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Utah economy

Even before the assassination of Jovenel Moïse, Haiti was in crisis

The assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse at his home threatens to exacerbate Haiti’s already endemic problems.

“Anything that could go wrong seems to go wrong,” said Robert fatton, an expert on Haitian politics at the University of Virginia, and originally from Haiti itself.

The western part of the island of Hispaniola, Haiti is perched in the Caribbean just 600 miles southeast of Florida. He overthrew French rule with a successful revolt, becoming the first republic ruled by blacks in 1804.

The United States has a long history of intervention there: it occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. The United States sent the Marines twice in the past three decades to restore order under President Bill Clinton , then again under President George W. Bush.

Even before Moïse’s assassination on Wednesday morning, Haiti was in crisis: political instability, the lasting effects of a devastating earthquake and cholera epidemic, foreign political interference and gang violence all pervaded wreaks havoc.

“You have this situation where the institutions are not functioning, where the economy is stagnating (…) politics has been extremely volatile. The current government has been challenged by the population. There have been massive accusations of corruption,” Fatton said. “So you name it, in terms of instability and institutional decay, you have it right now in Haiti.”

The country faces a constitutional crisis

Francois Pierre Louis, an expert on Haitian politics at Queens College at the City University of New York, said he was not very surprised to learn of Moses’ murder.

Moses had stripped rival political parties, businessmen and great families of power. “He made a lot of enemies. [The attack] could come from anywhere. And he has alienated too many people, “Pierre-Louis, from Haiti, told NPR.

Moses took office in 2017 after a protracted and contested election. He had never held political office before; he was a businessman who had enriched himself as a fruit exporter.

The opposition said his term should have ended in February, but Moïse said since it took him a year to officially take office, his term should be extended until 2022.

The 53-year-old president had ruled by decree for over a year when he was assassinated, after dissolving parliament and failing to hold legislative elections.

On July 1, the United Nations Security Council issued a declaration expressing “its deep concern regarding the deterioration of political, security and humanitarian conditions in Haiti”.

Moïse also proposed a referendum on changes to Haiti’s constitution.

Among others, the UN Explain, the constitutional changes desired by Moses would allow the president to run for two consecutive five-year terms without a currently stipulated break. It would also effectively abolish the Haitian Senate and establish a vice president who would report to the president, instead of a prime minister. He called for free and fair elections in 2021, when they are scheduled.

But not everyone thinks it’s even possible right now. “Many civil society organizations in Haiti – and I think rightly – claim that you cannot have elections in the current climate, which is one of very high instability and insecurity,” he said. said Fatton.

He still struggles to recover from a crippling earthquake

In 2010, Haiti was devastated by an earthquake, the main shock of which shook the ground for nearly 30 seconds. At least 220,000 people are estimated to have died and some 1.5 million people have been displaced. “About 300,000 were injured and much of the country was buried under tons of twisted metal and concrete,” according to NPR. reported.

The earthquake destroyed Haiti’s infrastructure. And this infrastructure has not yet been really rebuilt.

“People are still traumatized by the earthquake. They have lost members of their family, ”says Pierre-Louis. “They couldn’t rebuild because they don’t have an income. And then you have generations of people who are gone.”

A devastating cholera epidemic

This earthquake was followed by another deadly force: cholera.

As Jason Beaubien of NPR reported in 2016, “UN peacekeepers inadvertently brought cholera to Haiti in 2010 just after the devastating earthquake. The epidemic, which is still ongoing, sickened nearly 800,000 people and killed nearly 9,000. Before 2010, cholera had not been reported in Haiti for decades. “

The UN apologized for its role in the cholera epidemic in 2016. Yet, as Pierre-Louis notes: “People were not compensated for the loss of family members who were supporting family.

Gangs are multiplying

Gangs have become a scourge in the capital Port-au-Prince. A recent UN report mentionned 5,000 people had been displaced by gang violence in the first 10 days of June alone.

“The violence has left several people dead or injured, as rival gangs fight to exert control over populated areas like Martissant, Cité-Soleil and Bel Air. Hundreds of homes and small businesses have also been set on fire,” said UN police stations were also attacked by armed assailants.

Some areas of Port-au-Prince are not even accessible because gangs control them, Fatton says, reflecting the government’s inability to govern. “And these areas are very close, in fact, to the seats of power, to the presidential palace, to the Legislative Assembly,” he said.

Haiti has yet to deliver vaccine doses as COVID rises

Haiti is the poorest country in Latin America and the Caribbean, and is one of the poorest countries in the world, according to at the World Bank.

Almost half of the population needs immediate food aid, according to to the United Nations World Food Program.

Hurricane Matthew hit the country in 2016, further damaging the country’s economy. More than 90 percent of the Haitian population is extremely vulnerable to natural disasters, according to the World Bank.

The country has seen a recent resurgence of COVID-19. It is also one of the few countries that has yet to administer a dose of the vaccine, Reuters reports.

“It’s a climate of insecurity,” says Fatton.

There is a power struggle

It is not yet clear who is responsible for the murder of Moses. But Pierre-Louis believes that a possible narrative in his murder is the fight between the incoming elite of Moses and the old elite.

“He was trying to dispossess several people in Haiti who have long been well known as businessmen in Haiti,” he said. “You always have that in Haiti, where when a person becomes president, that’s how the person tries to accumulate wealth: by using the resources of the state, by using other means to dispossess others. who already have wealth and power.

Yet Fatton says an assassination is a new phenomenon in modern Haitian politics. While Haiti’s first independent ruler was assassinated in 1806, such violence has not been typical in the country’s modern era.

“It was a very brutal and shocking event,” says Fatton.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To learn more, visit https://www.npr.org.
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Utah economy

Does the media create sexism against women in politics? – News from Saint-Georges

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File photo courtesy of USU Extension, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Research over the past decades indicates that female politicians continue to be disadvantaged in the way they are covered by the media, and that women are often discouraged from entering politics due to sexist media reporting.

File photo by Unsplash, St. George News

To determine how female political candidates were represented in the Utah media, researchers at the Utah State University Utah Women and Leadership Project assessed media coverage from 1995 to 2020. News articles were collected from The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News, Weber’s Standard-Examiner. County and The Daily Herald in Utah County. For analysis, 383 articles were reviewed.

According to Susan Madsen, founding director of the Leadership Project and one of the study’s five authors, the research did not include a benchmarking of media focused on Utah’s men running for office, but each section of the study provides a comparison with other studies. which focused on men.

“Our research may help Utah residents and the media become more aware of gendered language that could negatively impact female applicants, as most people still view ‘leadership’ as a male trait or activity.” , she said.

The study’s research was divided into 12 areas, in order of frequency of mention: candidate background, viability, general tone, mention of gender, leadership traits, male versus female issues, family life, male versus female traits. , physical appearance, personality traits, sexist comments and level of government. Highlights of the research follow.

File photo by Unsplash, St. George News

More than men, women benefited from coverage focused on their background, family life and personality. The media tended to emphasize the lack of viability of the candidates, focusing more on “horse racing” or the predictive aspects of the results of their campaigns.

One politician said: “When a woman is in a leadership position, we expect her to be tough. However, if she is too harsh, she looks “witchy.” But it cannot be too soft, because then it is labeled as “not strong enough for the job.” This is consistent with research indicating that the perceived characteristics of women conflict with the demands of political leadership.

Published research suggests that male candidates are much less likely than women to be referenced by their gender, as men are accepted as the norm in politics, while women are viewed as historical figures at best – or at worst. as abnormal. Repeatedly emphasizing gender underscores the perceived scarcity of female politicians in Utah.

“Compassion issues” are called female issues which focus on people-related topics such as poverty, education, health care, child care, environment, social issues (including LGBTQ) and issues related to women’s experiences (e.g. abortion, violence against women / domestic violence, gender quotas).

Conversely, men’s issues focus on “hard issues”, such as foreign policy, foreign affairs, natural resources, armed forces / military, budget and finance, taxes and the economy. In addition, the media more frequently reported the candidates’ personal information, including marital and parental coverage. In contrast, male applicants are more likely to be described based on their occupation, experience or achievement.

File photo by Unsplash, St. George News

When a candidate got emotional, the Utah media called him out, often in a way that suggested women need to bottle their emotions and bury themselves in their jobs to be tough enough. One candidate was described as “disastrously tearful” and “involuntary”.

Physical appearance was identified in 52 articles, with women’s clothing, age and race being mentioned most frequently. There were also references to her shoes, hair, makeup, height, weight, fitness, beauty or physical attractiveness, and appearance of tired, stressed, or energized. Focusing on a candidate’s personal style and attributes, but not providing comparable ratings for men, diminishes the way women are viewed, ignoring their substance and leadership abilities.

Media coverage has shown subtle forms of sexist language, including things like ambitious, fiery, or compassionate, which only reinforce gender stereotypes. Women tend to be seen as ice queens, grandmothers, mothers or “steel in a velvet glove”. Such comments reduce a candidate’s credibility, respectability and sympathy.

Sheryl Allen, former Davis County state lawmaker, said women have a different perspective and if we are to have good government we need a diversity of opinions and expertise.

Madsen said it was in Utah’s best interests to prepare and support more women in political leadership positions and to provide them with more equitable and representative media coverage.

“The research clearly shows that by doing this, we can uplift our residents and strengthen our businesses, communities and the state as a whole,” she said.

Written by JULENE REESE, USU Extension.

The other authors of the study are Rebecca B. West, Lindsey Phillips, Trish Hatch and April Townsend. The full study is available online. You can find more information about the UWLP here.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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Utah economy

Farmers’ markets strengthen the local economy, a sense of community; Double Up program helps SNAP beneficiaries – St George News

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Farmers’ Market in St George, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Kat Puzey, St George News / Cedar City News

FUNCTIONALITY – Have you shopped at your local farmer’s market? Otherwise, you are missing out! There is nothing like the taste of fresh, locally grown produce.

Juicy tomatoes, perfectly ripe peaches, and fragrant fresh herbs aren’t the only perk of shopping at farmers’ markets. Your family and community reap even more benefits, including:

  • Supporting local producers helps strengthen the local economy by preserving farms and small ranches and creating jobs.
  • Locally produced foods are often of better quality and freshness because they don’t travel long distances before reaching your table.
  • There is a sense of community at your farmers market! Get to know your local producers and their business. Find out what products they offer and what motivates them.
  • Farmers’ markets are just plain fun! Many offer a variety of local produce beyond produce, such as flowers, handmade crafts, herbs, and body care products.

In addition to the benefits listed above, many farmers markets also accept SNAP EBT Advantages. Here is how it works:

Step 1 – Bring your SNAP EBT Horizon card to an information booth at a participating farmers market or farm stand before shopping.

Step 2 – Decide how much money you want to spend. The stand attendant will swipe your card for the requested amount and give you wooden tokens worth $ 1 each which you can use to purchase food from vendors in the market. You can use the tokens immediately or keep them for another day.

Not all markets accept SNAP EBT benefits, so it is important to check with the market before you go. You can find more information and a list of participating markets in by clicking here.

Another great benefit of shopping at farmers markets is the Double Up Food Bucks program. See the flyers below for more information.

Flyer courtesy of USU Extension Create Better Health Blog, St. George News | Click to enlarge
Flyer courtesy of USU Extension Create Better Health Blog, St. George News | Click to enlarge

With all of these fresh produce in your hands, you’ll need some delicious recipes. Click here to download our free Farmers Market cookbook.

One of my favorite recipes from the book is Lemon Roasted Asparagus. The full recipe can be found on this extension USU Create Better Health blog post.

Written by CANDI MERRITT, Certified Nutrition Education Ambassador.

This article was originally published on April 28, 2021 on the USU extension Create a blog for better health.

Copyright © CreateBetterHealth.org, all rights reserved.

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Utah economy

Fewer people of working age can slow the economy. Will it increase wages?

In this May 26, 2021 photo, a sign for workers hangs from a store window along Main Street in Deadwood, SD. is reaching retirement age and thousands of people have died from the coronavirus. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

WASHINGTON (AP) – As the U.S. labor market rebounds this summer and the need for workers intensifies, employers likely won’t have a chance to relax anytime soon. Labor shortages are likely to persist for years after the economy quickly reopens in its growing pains.

Consider that the number of people of working age did something last year that it had never done in the history of the country: it went down.

Census Bureau estimates showed that the U.S. population aged 16 to 64 fell 0.1% in 2020 – a slight decline but the first decline of any kind after decades of steady increases. This reflected a sharp drop in immigration, the retirements of the vast baby boom generation and a slowdown in the birth rate. The size of the 16-64 age group has also been shrunk last year by thousands of deaths from the coronavirus.

A year earlier, in 2019, the working-age population had essentially plateaued.

It is not entirely clear how demographic trends will play out once the pandemic is completely over. But even if the working-age population begins to grow again, it will almost certainly do so at an anemic rate. A continued decline in this population, or even a lukewarm increase, would pose a problem for the economy. Healthy economic expansion has always depended on robust population growth to fuel consumer spending, justify business expansion, and boost corporate profits. Without a large influx of new workers, growth could stagnate.

Yet some economists foresee a silver lining for individuals: Fewer working-age people could force companies to be more competitive in hiring and retaining employees. And that could mean higher wages, better opportunities and other incentives to retain and attract workers, a trend already evident in the June jobs report released by the government on Friday. Average hourly wages increased 3.6% from a year ago, faster than the pace before the pandemic.

“The workers would fare better than the economy as a whole,” said Manoj Pradhan, founder of Talking Heads Marco, an economics research firm and former Morgan Stanley economist.

If wages were to rise sharply, it could also help reduce the vast inequality that increasingly separates the wealthiest Americans from the rest and leaves lower-income households struggling to pay rent, food, and child care. children and other essential expenses.

With slow population growth, economic expansion would depend on the ability of companies to make their workers more productive. An increase in productivity, often achieved through investments in labor-saving technologies, could further increase wages. The standard of living would increase even if the economy struggled to grow at what is normally considered a healthy pace.

Last year, the number of legal and unauthorized immigrants entering the United States fell for the fourth year in a row to less than 500,000 – less than half of the 2016 level – according to calculations by William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. The death toll jumped 8% to more than 3 million, largely reflecting the impact of the pandemic.

A fundamental long-term drag on the working-age population is the exit of the huge baby boom generation from the workforce. The number of people aged 65 and over is likely to increase by 30% over the next decade, Frey said.

“We’ve never really been in this type of situation before,” he said. “There just aren’t enough (of young adults) to replace the people who are leaving.”

The situation has been exacerbated this year by a wave of early retirements. About 2.6 million people who worked before the pandemic now say they are retired and not looking for work, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Strong increases in stock prices and home values ​​despite the deep pandemic recession have allowed many older Americans to exit the workforce earlier.

One of them is Jeff Ferguson, a physician with Eli Lilly & Co. in Indianapolis, who retired in April at age 59 after 22 years in the business.

Having worked from home during the pandemic, Ferguson said, made the transition easier. But it was also encouraged by its strong investment gains and the strengthening of the local real estate market despite the economic uncertainty.

“I probably retired with a tailwind rather than retiring with a headwind,” he said. “If I had sensed a headwind, I might have delayed it.

The pandemic has also given him a new perspective on life and retirement. Ferguson plans to travel across the country with his wife, a pediatrician, and catch up with loved ones.

Gad Levanon, an economist at the Conference Board, said the decline in the working-age population will be particularly evident among Americans without a college degree. As aging baby boomers retire, they are being replaced by younger workers who are more likely to be university graduates. Blue collar workers – anyone without a four-year degree – will become rarer. This trend is likely to create labor shortages in industries such as manufacturing, construction, retail, restaurants and hotels.

Levanon estimates that the number of university graduates will continue to grow by around 2% per year, despite the population slowdown, while those without a university degree will decline. This could make it more difficult for future college graduates to find jobs that match their level of education. Businesses can also inflate their job demands, perhaps requiring bachelor’s degrees for jobs that previously didn’t require them.

“The number of people willing to work in blue collar and manual service jobs is declining,” Levanon said.

Wages are already rising faster for low-paid workers. For the lowest-paid quarter of workers, hourly wages rose 4.2% in May from a year earlier, according to Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. That’s more than double the percentage increase these workers received in the four years after the Great Recession, from 2010 to 2014, and more than a quarter of the richest workers.

Scott Seaholm, CEO of Universal Metal Products, a 285-person metal stamping company near Cleveland, is surrounded by an aging population and is desperate to get young people interested in a career in manufacturing. A study found that about 59% of the population in Lake County, Ohio, where he is based, was made up of working-age adults in 2015, Seaholm said. This proportion fell to 57% last year and is expected to reach 54% in 2025.

“It’s quite shocking,” he said. “There’s no one there to work. It’s a little ugly.”

More than half of the workers at its three factories are over 55, he said, with less than one in five aged 20 to 34. He has an 81-year-old employee who still works in a punch press.

Seaholm’s company is part of a group that encourages high school students to consider factory jobs. He opens his factories to high school students once a year on “Industry Day” and tries to bring in their parents too.

“They want Johnny and Judy to go to college,” he said. “It’s all locked up in their heads.”

Globally, the workforce in most other countries is aging as well, including China, which once seemed to offer an endless supply of workers. Japan’s population declined for a decade.

Pradhan said this trend could potentially benefit American workers. Since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s, hundreds of millions of people in China, Eastern Europe and India have joined the global workforce, thus maintaining the wages of less skilled workers and prices under control.

Now the aging of much of the world could reverse these trends, Pradhan and Charles Goodhart, a former economist at the Bank of England, wrote last year in a book called “The Great Demographic Reversal: Aging Societies, Waning Inequality, and an Inflation Resumes. “

Pradhan notes that in Japan, whose population has shrunk by around 1% per year for a decade, economic growth has averaged only 1% per year. But that means the growth per person was 2%.

If the United States could achieve that level of efficiency when its population grew only 0.5% per year, its economy could still grow at a healthy rate of 2.5% per year, Pradhan said.

Yet over time, he and other economists fear that slow population growth means less consumer spending and a less vibrant economy.

“Workers generate innovation and ideas – they invent things,” said Kasey Buckles, professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame. “When you have a shrinking working-age population, you have fewer people doing this.”

__

AP Business Writer Anne D’Innocenzio contributed to this New York report.

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Utah economy

Katherine Heigl joins Wild Horse And Burro Rally at the Utah Capitol – Deadline

Utah’s wild Onaqui horses have a key ally in actress Katherine Heigl, who joined several groups today in the Utah state capital to call attention to a crucial looming roundup. for animals.

Heigl, joined by Animal Wellness Action, the Center for a Humane Economy, the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, Wild Horse Photo Safaris, the Red Birds Trust and the Cloud Foundation, have come together to raise awareness of the plight of horses, which face a massive helicopter raid from July 12.

The roundup. the groups say they will send 80 percent of the herd to BLM corrals, injuring or even killing some of the frightened animals. While the horses will be offered for adoption, groups say some will end up in foreign slaughterhouses.

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The Federal Bureau of Land Management, which will handle the roundup, says an overpopulation of horses in the Grand Bassin has left insufficient fodder.

Heigl, a Utah resident best known for her work in the TV series Grey’s Anatomy and now featured in Netflix Alley of fireflies, and leaders of the groups involved, spoke to rally participants before heading straight to the pastures where Onaqui’s wild horses roam free and roam.

On July 1, President Joe Biden’s Bureau of Land Management, dubbed in a press release announcing that they would proceed with the roundups.

“We are doing everything we can to pressure President Joe Biden to stop the roundup and eradication of the iconic wild horses of Onaqui in Utah and call on the president to implement a course correction before he quits. ‘It’s not too late,’ said a statement from Heigl, herself a horse owner.

Erika Brunson, philanthropist and member of the World Council for Animals, also called for an end to the planned roundups.

“With over 52,000 feral horses and burros currently in government facilities, it’s time to stop the roundups and focus on a strong cruelty-free fertility control program using PZP,” Brunson said. “Currently only 1% of the population is approached, which is ridiculous.”

Descended from horses used by pioneers and native tribes in the late 1800s, Onaqui horses are known for their rugged beauty and ability to thrive in the harsh desert environment of the Great Basin of western Utah. . They are a favorite among photographers and wild horse enthusiasts and are considered the most popular and photographed wild herd in the country.

Visit the campaign website at www.SaveTheOnaqui.org for more details.

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Utah economy

Utah Company Develops Sustainable Bitcoin Mining Method; New home sales drop 5.9%

Crypto Coin

A microgrid company in Woods Cross, Utah, may have a solution to Elon Musk’s sustainability challenge for Bitcoin mining.

“Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we think it has a bright future, but it can’t come at the cost of the environment,” Musk tweeted. “Tesla has suspended purchases of vehicles using Bitcoin (because) we are concerned about the increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of all fuels. “

CleanSpark is a company that uses microgrid technology to improve the efficiency of Bitcoin mining operations and other applications. The existing network supplies electricity from a power plant to users. Microgrids combine the traditional grid with solar, wind, fuel cell and other green technologies to balance the load requirements between various sources with the aim of ensuring clean energy at a good price.
CleanSpark.com

CleanSpark uses microgrid technology to improve the efficiency of Bitcoin mining operations and other applications.

The existing grid supplies electricity from a power plant to users. For most people, connecting to the network is as easy as inserting a plug into a wall outlet.

Microgrids combine the traditional grid with solar, wind, fuel cell and other green technologies to balance the load requirements between various sources with the aim of ensuring clean energy at a good price.

Microgrids could be a suitable response to growing concerns about the energy source used in Bitcoin mining. The system configuration and the software necessary to run it can be designed to meet specific demands, including future growth.

CleanSpark is also a Bitcoin miner and recently invested in new energy efficient equipment to increase its hash rate and reduce power consumption.

The company is publicly traded, but so far it is only covered by two analysts. CleanSpark shares recently hit $ 16.51 per share. The consensus price target, or fair value estimate, is $ 47.50.

Competitors include Tata Power Solar, Longi, Acme Climate Solution and d.light design.

A report from Navigant Research, a company based in Boulder, Colo., Said the modular microgrid market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 28% between 2020 and 2029.

“Although they are only a minority of the market when measured by peak capacity, modular microgrids have the potential to constitute the majority of systems deployed over the next decade,” said Peter Asmus. , Navigant Research Director, in a report. “Adopting a modular approach should help dramatically increase microgrid deployments by commoditizing off-the-shelf microgrid offerings that can be replicated, thereby reducing design and deployment costs. “

The Crypto Climate Accord, based on the Paris Climate Agreement, is a private sector initiative aimed at decarbonizing the cryptocurrency industry.

“For climate advocates, we can eliminate emissions from a rapidly growing source of electrical charge,” the agreement says. “For the clean tech industry, we can bring in a whole new class of customers with significant demand for low carbon solutions. For the crypto industry, we can help support the widespread adoption of crypto by making the industry more sustainable.

It is signed by the major companies in the sector.

The Center for Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge has estimated that 39% of the energy used by crypto miners is powered by renewable resources, mostly hydroelectric.

In a related case, the US Department of Commerce banned six Chinese producers of raw materials and components for the solar industry amid allegations of human rights violations against ethnic minorities.

The action could boost the U.S. solar industry.

Logo of the Association of Solar Energy Industries
The solar energy industry in the United States has grown on average 42% annually over the past decade and now employs about 230,000 people in about 10,000 companies in all 50 states, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
seia.org

The Solar Energy Industries Association, a Washington-based trade group, said the industry has experienced average annual growth of 42% over the past decade and now employs about 230,000 people at about 10,000 companies in all 50 states.

The industry has the capacity to deliver 100 gigawatts, or enough electricity to power 18.6 million homes, the trade group said.

At midday on Friday, Bitcoin changed hands to $ 33,341.32, down 2.91% in the past 24 hours but up 15.08% for the year. The 24 hour range is $ 33,011.86 to $ 35,200.90. The all-time high is $ 64,829.14. The current market capitalization is $ 624.99 billion, CoinDesk reported.

Pulse Market

The warning signs of the housing market seem to be glaring:

– The US Department of Commerce said new home sales fell 5.9% on an annualized basis.
– House prices are at an all time high.
– The National Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes had declined for four consecutive months.
– Consumer confidence has declined.
– Inflation is on the rise.
– Commodity prices soared as demand increased, pushing up the cost of new homes.

The housing market is a key part of the recovery as the economy emerges from the COVID-19 shutdown. The negative indicators raise a fundamental question: is the housing boom over?

Lisa Shalett, investment director for wealth management at Morgan Stanley, says no.

“We believe that supply disruptions and rapid price appreciation have only interrupted buyers’ confidence and buying behavior in what is expected to be an above-average race for housing. “she said in a research report for the New York investment bank. “In our opinion, the US real estate market has a solid foundation, arguably the best in decades. “

Shalett said many household balance sheets are strong and Millennials have entered their prime of starting a family. Morgan Stanley research estimated that 1.2 million new owner households were created in the past year.

“Anecdotal evidence suggests that the pandemic may have shifted behavioral priorities towards deurbanization and remote working, creating lasting support for housing demand,” the analyst said.

Construction of new homes is about 10 years behind schedule due, in part, to lessons learned from the collapse in the subprime mortgage market that triggered the 2007-2009 recession, the deepest since the Great Depression from the 1930s.

Housing supply growth is now nearly 60% lower than annual household formation, an imbalance that is likely to support single-family home prices, Shalett said.

Lending standards were tightened during the coronavirus pandemic, but have now been relaxed.

“It could help offset rising house prices and mortgage rates,” she said. “With the Federal Reserve last week giving the green light to all major US banks that have undergone its annual stress test, homebuyers could expect even more credit availability.”

The Federal Reserve, the country’s central bank, examined 23 major banks and concluded that each had strong capital reserves and could continue to lend to households and businesses during a severe recession.

“Over the past year, the Federal Reserve has carried out three stress tests with several different hypothetical recessions and all of them have confirmed that the banking system is strongly positioned to support the ongoing recovery,” said Randal K. Quarles, vice -President of supervision, in a press release. Press release.

The Fed’s stress test examines a bank’s resilience by estimating losses, income and capital levels – a cushion against possible losses – and “what if scenarios” over the next nine quarters. Sales of existing homes fell in all regions except the Midwest in May, reported the National Association of Realtors, a Washington-based trading group.

The median price of existing homes of all types in May was $ 350,300, up 23.6% from the same period a year ago. The total housing stock stood at 1.23 million units in May, up 7% from the April total, but down 20.6% from a year ago.

“Home sales declined moderately in May and are now approaching pre-pandemic activity,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR, said in a report. “Lack of inventory continues to be the main factor holding back home sales, but declining affordability is simply excluding some first-time buyers from the market. “

The outlook, however, is encouraging.

“Supply is expected to improve,” he said, “which will give buyers more options and help lower record asking prices for existing homes.”

The National Mortgage Bankers Association, a Washington-based trade group, said loan applications fell 6.9% for the week ended June 25 from the previous week, reaching their lowest level in about 18 month.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration fell to 3.19% from 3.21%.

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Utah economy

Beehive Archive — Pleasure Cruising: The Galloway-Stone Expedition

In September 1909, Julius Stone, an Ohio financier, hired Utah adventurer Nathaniel Galloway to take him on a boat trip on the Green and Colorado rivers. It was a time when navigating the rugged and isolated canyons of western rivers was an arduous necessity for scientists and geographers. But Stone and Galloway’s river voyage was the first for the sheer pleasure of boating, and signaled an emerging interest in the idea of ​​discovering remote landscapes just for the fun of it.

Inspired by John Wesley Powell’s travels on these same rivers, Stone was passionate about the wild outdoors. Galloway was a prospector and trapper from Vernal, Utah, known for his experience on the Yampa and Green rivers. Galloway guided the journey and Stone funded it, including building boats built to Galloway’s new design. These flat-bottomed boats were facing forward, so the rower had better control of the vessel and could see – and maneuver through – potential obstacles. Previous boat designs had rowers rowing the backs downstream, resulting in frequent flips.

Galloway, Stone, and a small group of men set off on four boats from Green River, Wyoming. Although the trip was made for fun, it was not without hardships. The men were relatively inexperienced and had to carry their boats and cargo around unmanageable rapids. Only Galloway sailed efficiently through the rough waters, rowing in the current rather than trying to overpower it. Yet the men marveled at their awe-inspiring surroundings and devoted themselves to enjoying the beauty and magnificence of the river. Crossing canyons, catching fish, and exploring distant landscapes left a lasting impression on the group.

The Galloway-Stone expedition ended five weeks later in Needles, California. Pleasure travel foreshadowed the popularity that river racing would enjoy in the 20th century and the impact it would have on the Utah economy. Tourists paid to appreciate the natural beauty of rivers. By the late 1920s, shopping tours were organized from Vernal – and Galloway’s boat design was the preferred choice of river guides until the 1950s.

The Beehive Archive is a project of Utah Humanities, produced in partnership with Utah Public Radio and KCPW Radio with funding from the Lawrence T. and Janet T. Dee Foundation. Find sources and past episodes on Utah Stories from the Beehive Archives.

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Utah economy

Overcoming Michigan regulatory barriers – InsideSources

With the Michigan government lifting all COVID-19 orders on public gatherings and mask requirements, the state economy is poised to recover from public health restrictions imposed by the government. It comes after Governor Gretchen Whitmer unilaterally issued nearly 200 Executive orders suspend, review and modify the main public policies having a direct impact on the behavior of the 10 million citizens and state enterprises. However, this is only the beginning of the regulatory challenge for Michigan small and medium business owners and entrepreneurs planning to fully reopen or start a new business.

Michigan is only one of eight states to report economic status decline above 5 percent in 2020. In addition, the state’s economic output declined 5.4 percent, from $ 471.6 billion in 2019 to $ 446.2 billion in 2020. unemployment rate for May 2021 remained 27% higher than before the February 2020 pandemic, and total employment is down 5.6% over the same period.

Although there is evidence, the Biden administration plans to increase regulation and raising taxes on U.S. businesses, that doesn’t mean state and local governments are powerless to ease potentially negative federal regulatory barriers to entrepreneurship and economic growth at the state level. And for Michigan, a recent study undertaken by Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Libertarian Institute, offers insight into what state entrepreneurs face when it comes to overcoming state and local government regulatory hurdles when starting a new business.

A useful output of this study is the Entrepreneur Regulatory Barriers Index, an empirical calculation based on 17 variables in four general categories of regulatory restrictions. The variables (converted to a standardized score using a formula) measure the restrictions and costs imposed on new businesses in each state, while the four categories consist of small business views (three variables), professional licenses (two variables), other entry barriers (five variables) and costs created by regulation (seven variables).

So how does Michigan stack up against other states in this index? Unfortunately, not well. Michigan ranks 36th out of 50 states, at the bottom of the third quartile. What stands out are the results of the first category – small business views on regulation. While the Michigan government scores relatively high (on a choice scale of “F to A +”) (“B” among respondents on the “ease of starting a business” variable, the state has a lot of leeway. of progression for two variables, “labor and hiring laws” (“D +”) and “licensing laws” (“C-”). Regarding the category “other barriers to entry”, Michigan requires a “certificate of need” for the healthcare industry and is a liquor license quota and alcohol control state. “Whatever happens in Washington, state and local governments can do a lot to improve the business climate by repealing low-value and harmful regulations,” says Cato’s Edwards.

A starting point for the Michigan state government could be Analyzing state professional licensing laws to assess which professions need public regulation, and if so, what type (or “level”) of public regulation is necessary and effective. Such regulatory review of licensing requirements could reduce the cost of entry (a “barrier to entry”) into a trade, and potentially increase competition and lower the cost of service to the consumer.

A second initiative would be to consider the creation of a “regulatory sandbox” at the state level. In March 2021, Utah became the first state adopt bipartite legislation creating an “all-inclusive” or all-industry regulatory sandbox. A regulatory sandbox is a defined environment where innovative companies can safely experiment under the oversight and guidance of regulatory bodies. By reducing the initial regulatory costs for entering entrepreneurs, these early stage companies have the opportunity to become competitors capable of handling normal compliance costs, after which they “step out” of the regulatory sandbox. After the pandemic, this all-inclusive regulatory sandbox initiative would be a proposal that deserves serious consideration by the Michigan legislature.

In September 2020, Yelp Economic impact report estimated that 60% of businesses closed due to COVID-19 state and local government regulatory requirements would be closed permanently. There is no reason to believe that Michigan has not experienced similar business closure rates as the rest of the country. Now is the time for the Michigan Legislature and Governor Whitmer to come up with innovative bipartisan public policy initiatives to help the small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs in the state who have been the businesses hardest hit by the effects of COVID- 19. Over the longer term, Michigan needs to develop its reputation as a destination state for entrepreneurs, and a more supportive regulatory environment will go a long way in achieving this.

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Utah economy

Boise teams face off in the final of the Wild West region youth football tournament

BOISE, Idaho – The Regional Far West The youth soccer tournament features seven boys and girls divisions, 190 teams, and on Sunday two teams from Boise made it to the final.

Boise has hosted teams from 14 different states in the west, tournament officials tell us the tournament brings together around 10,000 people and generates between $ 8 million and $ 10 million for the local economy.

“The excitement this generates is just amazing, just go talk to one of the local restaurants or hotels or one of the local businesses that have received a huge hit and after what we have been facing the month last one is fantastic, ”said Craig Warner of Idaho Youth. Football. “The crowd that we just had, I guess some of them don’t even have kids in football, but they just came to support the home team.”

In the U-14 boys’ final, the Boise Boise faced Los Angeles Total Football Academy as the Boise boys attempted to become the first boys’ team to win this tournament.

The Timbers scored first on a nice goal from Grayson Clark, but LA would respond with two goals to take a 2-1 lead before halftime.

In the second half, the Timbers tied, but three consecutive LA goals were too hard to overcome and LA beat Boise 5-3, but the Timbers still had a great run in this tournament.

“For these guys to go through a full regional roster like they’ve done winning every group game, quarterfinal and semi-final against some powerful states is a statement in itself,” coach Eric Simmonsen said. . You haven’t had one last year as a U-13, they haven’t had such an impressive Cup of State.

The tournament also showcased the talent of football here in the Treasure Valley as the U-19/20 Boise Thorns women’s team and Boise Timbers U-18 advanced to the semi-finals before losing.

“Because you have the best teams from 14 states here, you have a lot of college coaches from different divisions and they can watch these teams,” Warner said. “They can be identified right here in their local town without having to travel halfway across the country.”

Even though the loss to the U-14 Boys hurt, coach Simmonsen believes this group has a good chance of becoming the first boys’ team to win the regional championship, but he also feels they might have to face off against it. the LA club. in the years to come.

“They had 5 or 6 more chances to win the very first men’s regional championship, I think that is a testament to them and what they faced during those times,” said Simmonsen. “I think it’s a good message to people on the whole that unusual times create things that are pretty rare and sometimes it’s okay to be rare.”

The Boise Thorns U-16 girls were beaten by Utah’s La Roca 2-1 in the championship game as the team nearly became the second women’s team to win this tournament.

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Utah economy

How low socioeconomic status influences disparities in diabetes care

Various socio-demographic characteristics fuel the disparities observed in pediatric diabetes care. At the 81st American Diabetes Association Virtual Science Session, Ananta Addala, DO, MPH, Pediatric Endocrinologist and Medical Scientist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., Addressed the role of socioeconomic status in these disparities. .

Addala noted that previous research has shown that minority patients often receive poorer quality health care than their peers. The reasons for the differences in care include environmental factors and discrimination. Clinical judgment on the appropriateness of care as well as patient preferences have also been seen as contributing to the difference in the quality of care, but have long been noted as not contributing to the disparities, but Addala believes both do. Along with the management of diabetes, one of the main places where disparities are seen is access to diabetes technologies such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors. Diabetes technology has been shown to improve hemoglobin A1c levels, especially in pediatric cases. Children with low family income as well as public or uninsured insurance have higher hemoglobin A1c levels, indicating less access to diabetes technology.

She then discusses the results of a study comparing insulin pump use and continuous glucose monitoring by socioeconomic status in 2 cohorts: 1 in the United States and Germany, at 2 different times, 2010 -2012 and 2016-2018. The German cohort was selected because it represented an economy similar to that of the United States. In both cohorts, the researchers found an increase in the use of insulin pumps between the 2 periods. However, the American cohort showed that significantly fewer patients from the lowest socioeconomic group used pumps than those from the highest economic group, while in the German cohort, negligible differences were noted between socioeconomic groups. economic. Ongoing blood glucose monitoring saw a significant increase in use for both cohorts, but as with insulin pumps, the US cohort showed significant disparities in use by socioeconomic status. In Germany there was very little difference between them. Therefore, hemoglobin A1c levels are significantly higher in the lowest socioeconomic status level in the United States. Children at the lowest socioeconomic level in Germany also had higher hemoglobin A1c levels than their wealthier peers, but the difference was much less significant.

Insurance may be at the root of these disparities, Addala noted. She discussed a recent comment that showed the variability in the requirements for a child in a Medicaid program to get continuous blood sugar monitoring. Some states like Ohio and Wisconsin do not offer specific requirements for the technology. Others, like Utah and New York State, will only cover the technology for patients with type 1 diabetes who also perform self-administered finger-prick blood sugar tests at least 4 times a day. A final factor of disparities is the prejudices that some providers may have towards patients with lower socioeconomic status. A meta-analysis found that providers often had less empathy for patients from lower socioeconomic groups.

Reference

1. Addala A. The state of disparities in the management of pediatric diabetes: the role of socio-economic status. American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions 2021; June 26, 2021; virtual. Accessed June 26, 2021.

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