There’s a consistent theme in President Joe Biden’s first budget proposal, released Friday morning: The federal government can help solve big problems. But to do that, the country needs to reinvest in areas it’s neglected for decades.
The $1.5 trillion discretionary funding request is only a proposal — and not even a complete budget proposal, with a more comprehensive version including mandatory spending and tax changes coming this spring. But it’s an important window into the new administration’s priorities, calling for a boost in domestic spending on issues ranging from education in poor communities to the opioid epidemic to climate change to pandemic preparedness.
The American Jobs Plan (AJP) proposed by President Biden on March 31 would spend $2.7 trillion and raise $2.1 trillion dollars over the 10-year budget window of 2022–2031, according to the Penn Wharton Budget Model (PWBM), a nonpartisan initiative that analyzes the economic impact of public policy proposals.
The AJP’s tax and spending provisions would increase government debt by 1.7% and reduce GDP by a quarter percentage point by 2031, the study projected. By 2050, however, government debt would fall by 6.4% and GDP would decrease by 0.8%, according to its estimates.
Back in August of 2014, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj had Xi Jinping over for lunch.
Mongolia’s then president had been coached by Chinese officials about the pomp expected when entertaining their head of state—but it was a tall order. “In Mongolia, we don’t have many rooms for dancing,” Elbegdorj laughs.
He decided instead on a more low-key approach. Elbegdorj, Xi and their wives enjoyed a meal of Mongolian staples—grilled meat, cheese, dumplings—at the president’s residence in a southern part of the capital Ulaanbaatar. In these quiet surroundings, Elbegdorj says the two leaders broached several sensitive issues. They discussed the potential for ethnic Mongolians to freely travel between Mongolia and the Chinese territory of Inner Mongolia. They also spoke of nationalist Chinese calls for Mongolia to be absorbed into the People’s Republic, and even discussed Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who is venerated by Mongolian Buddhists yet reviled by Beijing as a dangerous seditionary.
Telecoms giant Huawei is keen to work alongside European companies to help the bloc achieve ambitious new benchmarks for semiconductors by 2030, as the firm continues to face challenges resulting from US trade restrictions.
Since being put on a US export blacklist by the Trump administration in 2019, China’s Huawei has faced obstacles in sourcing components required in the development of its own chips.
Speaking at Huawei’s global analyst summit on Monday (12 April), rotating Chairman Eric Xu warned of the damage that the continuation of these restrictions could do to global semiconductor supply chains, and said that ongoing sanctions on Huawei’s business with American firms could raise costs within the industry across the globe.
“These chips, these wafers … batteries, broadband — it’s all infrastructure. We need to build the infrastructure of today and not repair the one of yesterday,” Biden said Monday during the CEO Summit on Semiconductor and Supply Chain Resilience. “The plan I propose will protect our supply chain and revitalize American manufacturing.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki declared that “the evidence is unanimous that the American people support” Biden’s vision for the U.S. economy, citing initial polling around the infrastructure plan.
Biden seeks to pressure lawmakers to back the proposal by rallying support from voters. Republicans have balked at the level of spending the president proposed and the plan’s priorities, including hundreds of billions of dollars for child and elderly care, in addition to objections over the tax increases.
Many of us will recall Petri dishes from our first biology class – those shallow glass vessels containing a nutrient gel into which a microbe sample is injected. In this sea of nutrients, the cells grow and multiply, allowing the colony to flourish, its cells dividing again and again. But just as interesting is how these cells die. Cell death in a colony occurs in two ways, essentially. One is through an active process of programmed elimination; in this so-called ‘apoptotic’ death, cells die across the colony, ‘sacrificing’ themselves in an apparent attempt to keep the colony going. Though the mechanisms underlying apoptotic death are not well understood, it’s clear that some cells benefit from the local nutrient deposits of dying cells in their midst, while others seek nutrition at the colony’s edges. The other kind of colony cell death is the result of nutrient depletion – a death induced by the impact of decreased resources on the structure of the waning colony.
I landed my dream job straight out of law school. Six months into it, I realized that I had made a huge mistake. I did not enjoy being an attorney. In fact, I hated it.
I wasn’t ready for the adversarial and competitive nature of it all. I wasn’t prepared for the unending paper pushing and the detailed time tracking of every minute of every day. I wasn’t built for the office politics and quixotic assignments from equity partners with massive egos. I wasn’t thriving from the lack of positive reinforcement from either my bosses or my clients.
So what did I do? I kept my head down and worked for another 7 years. With $150,000 of student loan debt looming over me, I didn’t have the luxury of quitting.
Technology firms are the drivers of disruption across industries, but things will play out differently for automobiles, according to John Paul MacDuffie, Wharton management professor and director of the School’s Program on Vehicle and Mobility Innovation. Tomorrow’s vehicles will be built with electric, autonomous and mobility/connected features, and one would expect tech companies to dominate the automotive industry of the future, he noted. However, technology companies are not equipped to dislodge traditional automakers from the driver’s seat and have to learn to share the controls, he added.
“Maybe the initial stimulus is with the tech companies pushing into mobility, and the automotive companies having to react and respond,” MacDuffie said in an interview on the Wharton Business Daily radio show on SiriusXM. (Listen to the podcast above.) “But I question the narrative that tech automatically dominates all of these interactions going forward.” MacDuffie recently wrote an opinion piece on the subject in his debut column in Forbes magazine.
The 1980s is often remembered as the decade of excess. Big hair, big shoulder pads, and big jewelry were the height of fashion. Shows like “Dynasty,” “Dallas,” and “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” sparked dreams about sipping Champagne, partying on a yacht, wearing a silk Versace dress, Gucci shoes, and carrying a Louis Vuitton handbag. Conspicuous consumption was aspirational, and the rich were glorified. But things have changed. In just a few short decades, there has been a cultural shift away from conspicuous consumption, towards something called “minimalist luxury.” Counterfeit goods have become so sophisticated that the real thing has lost some of its luster for the wealthy. After all, there’s no point in sporting your $100,000 Birkin bag if the woman sitting next to you on the subway is carrying a pretty good knockoff for about $100.