Economics impacts our lives every day. Below are some of last week’s top storylines that relate to economics.
The United States has never defaulted on its debt. But if the debt ceiling is not raised, its options would be not to pay interest on the money borrowed, or the government would need to choose what obligations it would not pay, such as Social Security, its employees, and contracted services. Failure to act would increase interest rates, slow the economy, and hinder America’s national security and international presence. (Bloomberg)
States are attracted to the tax revenue outlets generate. But the betting is not without problems. Calls to gambling hotlines have increased by 15%, according to Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council of Problem Gambling. Several NFL players have been suspended for gambling on games. Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey Regulators uncovered suspicious betting in the baseball game pitting Alabama against LSU on April 28th. Alabama coach Brad Bohannon was fired, but no criminal charges have been filed. (ABC News)
Tens of thousands of migrants are gathered in many cities on the Mexican side of the US border. Now migrants can request asylum, but most will not qualify. The new law denies asylum to anyone who has passed through another country without seeking refuge there first. (The New York Times)
Many families will receive less help through the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, better known as food stamps. The program was more generous during the pandemic. However, vaccines are still free until they run out, which the government expects will be sometime during the summer. (The Economist)
Companies are telling borrowers they have taken over the servicing of their debt or that they can cancel their debt for a fee. Some are using the scheme to gather personal information. The Education Department expects borrowers to resume their payments approximately 60 days following the court’s decision. (The Wall Street Journal)