A couple of years back, a mental health professional asked me to sit down with him. He had noticed a big uptick in his teen patients coming in with an acute sense of foreboding. Among the issues that seemed to trouble them most were apocalyptic worries about global climate change ruining their future. But it wasn’t the topic that alarmed the therapist most; it was the growing anxiety. And that was before 2020. That was … Continued
Record heat and the drought this summer are putting the issue of climate change on Utahns’ minds. While a run of unfavorable weather measured in weeks or months does not in itself equate to climate change, it does invite us to pay more attention to the issue. The causes and effects of climate change, as well as the proper responses, remain matters for some degree of debate. And those debates, by the way, are worth … Continued
In this edition of Utah Thrives, Utah Foundation President Peter Reichard and Vice President Shawn Teigen are joined by Julianne Basinger and Nick Schou of Western Resource Advocates in a discussion of climate challenges. The conversation also explores the new Utah Foundation report, Going for the Green: How Utah Can Thrive in the New Climate Economy.
It’s when your throat is parched and you’ve been baking in the hot sun that you most appreciate a glass of cool, clear water. We appear to be in such a moment at a statewide level. As of May 1, the 2020-21 winter snowpack in most of the state’s measured basins was well below median, and in some cases less than half of the median level. While one bad year may not plunge the whole … Continued
The U.S. economy took a significant hit due to the pandemic and economic shutdown in 2020. Businesses let go of employees and reduced hours; the unemployment rate peaked in April 2020, reaching an astounding 14.4% in the U.S. and 9.7% in Utah. To stimulate the economy and aid households, the federal government introduced a variety of financial resources, including stimulus checks. Beginning in early 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed Americans nine times over a … Continued
A little over two decades ago, I learned how lucrative the pharmaceutical industry could be. The father of a friend of mine, who was nearing retirement after a career with a drug company, was discussing how nice their recent company picnic had been. He went on to mention that they brought in a well-known band to play the event. The band? U2. At a company picnic. That’s what giant profit margins can do for you. … Continued
In a year when one might expect Americans’ personal income to decrease, 2020 saw the greatest increase in personal income growth in 20 years. The pandemic and related economic shutdown inspired a far-reaching increase in governmental assistance. Policymakers focused on increasing funds for unemployment benefits and government transfers, more widely known as stimulus checks, in hopes of offsetting the impacts from a growing unemployment rate. This resulted in a nationwide personal income increase of 4.9%. … Continued
Every four years, as part of our Utah Priorities Project, the Utah Foundation surveys the people of this state to determine their greatest concerns. This information helps drive the priorities of policymakers and civic leaders. In both 2016 and 2020, Utahns told us that their top concern was health care costs and access. The past year in particular has highlighted the great importance of our health care services and infrastructure. But it has also brought forth … Continued
As many people know, Utah has been last in the nation for decades in per pupil spending on education, trailing Arizona and Idaho. No longer. Utah Foundation staff had expected the state to pull ahead of Idaho at some point during the past four years. It has finally happened with the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau data released today. The Utah Foundation prefers the measure of education spending effort – or the amount spent on education … Continued
The Utah Foundation recently produced a brief on housing affordability as concerns in Utah have become increasingly acute. In this edition of Utah Thrives, Utah Foundation Senior Analyst Christopher Collard, President Peter Reichard and Vice President / Research Director Shawn Teigen discuss what they’ve been learning as they dig in on the housing cost issue.