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Jul 17

C. Opioids knock productivity

Janet Yellen, Chair of the US Federal Reserve, considers President Donald Trump’s  growth target of 3% per annum over the next five years to be “quite challenging”

At present, the rate slumbers at a mere 0.5%, having been around 2% over the past decade

She holds that a major factor holding down productivity growth is the problem companies have in finding qualified workers

The national need is thus to focus on worker training and education

Then the surprise!

She warns that the ‘opioid crisis’ is impacting the US economy, removing men in their prime from the workforce, sometimes permanently

“Many individuals with less education are finding it difficult to be placed in jobs that are middle income jobs”

“Unfortunately, this is likely tied to the opioid crisis”

“We’ve even seen an increase in death rates due to despair, suicides, drugs overdoses”

Apparently, more than 33,000 died this way in 2015 alone

She concludes: “This is a very serious matter”

But whence a quantification of the impact plus possible solutions and actions?

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