I told my teenage son that the economics of Wakanda, the home country of the "Black Panther" in the recent movie, raised some interesting questions. He looked at me for a long moment and then explained very slowly: "Dad, it's not a documentary." Duly noted. No superhero movie is a documentary, and pretty much by definition, even asking for plausibility from a superhero movie is asking too much. But undaunted, I continue to assert that the economy of Wakanda raises some interesting questions. For some overviews, see:
Mexico won’t willingly write the check for Donald Trump’s wall. So the president is hunting for a way to make Mexico pay. That search isn’t going well.
Japan is aging fast. Here are some trends on total population and age distribution, according to projections from the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research in Japan.
I did not know that by far most violent deaths in the world are a result of murder, not war. The pattern is reported in Global Violent Deaths 2017: Time to Decide, by Claire Mc Evoy and Gergely Hideg. It's a report from Small Arms Survey, which is a research center at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. The report notes:
Record stock buybacks—driven in part by the corporate tax changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA)—have sparked a media and political furor. Unfortunately, they’ve also created a great deal of confusion. To help elevate the debate, here are three things you should know.
"Everyone" knows that the future of the US economy depends on a well-educated workforce, and on a growing share of students achieving higher levels of education. But state spending patterns on higher education aren't backing up this belief. Here are some figures from the SHEF 2017: State Higher Education Finance report published last month by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.
Germany is the fourth-largest economy in the world (after the US, China, and Japan). And it's economy is doing extremely well. For example, consider the conclusion of the IMF staff in "Germany: Staff Concluding Statement of the 2018 Article IV Mission" (May 14, 2018):