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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

Sunday afternoon links – Publications – AEI

21 hours ago

AEI
Sunday afternoon links

1. Map of the Day (above) shows that the state of Texas now produces more crude oil (4.7 million barrels per day) than every other country in the world except for Saudi Arabia and Russia. Until recently, Iraq produced more oil than Texas, but that changed in the third quarter of 2018 when Texas out-produced Iraq 4.75 million bpd vs. 4.46 million bpd (see OPEC output data here and Texas output data here). For the month of October (most recent month available for Texas), the Lone Star State produced 4.7 million bpd (new record high) versus Iraq’s stable output of 4.46 million bpd. Based on the year-over-year increases of nearly 30% in Texas oil output in recent months, it’s likely that daily Texas oil production surpassed the 5 million barrel milestone in either

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Backfire economics: Trump tariffs are killing American steel – Publications – AEI

3 days ago

AEI
Backfire economics: Trump tariffs are killing American steel

1. From the Council on Foreign Relations blog post “Trumps Tariffs Are Killing American Steel“:
“Our Steel Industry is the talk of the World,” President Trump tweeted in September. “It has been given new life, and is thriving.” Yet nearly a year after Trump slapped tariffs on imported steel, the U.S. steel industry is not thriving. It is reeling. Steel prices have fallen back to pre-tariff levels. Employment is stagnant. The clearest sign that tariffs are not working, however, is the stock market.
If the president’s policies were working as planned, the steel industry should outperform other sectors. Yet as the graphic above shows, since Trump announced steel tariffs on March 1, 2018, steel-producer stock prices (blue line)

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Markets in everything: Light bulb repair in Venezuela – Publications – AEI

4 days ago

AEI
Markets in everything: Light bulb repair in Venezuela

Entrepreneurial light bulb technicians help desperate Venezuelans save money by repairing burned-out light bulbs, as the country’s struggling citizens deal with tight budgets during the ongoing crisis in a basket-case economy that has resulted from the type of failed democratic socialism now being promoted in the US by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Sanders.
Markets in everything: Light bulb repair in Venezuela
Mark Perry

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A tribute to the legendary investor and Vanguard Group founder John Bogle with some charts and quotations – Publications – AEI

4 days ago

AEI
A tribute to the legendary investor and Vanguard Group founder John Bogle with some charts and quotations

As mentioned in an earlier CD post today, renowned, legendary American investor and index investing evangelist John Bogle died yesterday at age 89. Here are some charts and quotations as a CD tribute to the legacy of the “capitalist for the common man.”
1. Active vs. Passive Investing I: The table above is from a CD post last October “More evidence that it’s really hard to ‘beat the market’ over time, 95% of finance professionals can’t do it,” based on the SPIVA U.S. Mid-Year 2018 report from S&P Dow Jones Indices, the “de facto scorekeeper of the active versus passive investing debate.” The main empirical result of the report displayed above was that over the most recent 15-year

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Quotation of the day from Vanguard founder John Bogle, R.I.P. – Publications – AEI

4 days ago

AEI
Quotation of the day from Vanguard founder John Bogle, R.I.P.

Below is an excerpt from an interview with Vanguard founder John Bogle that appeared in the American Association of Individual Investors Journal in 2014, and was featured previously on CD on June 25 of that year (bold added). The second part of that AAII interview appears here. I am re-posting the quotation below today as the first in a series of CD posts about John Bogle, who died yesterday at his home in Bryn Mawr, Pa. at the age of 89. See media coverage on John Bogle from the New York Times here and here, MarketWatch, CNN Business, Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal. In 2016, a Bloomberg article by Eric Balchunas “How the Vanguard Effect Adds Up to $1 Trillion” described John Bogle’s revolutionary passive, low-cost

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Best line I heard today….. – Publications – AEI

5 days ago

AEI
Best line I heard today…..
…. was from FOX Business senior correspondent Charlie Gasparino on Neil Cavuto’s FOX Business Network show today discussing the economic illiteracy of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:
She wouldn’t know the difference between the Phillip’s Curve and a Phillips screwdriver.
MP: I somehow don’t think AOC was at the “tippy tops” of her economics classes at Boston University.
Best line I heard today…..
Mark Perry

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Milton Friedman on ‘fair’ versus ‘free’ – Publications – AEI

5 days ago

AEI
Milton Friedman on ‘fair’ versus ‘free’
Over a period of almost 20 years between 1966 and 1984, Milton Friedman wrote more than 300 op-eds for Newsweek, and those op-eds are available here along with Friedman’s op-eds in other media outlets like the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Washington Post, etc. On July 4, 1977, Friedman’s weekly Newsweek column was titled “Fair versus Free.” Here’s an excerpt of that op-ed below, with some of my additions to focus Friedman’s general comments on “fair” versus “free” more specifically on the distinction between”fair” trade versus “free” trade that we’ve heard so much about recently.
When “fairness” [or “fair” trade] replaces “freedom” [or “free” trade] all our liberties are in danger.
….
There is no objective standard of “fairness” [or

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Here’s the real truth about money in the ‘wrong’ hands – Publications – AEI

6 days ago

AEI
Here’s the real truth about money in the ‘wrong’ hands
From New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s State of the City address last Thursday:
Here’s the truth. Brothers and sisters, there’s plenty of money in the world. There’s plenty of money in this city. It’s just in the wrong hands.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board responds:
Here’s the real truth, brothers and sisters. Without the “wrong hands” that Mr. de Blasio despises, there would be no wealth or income to redistribute. Without the fruits of capitalist invention and business success, there would be no philanthropists to preserve the parks, to rebuild crumbling public spaces, to donate to the museums that give the non-rich a glimpse of great art and history, or to provide an alternative to failing public schools that cheat

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Backfire economics: Trump’s trade war is putting US businesses at great risk – Publications – AEI

7 days ago

AEI
Backfire economics: Trump’s trade war is putting US businesses at great risk

From the Detroit News article “US companies paying for Trump trade wars“:

In Rochester, New York, a maker of furnaces for semiconductor and solar companies is moving its research and development to China to dodge President Donald Trump’s import taxes — a move that threatens a handful of its 26 U.S. jobs. In California’s San Joaquin Valley, the CEO of a company that makes precision parts for the biomedical and chip making fields jokes bitterly that he’s running “a nonprofit” and might have to cut jobs. And west of Detroit, a metal stamping company that supplies the auto industry is losing business to foreign rivals because Trump’s steel tariffs have raised metals prices in the United States.
Trump frequently

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Successful Title IX complaint forces Tulane University to end gender discrimination – Publications – AEI

9 days ago

AEI
Successful Title IX complaint forces Tulane University to end gender discrimination
From the PJMedia article “Female Lawyer Gets Tulane University to Stop Discriminating Against Men” by Toni Airaksinen:

Tulane University has agreed to stop financially discriminating against male students in an unprecedented response to a Title IX complaint made against the school. As PJ Media initially reported, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) launched an investigation into Tulane University in August amid concerns that six of the school’s scholarships violated Title IX, the 1972 law that prohibits sex discrimination.
The complaint was filed by Margaret C. Valois, a Virginia Title IX attorney and mother of two sons. Though she typically provides legal counsel to students

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

10 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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Peak what? – Publications – AEI

12 days ago

AEI
Peak what?
BP just discovered a billion barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico
BP’s investment in next-generation technology just paid off to the tune of a billion barrels of oil. BP made the massive 1 billion-barrel discovery at its Thunder Horse field off the tip of Louisiana. Executives are crediting their investment in advanced seismic technology and data processing for speeding up the company’s ability to confirm the discoveries at Atlantis and Thunder Horse. BP says it once would have taken a year to analyze the Thunder Horse data, but it now takes just weeks.
MP: Two words – Big.Data. Oh… and Peak.What?
Related: Obama in 2012……

Peak what?
Mark Perry

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Quotation of the day on socialism in theory vs. practice….. – Publications – AEI

13 days ago

AEI
Quotation of the day on socialism in theory vs. practice…..

…. is from F.A. Hayek (pictured above) writing in 1941 in Nature:
In theory Socialism may wish to enhance freedom, but in practice every kind of collectivism consistently carried through must produce the characteristic features which Fascism, Nazism and Communism have in common. Totalitarianism is nothing but consistent collectivism…
Quotation of the day on socialism in theory vs. practice…..
Mark Perry

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Quotation of the day on the state of the art on the left….. – Publications – AEI

14 days ago

AEI
Quotation of the day on the state of the art on the left…..
…. is from Scott Johnson writing on the Powerline Blog — “She’s the Tippy Tops” based on the profile of AOC on 60 Minutes.
When it comes to the state of the art on the left, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is (to borrow an expression) the tippy tops. She is an idiot’s idiot with a little girl voice that gives expressive form to her thoughts and dreams. If only she were given absolute power, she could produce the kind of rapid change (to borrow another expression) that has reduced Venezuela to poverty and starvation.
Quotation of the day on the state of the art on the left…..
Mark Perry

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More examples of how Trump’s trade war is backfiring and putting US firms and American jobs at great risk – Publications – AEI

15 days ago

AEI
More examples of how Trump’s trade war is backfiring and putting US firms and American jobs at great risk

1. Trump Has Promised to Bring Jobs Back. His Tariffs Threaten to Send Them Away.
2. Trump’s Trade War is ‘Killing’ American Manufacturing, Prompting Potential Moves to Mexico
3. Complaints Grow Among U.S. Factories That Trump’s Tariffs Harm Their Profits
4. Trump supporter eyes moving factory to Mexico over tariffs
MP: Isn’t it really too bad that there’s no academic discipline that has studied international trade for hundreds of years and accumulated mountains of theory and evidence on trade and protectionism that maybe could have accurately predicted the significant economic damage that has resulted from the Mercantilist-in-Chief’s misguided trade folly……
 
More examples of

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New Carpe Diem economic news and data quiz – Publications – AEI

16 days ago

AEI
New Carpe Diem economic news and data quiz

It’s a new year and time for another Carpe Diem quiz. Test your knowledge of recent economic news and data points, most featured in recent CD posts, with this new 10-question quiz below. You’ll see the correct answers at the end.
Good luck!
Loading Carpe Diem Economics News and Data Quiz, January 2019

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QuizWorks.push(
[document.getElementById("embed-exam-263116"), "exam", "263116", {
autostart: false,
width: "100%",
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);

New Carpe Diem economic news and data quiz
Mark Perry

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Wednesday afternoon links – Publications – AEI

19 days ago

AEI
Wednesday afternoon links

1. Chart of the Day I (above) shows the annual strong/violent (categories F3, F4 and F5) tornado count in the US back to 1954 when the NOAA started tracking these data. Last year there were only 12 tornadoes in the US, all category F3 (strong), which is the lowest annual tornado count for the US in more than 60 years of modern records. Further, it was the first year ever in the US that there wasn’t a single violent tornado in the violent F4 or F5 categories. See news reports here from the Washington Post and USA Today, which reported that:

Tornadoes only killed 10 Americans in 2018, the fewest since unofficial records began in 1875 during the administration of President Ulysses S. Grant. The previous record low year for tornado deaths was 1910, when 12

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Videos of the day and Happy New Year! – Publications – AEI

21 days ago

AEI
Videos of the day and Happy New Year!

1. Video of the Day I (above): “The Fall of Sears” from CBS Sunday Morning:
At its peak, Sears, Roebuck was the largest retailer in the world. And then, the company that dominated the department store and mail order business for much of the 20th century officially filed for bankruptcy, buckling under its massive debt load and staggering losses. David Pogue looks at the company and its failure to evolve in a changing economy.
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2. Video of the Day II (above): “The Truths and Myths of the Gender Pay Gap” from Triggernometry:
We’ve hand-picked our favorite bits of fascinating conversation from Season 1 on the subject of the gender pay gap. The following fantastic guests feature in this episode: Dr.

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Walter E. Williams on the mercantilists’ call for ‘free trade but fair trade’ – Publications – AEI

23 days ago

AEI
Walter E. Williams on the mercantilists’ call for ‘free trade but fair trade’
From Professor Walter Williams’ 2010 column “Free or Fair?”
At first blush, the mercantilists’ call for “free trade but fair trade” sounds reasonable. After all, who can be against fairness? Giving the idea just a bit of thought suggests that fairness as a guide for public policy lays the groundwork for tyranny. How supportive would you be to a person who argued that he was for free religion but fair religion, or he was for free speech but fair speech? Would you be supportive of government efforts to limit unfair religion and unfair speech? How might life look under a regime of fairness of religion, speech and the press?
……
The bottom line is that what’s fair or unfair is an elusive concept. Last summer, I

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The antidote to Trump’s ‘economic illiteracy on stilts?’ A dose or Reagan’s pro-trade wisdom – Publications – AEI

24 days ago

AEI
The antidote to Trump’s ‘economic illiteracy on stilts?’ A dose or Reagan’s pro-trade wisdom
Here’s what we learned today on Twitter from the Protectionist-in-Chief about international trade:

….The United States looses soooo much money on Trade with Mexico under NAFTA, over 75 Billion Dollars a year (not including Drug Money which would be many times that amount), that I would consider closing the Southern Border a “profit making operation.” We build a Wall or…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2018

…..close the Southern Border. Bring our car industry back into the United States where it belongs. Go back to pre-NAFTA, before so many of our companies and jobs were so foolishly sent to Mexico. Either we build (finish) the Wall or we close the Border……
— Donald J.

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Map/Chart of the day: the ‘Texas Miracle’ – Publications – AEI

25 days ago

AEI
Map/Chart of the day: the ‘Texas Miracle’

As a result of the impressive, ‘eye-popping’ and ongoing surges in Texas’s oil production over the last decade, the Lone Star State recently surpassed Canada’s oil output for the first time this year (except for a few previous outlier months when production in Canada dropped sharply, see chart above), and now produces more oil (4.6 million barrels per day) than all other countries except for Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iraq (see map above). And if the recent year-over-year output increases of 25-35% in recent months continue in Texas, it won’t be long before the state’s crude oil production tops Iraq’s daily output (of 4.7 million barrels) and it will only be Russia and Saudi Arabia that out-produce the Lone Star State.
The near quintupling of

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Creative destruction – Publications – AEI

26 days ago

AEI
Creative destruction
According to economist Joseph Schumpeter, the important economic concept known as a “gale of creative destruction” describes the “process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.” Here are some examples:
Exhibit A: List of defunct airlines of the United States
Exhibit B: List of defunct retailers of the United States
Exhibit C: List of defunct automobile manufacturers of the United States
Exhibit D: List of defunct newspapers of the United States
Exhibit E: List of defunct American magazines
Exhibit F: List of piano brand names  (99.99% of these are defunct)
Exhibit G: List of defunct fast-food restaurant chains
Exhibit H: List of defunct

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Thanks to the regulatory relic known as the Jones Act….. – Publications – AEI

26 days ago

AEI
Thanks to the regulatory relic known as the Jones Act…..
…. Shipping something to Hawaii from the West Coast can easily cost 2-3 times the cost of sending the same cargo to Australia. That cost is reflected in almost everything Hawaii residents buy in brick and mortar stores.
That was the case for the Kauai-based Koloa Rum Company. Koloa Rum’s President and CEO Bob Gunter reported that when he needed to send a container of rum to Australia, he needed to first send it to Los Angeles. The Hawaii to L.A. leg cost him $5,900. From Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia cost him only $1,900.
That’s what we learn from the Hawaii Public Radio article and radio segment “The Hidden Cost of Shipping Your Holiday Package.”
You might be a protectionist …. if you think that the Jones Act increases

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Quotation of the day on government transfers….. – Publications – AEI

27 days ago

AEI
Quotation of the day on government transfers…..
… is from Dwight Lee’s encyclopedia entry on “Redistribution” (bold added):
Almost without exception, academic studies and journalistic accounts of government’s effect on the well-being of the poor focus exclusively on the effectiveness of programs that actually transfer income to the poor. What does this leave out? It leaves out all the programs that transfer income away from the poor. To know the net amount the poor receive after considering transfers to and transfers from them, we need to consider all government transfer programs.
Such an examination yields a striking fact: most government transfers are not from the rich to the poor. Instead, government takes from the relatively unorganized (e.g., consumers and general taxpayers) and

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Top 10 inbound vs. top 10 outbound US states in 2017: How do they compare on a variety of tax burden, business climate, fiscal health and economic measures? – Publications – AEI

28 days ago

AEI
Top 10 inbound vs. top 10 outbound US states in 2017: How do they compare on a variety of tax burden, business climate, fiscal health and economic measures?

US state-to-state migration flow data for 2017 became available recently from the Census Bureau and this is an update to an earlier post based on 2016 data that attempts to answer the question: What significant differences are there, if any, between America’s top ten inbound and top ten outbound states when they are compared on a variety of measures of economic performance, business climate, business and individual taxes, fiscal health, and labor market dynamism?
To determine the top ten inbound and outbound states based on state-to-state migration patterns displayed in the table above (click to enlarge), I ranked each US state by

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Christmas in America is good for the Jews…… – Publications – AEI

28 days ago

AEI
Christmas in America is good for the Jews……
…. is the title of Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby’s recent essay, partly in response to a cranky Washington Post op-ed by Julia Ioffe titled “Please don’t wish me ‘Merry Christmas’“, here’s an excerpt of Jeff’s article:
I’m an Orthodox Jew for whom Dec. 25 has zero theological significance. My family doesn’t put up a tree, my kids never wrote letters to Santa, and we don’t go to church for midnight Mass. But while I may not celebrate Christmas, I love seeing my Christian friends and neighbors celebrate it. I like living in a society that makes a big deal out of religious holidays. Far from feeling excluded or oppressed when the sights and sounds of Christmas return each December — OK, November — I find them reassuring. To my mind, they

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Don Boudreaux: Trade has no losers – Publications – AEI

28 days ago

AEI
Don Boudreaux: Trade has no losers
We hear incessant claims that international trade creates “losers” (e.g., job losses in some industries), and those losses thereby justify US protectionist trade measures that restrict trade with foreigners to protect the American “losers.” Not so fast. In his latest article for the American Institute for Economic Research Don Boudreaux argues persuasively that trade has no losers here’s an excerpt:
This “loser” language, however, is completely mistaken. Saying that trade has losers suggests that stopping trade would eliminate such losses. Yet, jobs and businesses in market economies are routinely destroyed even when international trade plays no role. Therefore, even if (contrary to fact) people who lose jobs in market economies are appropriately

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Heather Mac Donald on how ‘disparate impact’ reflects ‘disparate reality’ – Publications – AEI

December 22, 2018

AEI
Heather Mac Donald on how ‘disparate impact’ reflects ‘disparate reality’
From Heather Mac Donald’s article in City Journal “The Future of Disparate Impact“:
The Obama administration held that the only possible reason why blacks are disciplined in school more than whites is teacher and administrator bias. Never mind that teaching is the most “woke” profession in the country after social work, with education schools frantically indoctrinating their students in white privilege and critical race theory.
…..
The alleged beneficiary of a racial double standard in conduct is also a victim. Schools are usually the last chance to civilize children if their family has failed to do so. They accomplish that civilizing mission through the application of a color-blind behavioral code, neutrally

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Top ten most viewed CD posts in 2018 – Publications – AEI

December 20, 2018

AEI
Top ten most viewed CD posts in 2018

Looking back at 2018 with a few weeks to go, these were the ten most viewed CD posts last year based on a Google Analytics analysis of the number of pageviews between January 1 and December 20, 2018.
1. “Why Socialism Always Fails”
Published: March 22, 2016
Pageviews: 100,715
2. “More evidence that it’s very hard to ‘beat the market’ over time, 95% of finance professionals can’t do it”
Published: March 20, 2018
Pageviews: 80,635
3. “There really is no ‘gender wage gap.’ There’s a ‘gender earnings gap’ but ‘paying women well’ won’t close that gap”
Published: July 31, 2017
Pageviews: 56,273
4. “Chart of the day: In 2017, US had largest decline in CO2 emissions in the world for 9th time this century”
Published: July 12, 2018
Pageviews: 46,929
5. “The

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‘Equal Pay Day’ this year was April 10 — the next ‘Equal Occupational Fatality Day’ will be on May 3, 2029 – Publications – AEI

December 18, 2018

AEI
‘Equal Pay Day’ this year was April 10 — the next ‘Equal Occupational Fatality Day’ will be on May 3, 2029

Every year the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) publicizes “Equal Pay Day” to bring public attention to the gender earnings gap. According to the NCPE, “Equal Pay Day” fell this year on April 10, and allegedly represents how far into 2018 women will have to continue working to earn the same income that the men earned in 2017, supposedly for doing the same job. Inspired by Equal Pay Day, I introduced “Equal Occupational Fatality Day” in 2010 to bring public attention to the huge gender disparity in work-related deaths every year in the United States. “Equal Occupational Fatality Day” tells us how many years into the future women will be able to continue to work before they

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