Anheuser-Busch Briefing Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
1615 H St NW, Washington, D.C.
Registration and Breakfast: 8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m.
Courtesy of Wonkblog, this is both an immensely sad chart and a hopeful one. Behind the masses left unemployed is a further group that’s left the labor force apparently for good. Our economy rests on these workers being engaged and productive, and yet all too often their potential is left to waste. But this may be changing. At the far right of the chart, you can see the proportion of individuals in the labor force going up. Whether this trend lasts will be a dominant issue over the next few years.
The Congressional Budget Office crafted this one chart that shows the entire federal government’s spending. What leaps out is how much healthcare is driving this train. If you want to know at one glance what will drive our entire spending debate for the next few years, you could do a lot worse than study this chart.
Nick Bloom’s crack research team at Stanford came up with a tremendously unique index tracking uncertainty in the American economy. As you can see, uncertainty today remains abnormally elevated (and heading in the wrong direction at the moment). The best part of this is that we can point a direct line between political events and uncertainty, which in turn affects economic activity.
Mark Perry, a former NCF Fellow, always knows how to tell a story well using charts and graphs. He doesn’t fail this time either, coming up with a kicker graphic on China’s rise to become a world-beating manufacturer.
The world’s power base is shifting eastward, as this amazing map from McKinsey illustrates based on over a thousand years of history.
If you ever wondered why the Great Recession was such a painful downturn, look no further than this chart on household net worth to understand why. We have yet to see a real economic improvement at home. This chart is courtesy of David Rosenberg and the Business Insider.
This chart from Booz & Co. is practically self-explanatory, but the incredible thing about it is the disconnect it shows between R&D spending and actual innovative outcomes.
Bill McBride at Calculated Risk put together what has to be one of the scariest charts of the year. In it, we see how the American labor market has underperformed relative to past recessions to a shocking degree.
As we see in this chart from recent Bureau of Economic Analysis numbers, what happens in Europe matters a lot to America’s trade picture.
Courtesy of James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute, comes this chart based on data from the St. Louis Fed. Here’s how he describes it:
“Something happened in the 1980s. Other advanced economies were closing in on America in terms of real per capita GDP. Then the gap began to widen. Less regulation. Lower taxes. More markets. More growth. More prosperity. Other nations went this route, too. But few did it like the U.S. of A. Now that model is under fire.”
The Economist decided to examine indicators that went beyond mere money, and this chart is the result. It looks at well-being in countries around the world on indicators such as “money and jobs” and “health and education.” A few clear takeaways emerge. America is a world-beater at creating money and jobs, without a doubt. Yet the difference in well-being between the bottom 20% of the population and those in the top 20% is vast.
Here we see recent economic history all in one chart based on data from Google’s Ngram. This data set pulls every word mentioned in over 5 million books across 500 years. In the period from 1900 to 2008, the mentions of each country name in many ways corresponds to the rise and decline of each of them.
Natural gas production reached unprecedented levels in the past year, as this chart from FreeEnterprise.com shows. Much of this production growth is coming from state and private lands.
[Eduardo:] The Tax Foundation shows how the U.S. corporate tax has maintained a constant rate over the past two decades, while G-7 and OECD nations have steadily reduced their rates. The results of this policy have led to foreign and American investments to expand their operations overseas rather than investing in the United States.
[Eduardo:] Global Innovation Index 2012 Report ranked 141 countries and economies on the basis of their innovation capabilities and their results.
The top five countries were Switzerland, Sweden, Singapore, Finland, and the U.K. The United States overall ranked 10th. In the following categories, the U.S scored: institutions (17), human capital & research (22), infrastructure (14), market sophistication (2), business sophistication (9), knowledge & technology outputs (11), creative outputs (33). Can a national innovation strategy achieve top placement over the next several years?
[Eduardo:] Startup Genome and its partners released a report rating cities with the leading start-up environment around the world. Six of top 10 cities are located in the United States. Is there anything that we can learn from other cities to improve our productivity?
[Eduardo:] There are nearly 5 million small businesses in America, firms with less than 500 employees. On average, they employ 11 workers each and produce $1 million of output annually. They account for 60% of job creation, and nearly half of all employment and economic output.
But, says Citigroup, “the US small-firm sector is under substantial stress.” Small firm employment has declined about 20% relative to large firm employment versus its peak in the mid-1980s — including a 10% drop since the late 1990s. And the small-firm share of output produced by the private sector has declined to 45% in 2010 versus 50% in 1998. And, as the chart at the top shows, the birth rate of new small firms – the number created in a given year relative to the total number of such firms – has fallen to around 8% vs. 10% before the financial crisis and 12% in the 1980s.
[Eduardo:] The Council on Foreign Relations provides some insights on the global R&D expenditures. The United States still leads the world in total R&D spending; however it ranks ninth when economies are weighted. On the other hand, Israel, a country of 8 million invests more money in R&D per GDP than any other country. In addition, Israel boasts the most start-up companies per capita, and the most scientists and technicians per capita.
How does Israel do it? Unlike tax incentives that depend on market, they provide grants that allow the government to closely vet and monitor R&D projects.
Can we learn from Israel’s model? Gregory Tassey, Senior Economist for the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, say that public-private R&D partnerships are critical in an increasingly international marketplace, particularly when it comes to primary and applied research.
We understand that a knowledge-based economy requires the next generation of high-skilled workers and a national commitment to research and development. Therefore, we must innovate within innovations.
[Eduardo:] Dr. John Hussman, President at Hussman Investment Trust provided a summary of regional and national surveys from the Federal Reserve and the Institute of Supply Management (ISM), including the employment component of those reports. The chart shows that new orders, backlogs, real income growth, and even the employment components continue to deteriorate.