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Note the rapid decline on both charts after about year 2,000. I wonder whether this is a pure coincidence or there's a real connection there.

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Unlike Achilles, Odysseus is a reusable hero.
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Top five gasoline consuming states, 2015

StateMillion barrels/dayMillion gallons/dayShare of total U.S. consumption
New York0.3615.034%

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum and Other Liquids—Prime Supplier Sales Volumes, as of November 17, 2016

Texas is a net producer of petroleum products; California (as well as China) is a net consumer of petroleum products. My bet would be that California and China will come up with a way to reduce petroleum consumption. The self-driving car technology is one of them.
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Here's what Robert Shiller wrote a month ago about the recent stock market gains:
In the US, two illusions have been important recently in financial markets. One is the carefully nurtured perception that President-elect Donald Trump is a business genius who can apply his deal-making skills to make America great again.

The other is a naturally occurring illusion: the proximity of Dow 20,000. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has been above 19,000 since November, and countless news stories have focused on its flirtation with the 20,000 barrier – which might be crossed by the time this commentary is published. Whatever happens, Dow 20,000 will still have a psychological impact on markets.
But these numbers are illusory. The US has a policy of overall inflation. The US Federal Reserve has set an inflation “objective” of 2% in terms of the personal consumption expenditure deflator. This means all prices should tend to go up by about 2% per year, or 22% per decade.

The Dow is up only 19% in real (inflation-adjusted) terms since 2000. A 19% increase in 17 years is underwhelming, and the national home price index that Case and I created is still 16% below its 2006 peak in real terms. But hardly anyone focuses on these inflation-corrected numbers.


Real productivity is growing slowly and the problem is masked by financial markets. For example, building a $20B wall on the Mexican border will add to the GDP and increase commodity prices, but it will not contribute to long-term productivity growth.
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He [the Prime Minister of Singapore] added that both countries were also discussing new areas of cooperation, such a how Singapore can support China's One Belt One Road initiative.

Mr Lee said both governments met regularly through the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meeting, the highest-level forum between China and Singapore, "in order to review our projects and discuss what more we can do together".
China is Singapore's biggest trading partner, and Singapore is China's biggest source of foreign investments.
Noting that the US had been a good partner for Singapore for many years, he said that Singaporean would have to watch carefully what policies the new US administration pursues domestically and internationally.

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The Straits Times (Singapore) runs a front-page article on President Xi's speech in Davos.
"Ready or not, China has become the de facto world leader seeking to maintain an open global economy and battle climate change," the official China Daily said in a commentary on Friday (Jan 13).

Overall, Trump is now perceived as a threat to economic growth throughout the Asia Pacific region.
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The Economist has a good article on long-term employment trends in manufacturing.
Essentially, the business model invented in England back in the 17th century has run its course.
Manufacturing trends
Once you understand what manufacturing now looks like, you come to see that the way it is represented in official statistics understates its health, and that the sector’s apparent decline in the rich world is overstated. But that does not solve the politicians’ problem. The innovations behind the sector’s resilience have changed the number, nature and location of the jobs that it offers. There are still a lot of them; but many of the good jobs for the less skilled are never to return.


Nov. 23rd, 2016 01:07 pm
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Arguably, ageing population doesn't necessarily make the world wiser, but it definitely makes it less open to new experiences.

Wisdom and Mental Health Across the Lifespan Webster 2012



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