Economic conditions may play less of a role in the scourge of recent opioid overdose deaths than the easy availability and low cost of the illicit drugs, according to a new paper.
The study by University of Virginia economist Christopher Ruhm disputes the idea that areas in economic decline experience a higher rate of “deaths of despair,” and argues “the drug environment rather than economy is the key driver in rising drug fatalities.”
Global sales of passenger cars and trucks likely surpassed 90 million for the first time in 2017, the latest indicator that demand for conventional automobiles remains strong even as driverless cars and ride sharing get increasing attention.
. . .Global demand remains robust, however, with 2017’s relatively modest 2.7% growth estimate far outpacing population growth.
A handful of Canadian miners are ramping up operations to mine cobalt, betting on demand for a socially responsible source of the metal that is in high demand as a key component of electric cars. Most cobalt currently comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where supply is threatened by political, legal and labor issues. That means car makers and battery suppliers are increasingly looking elsewhere for the mineral.
The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to impose a new fee on development to raise millions of dollars a year for affordable housing as the city copes with rising rents and surging homelessness
The economy appears to be on its firmest footing in at least a decade, with hiring picking up from earlier this year and the unemployment rate holding at a 17-year low in November.