In today's news: Misery is at a record high, a new passenger jet debuts, Social Security may not be secure, China has housing problems, and hydrogen cars may be stuck in "park."
ECONOMY: Misery index hits new high
Yes, there’s something called the misery index – “the sum of the unemployment and consumer price inflation rates,” as CNN describes it. “At a recent 12.7, the misery index is at its highest level since 1983, when Ronald Reagan was president and the great bull markets in stocks and bonds were in their infancy.”
Boeing debuted a longer 747 over the weekend, escalating the trend toward bigger passenger aircraft. “The new 747-8 will have 467 seats, 51 more than its predecessor,” MSNBC reports, “but fewer than the 525 of its main competitor, the A380 made by Airbus.”
RETIREMENT: AARP expects Social Security benefit cuts
Congress will cut back on Social Security benefits to balance the budget, the AARP predicts. “The AARP still does not want Social Security reform to be included in such talks, including those being led by Vice President Biden to strike a deal on the debt ceiling,” CNN reports.
While home prices are plummeting here at home despite the federal government’s best efforts, China has the reverse problem. Authorities in China and Hong Kong are stepping up property curbs amid concern prices are becoming unaffordable,” Bloomberg reports.
President Bush promoted fuel cell technology as an eventual replacement for car engines, but President Obama has been more skeptical. “The vehicles are in danger of losing research and development funding under the Obama administration, which argues that plug-in electric cars are a more practical bet,” USA Today reports.