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Obamacare Fixed U.S. Health Care Inflation

10:33 AM ET The cost of health care is rising at the slowest rate since President John F. Kennedy was in office. A key U.S. health care inflation gauge updated earlier this week shows medical care inflation rising 0.55 percent in January, compared to January 2014. This is the slowest rate since 1961, ...

Let’s Admit It: Governments Never Really Pay Off Their Debts

February 9, 2015 Since the European debt crisis first flared in 2010, Greece has been held out as an example of the worst kind of profligate borrower. And it’s true Greece has a bad fiscal record. Government spending was large and inefficient, tax collections nearly nonexistent. Perhaps worst of all, government statisticians cooked ...

Scientists Now Know How to Make Robots Less Creepy Looking

January 23, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It melts your heart when puppies do it. And robots, too, apparently. Yes, the simple head tilt just might be the breakthrough gesture that makes humanoid robots less creepy to deal with. A paper published in Computers in Human Behavior shows that people are much more amenable to the presence ...

Let Us Now Give Thanks for Oil Busts, a Great American Tradition

December 11, 2014 In recent years, America’s oil and gas sector has flared brightly against an otherwise gloomy economic backdrop. Since the end of the Great Recession, the number of jobs in oil and gas extraction—not counting related industries such as transportation—has jumped 35%, while total US jobs have risen only 7%. Unemployment ...

This US Navy Ship Is Now Armed With a Drone-Killing Laser Beam

November 17, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The U.S. Navy now has a ship in the Persian gulf armed with a “laser gun.” That’s how the U.S. chief of naval operations described it, in passing, to a congressional hearing back in March. The Laser Weapons System, as it’s officially called, has been mounted on the USS Ponce, ...

This US Navy Ship Is Now Armed With a Drone-Killing Laser Beam

November 16, 2014 The US Navy now has a ship in the Persian gulf armed with a “laser gun.” That’s how the US Chief of Naval Operations described it, in passing, to a Congressional hearing back in March. The Laser Weapons System, as it’s officially called, has been mounted on the USS Ponce, ...

How the Dollar Went From a Simple Banknote to the World's Currency

November 13, 2014 It must be wonderful to be so desirable at age 100. Yes, it was in late 1914 that the U.S. Federal Reserve note, the official incarnation of the U.S. dollar, first shot from the U.S. Treasury’s Bureau of Printing and Engraving. There’s been little official fanfare. But the dollar itself ...

One in Four Americans With College Degrees Shouldn’t Have Bothered

September 5, 2014 Roughly 25% of those with bachelor’s degrees in the US derive no economic benefit from their diplomas. That’s the takeaway from analysts at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The same analysts have argued in the past that the benefits of a college degree, on average, still outweigh the ...

Maybe Less Productive Employees Just Need a Little Siesta Time

July 21, 2014 In an effort to boost productivity during the summer months, the city of Seoul is encouraging government workers (paywall) to take a siesta of up to an hour. This might be a good model for the country, which appears to be the most sleep-deprived of the world’s developed economies. The ...

Bitcoin Is No Longer the Worst Investment in the World

June 3, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Great news for the bitcoin faithful. The crypto-currency, which crashed after reaching highs of over $1,100 late last year, is no longer the absolute worst thing you could have bought this year. Now it’s merely the third worst. Bitcoin is down 15.2% against the US dollar since the end of ...