Kelly J. Bullis: Finally, one economist finds some good news to share |

Kelly J. Bullis: Finally, one economist finds some good news to share

Kelly J. Bullis

Did you hear that economists have forecast nine out of the last five recessions? Or, that economics is the only field in which two people can receive a Nobel Prize for saying exactly the opposite thing?

All kidding aside, when an expert economist gets up in front of a TV camera and attempts to explain how we have been out of the current recession for over a year and yet unemployment is still at an all-time high, and our homes have not stopped going down in value, we are tempted to pick up the remote and change to “Survivorman” or the NASA channel. (Actually, I do prefer these programs over watching the daily national news anyway. My wife says I’m strange, but that’s beside the point.)

Recently, I came across one economist, Jeff Thredgold, who readily admits “the dismal science of economics typically focuses on bad news.” He then went on to list some “good news,” which I actually thought was so good, I would like to share just a few tidbits.

Here are some good news items for your enjoyment:

• Economic output of the average American worker is 10 times that in China.

• Americans won 30 Nobel prizes in science and economics during the past five years. China? Just one.

• U.S. exports to China have risen roughly 24 percent per year since 2001, making China the fastest growing market for U.S. goods.

• The U.S. accounted for nearly one-third of the $1.1 trillion spent globally on research and development in the latest data available.

• The upward “mobility” of the typical American remains the greatest in the world. Why? The U.S. economy “rewards” the combination of hard work and educational achievement more than ever before, and more than any other country in the world.

• Total U.S. workplace fatalities declined to their lowest point on record last year.

• Energy-efficient appliances, cars, buildings, and other technologies that already exist could lower U.S. energy usage 30 percent by 2030.

• For every dollar of U.S. economic output generated today, we burn less than half as much oil as 30 years ago.

• During the early 1960s, the five-year survival rate from cancer for Americans was one in three. Today it is two in three, continuing to climb and the highest in the world.

• Roughly 47 percent of science and engineering degrees of those ages 25 to 39 are held by women, compared with 21 percent among those 65 and older.

• U.S. traffic deaths per 100 million miles traveled during 2009 were the lowest on record.

• The Dow average has rebounded 64 percent since its low in early March 2009, with even larger gains by other measures.

Want to read the rest? Go to Jeff Thredgold’s website (, read the Oct 5 “Tea Leaf.”

Coming up in my next column: End of year tax planning tips to start considering now.

• Kelly Bullis is a Certified Public Accountant in Carson City. Contact him at 882-4459.