Open thread April 30, 2021 Dan Crawford | April 30, 2021 8:17 am Tags: open thread Comments (5) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
The eurozone economy contracted by 0.6 percent over the first three months of the year, sliding back into recession, as the still-raging pandemic prompted governments to extend lockdowns.Coming a day after the United States disclosed that its economy expanded 1.6 percent over the same period, the European downturn presented a contrast of fortunes on opposite sides of the Atlantic.Propelled by dramatic public expenditures to stimulate growth, as well as swift increases in vaccination rates, the United States — the world’s largest economy — expanded rapidly during the first months of 2021. At the same time, the 19 nations that share the euro currency were caught in the second part of a so-called double-dip recession, reflecting far less aggressive stimulus spending and a botched effort to secure vaccines.But figures for gross domestic product represent a snapshot of the past, and recent weeks have produced encouraging signs that Europe is on the mend. The alarming spread of Covid-19 in major economies like Germany and France has begun to trend downward, factories have revived production, while growing numbers of people are on the move in cities.Even as the German economy diminished by 1.7 percent from January to March, Italy and Spain slipped by much smaller magnitudes — 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent respectively. The French economy grew by a modest 0.4 percent, though its prospects face a fresh challenge in the form of new pandemic restrictions imposed this month by the government. …
in case anyone has ever wondered what happened to unused DDT after it was banned from use in the environment….
US Economy’s Strong Start Signals a Stellar Year https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/29/business/economy/united-states-gdp.html?smid=tw-share
Reaching ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Unlikely in the U.S., Experts Now Believe https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/03/health/covid-heard-immunity-vaccine.html?smid=tw-shareWidely circulating coronavirus variants and persistent hesitancy about vaccines will keep the goal out of reach. The virus is here to stay, but vaccinating the most vulnerable may be enough to restore normalcy. … scientists and public health experts … are coming to the conclusion that rather than making a long-promised exit, the virus will most likely become a manageable threat that will continue to circulate in the United States for years to come, still causing hospitalizations and deaths but in much smaller numbers.How much smaller is uncertain and depends in part on how much of the nation, and the world, becomes vaccinated and how the coronavirus evolves. It is already clear, however, that the virus is changing too quickly, new variants are spreading too easily and vaccination is proceeding too slowly for herd immunity to be within reach anytime soon. …
… More than half of Republicans believe that last year’s election was stolen from Donald Trump. Rather than reject claims of election fraud, Republican lawmakers have used the premise that the election was stolen to justify restrictions on voting.Mr. Trump most likely deserves much of the blame for the widespread belief among Republicans that the election was illegitimate. But there’s another reason so many Republicans might not believe that Joe Biden won: They don’t live near people who voted for him.Surveys have shown that Americans’ animosity toward the opposing political party is higher than it has been in decades. At the same time, we’ve found that geographic political segregation has increased over the past 10 years. Could the two trends be connected? … Do You Live in a Political Bubble? https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/04/30/opinion/politics/bubble-politics.html?smid=tw-share