Get ready for bug burgers. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has a massive new report out today arguing that we should all have more insects in our diet.
That's right, insects: "Insects are healthy, nutritious alternatives to mainstream staples such as chicken, pork, beef and even fish," the report argues. (Yes, they're serious.)Read full article >>
The decline of extreme poverty — defined by the World Bank as living on less than $1.25 a day, which is derived from the average poverty line in the world's poorest countries — in recent decades has been nothing short of remarkable. As Howard Schneider noted here last week, not only has the percent of the world's population living in extreme poverty been cut in half since 1990, but it's set to be halved again in the next two decades:Read full article >>
"I find it extraordinary that the massive global drop in human fertility has been so little noticed by the media," writes Stanford geographer Martin Lewis, "escaping the attention of even highly educated Americans."Read full article >>
It's good to be king. Or at least, the president of a public university.
In its annual analysis, released Sunday, the Chronicle of Higher Education found that the median total compensation for public university presidents rose 4.7 percent to $441,392 in the 2011 to 2012 period. Four public university presidents now have total compensation worth about $1 million or more. The highest paid presidents on the list include Auburn University's Jay Gogue ($2.54 million), Ohio State University's E. Gordon Gee ($1.90 million), George Mason's former president Alan G. Merten ($1.87 million) and Ball State University's Jo Ann M. Gora ($984,647).Read full article >>
Back when it was passed just over three years ago, the Affordable Care Act included a provision to add calorie information to all chain restaurant menus.
Fast forward to 2013, and that requirement still has not gone into effect. While some restaurants took preemptive action and have posted calorie information on their menus, there's no final regulation that requires such information to be provided. What gives?Read full article >>
A look back at some of the biggest small business and start-up stories from the past week, with a focus on Washington.
The real test begins for online sales tax bill: The Senate last week approved a measure that would allow states to collect online sales tax, which would help level the playing field for brick-and-mortar stores, but it could make tax compliance exceptionally complicated for online sellers. The legislation now faces a tough road in the House, where it has already been met with opposition from many tax-averse Republicans.Read full article >>
At various points over the past two years, Internal Revenue Service officials singled out for scrutiny not only groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names but also nonprofit groups that criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution, according to documents in an audit conducted by the agency’s inspector general.Read full article >>
This week’s economic data should offer insights into the housing market, retail sales, business inventories and the mood among small businesses, among other things.
Retail sales for April are released at 8:30 a.m. They are expected to show a decline of 0.3 percent, a slight improvement from March, when they fell by 0.4 percent. The retail sector added 29,000 jobs last month, according to the latest jobs report.Read full article >>
Many small-business owners worry that a new tax on insurance providers in the health-care law will mean higher premiums for them, undermining the law’s capacity to lower their health-care costs.
Starting next year, the federal government will charge a new fee on health insurance firms based on the plans they sell to individuals and companies, known as the fully insured market. Meanwhile, the provision exempts health-insurance plans that are set up and operated by businesses themselves (the self-insured market).Read full article >>
Pentagon contracts tumbled 52 percent in April from a month earlier as across-the-board federal budget cuts took hold.
The Defense Department announced awards with a maximum value of $19 billion in April, about 22 percent lower than a year earlier, according to procurement data. The biggest contract, a $6.9 billion network equipment deal, was won by a group of eight companies led by General Dynamics.Read full article >>
In my book about central banking, I report on a minor mystery involving the current chairman of the Federal Reserve, ketchup and the Bank of Japan. I now think it is solved.
Flashback a decade. In the early 2000s, American officials and economists were perpetually arguing that the Japanese government, and particularly the Bank of Japan, needed to act more aggressively to combat deflation in the country. Ben Bernanke, then a Fed governor, was one of them.Read full article >>
Poli-Sci Perspective is a weekly Wonkblog feature in which Georgetown University's Dan Hopkins and George Washington University's Danny Hayes and John Sides offer an empirical perspective on the issues dominating Washington. In this edition, Sides looks at why campaign tactics don't always work as well as we'd think. For past posts in the series, head here.Read full article >>
Death certificates are important public health documents. They help epidemiologists understand leading causes of deaths and how they are changing. They power big studies of what killed us in the past — and what kills us now. And, according to a new Center for Disease Control study, about a third of them may be wrong.Read full article >>