A Rising Tide Has Spun the Boats

A resident walks across the floodwater in Gross-Vernich, Germany (Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters)

Good morning. Yesterday’s quote was renowned economist Thomas Sowell on the merits of socialism. Today UI benefit claims fall slightly; Biden closes only some of the southern border; overdose deaths hit ATH; and Europe gets some major flooding. Here is today’s quote:

No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems.  They are trying to solve their own problems—of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two.  Whatever is number three is far behind.

Jobs Report

Initial unemployment insurance claims fell 26,000 to 360,000 in the week ending July 10. Last week’s figures were again revised upwards by fully 13,000 jobs. Only Pennsylvania added more than 5,000 new claims to their unemployment roster, while it was just Oklahoma that shed more than 2,000 week-over-week. The full Department of Labor report can be found here.

Politics

Shortly after taking office, the newly minted Biden Administration nixed the Stay in Mexico policy of his predecessor. It basically forced asylum seekers to remain off of US soil while officials reviewed their case, which President Biden changed with his de facto open-borders policy. Whether you love it or hate it, that’s not the point. The trouble comes when he pursues a closed-border policy with Cuba—where dissidents risk their lives floating 90 miles across shark-infested waters in cars made during the 1950s—while using the opposite tact with Mexico. A bit ironically, even the Cuban-born Director of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas lambasted the sailors: “Allow me to be clear: If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States.” It is probably just a coincidence that these immigrants do not hold the same political views as the Administration.

United States

Overdose deaths are on the rise. This should not come as a shock: from the early days of the lockdowns, there were many reports showing massive upticks in the levels of drug and alcohol consumption. But now the numbers are in. Drug overdoses spiked to 93,000 in 2020—the largest figure on record—representing a 30 percent increase from 2019.

World

Europe is reeling from some of the worst flooding seen in a few years. Torrential rainfall in Belgium, France, and Germany each saw flooding along their rivers and sewage facilities running over capacity. Though this is far less severe than the 2013 flooding, which pushed the Danube to its highest levels since the 16th century, 20 people have been confirmed dead while dozens more are reported missing. As the rain continues to dissipate into the weekend, local authorities have declared a state of emergency in the region. To those that lost their lives, R.I.P.

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