February 15, 2019
Another busy week is in the books and here’s what you might have missed if you have a life outside of policy-related news. From updates on increasing wage rates to a precariously wobbling economy in Europe, you can read up on it all here – in case you missed it.
This past week, Governor Tony Evers committed Wisconsin to following the Paris Climate Accords, which would reduce emissions by 26-28 percent from their 2005 levels by 2025. Wisconsin has already reduced emissions 14.4 percent from the 2005 levels and is using a third less coal for energy than 2005.
This Monday, MacIver’s Matt Kittle broke a story detailing the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s financial relationship with Purdue Pharma during the onset of the opioid epidemic. A spokesperson for the Pain & Policy Study Group (PPSG) in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health issued a denial, but from 2000-2010, 20 percent of PPSG’s funding, or $1.6 million, came from Purdue Pharma. In an age where the opioid epidemic has touched just about every town in the United States, this discovery and denial from the PPSG are significant.
California’s new governor, Democrat Gavin Newsom, announced that former Gov. Jerry Brown’s dream of a high-speed rail line is dead. The project was expected to cost $77 billion and would have taken another 14 years to complete. The rail line would have connected Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay, but it would have cost more and taken longer than flights would.
First-term Congressman, Army veteran and doctor Mark Green (R-TN), declared that Medicare-for-All is too expensive and would provide poor healthcare quality. In an interview with the Daily Signal, the Congressman outlined why the massive entitlement program would not work, as well as why free markets are the best solution to the current issues facing the healthcare system.
In the Trump economy, workers are seeing more money in their paychecks. New numbers released by the Labor Department show a 1.7 percent increase in real hourly wages during January 2019. These rates have kept up with inflation, and are the best the United States has seen since mid-2016.
Germany, the largest economy in Europe, reported zero percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2018. In the third quarter, Germany reported -0.2 percent growth. Germany, the largest economy in Europe, is experiencing minimal growth, meaning the country very narrowly avoided a recession at the end of 2018.