LINKS: February 14th, 2017
(1/12) Happy Valentine’s Day. First, some very geeky charts to share with your Valentine. Next, #DataViz on Valentines Day via Fundivo. And from the Census, Valentines Day by the numbers, bulleted below.
- 1,364: Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced primarily chocolate and cocoa products in 2014, employing 42,043 people. California led the nation with 151 of these establishments, followed by New York with 119.
- 493: Number of U.S. establishments that manufactured primarily non-chocolate confectionary products in 2014. These establishments employed 19,213 people. California led the nation in this category with 58 establishments.
- $16.0 billion: The estimated value of chocolate and confectionary product shipments for manufacturing establishments in 2015.
- $10.1 billion: The estimated value of non-chocolate confectionery product shipments for manufacturing establishments in 2015.
- 3,217: Number of confectionery and nut stores in the United States in 2014.
- $3.4 billion: The value of U.S. imports of chocolate and confectionery in 2015. Canada was the top source of U.S. chocolate imports that year with $1.3 billion.
- 13,765: The number of florist establishments nationwide in 2014. These businesses employed 61,170 people.
- $131 million: The value of imports of bouquet cut flowers and buds in February 2016. Of that, the value of imports of fresh cut roses was $72 million — the highest category of flowers.
- 22,655: The number of jewelry stores in the United States in 2014. Jewelry stores offer engagement, wedding and other rings to couples of all ages. In February 2016, these stores sold an estimated $2.6 billion in merchandise.
- 2,143: The number of jewelry and silverware manufacturing establishments.
- $6.7 billion: The estimated value of jewelry and silverware products shipped for manufacturing establishments in the United States in 2015.
- 29.7 and 27.8 years: Median age at first marriage in 2015 for men and women, respectively.
- 47.5%: The overall percentage of people 15 and older who reported being married, except those separated.
- 31.9: The provisional rate of marriages per 1,000 people performed in Nevada during 2014. So many couples tie the knot in the Silver State that it ranked number one nationally in marriage rates. Hawaii ranked second with a marriage rate of 17.7.
- 2.1 million: The provisional number of marriages that took place in the United States (excluding Georgia) in 2014. That breaks down to about 5,800 a day.
- 19.1%: Among people 15 and older who have been married, the percentage of men and women who have been married twice as of 2015. About 5.4 have married three or more times. By comparison, 75.5 percent of people who have ever been married have made only one trip down the aisle.
- 399: The number of dating service establishments nationwide as of 2012. These establishments, which include internet dating services, employed 2,348 people.
(2/12) Steven Pinker on the Intelligence Squared podcast, discussing how to write better, how we use words, and how usage and style is decided.
(3/12) Two interesting #DataViz maps that’s have recently caught my eye. Via Bloomberg, an international look at vice:
(4/12) Politico recently published an essay noting, based on sources in the Admin, Trump is “vexed” by the challenges of governing — excerpted below. I’m of two minds on this: One the on hand, this is be expected from a candidate that offered little policy’s detail in his campaign, instead solely noting his plan for ‘issue X, Y, & Z’ will be “something terrific…so great it will make your head spin.” On the other hand, there are really challenges posed to any reform-mindedness Admin from the bueracracy and “deep state” of embedded, career civil servants. I’ve witnessed numerous state Admins run up against major road-blocks in attempts to implement reforms.
Two recent interesting looks at these challenges I’ve been digesting. Conversations with Bill Kristol hosted Chris DeMuth & Adam White — long deep dive into issues and solutions. And via the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal, Merrie Spaeth discusses the need for employees within the agency focused on blind-spots and highlighting problems to leadership — in short, fighting back against “Yes-Men”
POLITICO: Trump vexed by challenges, scale of government: The new president’s allies say he has been surprised that government can’t be run like his business.
By Alex Isenstadt, Kenneth P. Vogel and Josh Dawsey
Being president is harder than Donald Trump thought, according to aides and allies who say that he’s growing increasingly frustrated with the challenges of running the massive federal bureaucracy.
In interviews, nearly two dozen people who’ve spent time with Trump in the three weeks since his inauguration said that his mood has careened between surprise and anger as he’s faced the predictable realities of governing, from congressional delays over his Cabinet nominations and legal fights holding up his aggressive initiatives to staff infighting and leaks.
The administration’s rocky opening days have been a setback for a president who, as a billionaire businessman, sold himself to voters as being uniquely qualified to fix what ailed the nation. Yet it has become apparent, say those close to the president, most of whom requested anonymity to describe the inner workings of the White House, that the transition from overseeing a family business to running the country has been tough on him.
Trump often asks simple questions about policies, proposals and personnel. And, when discussions get bogged down in details, the president has been known to quickly change the subject — to “seem in control at all times,” one senior government official said — or direct questions about details to his chief strategist Steve Bannon, his son-in-law Jared Kushner or House Speaker Paul Ryan. Trump has privately expressed disbelief over the ability of judges, bureaucrats or lawmakers to delay — or even stop — him from filling positions and implementing policies.
(5/12) Two interesting looks at domestic migration that have recently caught my eye. The Pew Foundation looks at declining migration and analyzes the factors the authors believe are driving the declines — see their chart below. And Kevin Williamson of National Review looks at the important of domestic migration and policy reform to advance more migration. Also, charted below via ALEC’s Rich States, Poor States — top and bottom states for migration over the last decade.
On migration, I want to recommend the How Money Walks group, which has an outstanding data tool on migration that displays the net flow of state migration, both in terms of populations and AGI income from tax fillings, as well as the sources of inflow and outflow by state. The tool can also display the same data by county. I’ve displayed the data for Illinois below:
(6/12) As Congress continues to discuss Federal #TaxReform, one thing those following state budgets should put on their radar is the state tax deduction in the federal personal income tax code. Expect the provision to be on the chopping-block as a revenue raiser/pay-for reducing tax rates, particularly because it offers a major budgetary subsidy to taxpayers in Democrat dominated, high-tax-states. The Pew Foundation looks at the provision, early concerns in the states, and maps the average value to taxpayers in each state (chart below).
(7/12) It’s time to put the effort to call a “Conventions of the States” to pass a Federal Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) on your radar. Images below show success thus far and targeted states, as well as the partisan composition of the state government control. At this point, particularly given broad Republican control of state governments, this effort is beginning to look more and more like he has real legs — this is a potential policy relality. Relatedly, Intelligence Squared recently hosted a debate on the topic that’s well worth consuming for those interested in digesting the arguments for and against
(8/12) Anthony Bourdain is interviewed by Reason Magazine: “Anthony Bourdain on Sichuan Peppers, Sex, Eating Dogs, and Political Correctness.”
(9/12) A few links ACA repeal and replace efforts and the prospects for healthcare reform. Via BloggingHeads, interview by Kevin Glass of Adrianna McIntyre, discussing where the GOP may head. Follow them both on Twitter.
The Wall Street Journal looks at GOP prospects to amend the so-called Cadillac Tax but to continue taxing healthcare benefits above a threshold level — see graphic below from WSJ with my annotations. WSJ previously looked at the importance and expert support him among economists for such a provision
(10/12) A few links relevant to finance and financial markets. John Allison — former head of BB&T Bank & the Cato Institute — on Bloomberg Surveillance discussing the Trump Admin’s economic policy (including his take: subtantial lack of concern over deficits and debt in favor of pro-growth polices that they hope will be down debts with a growth dividend), Fed Monetary Policy, and Libertariansim.
Federal Reserve Bank chairwoman Janet Yellen testified before Congress today for the first time in the 115th Congress and under the Trump Administration — good coverage by Business Insider linked.
The debate over Dodd-Frank legislative repeal is underway. Tyler Cowen and Noah Smith recently debated the virtues and vices of repealing the legislation. Charles Calomiris & Allan Meltzer discuss the case for reform in the Wall Street Journal. And the American Action Forum assesses the cost of the legislation, excerpted below:
Since passage, the legislation has produced more than 74.8 million final paperwork burden hours and imposed $38.5 billion in direct compliance costs.
(12/12) Two hits concerning souring on social media. First, David Burge aka @IowaHawkBlog is leaving social media after this thread. Interesting thoughts from him in the thread below — recommend clicking through. Second, interesting Forbes video essay on this same topic, also embedded below.