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The Economic Perspective 12/23/2022

Updated: Mar 1, 2023

The Latest Trending Economic, Environmental and Demographic News Curated for You By The Balmoral Group

The Balmoral Group provides practical, professional and precise Economics, Data Analytics, and Engineering Consulting services and is part of a globally integrated team.

Although we have an Arctic winter storm to contend with this holiday weekend, we hope everyone who celebrates has an enjoyable Christmas with their friends and families. More than 135 million people across the U.S., including here in Florida, have been put under weekend weather alerts, so please take care.

We'll be taking a break next week but look forward to sharing interesting news and events with you all the first week of January 2023. This final 2022 edition of our weekly newsletter features articles about hybridizing wheat crops to boost disease resistance, federal funding for transportation, e-waste and EVs, and a delightful chart tracking holiday mail delivery methods.

Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be interested. If you'd like to view previous editions please click here, or to subscribe please click here!

Hybrid Wheat Arrives

Hybrid crops are those that are bred from 2 specially selected parent varieties, meaning that pollination has to be carefully controlled to ensure only the 2 varieties are included. The result is combinations of traits like disease resistance and increased yield that couldn’t consistently be achieved through other means (Note: this is different than GMO seed). Nearly all corn in the U.S. are hybrid varieties, since around 1960. Wheat is much more difficult to hybridize, but Syngenta seems to have finally cracked the code on that, and they’re bringing hybrid wheat to market in the U.S. in 2023. Read more from

$90 Billion Proposed for Transportation in FY2023

Congress has proposed more than $90 billion for highway and transit programs in fiscal year 2023. Of the total proposed funding, $71.6 billion would go towards highway investment programs (a 3% increase from FY 22). Mass transit investment would be $21 billion, Airport $8.9 billion and multimodal capital investment $46 billion. The package would fund the federal government though Sept. 30, 2023, and if signed into law, marks the sixth straight year Congress has provided supplemental spending on top of authorized levels. ARTBA.

E-waste Fastest Growing Waste Stream

Electronic waste, or e-waste, is the fastest growing waste stream globally, as the Global E-waste Monitor finds that 53.6 million metric tonnes of e-waste was disposed of in 2019; this is expected to increase nearly 40% by 2030. E-waste contains rare-earth elements which could be recycled and highly valuable if efficiently separated out. The Global E-waste Monitor reports only 17% of e-waste is being properly managed for recycling in countries that generate it; the rest is unaccounted for an and presumed in landfills. Scientific American.

U.S. Postal Service to Transform Delivery Fleet with 66,000 EVs by 2028

The US Postal service is planning to purchase 66,000 electric delivery vehicles with plans of purchasing a total of 106,000 by 2028. The goal is to replace their 220,000 vehicles. This investment will total in $9.6 billion, about a third of which will come from the Inflation Reduction Act. This comes in response to several organizations pressuring the US Postal Service to enact more environmental changes. More electric vehicles will mean that there will be cleaner air where US postal service vehicles go. Further commitments to environmentally friendly investment and activities will come as ability allows according to the USPS. Read more.

Visualization of the Week

Holiday Card Delivery

According to the Greeting Card Association, Christmas cards account for 20% of the 6.5 billion greeting cards purchased by Americans each year. The most popular delivery method is still physical mailing, with 70% of gifters using that option. Interestingly, Millennials are more likely than any other generation to send virtual cards. Meanwhile, 63% of Gen Z who sent a holiday card did so through the mail. Overall, physical holiday cards are more likely to go to immediate family members, while digital cards are more often sent to friends. Read more here.


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