Tags: Michelle | Obamas | School | Lunches | 6 in 10 Would Elect Atheist President | Mexicos Economy to Overtake Russias by 2050 | Cheaper Energy a Windfall for Governments

Kids Shun Michelle Obama's School Lunches; 6 in 10 Would Elect Atheist President

By    |   Sunday, 05 Jul 2015 08:25 PM

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Mexico's Economy to Overtake Russia's by 2050
2. School Lunch Participation Down Nationwide
3. Six in 10 Would Vote for an Atheist for President
4. Cheaper Energy a Windfall for Governments

 

1. Mexico's Economy to Overtake Russia's by 2050

Mexico is projected to replace Russia as one of the top 10 economies by the year 2050 — and China will be the world's largest economy by that time.

China will have a nominal GDP of $105 trillion in 35 years, easily surpassing the U.S. GDP of $70.9 trillion, according to forecasts by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) reported by Bloomberg. India will follow at $63.8 trillion.

Indonesia will move into the top 10 for the first time at No. 4, with a GDP of $15.4 trillion, along with newcomer Mexico at No. 8 ($9.8 trillion). Two countries will drop out of the top 10: Russia, currently No. 10, and Italy (No. 8).

Mexico's emergence in EIU's top 10 "could be seen as a continuation of the importance of Latin America on the global market," Fox News Latino noted.

Mexico's economy expanded at the fastest pace in two years in the fourth quarter of last year thanks to a rise in exports. The nation's growing economy is attributed to job growth, a falling inflation rate, and rising consumption.

Other nations in the top 10 in 2050 will be Japan (No. 5), Germany (No. 6), Brazil (No. 7), and the U.K. (No. 9).

Japan will see the largest drop in working-age population, more than 25 percent. Other countries projected to see large decreases in working-age population by 2050 include Germany, Thailand, South Korea, Ukraine, and Taiwan.

In terms of per capita incomes, China is forecast to nearly catch Japan by 2050 and be just under half of the U.S. level, up from 14 percent of America's in 2014, and India will rise from 3 percent of U.S. per capita income to 24 percent.

"Given China's and India's economic might, they will take on a much bigger role in addressing global issues such as climate change, international security and global economic governance," the EIU said.

"In the medium term, this will require the world's existing powers — notably the U.S. — to let India, and especially China, play a greater role on the world stage and adapt international institutions to allow them to exert greater influence."

Editor's Note:

 

2. School Lunch Participation Down Nationwide

U.S. Department of Agriculture figures indicate that after 30 years of steady growth in the National School Lunch Program, student participation is down all across the country.

And the School Nutrition Association (SNA), which represents 55,000 school nutritionists nationwide, attributes the drop to the new nutrition standards championed by first lady Michelle Obama and instituted by the USDA in 2012.

Participation peaked in 2010 and 2011 at 31.8 million students, but in 2013 it dropped to 30.7 million and in 2014 it decreased again to 30.4 million, according to the USDA. That means it has dropped by 1.4 million students since its peak.

In fact, participation in 2014 was down in every state except Delaware, Florida, and North Dakota compared to 2011, according to USDA data released on June 5.

"More than one million fewer students choose school lunch each day, thwarting the goal of promoting healthier diets for all students," the SNA said. "School lunch revenue is down and food waste is up."

The new standards require school lunches to contain more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, ban whole milk, and reduce the number of calories in a meal.

Many students find the new lunches unpalatable and toss items in the trash. The SNA points to a study showing that the mandate to serve a fruit or vegetable with each meal results in about $3.8 million worth of produce being thrown in the trash each day.

Another study, this one by the Harvard School of Public Health, revealed that "students discarded roughly 60 to 75 percent of the vegetables and 40 percent of the fruits on their tray."

Students displeased by the new school lunch requirements touted by Michelle Obama have been posting photos on Twitter at #ThanksMichelleObama, CNS News reported. One recent comment with a photo: "We get to eat this and it tastes like dirt."

Lynn Harvey, an SNA member, testified before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce that the requirement that all grain-based items must be made with 100 percent whole grains has "created products that are dense, compact, dry and crumbly instead of light, moist, tender and flakey."

The SNA said in a release: "USDA's national and state level participation data highlight the challenges school meal programs have faced under the new regulations."

Reports have circulated that some students have been dealing with those challenges by bringing, and even selling, salt, pepper and sugar to make school lunches taste better.

Editor's Note:

 

3. Six in 10 Would Vote for an Atheist for President

A record 58 percent of Americans would vote to elect an atheist for president if their political party nominated a non-believer for the White House, a new poll reveals.

The Gallup survey asked: "Between now and the 2016 political conventions, there will be discussion about the qualifications of presidential candidates — their education, age, religion, race and so on. If your party nominated a generally well-qualified person for president who happened to be an atheist, would you vote for that person?"

Only 40 percent said they would not vote for an atheist versus the 58 percent who said they would. The rest were not sure.

Gallup first asked a similar question in 1958, and only 18 percent of respondents at that time said they would vote for an atheist, and 75 percent would not.

As recently as 2007, 53 percent said they would not vote for an atheist and 45 percent said they would.

And in the most recent survey before the new one, in June 2012, a majority, 54 percent, said they would vote for an atheist and 43 percent said they would not.

Younger Americans are far more likely to say they would vote for a non-believer — 75 percent of those 18 to 29 years old would vote for an atheist, while just 34 percent of those ages 65 and above would do so.

Democrats are more likely to vote for an atheist — 64 percent said they would, compared to just 45 percent of Republicans.

Gallup also found that a majority of respondents would vote for a White House candidate regardless of his or her religion.

According to the survey, 93 percent would vote for a Catholic, 91 percent for a Jewish candidate, 81 percent for a Mormon, 73 percent for an evangelical Christian, and 60 percent for a Muslim.

Three-quarters of respondents said they would vote for a gay or lesbian candidate, and 92 percent would vote for a woman or a black candidate.

A majority of Democrats, 59 percent, said they would vote for a socialist candidate, but only 26 percent of Republicans would do so.

Gallup noted: "The general trend is that Americans have become significantly more accepting over time."

Editor's Note:

 

4. Cheaper Energy a Windfall for Governments

The drop in oil prices due largely to increased U.S. production has been a windfall for consumers, but governments also spend money on energy — and their savings from the price drop could be in the billions.

Oil is currently trading at around $50 a barrel, down from $100 in early 2014, and American households spend some $450 billion on gasoline alone to fuel their average of 2.28 vehicles, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Governments at every level — federal, state, county, city — must budget considerable sums for their military and police vehicles, cars and trucks that use gasoline. The total comes to around 3.2 million vehicles, and they account for about 1.5 percent of all traffic on the road.

The New Geography website estimates that governments will save at least $1 billion this year on gasoline alone. They will be saving on heating bills and other energy costs as well. The federal government owns nearly 400,000 buildings around the country, and spends up to $610 billion a year on energy consumption.

So every 1 percent drop in energy costs could mean a $6 billion windfall for Uncle Sam.

New Geography's Susanne Trimbath notes: "Don't be surprised if he expands spending instead of using the savings to reduce the [$18 trillion] national debt or to balance the budget."

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Editor's Note:

 

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Insider Report Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories): 1. Mexico's Economy to Overtake Russia's by 2050 2. School Lunch Participation Down Nationwide 3. Six in 10 Would Vote for an Atheist for President 4. Cheaper Energy a Windfall for Governments 1. Mexico's Economy...
Michelle, Obamas, School, Lunches, 6 in 10 Would Elect Atheist President, Mexicos Economy to Overtake Russias by 2050, Cheaper Energy a Windfall for Governments
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2015-25-05
Sunday, 05 Jul 2015 08:25 PM
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