2023 Could See Highest Number of People on Food Stamps Since 2016

The 2023 fiscal year is on track to average the highest number of individuals on food stamps in the U.S. since 2016.

There were 42,329,101 on food assistance on average each month on through the first nine months of the fiscal year, as of June 2023, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The fiscal year is completed at the end of September.

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U.S. Is Top Exporter of Liquified Natural Gas in First Half of 2023

The U.S. exported more natural gas in the first six months of 2023 than in any other previous six-month period, the U.S. Energy Information Agency reported. 

U.S. companies averaged 12.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in the first six months of this year, an 11% increase from their average over the same period last year. This is after in May of this year, the U.S.’s “net natural gas exports as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and by pipeline averaged a monthly record high of 13.6 Bcf/d.” 

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Elon Musk’s Brain Chip Company Is Officially Recruiting Humans for Testing

Billionaire Elon Musk’s brain chip company Neuralink is officially recruiting human beings for a clinical trial, the biotech firm announced on Tuesday.

The trial will be open to individuals with quadriplegia resulting from cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Neuralink announced on its website. It seeks to assess the brain implant’s safety, the performance of its “surgical robot” and gauge the chip’s effectiveness in allowing paralyzed people to influence external devices through their thoughts.

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San Francisco Homeless Camps Hit Highest Number in Three Years

The number of homeless camps that have sprouted up all across San Francisco is now at the highest point since 2020.

The Daily Caller reports that more people moved into homeless shelters in just the first six months of 2023 than during any other six-month period since 2021, according to information compiled by the San Francisco Standard. There are 523 homeless camps in the city as of July of this year, the highest total since 530 camps in October of 2020. Across these 523 camps, there are over 4,000 homeless people in San Francisco.

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UAW Announces Massive Expansion of Strike Against Major Automakers

The United Auto Workers (UAW) announced on Friday that more workers will go on strike as the union and automakers continue to be unable to reach a deal.

The union announced that 38 new plants across the U.S. will join the partial strike at noon against the Big Three automakers as negotiations continue to fail to produce a new contract for the 146,000 workers, with strikes expanding against GM and Stellantis but not Ford, as the company has cooperated more than the others, according to the UAW announcement. The UAW first announced its partial strike on Sept. 14, striking at three plants: GM’s plant in Wentzville, Missouri; Ford’s plant in Wayne, Michigan; and Stellantis’ Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio.

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Chinese Chip Company Appears to Be Skirting U.S. Sanctions: Report

A top Chinese tech company has been able to push out fresh Chinese-made semiconductors despite years of U.S. restrictions, according to Reuters.

HiSilicon, Huawei Technologies’ chip design unit, has increased delivery of semiconductors to surveillance camera manufacturers over the last year after the company was able to produce new tools to create more advanced chips in March, according to Reuters. The U.S. has put a number of sanctions on the semiconductor industry, with Huawei in particular being placed on the entity list by the Department of Commerce in 2019, prohibiting it from working with American companies.

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Senate and House Campaign Security Spending Increases over 500 Percent in Two Years

House and Senate campaign security budgets were more than 500% higher in the 2022 midterms than they were during the 2020 election season, according to a new analysis.

The House and Senate spent $1.3 million on security for their 2020 campaigns but spent nearly $8 million in 2022, “The Washington Post” reported Monday, citing Federal Election Commission records. 

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Government Jobs Increasing Under Biden

A significant portion of the jobs that have been added to the U.S. economy under Biden consists of government jobs and other public sector positions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

As the Daily Caller reports, a total of 327,000 public sector jobs have been added to the economy from January to August of 2023, accounting for 17.4% of all jobs. During the same period of time in 2022, only about 175,000 public sector jobs were added, amounting to just 5% of all jobs. Overall job growth has also been slower in 2023, with a total of 1,884,000 jobs added this year compared to 3,590,000 jobs added during the same period in 2022.

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Auto Union Threatens Even More Strikes If a Deal Isn’t Reached by End of Week

More auto workers are set to go on strike against top auto manufacturers if a deal is not met by Friday at noon, according to an announcement from the union Monday night.

The United Auto Workers (UAW) are currently engaging in a targeted strike at just three plants in negotiations with the Big Three automakers — Ford, General Motors and Stellantis — avoiding a total strike of all 146,000 unionized workers after the parties failed to reach a deal for new contracts on Sept. 14. Shawn Fain, president of the UAW, announced that more members at different plants would join the strike if the union and automakers did not make serious progress on new contracts by Friday at noon, according to a video posted by the union.

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Goldman Sachs Quietly Scrubs Race-Based Eligibility Criteria From Diversity Program After Legal Experts Raise Concerns

Goldman Sachs quietly scrubbed references to race from its eligibility criteria for a two-day “diversity symposium” after legal experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation the program could run into problems with federal civil rights laws.

The eligibility criteria for Goldman Sachs’ 2023 MBA Diversity Symposium previously restricted the program to students “that identify as Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American, or women,” according to a web archive from Sept. 13. The eligibility requirements no longer include race or gender, the current webpage shows, a change that follows a Saturday DCNF report on race and gender-restricted opportunities for college students offered by top Wall Street investment banking firms.

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National Deficit, Inflation Soars Despite ‘Inflation Reduction Act’

The U.S. Congressional Budget Office reports that the federal government is borrowing far more this fiscal year than the year before even as inflation continues to rise.

The CBO released its deficit estimate which said the U.S. deficit hit about $1.5 trillion in the first 11 months of this fiscal year.

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Government Estimates Unemployment Fraud During Pandemic Cost Up to $135 Billion

The U.S. government estimated unemployment fraud during the pandemic cost taxpayers up to $135 billion or about 11% to 15% of the total amount of unemployment insurance benefits paid during the pandemic.

That’s according to the latest report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which the U.S. Department of Labor disputes. 

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Lithium Mine Reopening on Strength of $239.7 Million in Federal Grants

A Kings Mountain lithium mine shuttered since 1988, estimated capable of supporting the production of 1.2 million electric vehicles annually for 30 years, will reopen.

Charlotte-based Albemarle, the world’s largest producer of lithium, received a $90 million grant from the Department of Defense this week to expand domestic production of the raw mineral used to manufacture electric vehicle batteries. The grant follows a $149.7 million grant Albemarle received from the Biden administration last year for a North Carolina processing facility.

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Commentary: Bidenomics Is Hurting Families

It is no mystery that the core demographics for the Democratic Party include single women, blacks and Hispanics. In 2020, Biden won unmarried women 63 percent to 36 percent over former President Donald Trump, blacks 87 percent to 12 percent and Latinos 65 percent to 32 percent, according to the CNN exit poll.

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American Income Falls as Inflation Increases, U.S. Census Bureau Says

Americans are bringing home less money as inflation squeezes family budgets, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced Tuesday that real median household income fell in 2022 compared with 2021. Real median household income fell by 2.3% from $76,330 in 2021 to $74,580 in 2022.

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Producer Prices Spike in August

Newly released federal inflation data shows that producer prices spiked in August, undoing a steady downward inflationary trend.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Producer Price Index Thursday, a key marker of inflation, which showed producer prices rose 0.7% in August alone. Much of that increase came because of an rise in the cost of gasoline.

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Autoworkers Strike Imperils ‘Union Joe’ Biden’s 2024 Election Prospects

President Joe Biden may face headwinds in his 2024 reelection bid following his inability to prevent workers at the three biggest American auto manufacturers from striking, according to Politico.

The United Auto Workers (UAW) announced a strike Thursday night against the Big Three automakers — Ford, General Motors and Stellantis — saying that members would not be showing up to three plants on Friday, but stopping short of calling for all 146,000 unionized autoworkers to cease operations. Some have begun to place blame on the president for failing to help in negotiations, souring the president’s desired image of being “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen,” according to Politico.

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United Auto Workers Plans Strikes at Detroit Big Three Vehicle Manufacturers

The United Automobile Workers union is preparing to strike at Detroit’s Big Three vehicle manufacturers as contract negotiations remain strained ahead of the deadline just before midnight Thursday.

Union President Shawn Fain said Wednesday that General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, formerly known as Chrysler, increased initial wage offers while rejecting some other demands, The Associated Press reported.

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Virginia Improper Payments for Unemployment Highest in the Country

Virginia has given out $817.3 million in improper unemployment benefits over a three-year period.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported that 43.8% of the unemployment benefits paid out by the state from July 2019 through June 2022 were improper. Department of Labor reported a 21.52% national improper payment rate over the three-year period. Improper payments are payments that should not have been made or were made in the incorrect amount.

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Small Modular Nuclear Reactor Project to Enter New Phase in Virginia

The LENOWISCO Planning Commission is deep into the research phase investigating the possibility of Southwest Virginia becoming the home of one – or several – small modular nuclear reactors, a venture catalyzed by the governor’s energy plan.

Former Gov. Ralph Northam is known for some sweeping reforms he initiated in office, and his energy policies were no exception. Northam’s administration established policies that, like California, outlaw the sale of gas-powered cars in the commonwealth starting in 2035 and demand 100% zero-carbon, renewable energy generation by 2050—five years after California.

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Inflation Surges Above Expectations Despite Fed’s Rate Hikes

Inflation rose significantly in August, marking the second month in a row that inflation has ticked up, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) release on Wednesday.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a broad measure of the prices of everyday goods, increased 3.7% on an annual basis in August, compared to 3.2% in July, according to the BLS. Core CPI, which excludes the volatile categories of energy and food, remained high, rising 4.3% year-over-year in August, compared to 4.7% in July.

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Child Poverty More than Doubled in Biden’s Second Year, Census Data Shows

The U.S. saw a sharp rise in the government’s supplemental poverty rate and a fall in real incomes for Americans in 2022, with the rate for children more than doubling, according to census data released Tuesday.

The government’s Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which calculates poverty by including the impact of government programs, geographic variation in housing expenses, taxes and medical expenses, increased for children from 5.2% in 2021 to 12.4% in 2022, while overall poverty increased by 4.6 points to 12.4% during President Joe Biden’s second year in office, according to a release from the U.S. Census Bureau. Biden blamed the rise in child poverty seen under his tenure on the lapse of the expanded Child Tax Credit, according to a Friday statement from the White House.

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Potential UAW Strike Looms in Michigan

Up to 146,000 United Auto Workers could strike starting this week if the Big Three auto companies don’t reach a new union contract agreement by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday. 

UAW Union President Shawn Fain has repeated his mantra “record profits mean record contracts.” He says Big Three executives at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis have received hefty pay raises while inflation has eaten away at UAW workers’ paychecks.

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Chicago Public Schools Refuses to Release Records Detailing Gender and Sex Education Training

The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district refused a Daily Caller News Foundation Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding training materials used for its gender and sexuality lessons provided by the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

CPS paid over $90,000 from January 2021 to as recently as June 6 for a number of workshops and trainings that the hospital provides through its Sexuality Education Program, according to invoices obtained by the DCNF. In a follow-up FOIA request, the DCNF asked that CPS provide any “presentations, slideshows, curriculum materials, videos [and] handouts” used for the training, but the district refused on Aug. 25 in a email, saying the information was “exempt from disclosure” since it involved “course” and “research materials” used by staff.

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Corporate America Slowly Backs Away from ‘Diversity’ Language in Wake of Supreme Court Decision

American businesses have been moving away from using diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) language in the workplace after the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in June, according to Bloomberg Law.

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Amazon Web Services Plans to Build Two Data Centers in Virginia

After announcing in January that it was going to invest $35 billion over the next 17 years in bringing more data centers to Virginia, Amazon Web Services, the cloud services arm of Amazon, has chosen to invest about one-third of those funds in Louisa County to build two data centers by 2040. 

Northern Virginia – and Loudoun County in particular – is the data center capital of the world, with nearly 300 centers in the region and roughly 70% of the world’s internet traffic routing through Loudoun, according to news source Governing. Data centers house servers, data storage drives, network equipment and other IT infrastructure to store companies’ digital data. They play a vital role in cloud computing and artificial intelligence, necessitating increased storage capacity.

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More Americans Taking Second Jobs, Part-Time Work as Inflation Continues to Rage

An increasing number of Americans are taking up part-time work and even getting second jobs as worsening economic conditions such as high inflation have chipped away at their finances, according to experts who spoke to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The median real weekly earnings for Americans are down 2.1% since the first quarter of the Biden administration, with data from August showing a spike in the unemployment rate and a job market that is beginning to cool, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Due to wages failing to keep up with inflation and debt levels increasing, workers are increasingly taking part-time jobs and even second jobs in order to make ends meet, according to economists who spoke with the DCNF.

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House Dem Predicts Biden Will Intervene to Stop Strike Against Big Three Automakers

A House Democrat predicted Tuesday on an episode of Bloomberg’s podcast “Sound On” that President Joe Biden would intervene to avoid a major auto industry strike.

The United Auto Workers (UAW) is currently in negotiations with the Big Three automakers — Ford, General Motors and Stellantis — over employment contracts for unionized workers that are set to expire on Sept. 14. Virginia Democratic Rep. Don Beyer told “Sound On” host Joe Mathieu that he believes that Biden will prevent a strike between the Big Three and UAW by intervening in negotiations, citing past interventions in union negotiations.

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Commentary: The Class Divide Is Killing the American Dream

In 1982, the American economy was in recession: 30-year fixed-rate home mortgage interest rates were 16 percent, the unemployment rate was at a post-WWII high of 10.8 percent, and construction and manufacturing, already declining from the collapse of the automobile industry, plunged deeper into decline. America’s adult males were hit particularly hard. That is precisely when my father, young and married with two toddler boys and a newborn (me), bought a house and decided to start his own business.

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Alarm Grows as Jobs, GDP Data Revised Downward

President Job Biden’s story about the success of Bidenomics just keeps shrinking.

The Labor Department has consistently overestimated payroll growth predictions under the 46th president and has been forced to revise the data downward to reflect slower economic growth throughout 2023.

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Commentary: What Unions Don’t Want You to Know This Labor Day

A male doing electrical work with a ball cap and safety glasses on

This Labor Day, the Biden administration and Big Labor will no doubt tout the alleged successes of President Joe Biden’s “whole of government” push to increase unionization in the workplace and unions’ modest successes in breaking into a few big corporations. But those stories will also leave a lot out. They’ll leave out the side of the story that unions don’t want workers to know.

That side of the story includes the fact that unionization reached an all-time low of 10.1 percent in 2022 (and only 6.0 percent among private sector workers) as worker satisfaction reached an all-time high of 62.3 percent (according to The Conference Board’s measure, which began in 1987). It also includes the fact that while non-union wages increased by 24 percent over the past five years, union wages rose by less than 17 percent.

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Commentary: Recession May Be Coming After 514,000 More Americans Struggle to Find Employment

The national unemployment rate reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics jumped from 3.5 percent to 3.8 percent in August as an additional 514,000 Americans said they could not find work in the Bureau’s household survey. Now 6.3 million Americans are said to be unemployed, the highest in more than a year.

But it did not come with a commensurate drop in the number of Americans saying they were working, which also increased by 222,000 to 161.48 million.

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U.S. Labor Department Proposing Rule to Boost Overtime Pay Eligibility for Salaried Workers

The U.S. Department of Labor issued notice Wednesday of a proposal to increase the threshold for required overtime payments to salaried workers whose weekly or annual wages are considered low income.

If enacted, the proposed rule would guarantee overtime pay for most salaried employees earning less than $1,059 per week, or about $55,000 per year. It also calls for an “escalator” that automatically updates the salary threshold every three years to reflect current earnings data. The Labor Department estimates the rule could apply to about 3.6 million workers nationwide.

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Energy Sector Sees 88 Percent Increase in ‘Nonbinary’ Workers from Last Year

The number of people who identify as “nonbinary” in the energy workforce has skyrocketed by more than 88% since last year, according to data from the Department of Energy. 

The agency’s annual employment report (USEER), showed that last year, there were 22,723 individuals in the energy workforce who don’t identify as male or female (nonbinary). As of June 2023, that number had increased to 42,810—an 88.4% surge. 

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China’s Latest Data Dump Shows Economy Is Still Struggling to Regain Momentum

New state economic data released Thursday shows that China is facing headwinds in its effort to revive its struggling economy, according to The Wall Street Journal.

China struggled in August with low manufacturing activity, exports and consumer spending, adding more negative factors to the Chinese economy, which is already facing a fumbling real estate market, according to the WSJ. The new data from China follows disappointing economic growth for the country in the second quarter of 2023, with the Chinese economy only growing 0.8% for the quarter as opposed to 2.2% in the first, totaling 6.3% for the year.

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Unemployment Spikes as Job Market Continues to Cool

The U.S. added 187,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in August as the unemployment rate shot up to 3.8%, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released Friday.

Economists had anticipated the country would add 170,000 jobs in August compared to 187,000 jobs in July, and that unemployment would remain unchanged at 3.5%, according to Reuters. The U.S. economy grew less than previously thought in the second quarter of 2023, with yearly real Gross Domestic Product being revised down from 2.4% to 2.1%.

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Commentary: New Jobs Report Proves That Bidenomics Is Failing American Workers

There’s no question about it now: The labor market is weakening. Friday’s jobs report showed 187,000 new jobs were created in August, well below the 12-month average, and the unemployment rate jumped. August marks the third consecutive month with fewer than 200,000 jobs created. June and July job creation was massively revised down by 110,000 in what’s becoming a common trend. And real wages grew slower than core inflation, continuing the nation’s decline in living standards.

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Chinese Parent Behind Company Building Michigan Battery Plants Employs 923 CCP Members

The Chinese parent company of Gotion Inc., which intends to build two electric battery plants in Michigan, employs 923 Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members, including its CEO, according to its 2022 ESG report.

The Fremont, California-based Gotion Inc. — which is “wholly owned and controlled” by Gotion High-Tech Power Energy Co., according to a Foreign Agents Registration Act filing — seeks to “invest $2.4 billion to construct two 550,000-square-foot production plants” for electric vehicle (EV) batteries in Big Rapids, Michigan, Fox News reported.

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Commentary: America’s Housing Conundrum

Americans who already own homes find themselves in an enviable position presently, particularly if they have little/no debt on them, or mortgages locked-in at super low rates that dominated the pre-lockdown years. But for the aspirational strivers in society – newlyweds or parents having more children, or the upwardly mobile entrepreneur seeking a better house – the present housing crisis presents a conundrum.

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The Fed’s Favorite Inflation Measure Just Ticked Back Up

The Federal Reserve’s preferred method of tracking inflation went up in July, following a similar move by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

The Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index rose 0.2% for the month of July, culminating in a 3.3% rise for the year in the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, up from 3.0% year-over-year in June, according to BEA data. The CPI, which is another measure of inflation, rose 3.2% in July, up from 3.0% in June year-over-year.

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Economy Grew Less than Previously Thought in Second Quarter

Economic growth was revised downward for the second quarter of 2022, coming more in line with economists’ original expectations, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

Yearly real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was revised down from 2.4% to 2.1% growth in the second estimate for the second quarter of 2023, according to the BEA. The revision is more in line with original expectations from economists of around 2% growth for the second quarter, showing signs of a cooling economy.

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Consumer Confidence Hits Near-Recession Low

The latest index of U.S. consumer confidence fell to a new low in the month of August, hitting levels that would normally indicate a coming recession.

As Breitbart reports, the Conference Board confirmed on Tuesday that the index fell to 106.1 in August, down from 114 in July. Economists had originally projected that it would rise to 116.6, and had predicted that July would reach 117.0.

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Average American Workers Now Demand $80K Salary to Start New Jobs

On Monday, the Federal Reserve published research suggesting that the preferred starting wage for the average American worker is at an all-time high.

According to Fox Business, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York determined that the average “reservation wage” – that is, the lowest salary at which a prospective employee will accept a job – reached $78,645 in the second quarter of 2023. This is an 8% increase from the second quarter of 2022, when the average reservation wage was approximately $72,873.

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Multiple Analyses: The California ‘Single-Use Plastic Bag’ Ban Is a Flop

According to a new analysis from the Los Angeles Times, California’s ban on thin plastic bags is a failure, as thicker, “recyclable” replacement bags are largely unable to be recycled in California, and the majority of consumers still opt not to bring their own bags to reuse for shopping.

Additional analyses have also found increases in purchases of plastic trash bags chip away at the plastics savings from single-use plastic bag bans, the pounds of plastic bags per-capita placed in landfills has increased since the ban, and many of the alternatives to single-use plastic bags typically end up being worse for the environment. Nonetheless, a major decrease in grocery bag litter suggests at least a partial success.

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Consumer Goods Giant 3M Fined More than $6.5 Million for Wooing Chinese Government Officials with Overseas Trips

The consumer goods company 3M agreed to pay more than $6.5 million to resolve charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act after its China-based subsidiary took Chinese government officials on overseas trips in an attempt to convince them to purchase 3M products, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said.

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Report: Millions of Americans Struggling Due to Medical Debt

A new report suggests that middle-class Americans are struggling with greater medical debt than any other class of Americans, with one out of every four having unpaid medical bills.

As Axios reports, the data comes from the left-wing think tank Third Way, which calculates that as many as 17 million middle-class Americans – those making between $50,000 and $100,000 per year – are struggling to pay off medical debts. Middle-class Americans in particular are even less likely to qualify for Medicare than low-income Americans.

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Commentary: House Freedom Caucus Wants To Do Something About Out of Control Spending

On Monday, the House Freedom Caucus (HFC) struck a blow in the fight for fiscal displume. In a 431-word statement, the conservative House Republicans put Official Washington on notice that when Congress returned in September and took up the seemingly annual short-term spending bill known as a “Continuing Resolution,” the HFC would not vote to fund business as usual. Instead, HFC members would only support a short-term spending bill to keep the government open if it also included several of their key policy priorities – policy priorities that would represent significant shifts in key areas of government policy.

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Small Businesses Feel the Pain of Inflation-Driven Interest Rates

Small business owners are feeling the pain of inflation-driven interest rate hikes, another difficulty for those owners to overcome as they continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic-era shutdowns.

A rash of federal spending and an increase in the money supply in recent years have fueled inflationary pressures. Prices soared during the beginning of the Biden administration, making it hard for Americans to make ends meet.

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