unclesambank

The Trump administration has saved US taxpayers $1.3 Billion by eliminating unnecessary federal regulations.  Read the details here.

 

 

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In 2013, Beijing launched the belt and road plan, a global development blueprint involving about 60 countries from Asia, Europe to Africa to stimulate economic growth with large-scale capital investment and infrastructure construction projects.

Two years later, China started printing 100-rupee notes for Nepal, Liu wrote in an article in China Finance, a bi-monthly journal run by China’s central bank in May.

Since then the company had “seized the opportunities brought by the initiative” and “successfully won contracts for currency production projects in a number of countries including Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, India, Brazil and Poland,” he said.

But that could be just the tip of the iceberg. The actual number of countries that have or plan to outsource currency printing to China could be much bigger, according to one source in the corporation. Some governments have asked Beijing not to publicise the deal because they are worried such information could compromise national security or trigger “unnecessary debates at home”, the person said.

Read the full article here.

Plastic Water Bottle Floating in Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica, California, USA

Surprise!  Only a little comes from the US.  A majority of the plastic waste in our oceans comes from China and nearby Asian countries.  Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan each throw more garbage into the waters than we do.  So does the European Union.  The US accounts for less than 1% of the plastic waste in the ocean.  (Banning straws in California isn’t really going to make much difference.)  You can read the dirty details here.

 

 

Here is a very depressing chart correlating the cost of education with the performance of students:

Of course, it’s no surprise that the cost of education has increased.  (I don’t like it, but what are you going to do?)  But look at performance.  No significant improvement in reading and math, and science got worse!  Whatever the problem with public education is, it isn’t more spending needed.  As Conservatives often suggest, throwing money at a problem doesn’t solve it.  It may make it worse.

(If you’d like a nice breakdown of educational costs, national and by state, here is an easy-to-read summary  by The Room 241 Team at Concordia University.)

sonoffrank

While Congress has been unable to “overhaul” or end the ironically named Affordable Care Act, there have been some significant changes in the favor of patients.  The recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes a provision reducing the penalty under ACA for not purchasing “qualifying” health insurance to $0 beginning in January 2019.  A new Department of Labor rule permits small businesses and self-employed individuals to partner together to purchase coverage through “association health plans” or AHPs exempt from many Obamacare’s mandates.  Another new rule will allow short-term insurance coverage that’s cheaper and less comprehensive than Obamacare plans.  Beginning in 2019, these plans can be extended for 36 months.  While not a comprehensive fix of the Obamacare mess, this is a good start.