Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) cannot be delayed any longer, Chinese Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs, Li Song, said when addressing the 2021 Outer Space Security Conference, urging the US not to stand in the way.
Over the past 18 months, the United States experienced the most rapid economic downturn in its history and the most severe pandemic in more than a century. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has infected more than 42.8 million Americans with a death toll exceeding 687,000 people. The pandemic has caused a loss of life, livelihoods, and a way of life: child care facilities and schools closed their doors and millions of parents became full-time caregivers and teachers. In the spring of 2020, 55 million school-age children were out of school or navigating remote learning. In the 2020-21 school year, most children in the U.S. lived in a place where schools were closed.
Despite the headwinds created by the Delta COVID-19 variant, the economy is recovering. Economic growth during the pandemic has generally surpassed consensus expectations while households and businesses have maintained a surprising amount of activity and spending while social distancing.
While all Americans, regardless of socioeconomic background, have been affected by COVID-19, Black Americans from economically disadvantaged communities have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic’s public health and economic consequences. Many Black Americans and their communities lack sufficient income and wealth to buffer both the job loss crisis and the economic crisis that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these communities are physically dense, in both living and working environments, which puts these families at greater risk of being exposed to the virus. At the same time, Black Americans are overrepresented in frontline essential occupations, which has led to their increased risk of exposure to COVID-19. This overrepresentation, coupled with long-standing disconnection from the nation’s public and private health-care systems, has translated to a disproportionate share of individuals and families that are unwilling to avail themselves of opportunities to vaccinate throughout spring and summer 2021, when several effective vaccines became available to most, if not all, adult residents of the United States (Shah 2021).
Sustainability disclosure is in vogue, with more than 80 percent of major global companies reporting on some aspects of their social and environmental impacts. This is partly driven by growing calls for transparency by civil society organizations and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investors, who are demanding detailed and verified corporate sustainability information. ESG investments—assets that fulfill certain minimum social and environmental criteria—grew by more than 40 percent in 2020 in the U.S., and currently make up one-third of all assets under management. However, the process of classifying financial assets as ESG is unregulated in the U.S. Moreover, the data required to assess if ESG assets have achieved a positive social and environmental impact is often missing, incomplete, unreliable, or unstandardized.
China’s decision to formally seek to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the world’s most important Asian trade deal, presents the U.S. with an enormous set of economic and diplomatic challenges. China joining CPTPP would deal a significant blow to U.S. economic statecraft and further strengthen Chinese leadership in the Indo-Pacific. Taiwan’s recent announcement that it also wants to join CPTPP further complicates the picture.
The release of 2020 Census population data provided much-anticipated insight into the demographic trends reshaping our nation, but it also unleashed a wave of predictable headlines touting the demise of “shrinking rural America.” The familiar narrative of “two Americas”—one diverse, metropolitan, and successful and one white, rural, and declining—cropped up once more, often explicitly equating “rural” with “white” or, even more simplistically, with white Trump voters.
Traditional growth accounting exercises, which adjust for variations in the age, gender, and educational attainment of the workforce, conclude that changes in human capital contribute only modestly to economic growth. Yet, recent studies have argued that improvements in human capital make a more substantial impact through differences in the quality of education and the importance of human capital in the innovation process. In this study, we explore differences in the generation of human capital in Germany, Japan, and the United States.
The debt limit caps the total amount of allowable outstanding U.S. federal debt. The U.S. hit that limit on August 1, 2021, but the Department of the Treasury has been undertaking a set of “extraordinary measures” so that the debt limit does not yet bind. The Treasury estimates that by October 18th, those measures will not be sufficient—unless Congress raises or suspends the debt limit before then, the Federal government will lack the cash to pay all its obligations.