Friday, July 04, 2014

Happy Birthday America

Since good news is almost never in the news, here are some AMAZING things that happened to the USA in the last year:

Six more states now have marriage equality (now 43.5% of the population), with another 13 having court decisions in equality’s favor though the decisions are currently stayed (another 23.8% of the population).

If you didn’t notice (because it isn’t in the news much anymore), we pretty much won the conflict in Ukraine.

4 years after the law passed, the ACA’s exchanges finally went live and added 8M people, 1M above projections, despite the website glitches.  Most of these people were previously uninsured (or underinsured) and most are paying less per month than they do for cable TV.

As such, the percent of population without health insurance dropped to 13.4% in April from 18% last summer.

In March 2014, there were zero American fatalities in Iraq or Afghanistan, for the first time in 11 years.

The S&P 500 and NASDAQ are up 22% and 29% respectively over the last year (As an update to “Obama Calls the Bottom” when he said “buying stocks is a good deal if you’ve got a long term perspective” in the middle of the financial crisis in March 2009.  The Dow was at 6,726 and its now at 16,850, up 150%, or 20% annually in the 5 years since).

Speaking of finance, the US GOVT finances are in much better shape.  The deficit is expected to be down 30% this year to $436B, well below those $1.0T budget deficits Obama inherited. (Some would argue  (and I would agree) the deficit is falling too quickly)

The unemployment rate has dropped from 7.5% to 6.1% with private sector job growth of 2.47M people. (and part-time workers who wanted to be full time fell by 650k).

The jobless rate among college graduates: 3.3%

In May (the most recent month calculated), exports increased to a record high of $195.5 billion, driven by a surge in automobiles, parts and engines and exports of consumer goods were also the highest on record.

In April (the most recent month calculated), we imported 5.6M barrels of oil a day, down 18.2% Year over Year. This is down from a high of 12.5M barrels of oil in Dec of 2007.  We basically only import from Saudi Arabia at this time because it is in their political interest to sell to us at a discount.

This is because US crude oil production is skyrocketing. We are producing 7.44M barrels of oil a day in 2014, up from 6.5M last year (up 14.5%), and up from a low of 5.0M in 2008.  Basically, some reports have us importing ZERO oil by the 2030’s.

That's it for me off of the top of my head (w/a little reserach for backup data).  Feel free to add your own!

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