Tariff Man’s economic sanctions (tariffs, trade war) weaken our economy by making it more expensive for Americans to import foreign goods?
Venn diagram of the day…..
Mark Perry

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Is Google manipulating search results to promote a social justice agenda, prevent Trump re-election? – Publications – AEI

21 days ago

AEI
Is Google manipulating search results to promote a social justice agenda, prevent Trump re-election?

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The top graphic above show a Google Trends comparison of searches for the phrases “Hillary Clinton emails” and “Donald Trump email” over the last five years. The search interest for “Hillary Clinton emails” (in blue) was obviously significantly greater than for “Donald Trump email” especially in late October 2016, when James Comey informed Congress that “the FBI had started looking into newly discovered emails [related to Hillary Clinton].”
And yet when you do a Google search for the phrase “Hillary Clinton emails” you get no autofill suggestions, see empty red box above in second graphic.

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Chart of the day: Historical returns on stocks, T-bills & T-bonds, 1928-2018; the case for privatizing Social Security? – Publications – AEI

21 days ago

AEI
Chart of the day: Historical returns on stocks, T-bills & T-bonds, 1928-2018; the case for privatizing Social Security?

The “bar chart race” visualization above shows the accumulated values of a $100 investment at the end of 1927 in: a) the S&P 500 Stock Index (including dividends), b) 3-month Treasury bills and c) 10-year Treasury bonds, over the 91-year period from 1927-2018 based on historical return data from the NYU Stern School of Business here. On an annual basis over this period, the return on the S&P 500 averaged 9.5% per year, T-bonds 4.8% and T-bills 3.4%.
Isn’t this a pretty strong argument for privatizing the unsustainable Ponzi Scheme known as Social Security (its trust funds are invested exclusively in Treasury securities), which is scheduled to run out of money by

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Minimum wage increases could devastate restaurants and food jobs. NYC may be the ‘canary in the coal mine’ – Publications – AEI

23 days ago

AEI
Minimum wage increases could devastate restaurants and food jobs. NYC may be the ‘canary in the coal mine’

From an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal by Alabama-based restaurant owner Larry Fox titled “The $15 Minimum Wage Will Put Me Out of Business: My employees already make $22 an hour with tips. A new bill will force me to fire them all“:
Want to earn a living wage in Alabama? Try working in a full-service restaurant. I’m a restaurant franchisee with nine locations throughout Alabama and Florida, and my tipped employees report an hourly wage between $18 and $28, inclusive of base pay and gratuities. That’s more than the living wage for a single adult in Alabama, as calculated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Unfortunately, some well-meaning members of Congress are

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Glenn Loury: ‘Affirmative action is dishonest. It’s not about equality, it’s about covering ass’ – Publications – AEI

24 days ago

AEI
Glenn Loury: ‘Affirmative action is dishonest. It’s not about equality, it’s about covering ass’

Brown University economist Glenn Loury (pictured above) is profiled in today’s Chronicle of Higher Education titled “Affirmative Action Is Not About Equality. It’s About  Covering Ass” (subscription required), here’s an excerpt:
On a Thursday evening in April, Glenn Loury is talking about race, ethics, and affirmative action. And he’s getting emotional. “I’m for racial equality. Not for patronization. Don’t patronize my people,” he told an audience at the College of the Holy Cross, in Massachusetts (see full lecture below). “Don’t inflict on us the consequences of a soft bigotry of low expectations. Don’t presume that we’re not capable of objectively expressing excellence in the same way

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Venn diagram and update on Oberlin College – Publications – AEI

25 days ago

AEI
Venn diagram and update on Oberlin College

It’s been widely reported that Oberlin College was recently “forced to check its woke privilege” when an Ohio jury awarded $11 million in compensatory damages (and another $33 million in punitive damages) to a family bakery for being defamed and smeared by Oberlin College students and administrators. Here’s some related commentary from Jonathan Turley writing in The Hill “Oberlin College case shows how universities are losing their way“:
For many who lament the shift from academics to activism across college campuses in the United States, Oberlin College in Ohio is the equivalent of the “China syndrome” during nuclear accidents, a point where chain reactions become impossible to stop or control. Oberlin students often find new issues to

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Bonus animated chart of the day: Top ten countries for CO2 emissions, 1965-2018 – Publications – AEI

26 days ago

AEI
Bonus animated chart of the day: Top ten countries for CO2 emissions, 1965-2018

Here’s another animated “bar chart race” visualization above showing the top countries for annual C02 emissions from 1965 to 2018, based on the BP Statistical Review of World Energy that was released last week with data through 2018.
Bonus animated chart of the day: Top ten countries for CO2 emissions, 1965-2018
Mark Perry

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