YOUR NEXT CAR - 25% of new auto sales in China in the year 2025 are projected to be electric vehicles. China is the world’s largest auto market (source: Bloomberg NEF).
GOT YOUR SHOTS? - 81% of 1,000 small business owners (i.e., firms employing less than 100 workers) who were surveyed in September 2021 say they would require new hires to be vaccinated or they are considering a requirement that new hires be vaccinated (source: Digital.com).
MAY I ASK YOU? - The HIPPA Privacy Rule (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) was enacted in 1996 or 25 years ago. HIPPA does not prohibit a business from asking an employee if they have received a COVID-19 vaccine, but it does regulate how and when a business may use or disclose information about an employee’s vaccination status (source: Department of Health & Human Services).
EXPANDING ITS REACH - House lawmakers introduced legislation on 6/01/21 (“Improving Medicare Coverage Act”) that would lower the age of eligibility for Medicare from 65 to 60. The change would expand Medicare to an estimated 23 million American seniors currently not eligible. Medicare provides health insurance coverage today to 54.1 million Americans aged 65 and older (source: HR # 5165).
MEDICAID IN YOUR STATE - A Supreme Court ruling in 2012 (9 years ago) made the expansion of Medicaid that was written into the Affordable Care Act an option that individual states could add but did not make the expansion mandatory. As of today, 38 states have expanded Medicaid and 12 have not. The 12 are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming (source: ACA).
BACKSTOP - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has taken over an average of 5 ½ failed private pension plans each month over the 5 fiscal years of 2016-2020, a grand total of 336 failed plans. In fiscal year 2020 alone, 69 plans that provide pension benefits to 57,000 current and future retirees were bailed out (source: PBGC).
PRINT AND PURCHASE - The Fed’s balance sheet reached $7.96 trillion as of 10/13/21, up from $3.76 trillion as of 1/08/20. The first US pandemic death occurred in the week before 1/11/20 (source: Federal Reserve).
WHAT THEY REALLY PAID - Over the 9 years 2010-2018 the wealthiest “one one-thousandth of one percent” (0.001% or 0.00001) of US taxpayers (approximately 1,400 tax returns) paid $402 billion in aggregate federal income taxes (over the 9 years) and reported $1.82 trillion in aggregate adjusted gross income (over the 9 years), resulting in an average tax rate of 22.1% (over the 9 years) (source: Internal Revenue Service).
WHEN WILL THEY SPEND IT? - An estimated $3.3 trillion of additional cash has been accumulated in bank accounts by American households since the beginning of the pandemic, i.e., cash that would have previously been spent (and not saved) if the pandemic had not occurred (source: Longview Economics).
ALL GOOD - Since March 2021, 456,000 Americans with student loans have had their college debt forgiven, i.e., discharged, a total of $8.7 billion in loan forgiveness (source: Department of Education).
WE’RE CLOSE TO THAT - The annual operating budget of Saudi Arabia, heavily dependent on the price of oil, requires a breakeven crude oil price of $88 a barrel (source: International Monetary Fund).
BOOM - The Nobel Prize for Economics has been awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences since 1968. This year’s winners (3 Americans) will split the 10 million kronor prize (worth approximately $1.2 million). Alfred Nobel created the annual prizes across multiple disciplines at his death in 1896. Nobel made his fortune by inventing dynamite (source: Nobelprize.org).