Economics in the News - Aug. 30-Sept. 5 HOW ECONOMICS IMPACTS OUR LIVES ON A DAILY BASIS

Economics impacts our lives every day. Below are some of the top storylines from this past week related to economics.

"Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work." -- Stephen King, author
With the global supply chain already impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, experts predict that the impacts from Hurricane Ida will only exasperate the issue. Because available trucks will be diverted to areas in need to deliver supplies, fewer trucks will be available to carry already-limited supplies everywhere else.

At the same time, the storm damaged key industries in the Gulf Coast area. The Gulf Coast is the home to refineries and plants that play a role in industrial chemicals. While the plastics industry could see another surge in prices that are already at record levels. [The New York Times]

The next time it's time to renew your driver’s license, it may be added to your iPhone. Eight states – Arizona, Georgia, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah – will allow drivers to add their driver’s license to their iPhone and Apple Watch.

Adding a driver’s license will work in a similar way as adding payment options to your mobile device but requires additional security. The Transportation Security Administration has said that it will allow travelers to use the mobile ID’s at checkpoints and security lines in select airports. The new feature will be available with the latest iPhone software update this fall. [NPR]

For years, utility companies have resisted burying electric cables underground due to the costly nature of the project. In addition to the expensive costs, gaining access to buried lines for maintenance could also be problematic. However, with global warming and more catastrophic events taking place, utility companies are adapting to shield itself away from liability.

California’s Pacific Gas and Electric reversed course last year after the company’s equipment sparked and produced devastating forest fires. Pacific Gas and Electric plans to bury 10,000 miles of lines, costing somewhere between $15 and $30 billion. Meanwhile, Virginia-based Dominion Energy is planning a line-burying project comprised of burying 5,000 miles of underground wires at an estimated cost of $2 billion. [The Washington Post]

A new study suggests that childhood obesity rose significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The greatest change was among children ages 5 to 11, who gained an average of five pounds, adjusted for height.

While children spent more time being sedentary while learning remotely, previous studies have suggested that children tended to gain weight during the summer months while away from school. The weight gains can be attributed to missing recess, P.E. classes and sports. School meals are, on average, healthier than what children eat at home. [The Washington Post]

America’s longest war ended, as the American forces were evacuated from Afghanistan, ending an era that spanned nearly 20 years and four United States Presidents. More than 170,000 lives were lost, including more than 2,400 U.S. troops and 50,000 Afghan civilians among the casualties during the two decades.

American withdrawal was completed one day before the Aug. 31 deadline set by President Joe Biden earlier this year. The United States and 97 other countries have made agreements with the Taliban to allow safe passage for those that will continue to flee Afghanistan. [The New York Times]


All images credited to iStock