You can draw comparable charts for many other economic variables, some of them just showing levels like the two figures above, others showing deviations from the pre-2008 trend. Their consistent shapes all tell the same story: The U.S. economy remained significantly depressed for many years — indeed, a decade or so, after the financial crisis — and this lost decade could have been avoided with the right policies. How do we know that it could have been avoided? Because of what happened the past few years, when the U.S. economy, boosted by major federal spending programs, came roaring back from the Covid slump, regaining all the lost ground in just over three years. If America had done as well after the financial crisis, we would have been back on trend by mid-2011. Related: Unintended Consequences Accurately Predicted The Slow Recovery
- Date Posted:
- August 1, 2023
For more than two decades, satellites have recorded fires across the planet’s surface. The data are unequivocal: Since the early 2000s, when 3% of the world’s land caught fire, the area burned annually has trended downward. In 2022, the last year for which there are complete data, the world hit a new record-low of 2.2% burned area. While the complete data aren’t in for 2023, global tracking up to July 29 by the Global Wildfire Information System shows that more land has burned in the Americas than usual. But much of the rest of the world has seen lower burning—Africa and especially Europe. Globally, the GWIS shows that burned area is slightly below the average between 2012 and 2022, a period that already saw some of the lowest rates of burned area.